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August 22, 2017 5:12 pm

Shia Imam in Southern California Restates Belief That Israel ‘Finances, Arms, Trains’ ISIS Terrorists

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Dr. Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini addresses the Islamic Education Center of Orange County, CA. Photo: MEMRI.

A prominent Shia Muslim imam in California is sticking defiantly with his allegation that Israel finances and arms ISIS — the Sunni Muslim terrorist group that has carried out genocidal campaigns against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, among them Christians and Yazidis.

In a June 23 sermon, the founder and director of the Islamic Education Center of Orange County, Dr. Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini, who has been widely acclaimed for his role in interfaith dialogue in southern California, insisted that Israel was the driving force behind ISIS, after first explaining to his congregation that the terrorist group was “anti-Islamic.”

“Most of you — all of you — know who established ISIS, Al Qaeda and all these terrorist organizations,” al-Qazwini declared. “You know very well. You know who paid for them, who financed them, who helped them, who purchased weapons for them, who even trained them, who protected them. You know that.”

Al-Qazwini continued: “This is not the production of Islam. Islam is not responsible for ISIS. There are certain agencies and governments, they put hand in hand to establish ISIS, to demolish Islam from within. This was the plan.”

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The imam went on: “ISIS is the production of the Israeli intelligence. Most of their officers were trained in Israel, including Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi.” Al Baghdadi was the founder of ISIS who is now believed to be in hiding in Syria.

Video of al-Qazwini’s sermon was originally shared among a handful of users on YouTube, before being brought to light by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). The conspiracy theory that ISIS is a creation of Israel has become a staple of Iranian propaganda, and was cited as a principle reason for the Tehran’s regime’s decision in July to spend an extra $600 million on its missile development program.

On Tuesday, al-Qazwini doubled down on his allegation against Israel. In a statement released through his Islamic Education Center, al-Qazwini said his comments had been based on information he had received from “government and military sources” during a visit to Iraq in 2014. These officials told him definitively that Israeli intelligence was supporting ISIS, he said.

Al-Qazwini went on to say that his comments should not be been as criticism of “adherents of the Jewish faith.”

“Imam al-Qazwini has a long-standing record of over three decades of promoting genuine interfaith and civic respect and dialogue, especially with his Jewish, Christian, and other friends and neighbors,” the statement said. “He firmly rejects anti-Semitism and all other forms of racial, ethnic and religious discrimination.”

But at least one prominent Jewish leader in California wasn’t convinced.

“First, he exonerates Muslims for the Islamist horrors of Al Qaeda and ISIS,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper — associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center — told The Algemeiner on Tuesday. “Then he then uses a canard that it was Israel — the Jewish state — that created and sustains murder and mayhem in Allah’s name. Then, when exposed, and only then, he blames ‘Iraqi intelligence?'”

Asked about al-Qazwini’s role in interfaith dialogue, Cooper responded: “The Jewish community should rely on a guiding principle when invited to interfaith dialogue — we should sit with people who respect who we are. We are overwhelmingly Zionists who support the world’s largest Jewish community: Israel. When the imam says he means no harm to Jews, should we thank him for slandering over 6 million of our Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel?”

An active user of Twitter and Facebook, al-Qazwini often shares pictures of himself alongside influential religious and political leaders, including Evangelical Pastor Rick Warren, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Last December, al-Qazwini appeared with local Jewish leaders at a rally against racism and hatred on the steps of City Hall in Los Angeles.

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  • bertha yellowfinch

    garyfouse how do YOU explain YOUR PROVOCATIONS that elicit such responses??? Do you actually think you are “special”???

  • bertha yellowfinch

    robert davis, listen you — I am a 10th gen Texan American. My family fought to give you a flag, a nation and freedom. Are you worth the sacrifice MY family paid?? No, you are not. We did NOT do such to hand liberties to lying human garbage who continue today mischiefing our country and our people. Got that?

  • brynababy

    He doesn’t have the right to invent outrageous and ridiculous lies!!

    • bertha yellowfinch

      israelis do it — every day, all day long. Is that ok with you?

  • Messianic Fuzz

    A lie that outrageous just shows how outrageously deluded the jihadists really are. They are possessed by Satan.

  • Peter O

    It’s not impossible just like 911 being an inside job but please imam show us the evidence not just allegations.

  • robert Davis

    muslims are professionnal liars and this Mustafa imam is worse that most of them. All of these bloody mustafas should be expelled from America.

  • Joseph Feld

    Some of my best friends are . . . .They have given us 9 / 11 conspiracy theories. . . . Holocaust denial conferences. . . Islamist terrorists . . .’Death to America’ . . . Is there something about the air quality in California ?

  • henrytobias

    The Jews have always been to blame for everything, from the plague in Egypt to the Black Death to the tsunami in Japan in 2011 and the eclipse of the sun over America this week.

  • Peter Joffe

    Deport the bastard. America does not need any of these Islam promoters. Islam must fall and soon. We should not give these Mosque killers and publicity.

  • Efram Paul

    I thought Islam prohibited the use of LSD.

  • Art Frank

    This is the human excrement the US allows into the country. The POS is brain damaged due to centuries of tribal inbreeding among the savages.

  • garyfouse

    Thanks to MEMRI and Algemeiner for exposing this. I have seen and heard Qazwini speak at several events in Southern California. This man is a mentor to Muslim students at UC Irvine. He says all the right things at these interfaith events, but eventually it all comes out. I cannot wait to confront him with this the next time he makes an appearance.

  • cbusa

    Islam consistently projects their own abhorrent behavior and beliefs onto Israel/Jews while falsely professing themselves to be moral. Pure Orwellian!

  • This is libel and he should be sued. I think that’s the only thing that would stop this outright lie which attempts to manipulate people to hate Jews and Israel. It is sheer propaganda and deceitful speech should be intercepted quickly.

  • Reb_Yaakov

    Think about this the next time you hear sometime described as being acclaimed, prominent, renowned, leading, or with any number of superlatives. Then think about the way Jews describe themselves.