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Nov 16, 2016
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Lebanese Shiite Cleric Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan Kisses the American Flag: I Applaud Trump, Proud to Become a U.S. Citizen

#5777 | 05:27
Source: Al-Jadeed TV (Lebanon)

Lebanese Shiite cleric Sheikh Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan said that he was proud to be receiving U.S. citizenship next year: "I am more than proud that I will have citizenship of a country that respects me as a human being and as a citizen." Sheikh Hassan added that while he was proud to be Lebanese, "all I've gotten from it is an empty identity card." Speaking on the Lebanese Al-Jadeed/New TV channel on November 16, Sheikh Hassan responded to the interviewer's accusations, saying that he had applauded Trump at a rally and that the Muslims must distance themselves from the extremists "who purport to be Muslims" and who create a negative image of Islam in the West. Sheikh Hassan presented the interviewer with a model of the U.S. eagle, saying: "I hope that the whole world will learn [from the US] how to build a country and how to establish liberty."


Interviewer: "Why do you appear in the media today?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "In order to share my ideas."


Interviewer: "Wouldn't it be better if you were sitting in a mosque, and teaching religion to the people, instead of..."


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Not at all, it has all become useless."




Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Yes, it has all become useless."


Interviewer: "God help me!"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "The natural role of the mosque has been distorted. The role of the clerics has been distorted too. The clerics no longer focus on guidance and reforms. They have all become employed in the service of the ruler. What we are trying to say today to the people is that they should extract themselves from the culture of worshipping people."




Interviewer: "Who do you think you are, sheikh?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Me?"


Interviewer: "Answer me before I tell you what the people think of you."


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "I am a bright star, shining in the darkness in which you live."


Interviewer: "Us?!"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Yes, you."


Interviewer: "Aren't you the one who is living without a shining star?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Not at all. It's the other way around."


Interviewer:"Sheikh, you are living in great darkness..."


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "The other way around. Let me tell you: I have self-confidence, and I feel that I am truly my own master. I feel that I have a lot of self-confidence, that my decisions are made in freedom, and that my viewpoints are in keeping with my actions. Therefore, I feel sorry for all those who are living in this injustice and misguidance."




Interviewer: "You are being accused of distorting the image of the Shia today."


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Listen, my dear sir, the Shia is not a company or an institution. Shia is an ideology that sprang out of Islam. I see myself as a true Muslim. I don't need anybody's testimony or certificate to tell me that I'm a Shiite. I don't care what these lowly creatures say about me. I only care about what reasonable people say about me."




Interviewer: "You are a Shiite."


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Right."


Interviewer: "Yet people say: 'Has he no shame to call himself a Shiite?'"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Not at all."


Interviewer: "Some people are ashamed that you call yourself a Shiite. They don't consider you to be a Shiite. Let me tell you everything they say. People say today that it's a disgrace that a man like you is a Shiite and a sheikh. How do you respond to that?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "To this group of people I would like to say that I create my own Shiite belief. I define the ideology to which I want to belong. I choose the Shiite principles that suit me, and I adhere to them. I am not one to sink into the folds of history. I am not one to live in harmony with texts and fatwas that the mind cannot accept."




Interviewer: "What do you think of someone who hates Islam?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "That is between him and Allah."


Interviewer: "What do you think about him?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "It's between him and Allah."


Interviewer: "Would you support him?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Certainly not."


Interviewer: "You would not support him?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "No."


Interviewer: "Do you support Trump, who hates Islam and the Muslims?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Trump hates the same people I hate."


Interviewer: "Did you applaud him?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Of course."


Interviewer: "Aren't you ashamed that you were in one of his rallies, and you waved him goodbye?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Not at all. I would applaud him again."


Interviewer: "The man hates Islam and the Muslims, yet you applaud him live on air?!"




Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "What is the meaning of the hatred toward the Muslims?"


Interviewer: "Ask him that."


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "I did, and I will answer you on his behalf."


Interviewer: "Did he answer you?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Yes, I'll answer you on his behalf. As long as a group of people who purport to be Muslims creates a certain image of Islam for the West, according to which we are all mass murderers, we humiliate anyone who messes with us, we carry out beheadings and crucifixions, we chop off peoples' hands and feet, we eat human hearts, and so on... As long as the West sees us in this light, you will continue to hear the same tune from Trump and others. The mission of the true Muslim, who can reach Trump and others like him, is to tell Trump, the international community, and the Western peoples that these people have nothing to do with Islam. True Islam rejects these people and exposes them for what they are. Those who were upset by my meeting with Trump are too cowardly to say to the Nusra Front, to ISIS, and their ilk that they are not (true) Muslims.




"Next year is the year that I will receive my (American) citizenship."


Interviewer: "Are you proud of that?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "I am more than proud that I will have citizenship of a country that respects me as a human being and as a citizen, a country in which I can truly feel that I am a citizen."


Interviewer: "What about the country in which you are living now?"


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "Even though I am proud of Lebanon, all I've gotten from it is an empty identity card."




Interviewer: "Take this flag. Hold it, please."


Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan: "I will not just hold it... Let all the people see... This is the flag of my second country. This is the flag of the country that took care of my livelihood and protected me. I would also like to present to you the eagle of the United States of America. I hope that the whole world will learn (from the US) how to build a country and how to establish liberty."

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