The Iran Nuclear Deal’s Islamist Supporters

IPT News
September 11, 2015

The White House is claiming victory in the fight over the Iranian nuclear deal following Thursday’s Senate vote which fell short of cloture on a Democratic filibuster blocking an up or down vote on the deal.

Critics continue to express concerns that the agreement paves the way for Iran to eventually develop its own nuclear weapons. And it is beyond dispute that the agreement fuels the Islamic Republic with as much as $150 billion in relief from what had been crippling economic sanctions. That money can be used to fund terror proxies seeking to attack Israel.

Those concerns prompted the U.S. House on Friday to reject the Iran deal by a vote of 162-269.

It is little surprise, therefore, that the deal enjoys strong support from prominent American Islamists with a history of support for Iran or who espouse rabid anti-Israel rhetoric, including radicals who see Zionist conspiracies at nearly every turn.

Imam Hassan Qazwini

At the forefront of support for the nuclear deal is radical Shia cleric Imam Hassan Qazwini who serves as scholar and religious leader at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Mich. During a July 17 sermon at the Az-Zahraa Islamic Center in Detroit, Qazwini hailed the Iran nuclear deal as a “victory for Muslims” and a “victory for Iran.” While he applauded the patience of Iranian nuclear negotiators and commended President Barack Obama “for taking this courageous stand,” he rebuked Israel and Saudi Arabia for opposing the deal.

1231“Israel was extremely upset,” he said. “[Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] was hysterical, was fuming, he was furious over last few days because of this agreement. He was so upset why the United States and the other five superpowers accepted a peaceful solution to this problem. Why? Because Mr. Netanyahu is not interested in peace, seeks war.”

Further, Qazwini claimed that Israel would benefit from a war between the U.S. and Iran: “So, basically Netanyahu wants the United States to go to war with Iran while Israel stands idle, watching. Netanyahu wants the United States to pay the price, a heavy price, to send its troops, and to get involved in a messy war, so the Israeli interest are [sic] protected. I’m not surprised by Netanyahu because Netanyahu is nothing but poison and poison does not generate [anything] but poison.” He called Saudi Arabia, a Sunni majority country, “traitors to the interests of the Muslim Ummah” and accused the Sunni nation of spending millions of dollars “to sabotage Iran and to attack the Shia school of thought.”

Qazwini has a long history of support of terrorists and other radicals. In a 2004 speech that is still publicly available on his personal website under “Speeches/Friday Sermons,” Qazwini praised Shia Muslims for “carrying the banner of resistance against the evil forces in the Muslim ummah” and claimed “that the majority of Muslim governments have submitted to the will of the United States and the Zionists.”

Qazwini has also proclaimed the supremacy of Sharia over Western law: “You have to respect the laws of the land in which  you live, however  when it comes to a point where Allah is publically being disobeyed or challenged, then you should have no respect to any law. Allah’s law comes first… Allah comes first, no government comes before Allah …”

Hatem Bazian

Hatem Bazian, another deal proponent, is founding chairman of a radical anti-Israeli organization, the American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), and co-founder of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group with many campus chapters, that campaigns for divestment from Israel.  In an opinion piece in the Turkish national daily,Daily Sabah, Bazian blamed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and other pro-Israel groups, “including the same neo-conservative groups that pushed for the Iraq war” for “whipping the American public into shape to oppose President Obama’s Iran deal.”

In 2004, Bazian called on Americans to create a violent uprising at home similar to the Palestinian intifada.

“Are you angry? …Well, we’ve been watching intifada in Palestine, we’ve been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is that what are we doing? How come we don’t have an intifada in this country,” Bazian said. “It’s about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here. And we know every – They’re gonna say some Palestinian [is] being too radical – well, you haven’t seen radicalism yet.”

More recently, at an AMP event at the University of California, Santa Cruz in November, Bazian seemed to justify Palestinian terrorism: “Palestine is the victim that is being victimized once again by actually blaming them for the fact that they respond. Palestinians’ response to settler colonialism has been identical to every colonized people’s response when they are confronted by the colonization process.”

Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT)

In a recent article in the Crescent International, a publication of the pro-Iran, Washington-based Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), Zafar Bangash praised Iran’s leadership for striking a deal that grants Iran relief while still holding the line against the West.

