A video of a BC Imam saying that wishing Christians a Merry Christmas is a sin worse than murder received international attention over the Christmas holiday.
Sheikh Younus Kathrada, an Islamic Cleric based out of Victoria, made these comments as part of a sermon to the Muslim Youth of Victoria.
The Imam took down the video, but not before it was widely distributed through a variety of websites online.
The Imam is now speaking out. He wrote a post on Facebook claiming his words had been taken out of context.
He accused media outlets of stirring up trouble by selectively cutting and pasting parts of his speech to boost sales.
“Tonight’s session is neither a retraction nor an apology,” he said in a follow-up video.
“I stand by what I said and I will not retract unless I am proven to be wrong. What you see is what you get, unedited, uncut.”
Rather than apologizing for his insidious and anti-Christian remarks, he doubled down on them.
Despite his claims that his words were taken out of context, Kathrada’s video, uploaded on December 23, 2018, leaves little to the imagination.
“There are those who will say to them ‘Merry Christmas.’ What are you congratulating them on? Congratulations on the birth of your Lord? Is that acceptable to a Muslim? Are you now approving of their beliefs by saying that you are approving of it,” he asked.
“Do you know that you and I must be offended when people say that they worship Jesus, or when they say that Jesus is the Son of God?”
As the Times of Israel reported, Kathrada made sure to insist the listeners do not kill non-Muslims for the celebrating their “false holidays”.
On his Facebook, Kathrada claims to be a “community and youth activist.”
Sheikh Kathrada has a history of division and spreading hate. A Globe and Mail article from 2008 reports that he once called Jewish people “the brothers of monkeys and the swine” and asked Allah to kill them.
The RCMP had confirmed that Kathrada was subject to a hate crime investigation for his anti-Semitic remarks at the time.
Despite his grotesque remarks, this controversial Imam continues to preach from the Dar Al-Ihsan Islamic Centre in Victoria, which was founded by the Muslim Youth of Victoria in 2018.
The True North reached out to Sheikh Younus Kathrada, but he has yet to respond to our questions.