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HOUSTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - Bernie Sanders is praising Islam while blaming President Trump for stirring up "hate."
The socialist, Democratic presidential candidate, along with pro-LGBT, pro-abortion, self-styled Catholic Julian Castro, made stops in Houston, Texas, on Aug. 31 to gain support from a Muslim community with links to terrorism.
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an organization founded by members of the Muslim Brotherhood and with links to Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas, held its 56th convention and featured the two contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
Sanders received applause from the crowd by criticizing India's and President Donald Trump's actions over the Kashmir province, which has been long contended over with Muslim-majority Pakistan, which has many clerics calling for a holy war, or "jihad," against India.
Sanders took the opportunity to blame President Trump for a rise in hate crimes in American Muslim communities. Trump is slammed as "a religious bigot" for banning travel from certain terrorist Muslim nations, among other complaints, in Trump's role to oversee national security.
Sanders does not specify any specific cases for his claim, but he would not have to look back far for an example of violence in Houston's Muslim community.
Just two days prior, on Thursday, a conviction was reached against Ali Irsan, who was sentenced to death for murdering his daughter's husband, Coty Beavers, in November of 2012 and his daughter's friend, Gelareh Bagherzadeh, earlier in the year on Jan. 12, who had convinced her to convert and marry a Christian man.
"Honor killing," prosecutors claimed, was behind the murders because Irsan felt "dishonored" by his daughter's actions.
Critics who claim Islam is incompatible with integration into American society note the language in Volume 3, Book 20, Hadith 2540, which says, "Carry out the legal punishments on relatives and strangers, and do not let the fear of blame stop you from carrying out the command of Allah."
Beavers' mother, Shirley McCormick, told the court, "In America, everyone is free including the women, they can choose their own careers, I said to be prosecutors or judges, and they can choose their own spouses, and they have a right not to be treated as property of their husbands, fathers, and brothers."
Such a case is not a one-off incident. A Canadian citizen, Ihab Ghrayeb, traveled to his family's home in Palestine in order to beat his sister, Israa, for being seen in a social media video in public with her fiancé.
After his father called him to complain about his sister, Ihab found Israa and beat her, causing her to fall from a second-story balcony to escape the violence.
While recovering in the hospital for the spinal injury from the fall, screams could be heard from her room as she was allegedly being beaten again by family. The family denies these claims, saying her eventual death was the result of a heart attack. Palestinian authorities have not commented on her cause of death.
These incidents are ignored by Sanders and Castro. Castro believes Muslims have shaped the United States for decades and contributed to making the country great. Speaking of himself, he adds, "[H]e wants to be a president for all Americans and that Muslim Americans are too often 'other-ized.'"
Sanders refers to his historical opposition to the War on Terror in 2002, the year after Muslims engaged in terror attacks in America.
In the background of the ISNA convention, a quote from the Quran can be seen: "Indeed. Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves," referring to the notion of the "Lesser Jihad," which calls upon internal spiritual warfare against vices.
Non-Muslims and Muslims in America who defend Islam tend to focus on the personal, internal struggle while forgetting Muslims who follow Islam do believe in conducting holy wars as part of a "Greater Jihad."
Sanders may not be aware that the response by clerics and leaders in Pakistan have called for such a jihad against India.
While Sanders and Castro encourage a more welcoming attitude towards Muslims, critics note a verse in their holy book, the Quran:
If you [Muslims] are under their [infidels'] authority, fearing for yourselves, behave loyally to them, with your tongue, while harbouring inner animosity for them. ... Allah has forbidden believers from being friendly or on intimate terms with the infidels in place of believers — except when infidels are above them [in authority]. In such a scenario, let them act friendly towards them.
One deception from the ISNA involved their decision to leave out the next sentence in the section they quoted from the Quran: "And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it."