“The Rahbar [Islamic title meaning ‘Leader’ and is in reference to Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei], however, has made clear that even if — a big if — the JCPOA is approved, there would be no opening of Iran for US penetration. ‘We will firmly block their way. We will not allow the US to make economic, political or cultural inroads into the country. We will counter such infiltration with all our power.’ The Rahbar went on, ‘We should first identify the enemy’s intentions and then counter their objectives through planning.’

This is the wisest course of action to pursue with the US that the late Imam Khomeini had described as Shaytan-e Buzurg (the Great Satan). This was not an emotional outburst but an accurate understanding of the true nature of the US.”

Another article in the ICIT’s Crescent International by Tahir Mustafa noted that the nuclear deal marks Iran’s recognition “as a leading regional power that cannot be cowed by military threats or sanctions.” He added: “After the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, Islamic Iran had become the leading edge of the Islamic movement. Those without blinkers on their eyes had recognized this a long time ago. Others have just woken up to this fact. The US, the leading imperialist and militarist power in the world, has also had to eat humble pie and admit to this reality.”

Mustafa, however, warned that “American and European officials are notorious for breaking promises, even signed before the entire world.” He also describes Saudi Arabia and Israel as “pariah regimes [that] cannot live in peace with others, especially Islamic Iran that refuses to surrender its rights to any worldly power.”

“Not surprisingly the two illegitimate regimes, one occupying the holy land of the Arabian Peninsula and the other the holy land of Palestine, are clinging to each other for solace. Both can see their end clearly on the horizon,” he added.

ICIT is affiliated with extremist clerics Mohammed al-Asi and Abdul Alim Musa. In a February interview marking the 36th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Al-Asi said: “It only takes us a short memory of the decades and the centuries preceding this Islamic revolution to recall the almost pathetic conditions that Muslims have been in.  I mean they’ve been suffering from colonialism and imperialism, occupation armies and all sorts of setbacks.  The Islamic Revolution took place in that context.  It broke out of decades and centuries of foreign hegemony and control and became the first independent area in the Islamic hemisphere of the world.” Abdul Alim Musa is founder and Imam of Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, D.C. and founder of the radical As-Sabiqun Movement.

Muslim Students Association-Persian Speaking Group

A flyer distributed at the Muslim Students Association—Persian Speaking Group’s (MSA-PSG) 38th Annual Conference on December 26, 2008, titled “Message to 2008 MSA-PSG Conference Attendees,” quotes Musa saying: “At this current stage, our quest is to emulate the life of our hero in contemporary times, Imam Khomeini, as we strive to establish the Islamic State of North America. His story is a story of ultimate success and unbelievable odds.” The MSA-PSG has strong connections to the Iran’s clerical regime. A message posted on the student group’s website states: “MSA-PSG has been dedicated to the global Islamic movement since its inception over 45 years ago. With the Islamic Revolution in Iran, we became doubly committed to unity and brotherhood among all Muslims.” According to declassified FBI documents, at a December 1987 conference hosted by MSA-PSG, also known by its Farsi name Anjoman Islamie, “all attendees had to pledge allegiance to their Muslim faith and loyalty to the Government of Iran.”

Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)

The nuclear deal  was lauded  as proof that the U.S. should only use  diplomacy to achieve foreign policy goals  by the more influential Washington, D.C.-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in a Sept. 3 press release.

“Long seen as the option of the weak in the days of the Bush administration, diplomacy is now seen as a viable strategy that can achieve the same results, if not better, than military strikes do,” the release said. “And apart from its effectiveness, it’s shown that it can be achieved without the cost of military action … The US has shown that it is a strong diplomatic force, and that it can negotiate to advance its most pressing interests.”

MPAC also touted the high road of America negotiating peacefully with “nations it mistrusts, but also to resist the easy route of immediately giving into hawks who call for war. It may have been tempting to heed the calls of war against a nation that took our citizens hostage and is perceived as a threat to multiple allies in the region.”

But MPAC took the exact opposite tact just two years ago in opposing diplomacy and vigorously calling for U.S. and coalition military air strikes against Syria. “We … support decisive and quick military action in Syria with important conditions,” an MPAC position paper said.

Any military “intervention must go hand in hand with empowering the moderate segment of the opposition to ensure a future for Syria that is democratic, pluralistic, and inclusive,” the MPAC paper said.

