After years of declining to crackdown on one of the largest hubs of pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iranian regime activity in Germany, the city-state of Bremen on Thursday closed the Al-Mustafa Community Center due to its support for terrorism against Israel.
Al-Mustafa “actively propagates and promotes violence or comparably serious acts contrary to international law such as terrorism against the State of Israel,” read a statement by Ulrich Mäurer, Bremen’s Interior Senator, who added that “the ban of this association is therefore absolutely necessary.”
The Bremen interior senator’s statement noted that ”it was also proven that there were anti-Israel books and writings in the association's premises, including, for example, a flyer by the political and religious leader of Iran. The flyer contains messages aimed solely at negating the legitimacy of the state of Israel and using violence to resist Israel.”
The Jerusalem Post reported in 2018 that a Bremen intelligence agency report stated: “The Al-Mustafa-Community Center supports Hezbollah in Lebanon, especially by collecting donations.”
Germany’s Federal Interior Ministry outlawed all Hezbollah activities in 2020. The US, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Arab League, Israel and many European and Latin America have classified the Lebanon-based Hezbollah's entire movement as a foreign terrorist entity.
According to the Bremen authorities, a cleric affiliated with Hezbollah, and a representative of its Lebanese terrorist movement, participated in events at the Al-Mustafa organization in the northern city of Bremen.
The Bremen interior agency statement added that the “glorification and homage of a German-born Hezbollah fighter during a funeral service within the AMG [Al-Mustafa Community) and explicit designation of him as a martyr in social media makes it clear that the AL-Mustafa Community supported the militant actions of the terrorist organization.”The statement continued that “There is evidence that the Al-Mustafa Community tried to introduce children to its ideology and thus also to that of Hezbollah at an early age. The association's so-called scout group was also banned.”
The ban of the Hezbollah association means that it is "prohibited to use the association's labels in public, in a meeting or in writings, sound and image carriers, illustrations or representations that are distributed. The ban also means that the AL-Mustafa Community must not continue its activities in other organizations. Also, those of the AL-Mustafa community premises in Barkhausenstrasse have been closed today."
Mäurer said that "As soon as antisemitism is propagated and the violence of terrorist organizations is glorified and supported, a zero-tolerance policy applies."
A Bremen intelligence report said additional activities of the Al-Mustafa center involve participation in events and demonstrations. According to the report, “like every year, sympathizers and supporters of Hezbollah across Germany participated publicly in the anti-Israel demonstration for the international Al-Quds Day on June 23, 2017, in Berlin. Participants from Bremen also regularly participate in Al-Quds Day.”
The founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, inaugurated Al-Quds Day in 1979 as a worldwide demonstration to call for the destruction of the Jewish state.