Extreme Salafist Group Tours America
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) is currently touring the United States, bringing its extremist message to hundreds of American Muslims across the country.
The iERA is a British Salafist organization founded in 2009 by British convert Abdur Raheem Green, who remains its chairman today. Rumoured to be funded by the Qatari regime, the iERA describes itself as “a global dawah [proselytization] organisation” working “to empower Muslims as individuals and local communities to invite and inform people about Islam.”
Abdur Raheem Green was a graduate of the Salafist movement in Britain during the 1980s and 90s. At one point, he became a jihadist for Islamist groups fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. But he was better known as an Islamist preacher in London, frequently to be found in London’s Hyde Park, complaining of the Jewish “stench”; or addressing mosque congregations, encouraging men to hit their wives in order to “bring them to goodness.”
This sort of rhetoric is frequently heard from other iERA officials, including preachers such as: Zakir Naik, banned from the UK for saying that “every Muslim should be a terrorist;” Hussein Yee, who openly preaches hatred against Jews, and claims that Jews in America were “happy” when the Twin Towers fell; and Abdullah Hakim Quick, who has called upon God to “clean and purify al-Aqsa from the filth of the Yahood [Jews]” and “clean all of the lands from the filth of the Kuffar [non-believers].”
Both Hussein Yee and Zakir Naik have been banned from entering the United Kingdom, along with Bilal Philips, an American Islamist preacher and another iERA official, who describes the Taliban as “innocent Muslim people” who did many “positive, good things”, claims that rape and domestic abuse are permissible in Islam, and advocates the murder of homosexuals. In addition, Philips was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing.
More information on other iERA officials can be read here.
In 2014, all five young members of an iERA-run youth group, named the “Portsmouth Dawah Team,” travelled to Syria to join the Islamic State. All five have since been killed.
One of the iERA instructors at venues across America is Hamza Tzortzis, a prominent British Islamist activist and a former member of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global Islamist organization, banned in many countries, that is dedicated to enforcing sharia law. Tzortzis has said that “we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom”, and that Muslims should strive to re-establish the Islamic caliphate, where “this idea of freedom was redundant, it was unnecessary”. Tzortzis wants to criminalise homosexuality, which he has likened to paedophilia and cannibalism.
In 2015, Hamza Tzortzis’s name was found on the leaked list of members of Ashley Madison, a website that provides an extra-marital dating service — behavior for which iERA officials have previously mandated the death penalty.
The iERA is aggressively expanding into the U.S. As we have previously reported, it has already partnered with the Islamic Circle of North America to run a national billboard campaign. And here in Boston, the iERA has established “New Muslims Online Classes” in collaboration with the Islamic Society of Boston.