March 11, 2020 Special Dispatch No. 8625

Bernie Sanders Endorsed By Detroit Imam Hassan Qazwini – Who In 2016 Called Sanders 'An Honorable Man, Even Though He Is A Jew'; In 2015, Called ISIS 'The Arm Of The Zionists In The Muslim World... To Defame The Name Of Islam'; In 2019, Openly Praised Iran's Proxy In Yemen For Attack On Saudi Oilfields: From The MEMRI TV Archives

March 11, 2020
Special Dispatch No. 8625

Imam Hassan Qazwini, the Iraqi-born head of the Islamic Institute of America in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, was one of the speakers at Bernie Sanders campaign rally in Dearborn on March 7, 2020.[1] Beginning his speech in English, Qazwini stated that he supports Sanders as a presidential candidate, saying that he is dedicated to eradicating antisemitism, Islamophobia, and white supremacy. He then continued: "We need to send someone to the White House [who] can clean it of the coronavirus called Trump."[2]

Qazwini concluded his speech in Arabic, calling on Muslims to vote for a candidate who "defends our rights as Muslims and Arabs in the United States without any discrimination [against us compared] with other ethnic groups." Continuing in Arabic, he described Sanders as a "brave and noble man" who "represents the values that we all believe in."

This is not the first time Qazwini has spoken in support of Sanders. During a Friday sermon on September 15, 2016, Qazwini said of Sanders: "[He] is an honorable man – I truly consider him an honorable man, even though he is a Jew."  He then claimed that Sanders had lost the 2016 presidential election because he refused "to sell America for the interest of Israel."[3] Previously, in 2015, Qazwini had claimed that ISIS is controlled by Zionists, who seek to kill Muslims and defame Islam.[4]

The following are clips of Imam Al-Hassan Qazwini from the MEMRI TV archives.

Qazwini: ISIS Run By Israel, Zionists In Order To Kill Muslims, Defame Islam; Israel Benefits From ISIS More Than Anyone – November 22, 2015

Iraqi-born Shi'ite Imam Hassan Qazwini said in a November 22, 2015 video of an address at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Center in Detroit, Michigan that ISIS is motivated by an agenda and is being run by the enemies of Islam. He said that almost every country in the Middle East except for Israel has been targeted by ISIS and that this "speaks volumes" about a possible connection between ISIS and Israel. Qazwini said that ISIS is the arm of the Zionists in the Muslim world that serves to kill Muslims, defame Islam, and alienate people from Islam. He said that the Zionists and the Zionist regime benefit more than anybody else from the atrocities perpetrated by ISIS and from the fact that ISIS jeopardizes the fate and wellbeing of Muslims throughout the West. For more from Imam Hassan Qazwini, see MEMRI TV Clips No. 5710 and No. 5644. Imam Hassan Qazwini served as the imam of Az-Zahraa Islamic Center until 2015, and Imam Bassem Al-Sheraa (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 7002) is the Center's current imam.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Hassan Qazwini: "When ISIS attacks non-Muslims, they immediately blame Islam for it. I have no doubt that ISIS is motivated by an agenda run by the enemies of Islam, and I want to bring this to your attention. ISIS has targeted people in Lebanon, in Syria, in Iraq, in Kuwait, in Saudi Arabia, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in Yemen, in Algeria… The only place that has been completely safe and [that] has never been threatened by ISIS, nor has it been targeted, is Israel. What does this tell you? This speaks out, this speaks volumes – that ISIS somehow is connected to Israel. 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 defame the name of Islam, so people can blame Islam for its atrocities, so people can be alienated from this religion – this peaceful religion, our religion. Otherwise, who is benefitting from these atrocities? Muslims are benefitting? When they are jeopardizing the fate of over six million Muslim in the United States, 20 million Muslims living in Europe… Their faith, their fates, their wellbeing, their livelihood is being jeopardized by ISIS. Islam is benefitting? No. The number one beneficiary of all these atrocities, I tell you, is the Zionist[s]. It is the Zionist regime."

