Germany’s federal police raided the Islamic Center of Hamburg on suspicions of support for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, accused of terrorism.
The interior ministry said the Khamenei-controlled Islamic Center of Hamburg (IZH) activities are “aimed at spreading the revolutionary concept of the Supreme (Iranian) leaders,” and that the center allegedly undermines Germany’s “constitutional order.”
The German interior minister, Nancy Faeser, from the Social Democratic Party said, “We have the Islamist scene in our sights. Especially now, at a time when many Jews feel particularly threatened, we generally do not tolerate Islamist propaganda or antisemitic and anti-Israel incitement.”
The IZH has been a hotbed of pro-Hezbollah activism and support for Qassem Soleimani, the former commander of IRGC’s Quds Force. In January 2020, after the US killed Soleimani in a drone strike in Iraq, a group of 600 pro-Iran regime Islamists attended a memorial service at the Hamburg center to mourn his death. The Islamists praised him as a “heroic martyr.”
Germany’ interior ministry outlawed all Hezbollah activities in 2020. In addition to the raid on the IZH in the city-state of Hamburg, the German authorities searched 54 properties across six other German states— Baden-Wuerttemberg,Bavaria, Berlin,Hesse, North-Rhine Westphalia and Lower Saxony. There were no arrests made during the raids. Faeser said with an apparent reference to the troika Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran’s regime (via its proxies) carrying out terror attacks against Israel and US military forces that “Now especially is the time to be on high alert and for a tough approach. This is why we are following every reasonable suspicion seriously.”
German-Iranians and dissidents expressed support for the crackdown on the IZH.Dr. Kazem Moussavi , a spokesman for the Green Party of Iran in exile, told Iran International that “The police searches of the IZH and its associated religious institutes are now to be welcomed. But this is inadequate. After banning Hamas and Samidoun, interior minister Faeser should now finally immediately ban the IZH, whose regime is indisputably the decisive mastermind and supporter of the Hamas pogrom against Israel on October 7, 2023.”
In early 2023, the German Federal Administrative Court ruled that the IZH (and its affiliated Blue Mosque are an “extremist Islamic organization.”
Moussavi, who has spent years campaigning to bring about the closure of the IZH, added, “The IZH is not a place of prayer for secularist and democratic Muslims but a refuge for jihadist regime supporters, secret service personnel and sympathizers of Hamas and Hezbollah.”
Sheina Vojoudi, a Germany-based associate fellow for the Gold Institute for International Strategy told Iran International that “For years Iranian dissidents try to convince Germany to close the Islamic Centre funded by the Islamic Republic in Hamburg, which according to German courts, is an ‘extremist Islamic organization’.”
She added “All the Islamic centers funded by the Islamic Republic with Iranian wealth must be closed. The Islamic Republic’s intention is to spread antisemitism, observe and threaten Iranians everywhere and build its network all over the world to export its revolution.”
In October 2020, roughly 150 demonstrators urged the city of Hamburg to close the IZH.
According to Vojoudi, ” it’s an absolute fact that Hamas is funded and trained by the Islamic Republic and the October 7th terrorist attack on Israel is a warning message to the West considering that Iran’s regime also built its Islamic centers in the heart of Europe. The western city partnerships with the Islamic Republic in Iran legitimize its terror actions and it’s time to reconsider the continuation of the German city partnerships like Freiburg-Esfahan partnership before it’s too late.”
Iranian dissidents have urged Martin Horn, the mayor of Freiburg in southwestern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, to end its twin city partnership with the Iranian regime in Esfahan. Horn has been vehemently opposed to pulling the plug on the partnership. Iran International sent press queries to Horn after reporting in August that Iranians urged the city of Frankfurt to close a center affiliated with the Islamic Republic.
The capital of Stuttgart in Baden-Wuerttemberg continues to post information about a reportedly pro-Hamas group on its municipal website. Iran International press queries to mayor Frank Nopper of Stuttgart were not immediately returned.
Nopper has refused to delete the notice. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told Iran International “What more needs to be said that one month after the most barbaric mass murder, rape kidnapping and hostage taking of Jews since the Holocaust, Mayor Nopper and his associates allow pro-Hamas postings on the city’s website while 30 Jewish children are held as hostages, It is despicable antisemitism and proves some in Germany have not and will never learn the basic lessons and historic responsibilities from the Nazi Holocaust for Germans.”
Iran International sent press queries to Oliver Vrankovic, the chairman of the German-Israel Friendship Association in Stuttgart, whose organization claims to be against Iran’s regime and its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah. Vrankovic and his foreign ministry funded NGO have refused to publicly urge Nopper to expunge the pro-Hamas information on the taxpayer funded municipal website.
Source » iranintl