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Michigan Islamic Leaders Mourn Soleimani

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Mourners at Qasem Soleimani's funeral procession in Kerman, Iran. Detroit Islamic Leaders also mourned the arch terrorist (Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)
Mourners at Qasem Soleimani’s funeral procession in Kerman, Iran. Detroit Islamic Leaders also mourned the arch terrorist (Photo: ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)
Facebook post from the Iraqi consulate in Detroit
Facebook post from the Iraqi consulate in Detroit

The Iraqi Consulate in Detroit, Michigan posted on Facebook that it will be open to accepting condolences on the death of Iranian Qud’s Force commander Qasem Soleimani.

The Qud’s Force is part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization and umbrella organization for multiple terrorist and militia forces behind Iran’s continuing reign of terror throughout the region.

Soleimani, who was recently killed in a U.S. drone strike, was personally designated a terrorist and sanctioned by the U.S., EU and UN.

In 2011, the Obama administration sanctioned Soleimani for his role in plotting a foiled terror attack in Washington, D.C. to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S.

Soleimani directly approved the recent U.S. embassy storming in Baghdad by an Iranian-proxy Iraqi militia group.  He also oversaw the arming of Shiite insurgents fighting American troops in Iraq, and it is estimated that he was responsible for the deaths of over 600 American troops in Iraq.

The Iraqi Consulate’s Facebook post received a lot of negative comments, but there appears to be quite a bit of support for the arch terrorist in the Detroit Islamic community, whose leaders have not only expressed outrage over the U.S. hit on Soleimani but also grief over his death.

Among those upset over Soleimani’s death include:

 

The Zainabia Center of Michigan

The Zainabia Center of Michigan, a Shiite mosque with strong sympathies towards Hezbollah and the Iran regime, held an urgent protest over the matter and described the U.S. strike as an “illegal killing.”

 

Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni

Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni serves as a spiritual leader for the Islamic Center of America (ICA) in Dearborn, Michigan. Recently, the Middle East Research Institute published a sermon by Kazerooni where he eulogized Soleimani and described him as someone who “brought hope to the marginalized [and] hatred and fear to the enemies of Islam.”

The ICA has a history of extremism.  The mosque’s former imam, Hassan Al-Qazwini, boasted of his closeness to Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a spiritual leader of Hezbollah. The mosque held a memorial service for Fadlallah when he died in 2010.

 

Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi

Imam Elahi, a regular speaker at interfaith dialogues and anti-hate events (including an event alongside the Anti-Defamation League) posted an open letter to President Trump on his Facebook page whitewashing Soleimani’s connection to terrorism and the deaths of hundreds of Americans. The letter read in part:

“You said general Soleimani and his forces “targeted, injured, and murdered hundreds of American civilians and servicemen”. Really? How come for the first time we hear this? Please show us your evidence!”

Elahi ended his screed with a list of demands for President Trump:

1-Please express your regret of what has happened since January 3rd. Send a comforting condolence to the victims’ families.

2- Issue a courageous statement ending all illegal economic and travel bans and sanctions on Iranian and Iraqi and other targeted people and renew your call for dialogue and diplomacy.

3- You already saw that the worse economic sanctions followed with military operations didn’t make Iranians submit to your maximum pressures and pains. If you truly mean respect for the Iranian people and their intellect, integrity, hearts and heritage, please express it with your actions. I am sure they will respond to logic and love the same way.

Elahi has strong ties to the Iranian regime.  After the Islamic Revolution brought the theocratic Iranian regime to power, Elahi was appointed as an Islamic ethics teacher at the Iranian Naval Academy, a position he held for five years.

Elahi moved to Dearborn in 1992, leading the Islamic Center of America, a mosque in Michigan that has been supportive of Hezbollah figures.  He later went on to establish the Islamic House of Wisdom in 1995.

Elahi has also appeared on Iranian state-controlled propaganda TV to parrot the supreme leader’s lines. He equates Israel with ISIS and tries to instigates terrorism against Israel with inflammatory condemnations and accusations. His statements paint Hamas as freedom-fighters engaged in legitimate jihad.

 

Imam Husham Al Hussainy

Imam Husham Al-Hussainy is an Iraqi-American imam and founder of the Karbala Islamic Center.  Following Soleimani’s death, Al-Hussainy posted multiple photos of Soleimani’s funeral, describing him as a martyr.

Using his secondary Facebook page, Hussainy engaged in conspiracy theories, suggesting that Saudi Arabia was pulling America’s strings with regard to Soleimani’s death.

Hussainy, who has participated in numerous interfaith and civil rights events (both nationally and throughout the city of Detroit) has a history of supporting Hezbollah, Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution in Iran and the radical Shiite militiamen in Iraq backed by the Iranian regime.

Last year, Hussainy visited Iraq and was a guest speaker for a crowd affiliated with the Iranian-backed militia Saraya Ashura. Iranian regime operatives have directly trained and armed many of the militia’s fighters and the militia threatened to attack U.S. personnel in Iraq.

In a video found and reported on exclusively by The Clarion Project, Hussainy engaged in a anti-Semitic rant calling Saudi Arabian leaders “agents of the Jews” and that the so-called Zionist conspiracy should be blamed for any Saudi transgression against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

 

Osama Siblani

Osama Siblani is the publisher of The Arab American News, which claims to be “the largest and most widely circulated Arab American publication in the United States.”

In a several social media posts, Siblani expresses anger over the characterizations of Soleimani as a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans.  In his posts, Siblani ignores Soleimani’s actual deeds and engages in “what-about-isms” and pointing fingers at U.S. policies. He wrote, in part:

Worse than the Republicans are their counterparts in lying the Democrats … U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee from Flint, Michigan writes “Qassim Soleimani was a brutal Iranian military commander who has killed many Americans and orchestrated countless terrorist attacks”.
Really!!
How many millions of innocent people our U.S. Generals have killed?!! Or are they American angels?!!
Hypocrisy at best!

Siblani was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame in April 2013 and received the “Spirit of Diversity in Journalism Award” from Wayne State University.  Siblani has extensive political connections and was appointed by former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to the State Officers Compensation Commission.

Since Soleimani’s death, Siblani has made multiple media appearances protesting U.S. actions.

The Clarion Project recently highlighted Siblani’s history of support for Iran’s terrorist proxy, Hezbollah.

  • In 2003, Siblani told The Washington Post, “Mr. Bush believes Hezbollah, Hamas and other Palestinian factions are terrorists, but we believe they are freedom fighters.”
  • In 2006, Siblani told the Chicago Tribune, “If the FBI wants to come after those who support the resistance done by Hezbollah, then they better bring a fleet of buses. I, for one, would be willing to go to jail.”
  • In 2016, Siblani posted a picture and favorable comments on his personal Facebook page of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, describing him (in Arabic) as a master of speech and resistance.

 

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Alex VanNess

Alex VanNess is a research analyst for the Clarion Intelligence Network. He formerly served as a fellow at the Endowment for Middle East Truth, as director of the Middle East Peace and Security Project for the Center for Security Policy and as a staffer on Capitol Hill.

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