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Controversial figure  Federal Court dismisses Imam’s appeal 

Entrance to the An'Nur Mosque, as seen in 2015. It has been closed since 2017

Entrance to the An'Nur Mosque, as seen in 2015. It has been closed since 2017

(Keystone / Walter Bieri)

Judges at the Swiss Federal Court have thrown out an appeal by an Imam convicted of inciting hate and violence, who worked at a Winterthur mosque. 

The man was convicted by a Zurich district court in 2017 and given a suspended sentence of 18 months plus a 10-year deportation from Switzerland. The verdict was upheld on appeal in a cantonal court a year later. 

+ More on the original trial of the Islamic preacher 

Charges against the unnamed man included delivering a hate-speech-filled sermon in October 2016 at the now-defunct An’Nur mosque in Winterthur. 

In a verdict published on Fridayexternal linkthe Federal Courtexternal link said that the man had incited violence and criminal acts in parts when preaching. 

The Imam had called, during his sermon, for Muslims that don’t pray within the community to be killed. He continued with a call that “people should be burned in their houses because they have stayed away in prayer from the community,” according to a court statement. 

In his appeal, the man had argued that these passages had been taken out of context and had only made up a small part of his speech. But the Federal Court did not agree, and also dismissed other complaints made by the man. 

The man has already been deported to Somalia, which has recognised him as its citizen. He had applied for asylum in Switzerland, but this was rejected. The man was at first thought to be Ethiopian.  


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