Sunday, May 12, 2019
Zeldin Rips Pelosi For Inviting ‘Radical ANTI-SEMITIC Imam’ To Address Congress
Lee Zeldin and Nancy Pelosi, Getty Images (2)
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) blasted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for inviting a “radical imam” to speak before Congress.
“On Thursday, the noon prayer was given by an imam from Texas who has a long history of, not just supporting BDS, but comparing Israel to the Nazis, accusing Israel of being a terror regime, calling for a Palestinian intifada in the past and inciting violence, supporting the Muslim brotherhood and the list goes on,” Zeldin said Sunday on “The Cats Roundtable”on AM 970 in New York.
“I think it is outrageous that Speaker Pelosi on this day, on Thursday, chose that radical imam to be speaking before Congress with that prayer,” he said.
Zeldin was speaking about Imam Omar Suleiman of Irving, Texas, who was introduced by Pelosi and gave a brief prayer before the House of Representatives.
Suleiman had been invited to speak by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas). Suleiman is the president of the Yaqeen Institute of Islamic Research and a professor of Islamic studies at Southern Methodist University.
Suleiman’s social media presence shows that he supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and has compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians to the Nazis in the past.
“I was sitting there in the first row … I was caught off guard by it quite honestly,” said Zeldin, who is Jewish.
“There was no announcement it was going to happen. The Speaker either, her team either failed to vet the imam, or worse, they did vet the imam and thought this was a good idea to bring him anyways. A bad call either way,” Zeldin added.
Pelosi’s office has yet to respond to a request for comment on whether Suleiman’s appearance was vetted.
Zeldin said he would have been OK with another imam coming to the House and leading the legislative body in prayer, but he linked Suleiman’s appearance to recent anti-Semitic acts and rhetoric that have occurred both inside and outside the walls of Congress.
“Not only did we have the synagogue shooting in California, we’ve had a series of statements made by Ilhan Omar, very concerning policy positions and rhetoric from Rashida Tlaib,” Zeldin said, referencing the two Muslim freshmen Democrats.
Omar got herself in trouble earlier this year by tweeting controversial comments about AIPAC and lawmakers’ support for the Israeli lobbying arm.
She was blasted on the right, and by a number of her Democratic colleagues, for using Jewish stereotypes.
Those that defended her excused her comments by saying she was critiquing Israel’s heavy influence on U.S. foreign policy.