Iran sponsored “Muslim Congress” in Dallas, August 18-20

Aug 9th, 2017

Hassan Dai, 8 August 2017

The 13th Annual “Muslim Congress” will be held in DallasTX on Aug 18-20th. The Muslim Congress is an Iranian sponsored initiative launched in 2005 to disseminate the regime’s ideology, promote its agenda and recruit pro-Tehran supporters within the American Muslim community. There are nearly a dozen Islamic centers and mosques in the US that are tied to the Iranian regime and the “Muslim Congress” is a national event designed to gather pro-Tehran Muslim from across the US.

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The 13th Annual “Muslim Congress” will be held in DallasTX on Aug 18-20th. The Muslim Congress is an Iranian sponsored initiative launched in 2005 to disseminate the regime’s ideology, promote its agenda and recruit pro-Tehran supporters within the American Muslim community. It should be emphasized that the vast majority of American Muslims follow a moderate Islam and reject extremist views including the Iranian regime’s ideology.

There are nearly a dozen Islamic centers and mosques in the US that are tied to the Iranian regime and the “Muslim Congress” is a national event designed to gather pro-Tehran Muslim from across the US. In addition to the annual conference, the Muslim Congress has other year-long activities such as online Islamic courses, youth camps and the organization of the annual Al Quds day rallies across the US. The Quds day rallies are held in Iran and around the world on the last Friday of Ramadan and is used as a platform to cast the Palestinian issue as an Islamic cause helping the Iranian regime to highjack the Palestinian movement. It is also designed to escalate the hatred and animosity against Israel and to help Iran recruit among Muslims.

The annual “Muslim Congress” gathers several hundred participants and starts with a video message by the Iranian regime’s high ranking Ayatollah Javadi Amoli from the city of Qom in Iran. During the 3 days conference, pro-Tehran clerics and political figures participate in town hall meetings and panel discussions to promote the Iranian regime ideology and its policies. There are also a number of side-events to attract the young Muslims and families such as the “Heavenly Match”, a spouse selection service, poetry sessions, Qur’an contest and sport competitions.

The video reports of past Congresses are posted on Vimeo, and the photos on the Congress’ Facebook page. The Congress features radical pro-Iranian speakers like the anti-Semite Imam Mohammad Al-Asi who spoke at the Congress in 2009, in 2014 and again in 2015. He is scheduled to speak in the 2017 conference in Dallas. Another regular speaker of the conference is the anti-Semite cleric Abdul Alim Musa, who spoke at the latest event in August 2016.  Al-Asi and Alim Musa often travel to Iran and appear on Iranian state TV promoting the regime’s agenda. The conference features other pro-Iranian regime figures like George Galloway who sent a video message to the 2014 conference, and the controversial Iranian cleric Hamza Sodagar, who spoke at the 2015 conference and explained the letter sent by the Iranian Supreme Leader to youth around the world.

During the 2016 Congress that took place in Dearborn, Michigan, Medea Benjamin, the leader of the “left” organization Code Pink, was among the speakers who criticized the Iranian regime’s regional rival Saudi Arabia and asked the US to cut its support to the Saudis. Another speaker was the CAIR representative Dawud Walid, along with Kevin Barette, a pro-Iranian regime figure who frequently goes to Iran, speaks at various Iran-sponsored conferences and has regular appearances on Press TV where he promotes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

 

The Islamic Education Center of Houston

The “Muslim Congress” is managed by The Islamic Education Center of Houston (IEC). According to the Iranian press, cleric Hurr Shabbiri, the leading Imam of the Houston Center is the president of the Muslim Congress.

IEC of Houston was founded in the 1980s by a group of Iranian-American Shiites who supported the Islamic Republic. The Center serves as a mosque for daily prayer and Friday congregation, and other religious ceremonies. It also operates a full time primary and secondary Islamic school called “Al-Hadi School of Accelerative Learning”.

IEC’s property belongs to the Iranian regime owned Alavi Foundation. In 2009, the Federal government moved to seize Alavi Foundation’s assets, including the IEC property in Houston. According to a government lawsuit, “the property was purchased in 1988 for $1.1 million and that $285,000 worth of improvements were made on the land between 1997 and 2004.”

IEC holds the annual celebration of the Iranian revolution. Its 2016 ceremony featured a speech by radical and anti-Semite, Imam Mohammad al-Asi. He also spoke during the Center’s 2015 event honouring the anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s death.

The center’s top imam is Ghulam Hurr Shabbiri. Here he is speaking at the Center’s 2014 event celebrating the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. One of the Center’s leading imams is the controversial Imam Hamza Sodagar who also preaches at the Iranian regime’s other Islamic Centers around the world. Here is the cleric Ali Akbar Badiei Badiei speaking at the Center during the 25th anniversary of Imam Khomein’s death and the 36th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

The Islamic Center of Houston has been actively participating in the Iranian regime’s sponsored Quds Day rally, designed to fuel anti-Israeli hatred around the globe. The Center’s Imam Hamza Sodagar spoke during the 2015 rally in Houston. The Center organizes different political events that are in line with the Iranian regime’s regional policies, for example, the public demonstration against Saudi Arabia.

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