1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary content



Latino Daily News

Tuesday February 1, 2011

Controversial Cleric Attempting to Sneak into U.S. Through Mexico

A controversial Muslim cleric was recently caught being smuggled into the United States from Mexico after being banned from Canada.

U.S. border guards found Said Jaziri curled up into the boot of a Mexican BMW as smugglers attempted to get him into California.

The hard-line Muslim cleric, who has stated that homosexuality is a disease, was banned from Canada and deported to his homeland of Tunisia in 2007 after it was discovered he lied on his refugee application about being arrested and serving time in France.

The 43-year-old many call an extremist, called for the death of Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard after a cartoon he drew, poking fun at Islam and the prophet Mohammed, were published in a Danish newspaper.

Jaziri, reportedly paid Tijuana-based smugglers $5,000 to take him across the Mexico-U.S. border to a “safe place anywhere in the U.S.” After jumping the fence, Jaziri and another immigrant were taken across harsh terrain to a spot popular for drivers who pick up immigrants for smuggling to San Diego.

He allegedly told officials he had flown from Africa to Europe, then on to Central America then on the Mexico-Belize border, where he took a bus to Tijuana.

When he was deported, Jaziri claimed he had been physically and mentally tortured by Canadian authorities during his flight back to Tunisia, and before he was even deported, his supporters, along with Amnesty International, claimed he would be tortured once back in Tunisia.

Professor of Communications at Laval University in Quebec City, Lise Garon, tols reporters that Jaziri’s nickname was the “controversial imam.” Adding, “I think he was deported because people hated his ideas.”