An additional rationale MPAC offered for advocating bombings in Syria could just as easily apply to the situation involving Iran’s dictatorial brutal regime: “At this point there is no incentive for the Assad regime to agree to any type of political transition due to their military superiority over opposition forces.”

So MPAC was willing to use military might to force Syria to change its policies, but when it comes to  Iran,  the world’s largest state sponsor of  terrorism,  MPAC suddenly became pacifist.

In past years, the MPAC-affiliated publication The Minaret repeatedly published articles in support of Iran’s proxy terrorist group, Hizballah. One June 2000 article praises “freedom fighter” Hizballah’s efforts in coercing Israel to withdraw from Lebanon:

“[The Israeli withdrawal] is a clear sign that determination and will lead to the liberation of an occupied homeland. Hezbullah, the Lebanese freedom fighter group that led the effort to drive Israel out, is being widely praised through the world.”

MPAC’s president Salam al-Marayati also described Hizballah attacks as a “legitimate resistance” in a 1999 PBS interview. He added that, “when a Muslim commits an act of terrorism, we stand very loudly and clearly against that Muslim that committed that act of violence.”

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) was founded as part of a Hamas-support network in the U.S., supported the interim nuclear deal in November 2013. “We welcome the agreement signed in Geneva and hope it will reverse the counterproductive decades-long push toward conflict between Iran and Western nations,” CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad said in a press release. While the press release applauded the deal, it “also called on Iran to drop its ongoing support for Syria’s brutal dictatorship.”

Ignoring Iran’s behavior

American Islamists who advocate the nuclear deal with Iran have, in the past, willfully turned a blind eye to human rights violations and terrorism-related crimes of the Iranian government and have appeared on the country’s state-controlled Press TV to allege rampant Islamophobia in the U.S. or berate government counterterrorism measures.  “We live in a free society,” CAIR national spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said in an August 2011 interview. “There are many good things about being an American Muslim, but there is also a sense of being under siege from these hate mongers that are constantly trying to demonize our faith.”

During a 2011 Press TV appearance at the time of the Arab Spring demonstrations, Al-Asi supported a statement by Iranian Supreme Leader Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei advocating for “a leadership that gives direction to this movement. Otherwise, and this was probably left out of the discourse, but putting the pieces of the puzzle together, otherwise the forces of imperialism and even Zionism will hijack these uprisings. …They don’t want these countries to quote-unquote ‘break loose’ from American hegemony, the same that happened in the Islamic Republic of Iran. In other words, they don’t want to see another Islamic Republic in Egypt, or in Yemen, or in these other countries that is independent of their influences and their diktats.”

Similarly, these Islamists have also routinely supported violence and terrorism at the annual Al-Quds Day rallies commemorating the 1979 Islamic Revolution. For example, at the 2012 rally Musa said, “If you love America, you love lying, you love rape, you love murder, you love killing.”

“And then, the Zionist, diabolical, sinister Israeli. Nobody in history, they cry about some Holocaust, we had five or ten people get killed.”

Support for the Iranian deal among Islamists includes fringe cranks like Musa and Al-Asi, but also supposedly mainstream outlets like MPAC and CAIR. That alone should have given anyone pause about supporting the agreement.

Documentary – Meeting ISIL (PressTV goes deep inside the terrorist group)

Published on Aug 21, 2014 by PressTV News Videos:

To learn who these people are, what they are fighting for, and who funds them, PRESS TV goes deep into their camps and brings you face to face interviews and exclusive footage. Many of those who were initially infatuated by the group’s promise of justice seem to be horrified and utterly disillusioned today.

(Press TV (stylised PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English language news organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). The IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and its head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.- wikipedia)

Also see:

Press TV’s Obscene Anti-Semitism

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Iran’s Press TV scored an international scoop Tuesday. It turns out, it reports, the massacre of 20 schoolchildren and six of their teachers and administrators was not the work of a troubled loner. Rather, it was Israeli death squads exacting vengeance over a recent United Nations General Assembly vote granting Palestine nonmember observer status.

In a time of national grieving unmatched since the 9/11 attacks, the Iranian government’s English-language news outlet used the opportunity to promote vile anti-Semitic conspiracies so extreme that not even the most strident Islamists have offered anything close to them.

