Politically explosive proceedings began at the Hamburg administrative court. The reason for this is a lawsuit by the controversial Islamic Center Hamburg (IZH) against the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
The supporting association of the Blue Mosque on the Alster is thus resisting classification as an Islamist group, among other things. Critics of the association founded by Iranians were calling for demonstrations in front of the courthouse.
The lawsuit relates to eight individual statements about the IZH in the reports of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution for 2018 and 2019 and the classification of the association as a “group/organization of Islamism”, as a court spokesman said. The individual statements relate, among other things, to the relationship between the IZH and the Iranian state and the head of the IZH.
“The administrative court will have to examine whether the prerequisites for corresponding reporting by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution existed, in particular whether there were sufficient indications for the challenged individual statements,” said the court in the German city-state.
In 2021, it was already clear to the Hamburg Ministry of the Interior that the IZH would publish publications that also had anti-Semitic content. The book “The Islamic State” states that “Zionists and their backers” intend “to bring the whole world under their rule.” It is to be feared that “one day – God forbid – they will reach their goal”.
The IZH was founded in 1953 by Iranian merchants and is today a meeting place for Shiite Muslims of various nationalities. The association has been observed by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution since 1993 and is seen as an outpost of the Iranian mullah regime in Europe. The deputy head of the center was expelled from Germany last year for suspected links to the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
Shortly thereafter, the Bundestag asked the federal government to consider a ban on the center. If the court confirms the statements made by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, this could result in the dissolution of the association.
The IZH rejects all allegations made by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution and filed a lawsuit at the end of 2020. One hopes that everything will be cleared up, said IZH director Mohammad Mofatteh in December.
Witnesses and experts were not invited to the court hearing. The reason for the unusually long period of time between the filing of the lawsuit and the start of the hearing is “due to the overall burden on the competent chamber”.
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