Mohammed Swaiti yesterday called on God to grant “victory to mujahideen (Muslim holy warriors)” worldwide, The Weekend Australian newspaper reports.
“God grant victory to the mujahideen in his name in all places,” Sheik Swaiti called out twice in Arabic over a microphone at Abu Bakr mosque in Yarralumla in front of about 500 worshippers.
“God grant victory to mujahideen in Palestine, and Chechnya and Kashmir and Afghanistan and Iraq.”
While Sheik Swaiti translated his sermon into English for non-Arabic-speaking members, the imam of Canberra's only mosque omitted the praise for Islamic jihadists in the English version.
After the sermon the Palestinian-born cleric denied he was referring to Muslim holy fighters, saying jihad referred not only to fighting but also to self-discipline.
“Jihad means no alcohol and no gambling,” Sheik Swaiti told the newspaper.
“If we followed the jihad of the self ... and followed the Koran, the whole world will be in peace.”
But Islamic Society of ACT president Sabrija Poskovic rejected the cleric's suggestion he was not referring to fighters in his sermons.
He said the cleric was too radical and preached the wrong Islamic messages.
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