Washington mosque imam: Iran ‘a rising power’ in ME
The imam of Washington mosque has sat in an interview to Mehr News to talk about a host of issues including ISIL, Saudi Arabia and the new situation in the Middle East.
Earlier this month, Hamid Reza Gholamzedeh of Mehr News English Service and Mohammad Mazhari of Mehr News Arabic Service invited Imam Abdul Alim Musa, Imam of Masjid al-Islam in Washington and a prominent US-based Muslim leader.
The imam was visiting Iran to participate in an important event in Tehran and our interviewers grabbed the time and opportunity to talk to imam to find the living witness to the most part of the contemporary history of Muslim movements in the mainland US.
Mr. Musa believed that the region now was the scene for rise of new players when the ISIL had given birth to an unprecedented unity among the world who unanimously condemn ISIL and Saudi Arabia for its role in fostering the lunatic fanatics of the group who would not spare any horrific acts of terror to advance their extremely horrendous reading of the Islamic Scriptures. With ISIL going, Saudi Arabia was, he believed, in a state of disarray, since its policies anywhere in the region had been backlashing:
We hear cases of suppression against Muslims in United States, we heard that there is legality for all religions in the United States but we can see some actions against Muslims and some races in the United States?
In the United States of America those statements about constitutional guarantees, freedom of press, speech and religion, are in the constitution but are not reality in life. There’s been a war against Islam in a heavy way for the last over 35 years, a war or open warfare against the Islam in the United States. In the beginning it’s a subtle war, it’s a war of lies and misrepresentations in the news. Before, in America there were not many Muslims, there was Saudi Arabia giving money to people for mosques and things like this; but it was not political.
After the Revolution in Iran, Saudi Arabia gave money specifically, it was because of anti-Iranian, antirevolutionary, anti-progress. The Wahhabist doctrine was very prevalent in the United States. The US crashed, right after the Revolution, our Islamic movement in America among blacks, because it was sympathetic to the Revolution in Iran.
They did want an internal force organized inside the America that was sympathetic to the Islamic Republic of Iran. As time went on, this began to level off, because of a constant low-level struggle against Islam. As Islam grows around the world, the Zionist and the American governments pick up more enmity and hatred against the Islamic Movement. If you talk about the two basic types of Muslims, immigrant Muslims who came from Pakistan, India, and Iran, they come there and want to immigrate to America, they wanted to be part of the America.
They did not want to challenge America, they did not want to say anything against it. They liked America. We are different. We accepted Islam, because we don’t like America the way it is, it is unjust, it is criminal, all of us accepted Islam, which is real, but it is also a vehicle for change. Immigrants come there and want to see the America like that in the films, in the TV, we know how America is; therefore, we want to change it to make it better place.
After 9/11, we believe this was a designed incident to justify attacks against Islam and Muslims, because most of the 13 of the people who were there were from Saudi Arabia. We know that that has nothing to do with us, but the other thing is that after 9/11, the only people that could leave the US and could get even on a plane was from Saudi Arabia. We know where these things come from. But they use 9/11 to go to war, to crush the Muslims, to invade Iraq, Afghanistan, to spend billions of dollars on terrorism. But they call us the terrorists. So, there is no freedom of religion.
You said that you want to change the America. What is your plan or agenda to do this?
There is a saying that if you see an injustice going on, stop it with your own hand, even with military force. If you can. If you don’t have military force, speak out against it, if you cannot speak out against it, at least feel bad about it.
That is the weakest kind of faith. In America, we don’t have military power. But we have the ability to speak, educate, train people about the reality of Islam. That is our approach, so we teach and preach and we do prevention of vice and promotion of virtue in practice. We cannot prohibit much wrong, but we enjoin good on people. This is our level right now in the US.
