GOP Reps Raise Alarm Bells Over Iran’s Influence in ‘American Religious Institutions’

GOP Reps Raise Alarm Bells Over Iran’s Influence in 'American Religious Institutions'

( – GOP representatives issued on August 2 a letter that warned about the influence of the Iranian regime’s terror ideology in different US-based centers and mosques. The letter, which was sent to Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and Attorney General Merrick Garland, is a three-page document that outlines a bill of particulars against these sites. The lawmakers pointed out these were mainly in Texas, Michigan, and Maryland.

In the letter, the Republican representatives said that the Islamic Education Center (IEC) in Potomac, Maryland received funding from Tehran-controlled Alavi Foundation. It also noted that an IEC member named Bahram Abolfazi was known “by all” as an outspoken supporter of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Another example of alleged influence from the Iranian regime on American religious life took place in the Islamic House of Wisdom in the Michigan city of Dearborn Heights. According to the letter, this “Iranian-led Shi’ite mosque” has shown numerous signs of being under Tehran’s influence. The three-page document noted that a CIA report identified the mosque’s Iman Mohammad Ali Elahi as the former chief of the Iranian Navy’s political ideology in the 1980s.

Another religious institution that the letter noted was the Islamic Education Center in Houston, Texas. The document pointed out that dozens of “young children” usually have to sing an anthem that is titled “Salam Farmande,” which means “Hello My Commander.” The Republican lawmakers explained this is one of the main Iranian regime’s propaganda songs, which was composed to commemorate the 33rd anniversary of Khomeini’s death.

During an interview with Fox News, Colorado Republican congressman Doug Lamborn said that Iran is making efforts to spread its “malign influence” in the country. Lamborn, who spearheaded the letter, explained that the Iranian regime is taking this step by using religious centers and Shi’a mosques across the United States. He also said this has been taking place “for years,” noting that the mosques and centers cited in the letter “preach hatred” against anyone who disagrees or criticizes the Iranian regime.

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