April 18, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11286

Michigan Teacher And Activist Tarek Bazzi Slams American Muslim Leaders For Condemning Chants Of 'Death To America' During His Dearborn Quds Day Speech: They Are Bending Over Backwards To Prove Their Patriotism, But They Themselves Have Been Targeted By MEMRI For Over 20 Years; In 2021 Speech, Bazzi Called For Total Annihilation Of Israel, Seeking Martyrdom

April 18, 2024
United States | Special Dispatch No. 11286

Michigan activist and teacher Tarek Bazzi, who is associated with the Hadi Institute, issued a statement on April 15, 2024, responding to the backlash to the MEMRI TV clip of his speech from April, 5, which was interrupted by chants of "death to America." He condemned the Muslim community leaders in the United States' reaction to the video community leaders. Bazzi said that these leaders were "parroting" the labels of "extreme and violent" following the "slip" of a tongue of one person. He added that these Muslim leaders "bent over backwards to prove our American-ness and patriotism" and that they are not extremists. He went on to say that they "played right into the plot of those seeking to demonize our community."

Bazzi further stated that the video of the rally reached Fox News and other media outlets through MEMRI, whose chief executive Steven Stalinsky, whom he called a genocide-defending, Zionist, hypocrite, and liar, wrote a piece condemning these same community leaders. He was referring to Stalinsky's Wall Street Journal op-ed from February 3, titled: Welcome to Dearborn, America's Jihad Capital.

In his 2024 Quds Day rally speech, where "death to America" chants were heard, Bazzi quoted Malcolm X, saying: "We live in one of the rottenest countries that has ever existed on this earth," and added that "death to Israel" has become the "most logical chant shouted across the world today." Additionally, he cited Iran's Imam Khomeini, saying all chants and shouts should be "poured upon the head of America", which "provides the funds" for atrocities against Muslims.

Screenshots from Tarek Bazzi's speech at the International Al-Quds Day rally in Dearborn, Michigan, held on April 5, 2024 and streamed live on on Facebook (See MEMRI TV Clip No. 11004)

Earlier, speaking at a pro-Palestine rally in May 2021, which took place during the conflict between Gaza and Israel in which Palestinian factions launched rocket attacks at Israel, Bazzi said: "'From the River to the Sea' means the annihilation of the Zionist regime." He said that Israel is a cancer and an "absolute evil", that there is no way to deal peacefully with Israel and that martyrdom must be sought after. Bazzi said that Palestine will not be liberated by pandering to the "so-called democracies" but by relying on Allah and struggle.

Screenshots from Tarek Bazzi's speech at a 2021 pro-Palestine rally (see MEMRI TV Clip No. 11009)

Bazzi also spoke at Dearborn's Al-Quds Day protests from 2022 (MEMRI TV Clip No. 9543) and 2019 (MEMRI TV Clip No. 7284). For more clips about the Hadi Institute in Dearborn, Michigan, with which Bazzi is affiliated, see MEMRI TV clips nos. 10876, 10801, 10573, 10410, 9616, 9602.

To view the clip of Michigan teacher and activist Tarek Bazzi, click here or below:

Muslim Community Leaders' Reaction To MEMRI's Clip From The Dearborn Quds Day Protest "Played Right Into The Plot Of Those Seeking To Demonize Our Community And Anyone Supportive Of The Palestinian Struggle"

Tarek Bazzi: "We all know the story. There was a Quds Day protest here in Dearborn, and while I was speaking, someone chanted 'Death to America.' For clarification, the man who chanted it has himself explained what he actually meant, so I won't get into that. Next, MEMRI a supposedly independent research and media institution founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer, takes the soundbite and passes it off to Fox News. Fox News publishes it, and the story goes viral.

"Now what I want to address is the community's reaction to the issue, particularly the community leaders. Reaction was the same as we've seen for the past two decades since the US government and its Zionist lapdog launched their so-called War on Terror and their Islamophobic smear campaign. The reaction was to rush to collectively apologize for and dissociate from the actions of one individual, to bend over backwards to prove our American-ness and patriotism.


"The problem with the reaction of our community leaders was that it played right into the plot of those seeking to demonize our community and anyone supportive of the Palestinian struggle. Mainstream media's targeting of Arabs, Muslims, and especially Dearborn is nothing new. It's not even unique to this particular protest or my so-called inflammatory speech and extremism. But it includes all pro-Palestinian rallies. The sole difference this time was the death to America soundbite, which made this particular instance go viral. Otherwise, the very same community leaders who took the weak apologetic approach, have themselves been targeted by MEMR, Fox News and other mainstream media outlets for the past 20 years.


"The Fox News article was sourced from MEMRI run by Steven Stalinsky, the Zionist hypocrite and liar who wrote the very same Wall Street Journal article that labeled Dearborn America's 'Jihad Capital'. This genocide-defending Zionist ended the article by urging counter-terrorism agencies to pay close attention to what's happening in Dearborn, meaning he clearly has ill intentions for this community and for Arabs and Muslims in general.

"The irony is that the same community leaders who denounced the speech as extreme and inflammatory have themselves been labeled by Stalinsky as extremists, jihadis and supporters of terrorism. So again, reject the slogan, but move on and strike back. Don't just apologize and then bend over backwards to prove to everyone that you're not an extremist.

The Real Issue Is Not "The Speech, The Chant, Or How Patriotic [Muslims] Are... Refocus The Attention To The Complete Moral Bankruptcy Of These Outlets And Individuals Who Are Up In Arms About The Slogan 'Death To America'... They Are All Guilty Of Hatred, Racism, Violence..."

"Finally, and most importantly, a dignified response would have recontextualized the entire issue. It's not about the speech, it's not about the chant, it's not about how patriotic we are. It's about Palestine and Gaza. It's about Zionism and US imperialism. It's about settler colonialism, military occupation, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Recontextualize the issue.


"Refocus the attention to the complete moral bankruptcy of these outlets and individuals, who are up in arms about the slogan 'Death to America,' but not about the actual tens of thousands of deaths at the hands of the U.S. Empire and the Zionist regime.


"Fox News, the mainstream media, Steven Stalinsky and the other mouthpieces of U.S.-Zionist imperialism who pretend to be journalists, and even the White House itself, they're all guilty of hatred, racism, violence, death, destruction, and genocide. Yet when one person's tongue slips and he calls out a chant, they project all their guilt and shame onto us and they call us extreme and violent. And then some of our community leaders even parrot these labels."

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