An imam in Michigan eulogized Qassem Soleimani, praising him for propping up the Assad regime against what he called efforts by the United States and the “Zionists” to destabilize Syria.
Soleimani, who was killed in Baghdad on January 3 in an American airstrike, oversaw Iran’s support for militias and terror groups in his capacity as head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force. He has been blamed by the US for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers during the Iraq War.
In a sermon following Soleimani’s death that same day, Sheikh Ibrahim Kazerooni of Dearborn, Michigan, recited a prayer of mourning for Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi paramilitary commander who was also killed in the strike
“Who was this general? His presence brought hope to the marginalized and to those who were afraid, and it brought hatred and fear to the enemies of Islam – particularly the United States,” Kazerooni said of Soleimani.
1/2 Dearborn, MI Imam Ibrahim Kazerooni Eulogizes Qasem Soleimani: He
Brought Hope to the Marginalized and Fear to the Enemies of Islam pic.twitter.com/OfksJI7Y6T
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) January 9, 2020
“He was instrumental in keeping the government in Syria intact against all attempts and the billions of dollars that were spent on arms and guidance that were given by the United States, Zionists, and everybody else [in order] to destabilize and turn Syria into a dysfunctional state,” he added, according to a transcript of his remarks by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Kazerooni also called the killing of Soleimani and Muhandis a “cowardly and heinous act” and cited Islamic scripture saying “there is either martyrdom or victory.”
“Let’s wait and see what happens next,” he said.
While Kazerooni praised Soleimani for his backing of Syria, an Afghani lawmaker said the Iranian general was responsible for the deaths of thousands of her countrymen there who were fighting in Iran-backed militias.
“It is clear to everybody that Soleimani was a man who committed numerous crimes in Afghanistan. He brought about the deaths of at least 5,500 young Afghans, in the framework of the so-called Fatemiyoun Division in Syria. 1,200 men are still missing,” MP Belquis Roshan said in a video posted to Facebook, according to MEMRI.
She also said she was “ashamed” that Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, condemned the killing of “such people.”