Breitbart and the malignant attack on Shaykh Hamza Sodagar

Breitbart, a right wing news network infamous for insensitive, Islamophobic, sexist, fear-mongering and women-objectifying headlines, with bureaus in London, Jerusalem and Texas, published yet another baseless piece, this time against Shaykh Hamza Sodagar in the first few days of Muharram.  The article written by Raheem Kassam maliciously targeted Shaykh Hamza Sodagar after decontextualizing his speech delivered in 2010, on the topic of homosexuality in Islam. The author went through a lot of effort and further quoted Shaykh Hamza from 2014 where he was addressing European and American youth and said “Zionist web of media is trying to control the minds of the people…” So it makes you think: was homosexuality really the topic of interest, or was it the views on Zionist media outlets that affected Breitbart, given that Breitbart is extremely comfortable working with Zionist directors and sympathizers?

Further to this, Kassam quoted ‘Stand for Peace’ which is supposedly an anti-extremist organization, whose director is Sam Westrop. Stand for Peace had previously attempted to smear Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission (AIM) and Shaykh Hamza Sodagar in October 2014, by noting AIM as being a “pro-Iranian regime group” and labelled Shaykh Hamza Sodagar as a “Khomeinist” who “promotes Iranian regime conspiracy theories” [1], Similar efforts were made in September 2014 [2] , and April 2013 [3]  which specifically targeted members of Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission, and categorized speakers at the annual Imam Khomeini conference as “extremists”. It is fascinating to know that Sam Westrop heads an anti-extremist organization yet works with the likes of Douglas Murray, a right-wing extremist, for ‘Gatestone Institute’– a think tank based in New York that disgracefully fuels anti-Muslim rhetoric, it makes you ponder on who the real extremists are…

This one ridiculous article allowed other news outlets to smear Shaykh Hamza Sodagar, labeling him as a “hate preacher” – and the most laughable aspect is that for anyone who knows Shaykh Hamza, would testify that that he is one of the most pious and loving Scholars of Islam out there. In fact, many youth have looked up to Shaykh Hamza Sodagar as a father figure, purely because of his loving and caring nature!

So let’s dissect this a little…

(Right) Raheem Kassam alongside Nigel Farage, President-elect Trump and other UKIP supporters.

 1. Who is Raheem Kassam? A right-wing journalist, editor in chief for Breitbart, former chief of staff for Nigel Farage, and not too long ago was in the UKIP leadership contest… UKIP being arguably one of the most xenophobic/Islamophobic party in Britain. Raheem previously used to work for Lehman Brothers, one of America’s largest invest banks; and is a member of the Henry Jackson society, a British think tank that is apparently works to combat extremism. The Henry Jackson society is funded by Nina Rosenwald, who also funds the Gatestone Institute.

 2. Who is the executive chairman for Breitbart? Stephen Bannon.

 3. Who is Stephen Bannon? A treacherous operative who has been known for his remarks against minorities, someone who is proudly an ultra-conservative, white supremacist and formerly a banker at Goldman Sachs. As of 13th November 2016, President elect Donald Trump appointed Stephen Bannon to be his senior counselor as well as his chief strategist. The Zionist Organization of America were extremely pleased by this appointment whereby Morton Klein (head of the Zionist Organization of America) openly defended Bannon against criticism by Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt and indicted Jonathan Greenblatt of “character assassination” against Stephen Bannon and Breitbart.

Both Raheem Kassam and Stephen Bannon worked for Zionist owned investment banks. Raheem worked for Lehman Brothers and Stephen Bannon worked for Goldman Sachs – two of the nine Zionist owned banks that formed the Federal Reserve, with Rothschild being at the top of them. So, with this said, Breitbart must be condemned by everyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, for it is one of the leading news networks that promotes nothing but hate and bigotry. Human rights advocates and Muslim organizations need to collectively denounce Breitbart and those who contribute towards the deviant cause they strive for. When you have individuals such as Pamela Geller writing for them – who does nothing but indulge in conspiratorial arguments against Muslims, and has the likes of Stephen Bennon endorsing her – alarm bells should start ringing. These very individuals will be influencing policy and decision makers in your country.

Your silence will inevitably cost lives.

We need to analyze what is going on around us today. We need to stop being naïve, especially when we (believers) know what we are up against. The enemy is not stupid, but sadly due to our lack of insight and awareness, we tend to fall in the same trap time and time again, and it wouldn’t be surprising if someone at the top was just sitting there looking down, pulling the strings, and laughing at how we easily fall for the bait. It’s not even about thinking outside the box, we need to think like there is no box – the box only restricts us, and we continue to be the predator’s prey.

The incident that took place this Muharram in London was orchestrated by those who happily and comfortably work for Zionists, and not just any ordinary Zionists, but those with great influence on both disbelievers and believers – thus, we must always be 5 steps ahead, not behind. If you start to read between the lines you will realize that Stand for Peace, Henry Jackson Society and Gatestone Institute are all dangerously interlinked, and collectively work under the pretext of “social cohesion” but in reality they are attempting to destruct Islam, and vilifying ambassadors of Islam in communities. We must also remember that Shaykh Hamza Sodagar is not the first scholar to be tarnished for discussing the Islamic perspective on Homosexuality, earlier this year Shaykh Dr Farrokh Sekaleshfar was also maligned for discussing homosexuality, and as Ayatollah Khamenei has mentioned:

“They legalize homosexuality in countries. Not only do they legalize it, but also they strongly censure those who oppose it. Is there any kind of corruption which is higher than this?” 

In retrospect, we must never encourage compromise. We should remain faithful to the ideals of Imam Khomeini and protect Islam and those that represent Islamic values; after all this is the revolutionary spirit that was embodied by Imam Khomeini himself. When we know some people are openly working with those whose goals are different to ours, we must not remain silent. It has become incumbent on us to guide and protect each other from those that wish to harm us, and wish to stop the movement of Islam from flourishing. This does not mean we disrespectfully address those who have difference in opinion, but with a respectful approach – for it was Imam Ali (as) that said: “The people of intellect are in need of good etiquette just as the plants thirst for rain.”(Ghurar Al-Hikam)

We must stand by and support our Scholars that are disrespected and mistreated for simply discussing Islamic issues. It is surprising that a society that prides itself on ‘freedom of speech’ represses people from exchanging views on religious, social and political issues. The same people that label Muslims as “oppressive”, happily oppress Muslims that firmly stand by Islamic principles – double standards much?

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