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The Long Arm of the Mullahs: Hamburg Mosque Reportedly a Hotbed for Iranian Propaganda

  • October 25, 2022

The organization is still a member of Schura, the council of Islamic communities in Hamburg. Schura works together with the city and helps to shape religious education in the schools. At the moment, an arbitration committee is “deliberating on the further course of the IZH and whether it can remain a member,” sources at Schura said.

Umbrella Organization Denies All Allegations

Susanne Schröter, director of the Frankfurt Research Center on Global Islam (FFGI) at the University of Frankfurt, also signed the protest letter. “According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, there has been evidence for years that the center is not only anti-Semitic, anti-democratic and misogynistic, but also that it has ties to the terrorist Hezbollah militia,” she says. “I have little understanding for the fact that people aren’t setting boundaries here.”

The IGS umbrella organization, on the other hand, feels unfairly treated and is denying all accusations. “Our members are mosques and congregations that exclusively deal with religious matters,” it stated in a press release. “As we have laid down in our statutes, we are committed to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany.” It adds, “For us, as the umbrella organization, Iranian politics are not relevant.” The IZH itself also writes: “Our only connections abroad are with the offices of the great scholars of the Islamic world.”

“Repression and Disregard for Human Rights”

Despite these denials, authorities at Hamburg’s state Interior Ministry have taken action against one of the IZH’s top officials. The deputy head, whom the security authorities accuse of maintaining contacts with the Islamist Hezbollah organization, has been ordered to leave Germany. If he doesn’t do so on his own accord, he will face deportation.

On Thursday afternoon, the city’s deputy mayor, Katharina Fegebank of the Green Party, also expressed her opposition to the center. “As I see it, the IZH’s participation in the city’s contracts with the Islamic religious communities is no longer imaginable,” she told DER SPIEGEL. “The IZH is the antithesis of our free and democratic basic order. In Iran, you can see every day what the mullahs’ regime stands for: repression and disregard for human rights.”

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