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EXCLUSIVE: Maryland Islamic Schools Tied to Iranian Regime

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The Idara Jaferia Islamic Center (Photo: Google Maps)
The Idara Jaferia Islamic Center (Photo: Google Maps)

A sheikh tied to the Iranian regime is currently teaching at two Maryland Islamic schools and leads a mosque in the state and teaches at another, Clarion Project discovered.

In addition, his daughter is posting pro-Hezbollah propaganda that glorifies violent jihad.

Sheikh Abdul Jalil Nawee is a Shiite cleric trained at a radical university in Iran. He has been the resident alim (religious leader) of the Idara-e-Jaferia Islamic Center in Burtonsville since November 2013. The facility was described as “one of the largest Islamic Centers on the East Coast.”

He was appointed by the mosque’s president, Syed Mohammed Naqvi, after Moulana Rafiq Naqvi fell ill.

The Islamic Center that Sheikh Jalil leads also runs the Jaferia Islamic School, a private school that teaches children between the ages of 5 and 15.

He is also educating children and teenagers at the Muslim Community School and Alim Academy in Montgomery County, where he teaches classes on the Quran. This educational body also has extensive links to the Iranian regime.

The Muslim Community School is for pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and has a pre-school division for children ages two to four. The Alim Academy is for grades 9 through 12.

The school describes itself as “non-sectarian,” meaning it is not exclusively Shiite or Sunni. Its website says it was incorporated in 1985 and its education certified by Maryland’s Department of Education.

A biography of Sheikh Jalil says that he also teaches at the Islamic Education Center based in Potomac, Maryland.

 

Radical Preaching by Sheikh Jalil

In one sermon, Sheikh Jalil  outlines the conditions where apostates—Muslims who convert out of the faith—can be executed.(Ironically, even though Sheikh Jalil is an enemy of religious freedom, his mosque still participates in interfaith activities with Jews and Christians.)

 

Support for Radicals Tied to the Iranian Regime

On Facebook, Sheikh Jalil “liked” a page for Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, an extremist Iranian cleric who called for police to be aggressive with female activists who refuse to wear their hijab in Iran.

When Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi made a satirical song by which Shiite Islamists were offended, Shirazi issued a fatwa against him, and Najafi received many death threats.

According to the American-Islamic Forum for Democracy, a Muslim group advocating for secular-democratic reform, Ayatollah Shirazi preaches that taqiyya—a doctrine justifying deceiving non-believers—is “obligatory.” That means the cleric of whom Sheikh Jalil is a fan literally preaches that Muslims are required to lie in order to advance Shiite Islamism.

Shirazi also preaches in favor of child marriage (as young as 9), female genital mutilation, various other forms of oppression of women, sharia theocracies and the development of chemical weapons.

 

Sheikh Jalil’s Radical Background

Sheikh Jalil was born in Accra, Ghana and attended the Ahlulbait Islamic School. He also taught at the school for seven years and was an imam in Ghana from 1989 to 1993.

He then moved to Qom, Iran to continue his religious training at Al-Mustafa International University. The university was formed on the orders of current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.

The Washington Institute says the university “magnified the regime’s efforts to export its revolutionary ideology…strengthened ties with groups like Lebanese Hezbollah…[and] is a significant instrument at the regime’s disposal…”

Sheikh Jalil also graduated from Imam Khomeini School, named after the original leader and founder of the current theocratic, terrorism-sponsoring Iranian regime.

 

Sheikh Jalil’s Daughter

Sheikh Jalil’s daughter, Hidaya Nawee, made a series of

Post by Hidya Nawee in support of Hezbolllah chief Hassan Nasrallah (Photo: social media)
Post by Hidya Nawee in support of Hezbolllah chief Hassan Nasrallah (Photo: social media)

social media posts that should raise concern about the views promoted by her father.

On August 9, 2014, Hidaya posted a picture of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to her Instagram with a caption that reads “Let us be killed by a bullet to our chest, not in our back.”

 

The accompanying hashtags to the post include #FreeGaza and #FreePalestine. She also put #No2ISIS (No to ISIS), however. Her hostility to ISIS is consistent with Shiite Islamists (like Hezbollah and Iranian-backed militias in Iraq and Syria) who are fighting ISIS for dominance.

Hidaya Nawee's post quoting Iranian regime founder Ayatollah Khomeini (Photo: social media)
Hidaya Nawee’s post quoting Iranian regime founder Ayatollah Khomeini (Photo: social media)

On June 28, 2014, Hidaya posted a graphic that she described as a “message to ISIS and the like” consisting of a picture of Khomeini and his famous quote: “If our enemies besiege us economically, we are the children of Ramadhan and if they besiege us militarily, we Clarion Project has documented how an Iranian regime front, the Alavi Foundation, provided funds to over 60 Islamic organizations in America before the U.S. government froze its assets. The foundation was known to be promoting the regime’s radical ideology.

In 2004, Idara-e-Jaferia received $200,000 from the Alavi Foundation.

Sheikh Jalil also taught at the Islamic Education Center in Potomac and served as the substitute imam in 2009 when the usual imam, Ahmad Bahraini, was in Tehran.

The Center received funding from the Alavi Foundation in 2013, and its property is owned by the foundation. In addition, the center was a book distribution center for this regime front.

The center’s e-library recommends books by Ayatollah Khomeini, Ayatollah Shirazi and Supreme Leader Khamenei. For example, to learn about the topic of jihad, a book by Khomeini is suggested.

A previous imam for the center was arrested in 2005 for tax violations. He was apprehended as he was about to board a flight to Tehran and was found with almost $100,000 in cash.

In 2009, the manager of the center, Ali Mohammadi, was the opening speaker for then-President Ahmadinejad’s meetings in the U.S. It was also reported by an Iranian dissident that the Iranian regime held a celebration of the 1979 “Islamic Revolution” at the center.

The Muslim Community School/Alim Academy where Sheikh Jalil is a faculty member is located on the property of the center. This educational body also received extensive Iranian backing from the Alavi Foundation. Between 2004 and 2012, it received $2.6 million from the foundation alone.

 

Conclusion

Earlier this month, two Iranian spies were arrested in the U.S. as they planned attacks against opponents of the Iranian regime in America. A U.S. official said, “If there’s anything that’s become obvious in the last few months, it’s that the Iranians are running vast espionage and information operations in the United States.”

Congress has been warned about the threat posed by Iranian “sleeper cell” networks that are already in America.

In the Middle East, between its militias and terror groups, Iran has about 200,000 personnel, including 50-60,000 with combat experience in Syria. These operatives can also infiltrate the U.S. or assist others in doing so.

We knowIranians are currently buying passports in other countries to sneak past travel restrictions and sanctions.

Clarion Project recently identified three mosques in Michigan that are supportive of the Iranian regime. Now we know that two mosques in Maryland associated with private Islamic schools are also part of the regime’s agenda.

The regime seems to be losing support within Iran daily, and the upcoming imposition of sanctions on Iran’s oil industry in November could cause the regime to collapse.

Yet, while it is possible that the regime’s “Islamic Revolution” will be undone in Iran, it may continue fighting inside America.

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Michigan Mosques Linked to Iranian Regime 

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Ryan Mauro and Justen Charters

Ryan Mauro is ClarionProject.org's Shillman Fellow, national security analyst and the director of Clarion Intelligence Network. Mauro is also an adjunct professor of counter-terrorism. He is frequently interviewed on top-tier television and radio. Justen Charters is a research analyst with the Clarion Intelligence Network.