On May 12, a lecture was posted on YouTube by Imam Zaid Shakir, a co-founder and faculty member at Zaytuna College, America's first Islamic college, which is based in California. The lecture, titled "Iraq in Crisis," is from 2003 and teaches that the U.S. government is waging a war on Islam and is systematically persecuting innocent Muslims.
Shakir opens up by urging the audience to "take advantage of our positions as Muslims in [America]" and alleges that the U.S. invaded Iraq as part of a war on Islam because the religion is "the largest source of opposition" to those serving a "narrow agenda." Later, he says that the war is led by a small group who want to stamp out Islam.
He refers to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's statement that the U.S. won't allow Iraq to be run by clerics like in Iran as proof that the U.S. is opposed to a "religious state." He characterizes the U.S. mission there in the worst possible terms, accusing the military of indiscriminately harming Iraqi civilians with depleted uranium and advanced explosives while allowing hospitals and museums to be looted.