Congregation members at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, have voiced their outrage after claiming that two Israeli soldiers took part in an event at the mosque.
A video posted on Facebook shows congregation members voicing their concerns inside the mosque in both Arabic and English.
One man addressing worshippers says: “The reason why we are here is because what happened by inviting two IDF – Israeli Defence Force – soldiers into our mosque and to our prayer hall is shameful. It’s undignified, it’s embarrassing, it goes against the standards of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).”
In a statement the mosque clarified that they hosted students from the National Defense University (NDU) in April but did not know that Israeli soldiers were going to attend the event.
The NDU says its vision is to “create strategic advantage by developing joint warfighters and other national security leaders and forging relationships through… educational programs, research and engagement.”
The mosque Board of Trustees said in a statement: “The Islamic Center of America is a house of worship open to all people. For years it has opened its doors to hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world who have visited the centre to learn about our faith and community. For over the last 10 years the National Defense University, through the State Department, has requested to visit the Islamic Center of America to learn about Islam in the United States.
“Consistent with our policy of seeking to engage with this seeking knowledge of our faith we hosted their delegation. Contrary to the misinformation that some have circulated this function was part of an interfaith effort and its objective was strictly educational. We addressed the group as a while as 76 top ranking student officers from around the world without distinction of nationality and /or political background. Every year the group changes in constitution and all members are dressed in the same university uniform with no means too identify their individual countries of origin. The Islamic Center of America unequivocally rejected any politically motivated functions…
“We are dismayed that misinformation has circulated about the event. It was distinctly to educated all people about Muslims and our humanitarian values. Nevertheless, the Islamic Center of America stands unwaveringly with our congregation and will remain attuned to the present concerns and the deep-rooted history of our people.”
The Israeli Defence Forces have been accused of numerous war crimes against the Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians and others.
It is thought that Zionist organisations in the United States are attempting to forge ties with Muslim communities through the cover of interfaith activities.