Supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic of Iran are gathering in Kansas City this weekend, as the Muslim Congress convenes their annual national convention. The topic? “The Divine Concept of Freedom.” Apparently, the American concept of freedom is insufficient, and they’ve chosen July 4 to express their dissent.
The Muslim Congress is a network of more than 120 Shia mosques, schools, and organizations operating in 24 states that are little more than fronts for the Iranian regime. In fact, the U.S. government is in the process of seizing through civil asset forfeiture a number of their mosque properties in five states owned by one of their member groups, because they have laundered money for the terror and weapons procurement branches of the Iranian government.
At the conference this weekend, they will be receiving a communication from the spiritual leader of one of the most murderous militias in Iraq, a group directly supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Their support for Ayatollah Khomeini isn’t subtle, either. The Muslim Congress website used to list Khomeini as one of their “prominent scholars” and maintained a lengthy biography, which curiously overlooks his leadership and direction in seizing the American embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and the subsequent 444 days that his minions held our diplomats in illegal captivity. Also missing: any mention of the tens of thousands murdered under his authority during the Iranian Revolution and early years of his rule. They conclude his biography with this glowing assessment of his achievements:
The Islamic Republic of Iran, having followed the guidance of Imam, now has a strong and powerful system both at the national and international level. Islamic tenets and laws are referred to when policies and decisions are made in government and this at all times ensures that any activities or proposals carried out are in the interest of the people.
Contrary to the views expressed by the Western media, the people of Iran have gained a new respect and dignity. They can proudly say that what they have is self-achieved that their modest dress is proper and is their cultural identity (and not an outdated custom), and that their values are Islamic and pure.
Those pages have been removed from the Muslim Congress website (which I’ve recovered through Internet Archive), yet many of the mosques and leaders are not shy about openly promoting their ties and allegiance to Ayatollah Khomeini and the Iranian regime.
Their Tampa mosque features a picture of current Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei at the very top of the front page of their website. And the alim of that mosque, Muhammad Ali Baig, who is also the top scholar at their seminary, boasts a large portrait of both Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei on his Vimeo page. And as the mosque’s constitution requires, the alim must “believe in, follow and be committed to the Leader.”
And the website of the mosque in Kissimmee, Florida, contains a direct link to the official website of Supreme Leader Khamenei. That same page also identifies jihad as one of the “branches of religion.”
The Muslim Congress Florida mosques hold no monopoly on allegiance to Ayatollah Khomeini. In December 2004 the MOMIN Dallas/Fort Worth mosque convened a day-long seminar on the departed Iranian leader featuring that mosque’s alim, Shamshad Haider — who will be speaking this weekend in Kansas City — and representatives from the Dallas office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). One of the other speakers at that Khomeini event was Mohamed Elibiary, who, as I reported back in October, was serving on the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism Working Group. He was sworn in just days later by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Council.
So what’s happening at the Muslim Congress conference this weekend?