(May 10, 2019 / JNS) A controversial imam who has been linked to anti-Israel rhetoric gave the opening invocation at the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
Omar Suleiman, founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research in Texas, was invited by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas).
"We pray for peace, not war," said Suleiman. "Love, not hate. Benevolence, not greed. Unity, not division. And we commit ourselves to not betraying our prayers with actions that contradict them. Let us be for truth, no matter who, or for is against it."
"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," tweeted Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.).
Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks shared Zeldin's tweet and added, "Either they vetted this guy and decided to still have him or they never vetted him. Either way a colossal blunder."
Neither the Jewish Democratic Council of America nor Democratic Majority for Israel responded to a request for comment.
Despite his prayers for peace and unity, Suleiman has not shown such sentiment when it comes to Israel.
As the 2014 war in Gaza broke out, he posted on social media: "How befitting that the 3rd Intifada starts on the 27th night of Ramadan as worshippers are denied prayer in Masjid Al Aqsa. ...God willing on this blessed night as the 3rd Intifada begins, the beginning of the end of Zionism is here. May Allah help us overcome this monster, protect the innocent of the world, and accept the murdered as martyrs. ameen."