Germany Cracks Down on Islamic Centers Suspected of Ties with Hezbollah
German police raided the Islamic Center Hamburg (IZH) and the offices of five other religious associations on Tuesday that are suspected of being affiliated with the Lebanese Party Hezbollah, Germany’s Interior Ministre Nancy Faeser announced in a news release. The raids were carried out at 54 properties in seven regions of Germany.
At a time when many Jews feel particularly threatened, Faeser said, “we will not tolerate Islamist propaganda or anti-Semitic and anti-Israel campaigns.”
Germany designated Hezbollah a “terrorist organization” and banned its activities in the country in April 2020.
The IZH was founded in the 1950s by Iranian immigrants, and since then it has been disseminating the “revolutionary concept” of Iranian mullahs, that is “suspected of being contrary to the constitutional order in Germany,” according to the release.
The IZH operates the Imam Ali mosque in Hamburg, also known as the Blaue Moschee (Blue Mosque). Germany’s Internal Intelligence Service believes that IZH exerts a strong influence over its teachings, that include “clear anti-Semitic and anti-Israel tendencies,” which are also disseminated in various media channels.
The IZH has been on the Hamburg authorities’ radar for several years, and its vice-president was recently expelled from Germany. The authorities said the searches were aimed at gathering evidence to support banning the organization.