Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini

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Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini
Religion Shi'a Islam
Other names Arabic: سيد مصطفى القزويني
Born 1961 (age 55–56)
- Karbala, Iraq
Senior posting
Based in United States - Orange County, California
Title Sayed
Period in office Unknown - Present

Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini (Arabic: سيد مصطفى القزويني‎‎ born 1961 in Karbala, Iraq) is an Islamic religious leader. Al-Qazwini can allegedly[citation needed] trace his lineage forty-two generations back to Muhammad.

Religious background[edit]

Al-Qazwini initiated his higher religious studies in Qom, Iran. During 1987-1989 he served as teacher of Islamic Studies at the Islamic seminary in Damascus, Syria. From 1989-1994 he contributed as associate Imam and professor of Islamic Studies at several Islamic centers and foundations in London, England.

Recent activity[edit]

Shortly after his arrival in California in 1994, Sayed Moustafa Al-Qazwini became the founder and director of the Islamic Cultural Center of San Diego, California. This center was the first Shia mosque established in San Diego County for religious and social events.

In September 1996, he founded the Islamic Educational Center of Orange County (IECOC), drawing on his experience in Islamic Studies.[1]

Al-Qazwini's past associations have included: being chairman of the Development and World Events Committee of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California (an umbrella organization for sixty-four mosques and Islamic centers), a board member of the council of Shia Muslim scholars of North America. For the past six years[when?] he has co-chaired the West Coast Dialogue of Muslims and Catholics, and has been an advisor for the United Muslim American Association for six years[when?]. He spends much of his time lecturing across the world and nationally at churches, universities and on panels with other parishioners.


On 23 June 2017 in a sermon delivered in Orange County, California, Al-Qazwini declared that ISIS was supported by Israeli intelligence[2], shortly after a Wall Street Journal investigative article detailed secret Israeli aid to various Syrian rebel groups[3] [4] [5], which was confirmed by Israeli authorities [6], including as far back as 2014 [7]. Shortly thereafter, describing unreliable information he had received from Iraqi political and military sources, he publicly retracted the statement and apologized for hurting the sentiments of his Jewish friends and the Jewish community [8].

Imam Dr. Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini Retracts Statement Linking Israel to ISIS

Imam Dr. Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini retracts the comments that he made in a lecture on June 23, 2017, in which he stated that ISIS and other terrorist groups were supported by Israeli intelligence. While Imam al-Qazwini made these comments based on information that he had received from Iraqi political and military sources, after careful reflection on the reliability of these sources and on the realization of the extent to which these comments have offended and hurt members of the Jewish community, he has decided to rescind his comments.

At this critical time in America in which religious and ethnic communities face discrimination and hostility, Imam al-Qazwini understands the insensitivity of his statements and apologized for the pain he has caused, especially to his Jewish friends. He appreciates the importance of engaging in genuine interfaith relations and solidarity with members of all faith traditions, based on mutual respect and trust. Imam al-Qazwini prays that all communities can come together in peace and solidarity to overcome the common challenges of our time.


  1. ^ Whitney, Susan (10 May 2008). "Imam stresses commonalities of religions". Deseret News. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Iraqi-American Shi'ite Imam Moustafa Al-Qazwini In Sermon At Islamic Educational Center Of Orange County, California: ISIS Is The Production Of Israeli Intelligence". MEMRI - The Middle East Media Research Institute. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  3. ^ "Israel Gives Secret Aid to Syrian Rebels". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  4. ^ "Israel 'giving secret aid to Syrian rebels', report says". Independent. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  5. ^ "Israel secretly paying salaries of Syrian rebels on Golan Heights border: report". Newsweek. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  6. ^ "Israel acknowledges it is helping Syrian rebel fighters". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  7. ^ "New UN report reveals collaboration between Israel and Syrian rebels". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 1 October 2017. 
  8. ^ "Imam Dr. Sayed Moustafa al-Qazwini Retracts Statement Linking Israel to ISIS". Twitter. Retrieved 1 October 2017.