“A woman must turn her home into a flourishing garden for her husband, so that he does not flee from her like a leper or a lion,” Sheik Abdel Moez al-Eila told the congregation at the Al-Nur mosque.
The sermon was delivered on January 23rd, but has only just come under broad public scrutiny after a video of the address surfaced on Sunday.
The imam went on to say that women should restrict themselves to taking care of their home, children and husband, and that only an overly ”lenient” husband would allow his wife to work – “a big problem in the society in which we live [in Germany]”.
But al-Eila's most archaic comments come at the end of the sermon, when he says that “a woman is not allowed to refuse to sleep with her husband.
“She is not allowed to make excuses or use pretexts.”
'Crime against half of humanity'
“This sermon is an infraction of Article Three of the Constitution [Equality before the law]… it's a crime against half of humanity”, Berlin-based Islam researcher Ralph Ghadbhan told The Local.
“This attitude towards women has a stronger and stronger following among the Islamist side of Islam, it has a very strong Salafist orientation.”
Ghadbhan added that there was a clear distinction between the traditions represented by al-Eila and mainstream German Muslims, remembering Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent comment that “Islam belongs to Germany”.
“Merkel asked the Muslim federations to interpret their Islam in such a way that it fits with our society.
“She chose one of the currents within Islam, the liberal side. There are many more Muslims who no longer hold to these ancient traditions.”
Ghadbhan said that preachers like al-Eila, an Egyptian citizen who regularly travels around Europe preaching at different mosques, are often supported by Islamic fundamentalist groups.
“In the background are worldwide organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood, or they are financed from Saudia Arabia,” he said.
“It's a network and the preachers move within it.”
The Al-Nur mosque has been the focus of investigations in recent years
A Danish preacher called for armed struggle against Israel and the killing of Jews in July.
And Berlin rapper Denis Cuspert was a regular worshipper at the mosque before becoming one of the most famous German 'foreign fighters' to join Isis in Syria.
The Al-Nur mosque could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.