The claim came from Michael Harris, who was one of three panelists in a discussion about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. While the other panelists focused on a culture of violence in America, or the issue of gun laws, Harris unleashed a torrent of Jew hatred.

“Hollywood is Jewish owned and Jewish controlled and they spew filth and they spew violence out,” he said. Jews are the ones pushing for gun control. Jews control Congress.

“And now here we go, here’s a revenge killing in the U.S., sponsored by Israel, that killed all these innocent children,” Harris said. “And that is something that Israelis do very, very well. They target the innocent, they target children, they target women and they avoid the issue. Because they’re angry they didn’t get their way and now Palestine has standing in the U.N. and Israel is going to be subject to the International Criminal Court and their leadership is going to be taken to task. So let’s connect the dots here about what’s going on globally, geo-politically with Israel involved.”

While the other two guests dismissed Harris’ theories, saying Israel had nothing to do with Newtown and tried to steer the conversation back to the brutal killing, the Press TV hostess never pushed back. A video of the segment shows Harris spoke longer than the others during the 25-minute segment and was given the last word.

The United States considers Iran the world’s leading state-sponsor of international terrorism. But that fact hasn’t stopped American Islamists, led by officials from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) from repeatedly appearing on Press TV programs to bash American policy or culture. It might be different if they tried to speak truth to power, criticizing Iran for its terror support or repression of its own people.

But instead, they have blamed America for Muslim riots over the Internet video mocking Mohammed last fall. They have cast America as being at war with Islam, a message considered to be one of the most potent tools in recruiting Muslims to violent jihad, and likened America’s treatment of Muslims to the way Jews were treated in Nazi Germany. Examples go on and on.

They grant legitimacy to a broadcast outlet pushing conspiracy theories like a modern Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Press TV followed up the Newtown panel discussion by publishing a story on Harris’ theory on its website. “Israeli death squads involved in Sandy Hook bloodbath: Intelligence analyst,” the headline blares. It describes Harris as “a former Republican candidate for governor of Arizona and GOP campaign finance chairman.”

The Press TV article asserts Israel staged the attack “to teach America a lesson, knowing that America would take the punishment, keep ‘quiet,’ and let a ‘fall guy’ take the blame.”

If the publishing of cartoons and Internet videos depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad can spark riots and killings throughout the world, what does a blood libel like the Sandy Hook conspiracy theory do to Muslim attitudes toward Jews?

Blaming Zionists and blaming Jews for problems large and small is a reflex action in parts of the Middle East, including claims Jews were behind the 9/11 attacks. Hamas instills it in young children. Islamists in Egypt blamed Jews for a New Year’s Eve 2011 bombing at a Coptic church that killed 21 people, a message echoed by Press TV.

The article on the Newtown shooting was written by Gordon Duff, identified as “a Marine Vietnam veteran, a combat infantryman, and Senior Editor at Veterans Today.” Harris also writes for Veterans Today, including articles defending David Duke as “a shining example of western freedom and democracy.”

Another article details his suspicions that Jews, what he calls “organized jewery” was behind Jared Loughner’s shooting attack in Tucson that wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people, including U.S. District Judge John Roll.

“My point here is: will organized jewery, the Neo-Pharisees that comprise the unelected criminal shadow government sacrifice an asset like Congresswoman Giffords to advance their bigger agenda?? You bet they will. The criminals who took down the WTC and the Murrah Building in Oklahoma, will eagerly sacrifice a pawn to pass stricter gun control measures and dis-arm the US population. The armed US population is the biggest obstacle that still exists for the shadow government of the Neo-Pharisees to fully implement a totalitarian state here in the USA, just like they destroyed Czarist Russia and created the Soviet Union, they work day and night to impose that same hell on the citizens of the USA.”

Press TV officials should have been aware of Harris’ views before they invited him on the air and let him unleash his empty conspiracy theories and hate rhetoric.

Duff’s Press TV article says Harris points to “the flood of inconsistencies in the ‘cover story.'” But those amount to a series of unanswered questions about alleged accomplices and unsourced claims that police gunned down the shooter, Adam Lanza, after he tried to surrender.

“After Harris’ broadcast, key members of the military and law enforcement community contacted Veterans Today in full support of Harris’ analysis,” Duff writes.