Qazwini On U.S. Military Aid Package To Israel: The Pro-Israel Lobby Uses The U.S. As A Cash Cow – September 15, 2016

In a Friday sermon in Detroit, Michigan, Iraqi-born Shi'ite Imam Hassan Qazwini said that the U.S. administration was "bowing to the pro-Israeli lobby," which was using the U.S a "cash cow" or a "farm." In the sermon, which was delivered at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Center and posted on YouTube on September 16, Qazwini praised former Democratic contender Bernie Sanders – "an honorable man, even though he is a Jew" – and said that he "was made to pay the price" by losing the campaign because he refused "to sell America for the interest of Israel." Following are excerpts.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Hassan Qazwini: "At a time that our country is going through financial and economic difficulties, when many people struggle to find jobs, when our federal government is being pressured by the public debt, that reached over one trillion or two trillion dollars... Now, the United States, due to the pressure by the pro-Israeli lobby... The President of the United States, due to the pressure by the pro-Israeli lobby, is offering this generous offer to Israel.


"Yet Israel is not happy. Israel will never be happy. Netanyahu is never happy, and unfortunately, that is the painful truth: The pro-Israel lobby has been using the United States as a cash cow. That is the reality. When many people now, in our own community, struggle to find jobs, our country, our administration, is bowing to the pro-Israeli lobby by giving them 38 billion dollars. 38 billion dollars.


"This [F-35] warplane is being given as a gift to Mr. Netanyahu, and yet Mr. Netanyahu is not happy with the United States. He will never be happy. The Quran says: "The Jews and Christians will never be pleased with you, until you follow their religion." Netanyahu will never be happy with the United States, unless the US becomes an unconditional cash cow – a farm – for Mr. Netanyahu.


"That's what Netanyahu wants. He thinks that the United States is nothing but a farm for him. He owns that farm, along with the pro-Israeli lobby, and no one in the US has the right to say "no" to him. The minute someone says "no" to him, they are doomed, unfortunately. We saw that with our own eyes during this election. An honorable man - I truly consider him an honorable man, even though he is a Jew... But you know, we have no problem with Jewish people. We have a problem with the Zionists, not with the Jewish people, like Bernie Sanders.


"When other candidates were competing among themselves to show more loyalty toward Israel, and to show more willingness, I would say, to sell America for the interest of Israel, this man refused to do so, even though he is a Jew himself. But then he was made to pay the price. He lost."

Qazwini Praises Houthis For Saudi Oil Field Attacks, Says: If Iran Launched The Attacks, It Is Trump's Fault Because He Withdrew From The JCPOA – September 20, 2019

In a Friday, September 20, 2019 sermon at the Islamic Institute of America in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, Iraqi-born Shi'ite Imam Hassan Qazwini praised the Houthis for the September 14 bombing of the Abqaiq and Khurais oil installations in Saudi Arabia. Qazwini said that the Saudis only understand the language of force and that nobody could blame Iran for launching the attacks if the claims that it did so are true. He said that any Iranian involvement in the attacks would have been solely the fault of U.S. President Donald Trump because he unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA, and he said that an all-out war in the Middle East would also be President Trump's fault. In addition, Qazwini said that the Saudis need to "man up" because they were the ones, along with Israel, who pressured the U.S. into leaving the JCPOA. He said that Allah is punishing the Saudis for wanting to "choke up" 80 million Muslims in Iran, and he said that the Saudis are facing the consequences of having schemed against people in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Iran, and Bahrain. In addition, he expressed hope that that Saudi rulers wake up "before it is too late." The sermon was streamed live on the Islamic Institute of America's YouTube channel. Following are excerpts.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Hassan Qazwini: "The Houthis in Yemen claimed that they attacked the oil installation of Saudi Arabia after sustaining a barbaric war for almost over four years. Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen and has been ripping off this nation, killing women, children, and the elderly, and demolishing thousands of homes. Now, finally, the Houthis decided to teach the Saudis a lesson. Good for them! Good for them! It seems that he Saudi regime does not know any language but the language of force. Trust me, they know no other language. Now, there have been claims by the United States of America and Saudi Arabia that the attacks that took place in Saudi Arabia's oil refineries were launched by Iran. We don't know if that is true or not. But let's say, for the sake of conversation, that it is true that it is Iran… Do you blame Iran?