There are two topics which are somehow related to each other; we have ISIL and its affiliates and Islamophobia, within the US and also now worldwide as well, which is mostly promoted by the US by the military industry moguls; there was a document going back to 2012 showing that the US, according to the chief of NSA, the US willfully allowed ISIL to establish itself. ISIL was formed in 2014 two years after the NSA knew that the ISIL was going to be established. According to a person in charge of the NSA, they allowed the ISIL to weaken Assad regime. So, talk about what ISIL is doing and what the US is assuming to do?
First, deal with your own internal ISIL. We have Salafists right here. They have the same ISIL who came to mosques not long ago and were carrying guns openly. They were provoking us to fight until the Americans had snippers around. So, we fight the ISIL who are black Americans like us, we have been very skillful in America, because we were inside the America.
The same thing ISIL does to Iran, internationally; Saudi Arabia tries to provoke Iran to fight, everything in Turkey and Syria, all of that is to provoke Iran to a fight. When they enter into a fight, they are going to bring NATO in, they bring the US in, and that gives them justification to fight Iran directly.
However, Muslim response to provocations had largely nonviolent; in Bahrain, they’ve responded violently, but Muslims did non-violently: in Pakistan’s bombings and killings of innocent people, especially Shi’ites, in Afghanistan; the harassment of Hezbollah; the eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia; Boko Haram, African ISIL, paid and funded by Saudi Arabia, just like Taliban was years ago. They all want to provoke us into a fight. Right now, Saudi Arabia has built the road to its own destruction. It is incoherent; our ISIL in America is incoherent.
Everything it is doing is suicidal. It is actually lowers gas and oil prices, but it actually spends billions of dollars in Europe, on ISIL, to give them all kinds of weapons, but it’s dropping the oil price to try to choke Iran and other places, but it’s choking itself, its policy of killing people all over the world has developed on an alliance now that happened in early years. In early years in the war Iran was all by itself, all Arabs were against Iran. Now Syria didn’t help Iran but it was neutral.
But now we have a new strategic alliance in the region which is different than before. We have a strategic alliance from Iraq, Russia, Iran and Syria. Before Iran was by itself, on the other side, Turkey, Egypt all those countries were on the other side.
But today, there is more of power to Iran. We feel that ISIL are so, I guess the English word is obnoxious, they smell so bad, their behavior is so bad, nobody likes ISIL. Now, in the West, Iran used to be public enemy number one. Now ISIL is number one enemy, number two enemy is Saudi Arabia.
How can Saudi Arabia do that to those people in Yemen, how can they bomb them! ISIL is the number one enemy. Saudi Arabian policy has been belligerent everywhere.
The whole world’s politics right now is shifting and Iran has been shifting from the back to the front. Iran is the new regional leader, not Iraq or Saudi Arabia. [On the other hand,] Russia gears a technical parity with the west. Anything they give to ISIL, Russia can give to us.
Because Russia gears technical parity. We don’t have technical parity with the West. We don’t have fourth and fifth generations of weapons. Only America, Russia and the Zionists have fourth and fifth generations of weapons. What I mean to say is that the ISIL has been the entity that have unified the world against Saudi Arabia that kills innocent people, stealing artifacts, killing Christians, everything.
So, back to original question, how do we see ISIL in the world today, we see ISIL is a desperate move on Saudi Arabia to try to take the growing power of the Islamic Republic. But, it is missed on every level.
I feel that for Iran to step into the next step of leadership, it has to one of two things. One, national unity. These little groups in Iran right now, some in Parliament, some in other places in order to lead the world, we have to have unity. Unity needs cooperation. What part should Iran play in this world? Iran is on the rise, you can’t stop it. ISIL is on the decline, don’t worry they’ll be gone sooner or later.
Iranian Diplomats, the parliament have their own ideas, they have unity of ideas and unity of cooperation. If we don’t encourage unity, Allah will do what he said in Quran: you don’t leave up to the expectations I would change or exchange you for somebody else in your place.
So in a long run, ISIL is a blessing. Years ago we all talked about unity and unity. ISIL produced international unity. All countries are being united against ISIL. This is happening right in front of our eyes.