The imam revealed last week to have called for the murder of Jews at a Copenhagen mosque is claiming to be the victim of an Islamophobic conspiracy.
Footage of the sermon, which emerged last week, caused outrage in Denmark and prompted the Social Democrats and Danish People’s Party to call for sanctions on imam Mundhir Abdallah.
But the controversial imam hit back at critics in an interview with Kristeligt Dagblad on Monday, in which he claimed to have been set up.
“Politicians in the West and the media never stop attacking Islam and Muslims. Their propaganda never stops. Muslims are the real victims, not others. Our women are being attacked, our mosques are being burned,” said Abdallah.
The imam, who lives in Lebanon and has family in Denmark, claimed to have received “warm, wide support from people from everywhere”.
“Even from many in Denmark, where they know that my words have been manipulated, and they know that the motivation for this campaign is to prevent Muslims from criticising Israel and Western governments that support the occupation,” he wrote to Kristeligt Dagblad on Facebook.
Mundhir Abdallah was reported to police after being filmed repeating in Arabic an anti-Semitic hadith — a teaching of Muhammad — during a sermon in March this year.
The verse says: “Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.
“The Jews will hide behind the rocks and the trees, but the rocks and trees will say: ‘Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him’,” according to a translation by the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri).
When footage emerged of the sermon, in which Abdallah is seen standing with a black, Shahadah-emblazoned flag similar to those used by jihadist groups such as al-Qaeda, politicians in Denmark spoke out to condemn the imam.
Branding the contents of the video “very, very serious”, Social Democrat MP Lars Aslan Rasmussen suggested Abdallah be placed on a newly-created Danish list of hate preachers banned from entering the country.
“We cannot let imams talk to their congregations in this way,” the politician told Kristeligt Dagblad.