The State Department allowed a Muslim cleric who has called for the death penalty for homosexuals into the United States on a fundraising tour, the American Media Institute reports
The tour was taking place while the Obama administration was condemning Arizona legislation he called anti-gay and keeping an official delegation home from the Olympic Games in Sochi over Russia's crackdown on gay rights, notes the report's author, Kenneth R. Timmerman.
Syrian Sheikh Mohammad Rateb al-Nabulsi arrived in the United States on Jan. 1 for a tour of mosques in 17 American cities. The purpose was to raise money for the Syrian rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad. The United States supports the rebels, but some of their ranks have been infiltrated by al-Qaida
and other terrorist groups.
AMI notes that al-Nabulsi has never made a secret of his anti-homosexuality views. In an April 28, 2011, appearance on al Aqsa TV, he said, "Homosexuality involves a filthy place and does not generate offspring. Homosexuality leads to the destruction of the homosexual. That is why, brothers, homosexuality carries the death penalty."
Al-Nabulsi also has called for holy war against Westerners, Jews, and the nation of Israel.
His tour was sponsored by the Syrian American Council and Shaam Relief, according to AMI. Both groups are trying to get Congress to back an alliance of Islamist groups fight Assad's regime. Some of them have al-Qaida ties.
One of two State Department officials who talked to AMI about al-Nabulsi said that anyone known to have promoted jihad and suicide bombings, as the cleric has, would normally not be allowed a visa to enter the country.
But both officials also noted that al-Nabulsi has reportedly retracted his statements and said that "false reporting" may be to blame for anger over his visa.
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