Iran and Syria

MOA’s Support for Iranian and Syrian Regimes and Their Terrorist Proxies

Fuqra/MOA condemns Shiites as non-Muslims and believes that Shiite Islam was created by Jewish adversaries as part of a Zionist conspiracy. However, the group has occasionally spoken positively about former Iranian President Ahmadinejad,  the Syrian dictatorship backed by Iran and various extremist groups backed by them, such as the Yemeni Houthi rebels.

Sheikh Gilani has had ties to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and his Hezb-i-Islami party. He is known to be backed by the Iranian regime.[i]

After Iranian President Ahmadinejad accused the U.S. government of orchestrating the 9/11 attacks, MOA praised his comments and said his agenda is similar to that of the Mahdi, the messianic figure that is supposed to appear at the End Times:

“President Ahmadinejad called on the U.N. to upgrade its organization by restructuring as it is the “key structure for coordinating the common global management.” Imam Al-Mahdi’s, peace be upon him, mission will be a global management for peace, security and the realization of human rights. Could this profound knowledge be what led to the premature exit of ‘missing delegates’ – a puerile means to distract from a poignant message?”[ii]

MOA’s newspaper is giving positive coverage to Iranian-backed Syrian dictator Bashar Assad, who is part of the Allawite ethnicity that is an offshoot of the Shiites. Its articles consistently paint the Syrian rebels as terrorists acting on behalf of a conspiracy against Islam. One biased article legitimized the Syrian parliamentary elections and used them to make Assad appear popularly supported.[iii]

Both the Iranian and Syrian regimes are designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism by the U.S. State Department for supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and others.

Sheikh Gilani and his organization have historically had a hostile attitude towards Iran, but it also condemns U.S. accusations and pressure on Iran.

The Islamic Chronicle, MOA’s newspaper, said in 1983, “The Jamaat ul Fuqra…love martyrdom more than Khomeini…[he] lives to hold on to his tyrannical, oppressive regime. The Fuqra love martyrdom more than the kuffar love wine and women. Each and every moment they anxiously await the invitation for martyrdom.”

The publication also accused Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the current regime who then led Iran as Supreme Leader, as a “Dajjal;” the Islamic version of the Antichrist. Sheikh Gilani claimed that Khomeini dispatched agents to kill him and two top MOA officials, Muhammad Hasib Abdul-Haqq and Ali Rashid.

However, in the early 1990s, the MOA newspaper condemned the U.S. government’s designation of Iran and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. It characterized the move as part of the United States’ “unofficial war that has been waged against the Muslim world.”

In 1994, MOA published a book that said the Zionist conspiracy had fabricated evidence linking Sheikh Gilani to Iran. The statement suggested disagreement with the U.S. labeling of Iran as a supporter of terrorism. It said that ever since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 the American “media has established Ayatollah Khomeini as a ‘terrorist’ who vehemently voiced his hatred of the United States.”

Support for Iranian-Backed Houthi Rebels in Yemen Over U.S.-Backed Saudi-Led Coalition

On April 1, 2018, MOA expressed sympathy with the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen over their Saudi adversaries. MOA’s newspaper, Islamic Post, described the Houthis as resisting Saudi Arabia’s Al-Qaeda/ISIS “minions” and accused the Saudis of indiscriminately murdering Muslims.

MOA’s list of complaints against Saudi Arabia included “wonton slaughtering of Yemenis,” “corruption scandals at home,” “their hoarding of wealth that belongs to poor Muslims,” “their purchase of leaders and mosques all over the world to spread Wahhabism/Saudism,” “their hand in defaming the name of Islam.”

MOA also expressed a desire to defend Muslims in other countries besides Yemen. The group blasted the Saudis for “their withholding of assistance to oppressed Muslims in areas like Kashmir, Palestine, China and Myanmar.”[1]

[1] “Donald Trump, the House of Saud, and Incalculable Loss in Yemen.” (2018). Islamic Post. https://www.islamicpostonline.com/uncategorized/2018/04/01/donald-trump-the-house-of-saud-and-incalculable-human-loss-in-yemen/

[i] For more information, see the section of this website about Fuqra’s links to other Islamist groups.

[ii] “The Spiteful Truth.” (2010). Islamic Post. http://www.islamicpostonline.com/opinion/2010/10/10/spiteful_truth/

[iii] “Syria Elects New Parliament, Dismissed by the West.” (2016). Islamic Post. https://www.islamicpostonline.com/front-page/2016/05/05/syria-elects-new-parliament-dismissed-by-the-west/

Ryan Mauro

Professor Ryan Mauro is the National Security Analyst for the Clarion Project, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the threat of Islamic extremism and provides a platform for voices of moderation and tolerance within the Muslim community. Clarion Project films have been seen by over 50 million people. Mauro is a frequent contributor to Clarion’s dynamic website ClarionProject.org, providing insightful analysis of the latest news around the global on this subject. The site is viewed by over 250,000 visitors per month.