Banned from Belgium and the U.S., the preacher of Jihad in Italy

31 March 2016

EFD Senior Fellow Valentina Colombo gives a detailed description of Tareq Mouhammed al-Saleh al-Suwaidan, a very controversial and influential Islamic preacher who will be touring in Italy this May.

Suwaidan is one of the few Islamist preachers that has openly claimed to be part of the Muslim Brotherhood; he also has a very conspicuous online visibility, with eight million followers on Facebook and Twitter.

In 2014 the Belgian authorities prohibited Suwaidan from entering the country because of his anti-Semitic views. He was also claimed to be ‘persona non grata’ by the United States and the United Kingdom. Also the Islamic world has had much to say about his public statements: in 2013 Suwaidan was fired from his position as director of the Islamic channel ‘Al Risala’ for having publicly announced is involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood and, in the same year, was also banned from entering Saudi Arabia.

Suwaidan has many opinions that are considered anti-Zionist and therefore directed towards Israel, seen by many as merely political; however, he has made more than once public statements that are very obviously anti-Semitic; in 2000 at an event organized by the Islamic Association for Palestine in Chicago, he claimed that “Palestine can only be freed through Jihad” and that the “Jews will be finished in our hands”.

In 2009 Suwaidan publishes a book of 429 pages entitled “The Jews, The Illus­trated Ency­clo­pe­dia” where he gives a detailed description on the “Ummah’s most hostile enemy”: not only Israel, but of the Jewish people as a whole. This book is easily obtainable online.

His extremism is also well known when it comes to Jihad; in 2006 after the controversy surrounding the publication of the cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, Suwaidan said that “one of the errors (the West) has made is to underestimate the power of Islam”.

Again, in 2009, he published on his website the following statements: “Brothers, the Jihad was emanated in the Islamic world to establish the truth (..), to accomplish justice, peace and security (..)”.

Valentina voices her deepest concerns on his arrival in Italy. He will be touring ten days, enough time to plan public and private events where he will have full liberty to express any of his extreme ideologies.

This article is in Italian and can be read here.