BERLIN – The Imam Ali Mosque in Hamburg, widely considered by experts in Germany and abroad the long arm of Iran’s regime in the Federal Republic, appears to have violated the spirit – and perhaps the terms – of its contractual partnership with the city of Hamburg.
The mosque and its parent organization are said to have mobilized anti-Israel activists to call for the destruction of the Jewish state.
The city of Hamburg’s interior ministry sent the Green Party politician Antje Möller a list of responses to her September 10 queries about the role of the Imam Ali Mosque.
Möller questioned whether the Iranian religious institution mobilized groups and associations to travel to Berlin in August to participate in the annual al-Quds day march, which calls for the violent destruction of Israel.
According to Hamburg’s domestic intelligence agency – Germany’s version of Shin Bet – efforts to recruit for the anti-Israel al-Quds march have taken place since 2009 in “the Islamic Center Hamburg (IZH) association, which operates the (Shia) Imam Ali-Mosque.”
The intelligence agency added that “two buses with roughly 90 people traveled to Berlin this year. The costs for the travel were paid for by the IZH.”
The al-Quds day rally was attended by over 1,000 Islamists, including pro-Hezbollah members, who promoted the obliteration of the Jewish state in the heart of Berlin’s shopping district.
According to a report in the liberalleft taz on Wednesday, the IZH is a member of the council of Islamic communities (Schura) and a main partner of Hamburg’s senate contract between the city and Muslim associations.
The legal agreement provides that the Schura, which includes the IZH, is to actively outlaw discrimination and violence because of religion, national origin and religious views.
The taz reported that Möller is looking into the meaning of the IZH’s calls to abolish Israel based on the anti-violence and anti-discrimination language of the partnership agreement.
Hamburg has the largest German-Iranian and Iranian community in the Federal Republic. The northern city is believed to have the second largest European Iranian community.
The Imam Ali Mosque has raised eyebrows over the years, largely because the center advances the anti-Semitism of the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, including selling anti-Jewish literature in the IZH building.
Dr Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, a German-Iranian expert on the Islamic Republic, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that IZH is “directly under the control of the leader Ali Khamenei” and for a period of time adhered to German laws, but then continued to work clandestinely. “And that is the real scandal,” he said.
Wahdat-Hagh, who serves on the German interior ministry’s anti-Semitism commission, said the IZH “mobilize and finance hate-filled demonstrations” in order to organize the “anti-Semitic demonstration in Berlin.”
Wahdat-Hagh , who is widely viewed as the leading expert on Iranian anti-Semitism in Europe, said “this should be a sign…actually a warning that money is raised secretly here for hate-filled demonstrations against Israel” and could flow into “terror funds and money for spy networks “ operated by Iran’s regime.
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