FRESH AIR

Australian Islamist extremist group fans the antisemitic flames

Jun 1, 2021 | Ran Porat

Ismai’l al-Wahwah (left) and Wassim Doureihi (right) during the “Palestine: How it Will Be Liberated” discussion, May 20 (Social media)
Ismai’l al-Wahwah (left) and Wassim Doureihi (right) during the “Palestine: How it Will Be Liberated” discussion, May 20 (Social media)

Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT, Arabic for “the party for liberation”) is a pan-Islamic fundamentalist movement calling for the re-establishment of a global Muslim Caliphate based on Islamic religious law (Sharia) while rejecting the integration of Muslims into non-Muslim societies.

The leaders of the Australian branch of HT (HT Aus) have a long and well-documented history of support for terrorism as well as antisemitism and incitement against Jews, including Holocaust denial.

During the recent conflict in Gaza, HT Aus organised a protest titled “Dua (prayer) for Al-Aqsa” in Sydney on May 11 and a social media video discussion on May 20. In them, they engaged in blatant antisemitism – accusing Jews of being “evil and treacherous” and spreading “filth” and characterising them as money-grubbing, pleasure-loving thieves – and demanded that all Jews in “Palestine” leave or be killed.

This is particularly worrying in the context of the global wave of antisemitic attacks on Jews over recent weeks, in the wake of the latest Israel-Hamas conflict.

 

Australia’s government “can go to hell”

HT Aus preacher Wassim Doureihi opened the May 11 rally by expressing his pleasure that Muslims in Australia were not “swallowed by the assimilation machine in this country and regarded ourselves first and foremost as Australians.” Of the Palestinians he said: “You are the epitome of struggle and Jihad in Islam.” He then attacked the governments of the West, including of Australia, for their position on the Palestinian issue: “I could not care less, they can all go to hell! […] we will not spend a single breath accounting the Australian Government, the American government or any Kufar [infidels].”

He finished his speech by declaring that the West, “are avowed enemies of Islam. They are the enemies of Allah [prayers on him], the ones who established the cancer in Al-Aqsa.”

Two women then spoke to the crowd in Arabic and English, praising the “warriors” and “heroes” of al-Aqsa in the “ongoing struggle with the Jews.” They called upon the Arab armies to join the battle to clean Al-Aqsa from the “filth of the Jews” (in English they used a more sanitised term of “impurities”).

 

“Muhammad’s army will return” to slaughter the Jews

Leader of HT Australia Isma’il al-Wahwah (Abu Anas), was the key speaker of the rally.

According to his warped version of history, Britain“forced” the Jews to go to Palestine “to establish a state, for the Jewish entity in Falastin on the blood of our brothers, on the blood of mothers, our sisters.” But Israel, al-Wahwah called, “will never be a state! It is an entity until we get rid of it! From the roots! We will take it from the roots and throw [it] back behind [over] the ocean to go back from [where] they [Jews] are coming! Inshallah soon!”

Leader of HT Australia Isma’il al-Wahwah (on the podium) speaking to the crowd during the Dua (prayer) for Al-Aqsa rally, May 11 (social media).

Al-Wahwah prophesied that “one day we will win! And if we win one time, it is their end forever! […] not your kids, not your grandkids, inshallah you, soon, soon, you will see the end of this evil, illegal occupier of Falastin […] it will take us just one week to free the whole land of Falastin!” The crowd responded by cheering: “In blood and spirit we will free you, oh Al-Aqsa!”

In Arabic, Al-Wahwah condemned the “Jewish settlers, the Jewish criminals, the evil and treacherous Jews” and all their friends in the world. The crowd responded with the famous Islamic battle cry, recalling Prophet Muhammad’s 7th-century massacre of Jewish tribes at Khaybar – “Khaybar Khaybar oh Jews! The army of Muhammad will return!” The rally participants also recited “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “Palestine is Muslim land! Al-Jihad, al-Jihad!”

With the crowd around him shouting, “no god other than Allah, Israel is the enemy of Allah,” Al-Wahwah concluded his speech by directly addressing Jews in Israel: “The clock is now very close to 12 [midnight]. It is just five minutes before 12. And still you have time to run away from Falastin, to go back from where you are coming [i.e., where you came from]. Use your old passport, go to Warsaw, Paris and New York. Leave this occupied land, before it is too late. That’s our advice.”

 

“Jews love money”, escape or be killed

A few days later (May 20), HT Aus posted a 45-minute video discussion on social media “Palestine: How it Will Be Liberated” between al-Wahwah and Doureihi.

According to Doureihi, “Al-Quds is occupied militarily, it could only be liberated militarily. And we ask the armies of the Muslim worlds to do their job.”

Al-Wahwah replied that “What we are seeing today gives us full hope. We can see that get[ting] rid of this entity [Israel] is very simple. It can happen any minute, any time. Now everyone can feel that one [i.e., that it is true], how weak they are, how the Umma [Islamic nation] is strong, how the Umma is boiling. And everyone can imagine how this could happen, really, within days. …If the Umma moves to the borders [of Israel], we can do the job.”

Near the end of the conversation, Al-Wahwah declared that he has a special “peace message to our enemies”. After arguing that “You [Jews] came to Palestine as invaders with Britain…and they have established an entity for you”, he has a warning for Jews, “you know what they have done to you in Europe [the Holocaust] and they will leave you alone tomorrow if the truth is coming, the day of truth is coming [Judgment Day] and you will face the Umma – Wallahi [in God’s name] they will let you down… they will turn their backs [on you] or maybe… send some ships for you to carry you back to Europe.”

Al-Wahwah ridiculed Israel’s leaders, claiming that they will run away when the Muslims come for Palestine: “Your own politicians, like Netanyahu [and] whoever – Wallahi every one of them has renewed their passport, and he has renewed [made available] his house in America or in Europe, and they have put their money outside and they are ready to fly, to go back, when the time is coming [i.e., the end of Israel]. The politicians will scarify you”.

According to Al-Wahwah, Israel is soon to be eradicated by the Islamic nation who will kick the Jews out of their homes in Israel: “You [Jews in Israel] have zero, zero chance that the Umma will recognise [i.e., accept] you, [or] that the Umma will give you one square metre of Palestine… Soon it would happen. Not maybe years, maybe months, maybe months! And you will see them knocking on the doors in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Yaffo, Lod, Ramle. You will see [them] they are inside [your homes].”

Revealing once again his antisemitism, Al-Wahwah described Jews as greedy, morally corrupt and thieves. “I know you [Jews] love Dunia [Islamic term for indulgences of this world], you love wealth, you love money, you love lust. And that’s why you have collected [a lot of] money, many things in Falastin. OK, we know how, incorrectly [illegally you have done so] but anyway you have something.”

Finishing his words, Al-Wahwah told the Jews of Israel to leave or be killed.

“You have now the opportunity to leave Falastin, [and] with you what you own now, with your money, with your wealth. And you have passports, you can leave Palestine peacefully. You can save your lives, your blood… Use the opportunity now, before a few months are coming, for sure not years… run away, go back, save your lives, save your kids, and establish your lives where you belong [in Europe]. You have your original passport, citizenship. Go back to there.”

“Leave the country before it’s too late. Because if you are waiting and [you] don’t leave – Wallahi the time will come, and very soon… No one will save you that day.”

Dr. Ran Porat is an AIJAC Research Associate. He is also a Research Associate at the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation at Monash University, a Research Fellow at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya and a Research Associate at the Future Directions International Research Institute, Western Australia.

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