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Detroit Imam Caught Preaching Anti-Semitism

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Al-Zahraa Islamic Center (Photo: Lion Multimedia Production / Flickr - https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
Al-Zahraa Islamic Center (Photo: Lion Multimedia Production / Flickr – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

A radical Shiite imam in Detroit has been caught preaching anti-Semitism to his congregation at Al-Zahraa Islamic Center. The mosque has been documented by Clarion Project as being part of the pro-Iran network in America.

The Middle East Research Institute published excerpts from the sermon by Bassem Al-Sheraa, which was uploaded on January 27.

Al-Sherra taught his audience that:

“[The Jews] employ tricks and fraud in matters of religion and moral values. They distort [sacred texts], and therefore it is said that the Jews would often kill their own prophets. They would sanction the killing of one another.

“In addition, they allowed their women to engage in prostitution, God forbid. Following the [Babylonian] captivity, when Nebuchadnezzar exiled them and destroyed the Temple, the Jews said: ‘Money and women are our most powerful weapons’.”

The radical cleric endorsed anti-Semitic stereotypes and conspiracy theories, castigating the Jews as a greedy people who puppeteer governments and societies through financial institutions.

“So they would amass gold and money, and they would spread usury. Usury constitutes a peculiar Jewish philosophy…Even in the modern world, global banks are based on the culture of usury, which is a Jewish concept.

“The Jews permitted usury and have been usurers. They are still proud of this. Look at the global banks, the billionaires…All those are from among [the Jews]. Their culture is a culture of usury.

“The financial culture of the world was founded according to their instructions and their vision. Why? Because they consider [usury] to be an instrument of control.”

He even accused the Jews of controlling brothels so they could use prostitution as part of their conquest for global domination of mankind:

“In addition, they allowed their women to engage in [prostitution]. Pardon my language, but the brothels of Europe were established by them. Their women would manage those dens of female iniquity. Most dens of gambling, usury, and so on were run by them. They are always like that. They control people’s resources through such tricks and deception. They consider it to be a reward and a way to serve their religion. They employ these means to control rather than be controlled.”

One of the most effective ways Islamists radicalize is by blaming sinful temptations and personal failures on Jews, Western influence, secular-democracy and dissenting Muslims. In so doing, inner shame from sinning is transferred into scapegoating.

To the indoctrinated mind, the spreaders of these sinful influences are not just political and religious adversaries of their faith. They are responsible for making him or her fail to meet Allah’s expectations, and therefore decreasing their chances of entry into Paradise in the afterlife and blocking their blessings in the current life.

The Al-Zahraa Islamic Center in Detroit has a history of radicalism. Its former spiritual leader, Imam Hassan Al-Qazwini, served until he left in 2015 to form the Islamic Institute of America in Dearborn Heights.

Qazwini boasted of his closeness to Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a cleric who was linked to Hezbollah and the Iranian regime. Al-Qazwini publicly mourned his passing.

Qazwini is known for spreading conspiracy theories that Sunni Islamist terrorists are actually operators of the West and Zionist conspiracy — therefore, the West and Jews bear responsibility for their heinous crimes.

He taught that ISIS was created by Israel; that Trump shares attributes similar to ISIS and that the French government is responsible for creating a terrorist breeding ground with its domestic policies against extremism.

Qazwini’s anti-Semitism was apparent even in his “compliment” of Democratic Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders as “an honorable man, even though he is a Jew.”

As the Middle East Media Research Institute notes, the influence of the mosque’s current imam goes beyond this single mosque in Detroit. Al-Sherra is the founder of the Scholarly Najaf Hawz in Northern America—Michigan.

Al-Sherra graduated from the Najaf Hawza in Iraq. That seminary is the scene of a struggle between Iraqi Shiite teachers who favor the Iranian theocracy and those favor Ayatollah Al-Sistani, who is seen as a rival to the Iranian regime.

Al-Sherra heads up a branch of the Najaf Hawza in Michigan. His decision to set up a shop in Michigan, rather than in Iraq, is worth pondering.

Why did Al-Sherra see more opportunity for success in spreading the ideas of the Iranian regime in Michigan than in Iraq?

Based on Clarion Project’s research into Iran’s network in America, it appears the regime views the U.S. as fertile ground for spreading its Islamic Revolution, perhaps even more so than in the Middle East where populations have seen its miserable results.

 

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Ryan Mauro and Alex VanNess

Ryan Mauro is the director of the Clarion Intelligence Network and Shillman Fellow for Clarion Project. Alex VanNess is a research analyst for the Clarion Intelligence Network.