Germany to end funding of extreme pro-Iran-regime group after media exposés

Merkel refuses to shut down Hezbollah centers

April 7, 2019 13:06
2 minute read.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomes Chairman of Islamic Community of Germany Sheikh Ma

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier welcomes Chairman of Islamic Community of Germany Sheikh Mahmood Khalilzadeh and Dawood Nazirizadeh, as he meets representatives of the Islamic communities of Shiites at Bellevue Palace in Berlin, Germany, April 30, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/AXEL SCHMIDT)


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Germany’s government will pull the plug at the end of 2019 on public funding for a radical pro-Iranian-regime organization- the Islamic Community of Shi'ite Communities of Germany - that is packed with antisemitic representatives who urge the destruction of Israel.

After a series of exposés in Germany’s top selling paper Bild, the newspaper reported on Thursday that the interior ministry announced in a letter the stoppage of funds for the Shi'ite umbrella organization. Institutions in Hamburg that are controlled by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei fall under the rubric of the organization.

The Free Democratic Party blasted the government for failing to earlier stop the funding of the Shi'ite association and for being “clueless about Islamism” in connection with the Iranian clerical regime.

Germany’s intelligence agency classifies the Islamic Center in Hamburg - a member of the Shiite organization - as an “instrument” of Khamenei in the federal republic. The association is funded by Germany’s family ministry and the European Union. 

The German federal government declared the Shi'ite umbrella organization to be “influenced by extremists.”

The Bild wrote that Germany's decision “comes around $426,037 too late” in 2019. In 2017, the newspaper reported that

the government provided $317,454 to the organization to allegedly “counter extremism.”

Substantial funds continued to flow in 2018 to the pro-Iranian-regime association.

Members of the association materially support the al-Quds Day worldwide demonstration to protest Israel’s existence, with buses and recruitment efforts. In June, 1,600 anti-Israel demonstrators turned out in Berlin at the al-Quds rally.

Ayatollah Hamid Reza Torabi, a representative of Khamenei, appeared at this year’s rally in Berlin. Torabi heads the Islamic Academy of Germany – part of the Iranian regime-owned Islamic Center of Hamburg – and is a chief organizer of the al-Quds event.

In 2017, then-German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomed Torabi to a ministry event promoting “religious peace.”

Germany’s government said that the chairman of the Shi'ite umbrella group Mahmud Khalilzadeh is "a member of the political and religious establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.” The Bild, according to Germany’s government, wrote that important positions of the Shi'ite group are held by pro-Iranian regime and pro-Hezbollah members, who openly advocate the destruction of the Jewish state.

In 2017, the group launched attacks against homosexuality. The Jerusalem Post reported in January that Iran’s regime publicly hanged a man on an anti-gay charge.

MP and foreign policy spokesman for the Free Democratic Party, Dr. Bijan Djir-Sarai, told Bild: "I am pleased that the federal government is finally phasing out funding by the end of the year. However, there should not have been any funding for such a propaganda center from the outset."

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration has defied calls from Israel and the US to outlaw Hezbollah’s so-called political wing in Germany. Hezbollah is Iran’s chief strategic partner in its war against the Jewish state. Merkel refuses to shut down Hezbollah centers in the city-state of Bremen and in the city of Münster in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Al-Mustafa Center in Bremen raises funds for Hezbollah, according to a Bremen intelligence report reviewed by the Post.

According to a North Rhine-Westphalia intelligence report, the Imam Mahdi Center operates as a pro-Hezbollah center to spread radical jihadi ideology and lethal antisemitism.

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