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Bernie Sanders endorsed by Imam who said ISIS is ‘arm of the Zionists’
According to reports at Middle East Eye, Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini, a local imam, addressed a Dearborn rally in Arabic on Saturday, encouraging support for Sanders.
By Seth J. Frantzman, J Post, March 10, 2020:
US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was endorsed at a recent rally on Saturday by an imam who has previously claimed that ISIS atrocities benefit “Zionists,” and claimed falsely that Israel was never targeted by ISIS.
According to reports by London-based news outlet Middle East Eye, Sayed Hassan al-Qazwini, a local imam, addressed a Dearborn rally in Arabic on Saturday, encouraging support for Sanders.
However, previous speeches by the imam have been controversial. In archival footage from 2015 posted online by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) in May 2019, the imam can be seen giving a speech about ISIS.
Detroit-Based Shiite Imam Hassan Qazwini: ISIS Run by Israel, Zionists In Order to Kill Muslims, Defame Islam; Israel Benefits from ISIS More than Anyone (Archival) pic.twitter.com/3Y2d0sIJk4
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 2, 2019“The only place that has been completely safe and never threatened by ISIS is Israel,” he said, adding: “What does this tell you? This speaks out. This speaks volumes. ISIS somehow is connected to Israel and ISIS is playing the role of the arm of the Zionists in the Muslim world, to kill more Muslims and non-Muslims so it can define the name of Islam, so people can blame Islam for its atrocities so that people will be alienated from this religion.”He claims that ISIS has harmed the image of the “peaceful religion,” and that “Zionists” are benefiting.“Who is benefiting from these atrocities? The number one beneficiary of all these atrocities is the Zionist regime.”
Seriously who is advising Sanders? It's not a marginal issue when we have been for months hearing about "Muslims support Sanders". Either drop that line if you don't want to hear the counter perspective or change it to "opportunist sectarians support Sanders".
— Rasha Al Aqeedi (@RashaAlAqeedi) March 10, 2020Another video from 2017 may have shown the imam giving another controversial speech about ISIS and Israel. He has been accused of sectarianism for his comments about the Middle East, Iran and Iraq.In another speech posted online in September, MEMRI identified Qazwini as praising Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen for attacks on Saudi Arabia. In his speech, he claimed that Saudi Arabia was involved in a barbaric war against Yemen, saying: “Now, finally, the Houthis decided to teach the Saudis a lesson. Good for them! Good for them! It seems the Saudi regime does not know any language but the language of force.”He also discussed the attack by Houthis last September on Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, claiming that it was the response of Iran to US President Donald Trump leaving the Iran Deal.“You wanted to choke up 80 million Muslims in Iran – and Allah is showing you how he can easily choke you up by destroying your oil industry and oil facilities,” he said.He claimed that Saudi Arabia didn’t care that Iranians were suffering, and then mocked Saudi Arabia for complaining afterward, noting that the “fire has come to burn” the kingdom’s hand, claiming it was a miracle working in a mysterious way.Qazwini was invited to give an opening prayer in Congress in 2003. He was introduced as the leader of the Islamic Center of America by Rep. John Dingell.
At the time, he was said to be from a prominent religious family from Karbala, Iraq, and a former student at an Islamic seminary in Qom. Some members of Qazwini’s family were photographed in Karbala in 2014, arming themselves to fight the ISIS offensive.
Several prominent Shi’ite theologians with the same name are well known in the US, including Mostafa Qazwini and adjunct professor Hadi Qazwini. Some social media posts online appear to link them to the same family, although it is not clear if they are related
It is not the only controversial support Sanders has received. Many anti-Israel activists have flocked to the Jewish candidate’s campaign. Palestinian-American comedian Amer Zahr also supports Sanders.\
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