If I were an Iranian dissident living in Finland, let alone in the country’s capital of Helsinki, I would be very nervous right now.
Finland’s Iranian Mega-Mosque
by Soeren Kern
May 29, 2012 at 5:00 am
Although critics of the Helsinki mega-mosque have warned that the building will be used by the Iranian regime to recruit impressionable youths to Hezbollah, Finnish politicians have embraced the Shia mosque as a symbol of multicultural progress.
A new mega-mosque has been inaugurated in the Finnish capital, Helsinki. Unlike most mosques in Europe, which cater to Sunni Muslims, the mosque in Helsinki ministers to Shia Islam.
The Helsinki mosque has been paid for by the Islamic Republic of Iran; critics say that theocrats in Tehran intend to use the mosque to establish a recruiting center for the militant Shia Muslim group Hezbollah in Europe.
The dimensions of the new mosque are enormous by Finnish standards. The 700-square-meter (7,500 square-feet) mega-mosque, located adjacent to a metro station in the eastern Helsinki district of Mellunmäki, features a massive prayer room for 1,000 worshippers.
The mosque has been built by the Ahlul-Beit Foundation, a radical Shia Muslim proselytizing and political lobbying group presided over by the Iranian government. Ahlul-Beit already runs around 70 Islamic centers around the world, and has as its primary goal the promotion of the religious and political views of Islamic radicals in Iran.
Ahlul-Beit is opposed to all brands of Islam that compete with the form of Islam dictated by theocrats in Iran: the organization has called for the persecution of Sunni Muslims, Sufi Muslims, and Alawites, as well as all secular and moderate Muslims. The organization also outspokenly opposes the integration of Muslim immigrants into their host societies.
Ahlul-Beit is especially focused on spreading Islamic Sharia law beyond the Middle East; its centers in Africa and Asia, for example, have been used to radicalize local Muslim communities there. In a typical quid-pro-quo arrangement, the organization offers money to the poor, who then convert to Shia Islam and are subjected to religious training by Iranian-backed Imams. The group has been banned in at least a dozen countries.