Not too long ago, video emerged of an imam at the University of California-Davis calling for the annihilation of the Jews and their “filth.” Now, there is a video of an imam at the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County, CA claiming that ISIS is a “production of the Israeli intelligence.”
The imam is an Iraqi-American, Dr. Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini, and in a sermon delivered on June 23rd, he made outrageous, conspiratorial, and no doubt anti-Semitic claims. Watch the offending portion here:
“All of you know who established ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and all of these terrorist organizations. 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. This is not the production of Islam. Islam is not responsible for ISIS. There are certain agencies and governments, who established… They put hand in hand to establish ISIS, to demolish Islam from within. This was the plan. And every day we discover… It’s not… We don’t discover… The rest… We knew this… We knew the story from the beginning. When ISIS occupied Mosul three years ago, I gave a speech in Iraq. I said: ‘ISIS is the production of the Israeli intelligence.’ The Israeli intelligence… Most of their officers were trained in Israel, including Abu Bakr Al-Baghadi, who went to hell, I think, two or three days ago.”
“These types of conspiracy theories have been prevalent in the Muslim world, especially the Middle East,” said Elliot Zweig, MEMRI’s deputy director. “One would hope that in America, all communities, including the Muslim community, would be immunized from such ludicrous propaganda, let alone propagate it.”
However, the Islamic Education Center of Orange County has thus far denied any wrongdoing. Apparently, al-Qazwini has been “misunderstood and mischaracterized.” In fact, they claim he was merely “quoting information that was relayed to him directly by Iraqi government and military sources who have been leading efforts in the fight against ISIS . . . Imam al-Qazwini’s comments were not intended in any way, shape, or form to criticize the adherents of the Jewish faith.”
This appears to be wholly untruthful. Al-Qazwini’s sermon is posted in its entirety on YouTube. I have watched it. Entitled, “Islamic Shari’ah Means Tolerance and Goodness to Others,” al-Qazwini speaks a beautiful message about treating all people with respect. He even issues a powerful denunciation of ISIS and other terror groups, exactly as he should. But then, in trying to exculpate Muslims from responsibility for ISIS, he clearly states his own view that ISIS was created by Israel in order to divide Muslims internally.
It is hard to believe that anyone could think ISIS was created by Israel or is a tool of Israel. One would have to believe that the Israelis were uniquely evil, even satanic. But this is what many in the Middle East believe and transmit to Muslims around the world. Israel and Jews can be blamed for any evil. Egyptian newspapers blame shark attacks on Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency. Odd-looking migrating birds are deemed Israeli spies. Mein Kampf and The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the old anti-Semitic forgery, are still printed widely in the Arab world. This is why Bret Stephens called anti-Semitism the “disease of the Arab mind,” citing the great scholar Bernard Lewis. It makes sane people believe the insane, and allows them to avoid reflecting on the failings of their own compatriots or fellow believers.