A Muslim cleric who called for violence against Israel and expressed support for Hamas gave the opening prayer before the House of Representatives Thursday, angering several representatives.
Omar Suleiman, an imam and founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute, delivered the invocation at the invitation of his congresswoman, Democratic Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, according to the Jewish Telegraph Agency. Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is Jewish, decried the invitation in light of the fact that Suleiman has repeatedly called for a third Intifada against Israel, referred to Jews as “Zionists” and called them “enemies of God,” and defended the terrorist organization Hamas on social media.
Totally unacceptable that @SpeakerPelosi had Omar Suleiman give the opening prayer yesterday in the House. He compares Israel to the Nazis & calls them terrorists, supports Muslim Brotherhood, incites violence calling for a Palestinian antifada & the end of zionism, etc. Bad call pic.twitter.com/bZakjQVwsJ
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) May 10, 2019
Suleiman has also openly supported the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement against Israel and Israeli businesses. The BDS movement has several financial and personnel ties with Palestinian terror groups.
Suleiman prayed for peace and unity in light of the recent attacks against houses of worship, which include Islamic terrorist attacks that killed hundreds in Sri Lankan churches and an attack on a California synagogue that left one dead and several wounded. He delivered his prayer ahead of the first Friday of Ramadan prayers.
“Let us not be deterred by the hatred that has claimed the lives of innocent worshipers across the world, but emboldened by the love that gathered them together to remember you and gathered us together to remember them,” Suleiman prayed after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced him.
Pelosi’s office said they are looking into how and why Johnson invited Suleiman, given his anti-Semitic history.
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