PHILADELPHIA – August 3, 2023 – Nine members of Congress have sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland warning about Iranian regime influence in Shia mosques across the United States. Their letter stems directly from original investigative reporting by the Middle East Forum's media outlet, Focus on Western Islamism (FWI).
The congressional letter summarizes FWI's discoveries of extremism and even taxpayer subsidy of extremist Tehran-linked institutions in Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, and Texas.
These institutions, the congressmembers state, are part of "a network of regime-sponsored mosques acting as agents for a foreign adversary. The radical ideology being promoted by this regime preaches hatred not only towards Jews, Christians, and Westerners but also to Sunni Muslims and fellow Shi'a Muslims who do not accept the regime's ideology."
The nine legislators call on the Department of Justice and the Intelligence Community to "counter this malign influence," utilize tools such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), and provide briefings on the "extent" of Iranian influence over "cultural and religious institutions" in America.
Susannah Johnston, FWI's chief investigative reporter, wrote extensively on the institutions named in the letter. She notes: "Focus on Western Islamism has previously investigated the Iranian regime's influence at each of these mosques — from children singing allegiance to the regime at Houston's Islamic Education Center, the Islamic House of Wisdom's close relationship with the regime's leaders, and multiple mosques accepting funding from an alleged regime proxy, the Alavi Foundation. Our reporting was the catalyst for the nine members of Congress to write their letter to Attorney General Garland."
MEF director Gregg Roman added: "Evidence suggests the Iranian terror regime has outposts managed by their own intelligence and security operations within American mosques. Some of these outposts are even funded by American taxpayers. This is a dangerous and unacceptable situation that demands immediate and thorough investigation. Iran must not be allowed to undermine U.S. security from our own soil and with our own money."
The Middle East Forum promotes American interests in the region and protects Western civilization from Islamism. It does so through a combination of original ideas, focused activism, and the funding of allies.
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