Imam who delivered House prayer, called Israel ‘monster’, bemoans threats

Omar Suleiman, who delivered a U.S. House invocation last week, had called Israel a “monster” and Jews “terrifying.” 

By World Israel News Staff

Imam Omar Suleiman, founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research and a Professor of Islamic Studies at Southern Methodist University, made headlines again last week when he gave the invocation on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. He had been invited by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas.

The invitation prompted criticism due to anti-Semitic comments made in the past by Suleiman.

In an op-ed article published Sunday by The Dallas Morning News, Suleiman tried to defend himself by writing that “when I said this prayer on the U.S. House floor on Thursday, I held in my heart the Jews in Pittsburgh and San Diego, the Christians in Sri Lanka, and the Muslims in Christchurch [for whom] I had the opportunity of burying and praying upon.

“I thought of their bodies that I put in the ground, and the tears in the eyes of their family members. I thought of the tears in the eyes of Jewish brethren when we took cards over to the Jewish Community Center from my family and community. I thought of my Christian brethren in Dallas on Easter and how their usual smiles were flipped due to the devastation of Sri Lanka,” he adds.

Suleiman writes that after “giving the invocation in Congress last week, I have been attacked online and threatened with violence.”

He charges that “this hate is similar to the hate that led to the other massacres” in the U.S., New Zealand, and Sri Lanka.

However, Suleiman’s history of poisonous statements against Jews and the State of Israel have been well documented.

In July 2017, German-Israeli researcher Petra Marquardt-Bigman published a series of quotes in a blog which appeared on the website of The Algemeiner, a news site focused on Jewish and Israeli news.

The quotes include statements in July 2014 in which Suleiman called for a third Arab “intifada” uprising against Israel. In the Second Intifada, Palestinian terrorists murdered more than 1,000 Israelis and wounded many thousands more.

Suleiman declared on Twitter and Facebook: “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.”

This statement came in the midst of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas terror organization in the Gaza Strip.

Ms. Marquardt-Bigman writes that in August 2015, Suleiman shared a video from another Facebook user, ostensibly showing Palestinians held up at Israeli checkpoints in Judea and Samaria; Suleiman added the comment: “Want to know what its [sic] like to live under Nazis? Look no further than how the Palestinians are treated daily by apartheid Israel. Sickening.”

Suleiman has not only poured out his wrath on Israel, he has also maligned Jews, who he says were “put on earth to serve as a terrifying example to Muslims by demonstrating the evil that ensues if one doesn’t follow Allah’s commands.”