"Well, first, I want to tell our President, who withdrew from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran: This is what your own hand did. This is… You are reaping what your hand sowed. You withdraw from this agreement, that the representatives of six superpowers in the world have agreed [to], and you bilaterally [sic] withdrew. You basically caused this chaos and you wreaked this havoc. Blame nobody but yourself, Mr. President. You did this. You brought this to yourself. God forbid, if there will be an all-out war in the region, it is because of your unwise decision. By withdrawing from the agreement, signed by all the superpowers in 2015, you were the first one who breached that agreement. Now, Mr. President, you need to suffer the consequences.

"Now, as for the Saudis, I need to say: Man up! For 50 to 60 years, you are relying on Americans to protect you. Now, it is the day that America is telling you: "Go to Hell! We are not going to help you. You protect yourself. You defend yourself.


"The Saudi government thought that the U.S. will always protect them. Now the U.S. is telling them: "No, we are not your mercenaries. We are not willing to send American soldiers to die for your adventures. You go ahead and defend yourself."

Do you know who instigated this whole discord, my dear brothers and sisters, and who encouraged Trump to withdraw from the agreement? Two countries: Israel and Saudi Arabia. They kept on pushing and pushing and pushing and insisting that Trump withdraw from the agreement. Now, Saudis, you have to face the consequences of your own instigation and of your own discord and troublemaking. This is something that you did for yourself. 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 faculties. You didn't care when the Iranian people were suffering because of your instigation. Now that you are suffering, you are wailing and screaming and saying: 'Ouch! Ouch!'


"[The Saudis] were accomplices in this, igniting this fire, and now the fire has come to burn their hand, Allah be praised. So Allah's work and miracles work through a mysterious way, my dear brothers and sisters.


"For so many decades, they have been scheming against people in Lebanon, against people in Syria, against people in Iraq, against people in Yemen, against people in Iran, and against people in Bahrain. Now, praise be to Allah, they are facing the consequences of their own instigation and their own discord.


"I really hope that the rulers of Saudi Arabia will wake up today, before it is too late, and stop playing with fire and stop causing discord in the Muslim world."

Michigan Islamic Center Holds Memorial Service for Shi'ites Executed by KSA; Qazwini: Saudi Arabia is Behind Every Terrorist Attack in the World; Allah Willing, The Yemenis Will Occupy Saudi Arabia – May 4, 2019

The Islamic Institute of America in Dearborn Heights, MI, a Shi'ite Islamic center, held a memorial service for Shi'ites executed in Saudi Arabia in April following terror-related convictions. A video of the memorial was uploaded to the Institute's YouTube channel on May 4, 2019. Imam Hassan Qazwini, the senior cleric at the center, said that Saudi Arabia is the "greatest sponsor of terrorism" and that every terrorist attack in the world "bears [its] fingerprints." He criticized the Saudi king for agreeing to Trump's request that Saudi Arabia pay for money for defense, saying that "defending Islam and the rights of the Muslims [and] the Arabs and the Palestinians is not what [the king] cares about." Rather, Qazwini said that the Saudi leadership only cares about staying in power. Another speaker, whose identity is unknown, criticized Saudi Arabia's military involvement in Yemen and said that the only elections held in Saudi Arabia are to "vote for the best idiot from among all the idiots on the scene." He referred to the Yemenis as "our brothers" and added: "Allah willing, they will occupy Saudi Arabia tomorrow. Not occupy… They will liberate it." Following are excerpts.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Hassan Qazwini: "Eighty years of injustice, terrorism, and bloodshed… Every terrorist attack in the East or in the West – in the Philippines, Nigeria, Mali, the Gulf, Europe, everywhere around the world – bears the fingerprints of that [Saudi] terrorist regime. This country is the greatest sponsor of terrorism, yet it claims to be friendly and civilized.


