Sooner or later, German officials are likely to discover that the views and activities of Seyed Soliman Mousavifar are more common than they have assumed. By then, however, it will likely be far too late to do anything effective to stop jihad activity in Germany.
The Hamburg State Office for the Protection of the Constitution has long viewed the Islamic Center Hamburg (IZH), which operates the Blue Mosque on the Alster, as an outpost of the Iranian mullah regime in Europe. “Iranian Islamists” are at work here. The city is partnered with the center via a state contract.
This is always subject to criticism. Now the interior authority is taking action against a management team from the center. The deputy head Seyed Soliman Mousavifar will be expelled, the interior authorities confirmed. He maintains close contacts with terrorist organizations, it said. The authorities rely on findings from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The “Bild” newspaper first reported on the case.
After Mousavifar had been served with an order, he now had three months to leave the country. If he does not leave the country, he could be deported to Iran.
Since November 2012, the city and the Turkish mosque association Ditib, the Schura (Council of Islamic Communities in Hamburg), the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers e.V. and the Alevi community have been linked by a state treaty. With the agreement, the city granted the associations more rights at the time. In return, they expressly committed to the Basic Law, took on integration tasks and fought against radicalism, also financed with federal and state funds. The agreement was: After ten years, the contract will be evaluated in November. The first talks are going on in the background.
At least one member of the Shura has repeatedly violated this commitment to loyalty to the constitution, so far without consequences for the contract: the Islamic Center Hamburg. In the case of the leadership team, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution is said to have presented clear evidence that they had close ties to several terrorist groups. It is specifically about donation associations that are attributed to Hezbollah, which is now banned in Germany. He is also said to have taken part in the anti-Semitic Al Quds Day in Berlin in 2018, a Germany-wide gathering of Israel haters.
It is doubtful whether this further incident will have a decisive influence on the debate about the state treaty. The signs for the evaluation in November 2022 point to “Keep it up.” The governing faction considers the contract to be “an important link between the city and religious communities,” according to Ekkehard Wysocki, spokesman for religious policy for the SPD. Individual extremist members have not yet led to a rethink.
Last summer, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution presented new evidence that the mosque was being controlled in Tehran. The IZH rejected the allegations. At that time, the Shura umbrella organization stood in front of the center. A Shura board member said last summer that they believe the IZH more than the security authorities.
According to the latest findings, the Shura chairman Fatih Yildiz told the “Abendblatt”: “The allegations are taken very seriously and how to proceed will be discussed.”