The Islamic Republic of Iran organized an exhibition in Afghanistan's third-largest city of Herat that advocated the "nuclear extinction" of Israel in April as part of the month-long Al-Quds Day celebrations.
"This exhibition is an example of the Iranian regime's exporting of its antisemitic ideology. There is a permissive environment in Afghanistan for the Iranian system to do so now, especially with the Taliban in charge, and there are natural linkages to the Hazara community, which have a significant presence in Herat," Jason Brodsky, policy director for the US-based United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), told The Jerusalem Post.
"These Cultural Centers are not spreading the views of the Iranian people, but of the Islamic Republic, and it is part of a drive for recruitment, incitement, and influence."
The Hazara are a largely a Shi'ite Muslim ethnic group. Nearly all of Iran's over 87 million Muslims are Shi'ite.
The Cultural Center of the Consulate General of Iran organized the anti-Israel exhibition in Herat, Afghanistani news outlet Watan24.com reported three weeks ago. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) translated the report into English.
Exhibit falling on Al-Quds Day
The Herat exhibit that urged the nuclear obliteration of the Jewish state coincided with the antisemitic Al-Quds Day event. The founder of the Islamic Republic leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini created Al-Quds Day after Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. Israel and the Western powers have accused Iran's regime of building nuclear weapons. Tehran denies that it seeks to construct an atomic bomb.
MEMRI wrote that Al-Quds Day "is celebrated generally on the last Friday of Ramadan, which this year was on April 21, to emphasize the call for the liberation of Jerusalem. However, Al-Quds Day was marked this year on both April 14 and April 21, the former perhaps in expectation that it might have been the last Friday of Ramadan. In South Asian countries, Eid Al-Fitr was celebrated on April 21 and April 22, 2023."
Tufail Ahmad, a Senior Fellow for the MEMRI Islamism and Counter-Radicalization Initiative, published a report on the "upsurge of anti-Israel events, antisemitism, and statements in South Asia, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Pakistan-controlled Azad Jammu & Kashmir and in Indian Kashmir and other cities of India, during the holy month of Ramadan, starting March 23, 2023."
Watan24.com reported that in the province of Herat, Shi'ite leaders celebrated Al-Quds Day on April 14. Allama Hojatoleslam Ahmadi, the head of Herat's Shia Ulema Council, delivered a diatribe in to people in Herat city: "Israel will not continue as a state, this being a divine promise," according to a Dari-language news website.
Pakistani columnist: Nuclear-armed Pakistan is the cure to Israel's existence
MEMRI also noted that the Pakistani columnist wrote in their local newspaper Roznama Dunya that nuclear-armed Pakistan is an antidote to "the cancer named Israel." The MEMRI website also posted photographs of the antisemitic Al-Quds Day demonstrations including a "replica of Al-Quds presented at Al-Quds Day rally in Karachi city on April 14, 2023, showing a grave of Israel with the words inscribed 'RIP Israel'" and of "protesters trampling upon images of the Israeli and American flags."
Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawwad Naqvi, the general secretary of the Majlis Ulama-e-Hind, addressed protesters in India's Lucknow's Asafi Mosque, who held banners with slogans declaring "Death to Israel, America," and "Free Palestine."
The radical Islamist Jawwad Naqvi added that "very soon, Israel will be obliterated, the prophecy about which has proven to be correct, because the blood of the oppressed, will never go in vain."
Benjamin Weinthal, a Middle East Forum writing fellow, reports on Israel, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Europe for Fox News Digital. Follow him on Twitter at @BenWeinthal.