A Syrian sheik who labeled all Jews as legitimate targets for suicide bombers and who supports the death penalty for homosexuals is the latest extremist Muslim cleric raising money for Syrian-American groups supporting dictator Bashar al-Assad's ouster.
Sheik Mohammad Rateb al-Nabulsi is in the middle of an 11-city tour across America on co-sponsored by the Syrian American Council (SAC) and the Wylie, Texas-based Shaam Relief.
"All the Jewish people are combatants" acceptable as targets for attacks in Israel, al-Nabulsi wrote in his "ruling on martyrdom operations in Palestine."
"They do not have a career that a military rank does not encounter: doctor, pilot, engineer, for example, is a tank commander. Every civilian, citizen," he wrote. "They do not have a regular army; they have a reserve army, and all the people can fight, so this is essentially an entirely aggressive entity from A to Z. This is the Sharia ruling."
Al-Nabulsi's comments on suicide bombings remain on his website.
He called Jews the "worst enemies of God" and Islam and "a hotbed of vices and evils."
The scope of his fatwa is limited to Israel. But it is not his only call to violence. Al-Nabulsi believes that Muslims should violently fight those who "impose their culture … and pornography" on them, as well as those who humiliate Muslims, occupy their lands and take their money, an August 2006 sermon shows.
Yet, al-Nabulsi apparently obtained a visa from the State Department allowing him to conduct his fundraising tour. Under current policy, a foreign national applying for a U.S. visa who is known to have promoted jihad and suicide bombings would be ordinarily deemed "undesirable" and denied a visa, government officials who have been involved in deciding who gets a visa from hostile countries told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).
There's no mystery here, the Syrian American Council is a big part of the Syrian war lobby so any of their people will get the red carpet treatment from the State Department as "allies". The group is intertwined with the Muslim Brotherhood and its various US front groups including CAIR.