Muslim Sheikh Mohammad al-Hajj Hassan applauded President-elect Donald Trump in an interview, noting they share the same enemy: radical Islamic terrorists.
“Trump hates the same people I hate,” Hassan told Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed TV in November after an interviewer asked him if he supports Trump, who “hates Islam and the Muslims.”
Hassan admitted he attended a Trump rally during the presidential campaign and applauded the president-elect.
“Aren’t you ashamed you were in one of his rallies, and you waved him goodbye?” asked the interviewer.
“Not at all. I would applaud him again,” said Hassan, while clapping his hands.
Lebanese Shiite Cleric Mohammad Al-Hajj Hassan Kisses the American Flag: I Applaud Trump, Proud to Become a U.S. Citizen pic.twitter.com/7fSfUfsA66
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) December 5, 2016
Later in the interview, Hassan noted that it is a Muslim’s duty to show Trump and others in the West that not all Muslims are terrorists.
Hassan, a native of Lebanon and the leader of the Free Shia Movement, is a former member of Lebanese Hezbollah’s political wing. He left the radical movement in 2006 after growing disenchanted with the group’s policies.
Hassan will become a U.S. citizen next year, and was asked by the interviewer if he was proud of his future citizenship.
“I am more proud that I will have citizenship of a country that respects me as a human being and as a citizen, a country in which I can truly feel that I am a citizen.”
The interviewer later handed Hassan a small American flag, which he then kisses.
“This is the flag of my second country,” said Hassan. “This is the flag of the country that took care of my livelihood and protected me.”
In exchange, Hassan hands the interviewer a statue of a bald eagle draped in an American flag.
“I hope that the whole world will learn (from the U.S.) how to build a country and how to establish liberty,” said Hassan.
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