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Imam found guilty of incitement to violence

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Worshippers at Friday prayers. File photo: Odd Andersen/AFP
09:53 CET+01:00
An Ethiopian who served as imam at a mosque in Winterthur has been found guilty of inciting violence after calling on worshippers to murder non-practising Muslims.

The 25-year-old was handed a non-custodial sentence of 18 months and banned from Switzerland for 10 years, according to news reports.

The Winterthur district court found the defendant guilty of three counts of public incitement to crime and violence, multiple depiction of violence, and working without a permit.

The court found it proven that during Friday prayers on October 21st last year at the An'Nur mosque the accused called for the killing and burning of Muslims who refused to take part in communal prayers.

It rejected the man’s explanation that he did not speak Arabic well and had just delivered a prepared sermon without understanding what he was preaching.

He was also convicted of having posted violent images of executions on Facebook and distributing these to other people. 

The asylum seeker, who arrived in Switzerland last year, was arrested last November following a raid at the mosque.

He has been in detention ever since during which time his asylum application was rejected.

The An’Nur mosque closed its doors in June. It was alleged to have had connections to terror groups and to have helped radicalize young Muslims.

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