Nazareth imam convicted of inciting violence
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Nazareth imam convicted of inciting violence

Nazem Abu Salim Skafeh's speeches encouraged attacks against Jews and Christians

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

A view of a mosque in Nazareth. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
A view of a mosque in Nazareth. (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Nazareth District Court convicted a local imam on Sunday of incitement to violence and terror, and supporting a terrorist organization.

According to the court’s decision, Imam Nazem Abu Salim Skafeh’s Friday sermons at the Shihab a-Din Mosque inspired two terrorist cells to attack Jews and Christians in Nazareth, and expressed outright support for al-Qaeda.

“The defendant’s publications called for acts of revenge, while encouraging and supporting violence in the most dangerous fashion,” Judge Lili Jung-Goffer said in her verdict.

The 47-year-old imam was arrested in November 2010. He has ministered over the local Muslim population for the past 15 years and preaches at various mosques in Nazareth and Jerusalem, including the al-Aqsa Mosque.

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