Israel reportedly questions aspiring Islamic leaders on their political orientation, disqualifying those who would not suit the regime’s interests.
One imam, who had failed to clear the hurdle, revealed that the Israeli Security Agency Shin Bet would grill them before they assume their position in mosques, read a piece on the Abu Dhabi-based paper, The National.
Sheikh Abu Ajwa consequently initiated a lawsuit with a labor tribunal.
He added, “I am the first imam ever to challenge the Shin Bet’s role in our appointments. It’s important to win a precedent-setting ruling from the courts to stop this kind of interference.”
Shin Bet had told him his views were “extremist” and too critical of Israel.
The 36-year-old’s lawyer, Michael Sfard said, “This sort of surveillance relating to a non-security position like an imam comes straight out of the era of the Stasi police in East Germany or the McCarthy period in the United States,” — when people were stripped of their public authority for being “communist.”
Tel Aviv took away the independence of local Islamic authorities following its occupation of the Palestinian lands in 1948. The regime also confiscated almost all the land and property used by the Muslim community.