“One three star general is quoted as saying, ‘Harris hit the nail right on the head and it is about time someone spoke up.'”

What other proof is needed? In the broadcast interview, Harris predicted a grand cover-up by Congress, which he said is owned by Zionists. The absence of proof, therefore, is his proof.

“So any truth of this, if there’s going to be, is going to be hidden because Israel wants it hidden because they are once again the guilty party,” Harris said. “You have to realize, Israel has been operating death squads in the United States now since Gabby Giffords and Judge Roll were shot in Tucson. There’s been other incidences. The Aurora, Colorado shooting that was, again, Israeli death squads operating in the U.S.”

Fellow panelist Raynard Jackson, a Washington-based political consultant, called Harris’ comments “irresponsible.” A third panelist, Don Debar, said that the United States is the “pre-eminent imperial power in the history of the planet.” As such, it controls Israel “although there is some backwash in the Congress and other places.”

Given the last word, Harris went off on another rant, condemning American drone strikes abroad, which, “again,” he said, “it goes back to Israeli influence in U.S. foreign policy.” If he had not done so in the previous 20 minutes, he made it clear that he and Iran are on the same page.

Read more at IPT

CAIR Rep: Violence Shows It’s America That Needs to Change

IPT News:

Anti-American violence throughout the Muslim world, ostensibly over a cheap Internet film denigrating the Muslim prophet Muhammad, may be misguided, but it’s a result of “the lack of dignity, the lack of respect that they’re being shown.” And it’s up to America to change policies to calm things.

That’s the message a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) official brought to a television interview Sunday.

And that’s not the worst thing about Cyrus McGoldrick‘s comments.

McGoldrick’s interview was on Press TV, an Iranian government-controlled English-language news outlet. He never condemned the violence outright, saying “We’re very sensitive to the loss of life” and “people’s lives are always to be mourned.” The angry mobs show “no real understanding of nuance” because the American government neither financed the film nor had anything to do with its distribution.

Few protestors likely even saw the video, said McGoldrick, civil rights director for CAIR’s New York chapter. “And I don’t think it’s about the film at all, really, I think that people are tired. People have had enough of what is seen by them, what looks to them like America’s war on Islam. And this is one of the symptoms of that.”

That “war on Islam” narrative is acknowledged to be among the most effective messages in radicalizing Muslims. Even the White House acknowledges this. In the past week, a federal judge sentenced a 29-year-old to 30 years in prison after he plotted to detonate a suicide bomb inside the United States Capitol and arrested an 18-year-old in Chicago who thought he was detonating a car bomb outside a bar.

Both Amine El-Khalifi and Adel Daoud thought America was waging war on Islam.

McGoldrick could have told his Iranian network interviewer that such a perception is not only wrong, but dangerous. He could have pointed out that Muslims in America, especially Shia, are freer to practice their faith than in most Sunni Muslim nations.

But he didn’t. Instead, he raised doubt over the most fundamental American freedom.

Americans enjoy “allegedly a freedom of speech, a freedom of expression –political expression and religious expression,” he explained. “And of course, that comes with it some rights, but also, of course, some responsibilities.”

The recent violence, including the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, might have be seen as “the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of Muslims’ patience with American and Western intervention,” McGoldrick said.

That puts the onus on the United States “to very critically think about how much more weight will we put on the Muslim world? How many more attacks? How many more drone strikes? How many more coups … until we realize that we need to take a principled stand, and a just stand, to make sure that we respect human rights, sovereignty and dignity all over the world.”

McGoldrick is among a number of CAIR officials who routinely appear on Press TV, usually to denigrate American politics or policy.

But McGoldrick’s affinity with the Iranian regime runs deeper. He promoted the August 17 “al-Quds Day” rally in New York, advertising and marketing virulent anti-Israel rhetoric at the Iranian-inspired event.

Quds Day is a creation of the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini and a frequent vehicle for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to call for Israel’s elimination and to publicly delegitimize the West. Its organizers have adapted resolutions that endorse Hamas, and dismiss Palestinian terrorism as simple “side issues.”

McGoldrick promoted the al-Quds New York rally through twitter posts and even the CAIR-NY website.

Read more at IPT



American Islamist Groups Mum on Iranian Repression

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