"When their despicable king stood before Trump the tyrant, he did not dare to say 'no' to him. Trump ordered him to spend more and more money, and he did not dare to refuse, because defending Islam and the rights of the Muslims, and defending the rights of the Arabs and the Palestinians, is not what he cares about. All this king and the entire Saud clan care about is maintaining their rule, even if the entire world goes to Hell. This is all they care about. In one trip, the President of this country [Trump] stole $450 billion from them. Have you ever seen a bigger act of theft? Have you ever seen bigger embezzlement? Have you ever seen a bigger act of burglary than the one committed by the president of this country?"


Unknown Speaker: "Day by day, our people, our brothers, our sisters, and our children in Yemen make on sacrifice after another. What are the justifications for the attack on them? You want to restore the rule to the president? Who among all the Arab regimes even has the legitimacy and can give it to [the Yemeni president]? You are all appointed. Today they tell you to sit on the throne, and tomorrow they will tell you to get lost. Did your people give you legitimacy? How many elections do they have in Saudi Arabia? The only elections they have in Saudi Arabia is to vote for the best idiot from among all the idiots on the scene there.


"Our brothers in Yemen do not have shoes or clothes. They were hit by cholera and other diseases, and on a daily basis, they pour on them napalm, cluster bombs, and other prohibited bombs, but despite all that they capture 1,500 kilometers every day. Allah willing, they will occupy Saudi Arabia tomorrow. Not occupy… They will liberate it."

Qazwini On France's Burkini Ban: The French Government Is Creating Breeding Ground For Terrorism – August 26, 2016

In a Friday sermon delivered at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Center in Detroit, Michigan, Iraqi-born Shi'ite Imam Hassan Qazwini said that "the first to be blamed [for extremism] is the French government itself." "They are infringing on the freedom of over five million Muslims, further alienating them and creating the breeding ground for radicalization," he said. "I do not justify terrorism in France, but... the French government is an accomplice, creating the ground in which extremism is promoted and encouraged." The sermon, which was attended by several Iraqi dignitaries, was delivered on August 28 and posted on the Youtube channel of the Islamic Institute of America.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, click here or below:

Hassan Qazwini: "When Muslim women in France find themselves besieged, that they even don't have the right to go to the beach and swim while covering themselves, what do you expect some Muslims to do? This is the natural result, natural consequences, of the French government's handling of the Muslim community. This is the breeding ground for extremism and radicalization. And if we were to blame anyone, the first one to be blames is the French government itself, for taking away the Muslims' freedom.

"A woman can go and wear a bikini. Almost her entire body is exposed, and no one can say anything to her. No one can object to that, if she wishes to expose her entire body. But if a Muslim woman wanted to cover her body out of modesty, she is being punished, penalized, and even fined. Is that fair? In a country that claims to be a pioneer in protecting people's rights? The irony is that every time there is something in Afghanistan, in Iran, in Pakistan, the first to condemn is France. They condemn anything that is deemed to infringe on people's freedom in these countries. The French government is quick to condemn other countries for intervening in people's lives and freedom. But when it comes to its own society, they are infringing on the freedom of over 5 million Muslims, further alienating them and creating the breeding ground for radicalization.

"I do not justify terrorism in France. But what I'm trying to say is, the French government is an accomplice in creating the ground in which extremism is being promoted and encouraged. It is through their negligence. It is through their arrogance that they are helping those terrorists to win their case with the Muslim community. Indeed, all that the French government is doing is just giving a pretext to those radicals to tell Muslims in France: 'look what this government is doing to you. They don't consider you [to be] true citizens because you're Muslim. They are taking away your rights because you're Muslim. They force your women to expose themselves or to stay home, because they are Muslim. They punish you because you are Muslim.'

"They are helping the terrorists. France is helping the terrorists and boosting their case and their argument. And instead of helping Muslims to integrate into society, and instead of allowing Muslims to practice their religion and their faith freely as we see it in this country, France is so adamant about cracking down on Muslim freedom and the Muslim community.


"You attack them. You deny them their rights. You deny their women from wearing hijab. Alienating them. Turning some of them... some of them... uneducated, ignorant members of the Muslim community to turn into radical extremists, committing attacks, terrorist attacks, in their land. This shows the lack of wisdom that the government in France has been exe


[1], March 7, 2020.

[2], March 10, 2020.

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