Europe

Germany Pays Extremist Pro-Iranian Islamic Group over $300,000 to Fight Radicalization

The German government is funding a radical pro-Iranian regime Shi’ite umbrella organization with €283,150 ($334,800) as part of a strategy to promote “deradicalization” and “prevent extremism,” Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The money, which comes from the EU’s Internal Security Fund, will finance the activities of the umbrella organization the Shi’ite communities of Germany (IGS) until the end of 2019 and is administered by Germany’s federal criminal agency.

In a 2016 intelligence report, however, German authorities named the IGS and several of its members’ organizations, including the Iranian regime-owned Islamic Center of Hamburg, as entities “influenced by extremism.”

During the al-Quds Day rally in Berlin last year, Hamid Reza Torabi, the head of the Islamic Academy of Germany, which is part of the Islamic Center of Hamburg, held up a poster urging the “rejection of Israel” and terming the Jewish state “illegal and criminal.” The rally is also a gathering place for pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iranian regime members as well as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against the Jewish state.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the President of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told The Jerusalem Post that “this is yet another example demonstrating that European government funding for NGOs is entirely out of control. Every year, the EU and individual state governments throw hundreds of millions annually at fringe NGOs without due diligence.”

He added: “In this case, the money appears to be going to a radical Iranian front group – in other cases, the NGOs receiving ‘human rights’ grants are reportedly linked to PFLP [Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine] terrorists. The excuse that governments fund projects and not NGOs themselves are a transparent fiction. Officials who channel money to a radical Iran-linked NGO for ‘deradicalization’ must be held accountable.”

Nasrin Amirsedghi, a German-Iranian public intellectual, further told the newspaper that the “IGS is directly supported by the mullahs.” He added: “All Shi’ite communities in Germany are dependent on Iran. What is not understandable is that the German authorities sponsor the associations with tax-payer money, which support Islamic extremists and terrorists across the world. How blind can one be in Germany is a puzzle for me.”

This is not the first time that Germany has come under fire for its policy towards terrorist organizations and their supporters. In August 2017, the German Interior Ministry declined to ban the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine from campaigning as a political party in the September general election to the Bundestag. This month, senior official of the internationally designated terrorist organization called for the “death to Zionism”, at a celebration in Berlin marking 50 years since the group’s founding.

Israel’s Ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, on Friday called for a change of the law in the country to prohibit the burning of the Israeli flag. “It is anti-democratic and in the case of Israel it can even be very anti-Semitic,” he said.

Massive anti-Israel protests unfolded in Berlin, after U.S. President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the embassy there. The demonstrations were largely attended by German Muslims, who burned Israeli flags in public and chanted anti-Semitic slogans, including “Death to the Jews.”

“That is something that I do not wish to see [Israeli flags burned] in Europe and in no way in Berlin,” Issacharoff stated.

[Photo: Jüdisches Forum / YouTube]