Democratic leaders came under fire after they invited an anti-Israel Texas Imam to lead a prayer on the House Floor.
Imam Omar Suleiman, founder and president of the Yaqueen Institute, gave the invocation on May 9.
“We pray for peace, not war. Love, not hate. Benevolence, not greed. Unity, not division,” Suleiman said during his prayer. “And, we commit ourselves to not betraying our prayers with actions that contradict them.”
However, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) accused Suleiman of having a history of anti-Semitism and said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made “a bad call” by allowing him to speak.
“Either the speaker’s office did not vet this imam at all, or worse, they did vet the imam and then decided that it would have been OK for the imam to come onto the floor of the House of Representatives anyway,” Zeldin told Fox News. “It’s a bad call to have this person. It’s horrible judgment, and after the 2019 that we’ve had so far, where members of their own caucus are pushing anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hate, it was a bad judgment.”
Suleiman has responded to his critics by accusing them of launching a smear campaign against him and being Islamophobic.
“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 I had the opportunity of burying and praying upon,” Suleiman said in an op-ed in the Dallas News on Sunday.
“I have never attacked the Jewish community or peddled conspiracies about it. So imagine my surprise to be accused of anti-Semitism” in the wake of his invocation, he wrote.