Giovanni Giacalone
Eyes everywhere

Italy: Pakistani preacher glorifies Hamas and claims DNA theory on Jews

Zulfiqar Khan during his May 25th sermon. facebook screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law.

On May 26th, 2024, the Pakistani preacher of the Bologna-based Iqraa Islamic Center made a public statement, during a sermon, glorifying Hamas:

This little warrior, a group of people called Hamas. They made it clear to the world that these are cowards (Israel, Zionists), they can’t do anything against men, they can only go against children, against women, against civilians.” (12.58)

We have seen, so many brothers are afraid to say that Hamas is a sincere group, mujahideen, because they had bombed all the Muslims in Europe that I must necessarily say that Hamas is a terrorist organization. They tried with me even from 7/10 onwards, we always had this position that Hamas is not a terrorist organization. They are defending their territory.” (32:47)

We thank Allah sws through these Hamas mujahideen warriors who have discovered this reality, this truth, that these (Israelis, Americans) are terrorists, they are murderers…” (53:54)

This isn’t the first time that Khan expresses such viewpoints; for instance, on April 19th he had already stated in another sermon that “Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and Yemen, do not want to kill, do not want to harm civilians” and subsequently invoked: “That punishment which we are waiting for it to come from Allah, with the hands of Hamas and Hezbollah…”

Khan previously even admitted being an extremist: “If someone says to me ‘you are an Islamic extremist’ I say yes because extremism means following the fundamentals…”.

Moreover, in November 2023, while taking part in the popular TV broadcast “Dritto e Rovescio” Khan stated that: “deception with the aim of interest is part of the Jewish faith.” In May 2021, during a rally in Bologna in Piazza Maggiore when he stated that “Jews are cruel because they use their intelligence to harm others.

In Italy, antisemitism is punished by the law under the (Legge Mancino, 1993) and Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by the EU; plenty of people have been expelled by the Italian authorities for similar pro-ISIS statements. As for Khan, his case is severe since he is a religious leader, and his sermons are published on Facebook every week. It is therefore incomprehensible why he is still free to spread such views. Aren’t Hamas and ISIS both terrorist organizations? Thus, why the double standards?

It is indeed unbelievable how Khan can continue spreading such content, from the pulpit of an Islamic center, with videos publicly posted on Facebook weekly, all under the eyes of the Italian authorities.

It must be said that Khan himself said in November 2023: “…In Italy, thanks to Allah, we are safe, and we have the right to speak.” Who knows what he meant?

About the Author
Giovanni Giacalone is a senior analyst in Islamist extremism and terrorism at the Italian Team for Security, Terroristic Issues and Managing Emergencies-Catholic University of Milan, at the Europe desk for the UK-based think tank Islamic Theology of Counter-Terrorism, and a researcher for Centro Studi Machiavelli. Since 2021 he is the coordinator for the "Latin America group" at the International Institute for the Study of Security-ITSS. In 2023 Giacalone published the book “The Tablighi Jamaat in Europe”.
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