An introduction to iERA
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) is a Salafist “da’wah” (proselytism) organisation set up by Muslim convert Abdur Raheem Green. It tours notorious hate preachers around Britain, with a particular focus on British university and college campuses. The iERA has been banned from such venues as the University College London, Arsenal Football Stadium and the Sheraton Centre Hotel in Canada. A number of its members and former members have also been refused entry to Britain, America, Germany, Australia, Canada and Kenya.
According to Andrew Gilligan of the Daily Telegraph, the iERA aims to “frighten and polarise their target [Muslim] audiences with exaggerated claims that they are widely disliked or are under attack”.
In 2012, the iERA received £226,390 of donations. The charity paid large sums to its own trustees for “speakers fees”: £16,700 to Saqib Sattar; £21,500 to Abdurraheem Green; and £18,000 to Green & Chambers, a firm owned by iERA trustees Abdurraheem Green and Yusuf Chambers.
Adnan Rashid is a lecturer at the iERA. He is a conspiracy theorist who believes that General Sisi of Egypt and Saudi clerics of the Madkhalist school are all Israeli agents working against Islam. His promotion of the idea of an impending “global Holocaust of Muslims” borders on the obsessive.
Rashid identifies himself as an Islamist. He contends that Muslims who do not “want Islam as the governing system in [their] country” and who reject Sharia Law have no right to call themselves Muslims; they are apostates. These Muslims, he says, are secretly atheists, who, like all atheists, suffer from a “psychological condition which emanates from anxiety and [an] emotionally unstable personality disorder”. According to Rashid, atheism is “like a disease”.
Rashid hypothesises that the reason “women in the Muslim world are generally not raped by their husbands” is because “they don’t usually refuse to have intimacy with them”. This is why, for instance, the “average Saudi woman lives like a queen in comparison to a Western woman”. Whilst women in the West are “free to work in mixed offices or to go to mixed colleges”, he argues, “this freedom comes [at] a price”. The price is rape and sexual assault.
Rashid has worked with the Turkish terror-funding charity IHH, and has spoken at at least one event organised by Interpal, whose officials openly associate with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. He admires convicted al-Qaeda terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, referring to her as “sister” and even suggesting that she should be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
Saleem Chagtai is a media and public relations official at the iERA. He has expressed support for the execution of homosexuals on the grounds that “the ramifications of a lack of morality can cause lots of problems in society”.Apostates, too, are eligible for the death penalty, because leaving the Islamic faith is “an act of treason”.
Like his colleague Adnan Rashid, Chagtai argues that “calling for secularism and democracy over and above the established shariah [sic] is disbelief”, and therefore forbidden in Islam.
Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips was formerly on the iERA’s board of advisors. He has at various times been deported or banned from Kenya, Germany, America, Britain and Australia for his extremist views and terror connections. He is an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing.
Bilal Philips has described the Taliban as a group of “innocent Muslim people” who did many “positive, good things” for Afghanistan. He has also defended Hamas, and in particular their use of suicide bombers.
According to Bilal Philips, rape and domestic abuse are permissible in Islam. He has also justified child marriages and paedophilia, and approves of severe corporal and/or capital punishment for drinking alcohol and committing apostasy. For homosexuality, Bilal Philips prescribes execution.
Zakir Naik was formerly on the iERA’s board of advisors. He is a 9/11 Truther, and has spoken at length of how the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers was “an inside job”. Of Osama bin Laden, he has said: “If he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him … If he is terrorising the terrorists, if he is terrorising America the terrorist … I am with him. Every Muslim should be a terrorist”.
Naik endorses the death penalty for apostasy and homosexuality. He has praised the Taliban for destroying the Bamiyan Buddhas. He also believes that the Jews “control America” and are the “strongest in enmity to Muslims”.
Hussain Yee was formerly on the iERA’s board of advisors. He is banned from entering the UK. He has spoken out in support of the “mujahideen [terrorists]” in Palestine and Iraq. He has suggested that the Jews – who he describes as “the most extremist nation in this world” – were behind 9/11. According to Yee, men have the right to beat their wives.
Abdur Raheem Green
Abdur Raheem Green is chairman of the iERA’s board of trustees. He is an anti-Semite, having complained of the “Yehudi [Jewish] … stench” and urged Muslims to “push them [Jews] to the side”. He has also referred to Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk as “an extremely, thoroughly unpleasant, nasty … Jew”.
Green regards the death penalty as a “suitable and effective” punishment for homosexuality and adultery, and has ruled that wife-beating “is allowed”.
Green has condemned Muslims who criticise the Taliban, and contends that it is not possible to argue with al-Qaeda’s methods, because “terrorism works”. He has also publicly defended convicted terrorists such as Ali al-Tamimi (whom he describes as “a treasure of this ummah”) and Yassin Nassari.
Hamza Tzortzis is a researcher at the iERA. He has said that “we as Muslim reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom”. He also wishes to criminalise homosexuality, which he compares to paedophilia and cannibalism.
Yusuf Chambers is on the iERA’s board of trustees. He has implied support for the execution of homosexuals and, on the subject of the stoning to death of adulterers, has said, “May Allah allow us to bring back that punishment to protect all humanity, InshaAllah”.
Abdullah Hakim Quick
Abdullah Hakim Quick was formerly on the iERA’s board of advisors. He has been condemned by New Zealand’s broadcasting authority for his anti-gay rants, in which he said that “Muslims are going to have to take a stand [against homosexuals], and it’s not enough to call names”. When asked about the punishment for homosexuality in Islam, he replied, “The punishment is death … I’m not going to change this religion”.
Quick 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 Kafirun [non-believers]”.
Estes urges Muslim men not to marry non-Muslim women, and advises men with disobedient wives to “roll up a newspaper and give her a crack. Or take a yardstick, something like this, and you can hit”.
Haitham al-Haddad was formerly on the iERA’s board of advisors. He describes Jews as “apes and pigs” and “enemies of God”, quotes the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and speaks of a “conflict” between Muslim and Jews.
Haddad believes that cases of domestic abuse should not be investigated; that peaceful co-existence between people of different religions “is wrong”; that female genital mutilation is “sunnah [Islamically correct]”; and that suicide bombing “is permissible”.
Haddad has also argued that the Japanese tsunami was divine retribution for Japan’s “lack of submission to Allah”, and has urged Muslims to “fight everyone until they establish the law of Allah”. Any system of law other than Sharia, he argues, “is invalid”.