Geneva: Imam attacked for links with Saudis

Geneva: Imam attacked for links with Saudis

Translated from the Tribune de Genève and 20 minutes:

A fight broke out in the Geneva mosque last Friday, during noon prayers. Imam Youssef Ibram was prevented from preaching and told 20 minutes that several Egyptians attacked him and tore his djellaba. Several police cars were sent to the mosque to calm things down.

Tensions started two weeks ago when an imam preached for reforms in the mosque. There was an altercation last week as well, when leaflets were distributed.

A witness told 20 minutes that the worshipers have had enough and want to live their faith freely.

At the center of the controversy is the Muslim World League and the Saudi Arabian consulate, accused of being the guardian of the imams and of having installed surveillance cameras in the mosque. The worshipers feel that Ibram is too closely linked with the Saudi consulate, which owns the mosque.

For his part Ibram denies receiving orders from the consulate. Ibram says the issue is rather the dismissal of a former executive of the Islamic Cultural Foundation, which runs the mosque. He says that he hadn't preached in the mosque for more than a year, but rather in the Saudi Arabian consulate, the only places that welcomes him in Geneva.

According to 20 minutes, Youssef Ibram met on Monday with the Islamic Cultural Foundation in Geneva to review the events. He says he's willing to quit the mosque where he's worked since 1982, if the worshipers want him to, and that he only wants to preserve the peace of the place.