(photo credit: AP)
BERLIN – The Imam Ali Mosque in Hamburg hosted a conference last week supportive of the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and with the participation of advocates of revolutionary Islam.
Manfred Murck, a spokesman for the Hamburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Verfassungschutz), the domestic intelligence agency, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that there are “roughly 30 members of pro-Iranian Hizbullah” in Hamburg “who meet in the Islamic Center Hamburg.”
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, appointed the director of the Islamic Center Hamburg, which is part of the Imam Ali Mosque. The mosque’s imam, Ayatollah Reza Ramezani, used his platform to call for participation at the 2009 Al-Quds Day, an anti-West and anti-Israeli hate festival, whose goal is the “liberation of Jerusalem from the Zionist system.”
The center is one of the oldest Iranian Shi’ite mosques in Europe, established in the late 1950s.
The German “Islamic Way” association, which understands its mission as a branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp, helped organize the “Peace Congress” in Hamburg.
The European Union (although there is a proposal in the Dutch
parliament to ban the Guard) has declined to place the Revolutionary
Guard on its list of terrorist groups, and the German Foreign Ministry
has not pushed to recognize the Guard as a terrorist organization.
According to Iran experts, the Guard was the key instrument in
suppressing the the pro-Democracy movement last June as well as
advancing Iran’s drive to go nuclear.
Hamburg was the launch pad for the Hamburg Cell that spawned Mohamed Atta and his 9/11 associates.
Germany’s Interior Ministry has refused to ban Hizbullah, and there is
scarcely any media or public criticism of the group’s activities.
According to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution,
there are approximately 900 active Hizbullah members in Germany.
Critics argue that Germany refuses to ban the Iranian-proxy Hizbullah
because German industry – and its political supporters – seek to
maintain its flourishing trade partnership with the Islamic Republic of
Iran. Imports and exports between the two countries reached record
levels in the first quarter of 2010.