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News Analysis

Iranian Gov't Front Group Funded Over 60 Islamic Sites in U.S.

Mon, July 1, 2013

The Alavi Foundation's website makes Iran look as pleasant as fresh flowers.

The Alavi Foundation's website makes Iran look as pleasant as fresh flowers.

by: 
Ryan Mauro

Last week, the Clarion Project documented how an Iranian regime “propaganda” front donated to over 30 universities in North America. Published financial reports from that same front reveal that it also funded over 60 Islamic organizations, mosques, and Persian schools around the country.

The New York-based Alavi Foundation is accused of funneling money to an Iranian bank linked to the nuclear program. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office investigations chief, Adam Kaufmann, said “We found evidence that the government of Iran really controlled everything about the foundation.”

The Foundation’s president, Farshid Jahedi, pled guilty to destroying evidence before it could be submitted to the grand jury. The case has yet to be resolved.

The alleged regime front’s purpose wasn’t limited to Iran’s nuclear program. U.S. officials told the Washington Post that the Foundation “promotes Tehran’s views on world affairs.” An Iranian opposition figure in California similarly describes it as part of the regime’s “propaganda machine.”

Iran has made a major investment in influencing American opinion that has gone mostly unnoticed. In addition to North American academia, the Foundation’s website boasts of having funded over 36 Islamic centers and 30 Persian schools.

One of the Foundation’s initiatives is its book distribution program that it began in 1981. Over 15,000 free texts are distributed each year using four distribution centers at Islamic sites in New York, Texas, California and Maryland.

According to its website, recipients include “individuals, academic institutions, public libraries, Islamic centers, and the penitentiaries within the United States.” Yes, you read that correctly—an accused Iranian government front openly boasts that it provides texts for American prisons.

The Clarion Project has gone through the Foundation’s published financial reports from 2004 to 2010 and has put together a chart of documented donations, organized by state. The amounts include all financial and book donations to the organization, including any affiliated Persian weekend school.

Look at the chart below to find out what the Iranian “propaganda machine” has been up to near you:

STATE

ISLAMIC ORG.

DETAILS

AZ

Al-Mahdi Benevolent Organization

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

CA

Babul Ilm Islamic Center

2005: $150,000 loan converted to donation

 

Center of Persian Language Preservation Corporation / Alborz Farsi School

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

12/16/2011: $10,000

1/4/2011: Unspecified donation.

2010: $16,000

2009: $12,500

2008: $12,500

 

City of Knowledge School

2006: $50,000

2005: $30,000

2004: $20,000

 

Hejrat Educational Center

2005: $270,000

 

IABA Persian School

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

 

Islamic Education Center of San Diego

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

 

Persian Cultural Club / Dekhoda Persian School

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

11/8/2012: $25,000

12/16/2011: $20,000

1/4/2011: $30,000

2009: $28,000

2008: $27,500

2007: $90,000

2006: $71,800

2005: $80,000

2004: $34,800

 

Qoba Foundation

2009: $30,000

 

Resalat Islamic Center

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

 

Shia Association of Bay Area

Identified as an Alavi book distribution center.

2008: $21,500

2007: $14,000 for books

2005: $500,000

CT

Islamic Institute of Ahl’ Albait

2011: Over $200,000 according to a thank-you letter on Alavi’s website.

2005: $16,500 loan converted to donation

 

Jafaria Association of Connecticut

2009: $18,000

2004: $20,000 loan converted to donation

 

Pakistani American Association

2010: $12,000

DC

Masjid al-Islam / As-Sabiqun

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

GA

Sahebozzaman Islamic Center of Atlanta

2009: $6,500

2008: $6,500

2007: $13,650

2006: $13,250

2005: $13,400

2004: $13,170

 

Zainabia Nonprofit, Inc.

2005: $45,000

2005: $15,000 loan converted to donation

IL

Irshad Learning Center

2007: $450,000

2004: $8,000

KS

Az-Zahra Center

2008: $5,000

2007: $25,000

2006: $68,200

2005: $9,050

2004: $8,750

 

Imam Ali Center of Kansas City

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

11/8/2012: $8,000

2010: $10,000

2008: $5,500

2007: $11,400

 

Payame Noor Institute

11/8/2012: $6,000

12/16/2011: $5,000

2010: $7,000

2009: $8,000

2004: $8,000

KY

Al-Zahrah Islamic Center

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

MA

Persian Language School

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

MD

Idara-e-Jafferia

2004: $200,000

 

Islamic Education Center of MD

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

Identified as an Alavi book distribution center.

 

Muslim Community School / Alim Academy

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

9/30/2011: $500,000

9/12/2012: $400,000

2010: $418,000

2009: $292,000

2008: $130,000

2007: $176,000

2006: $270,000

2005: $203,000

2004: $224,000

 

Persian Language Institute of MD

2008: $6,000

2007: $5,000

 

Quran Account, Inc.

2005: $20,000

2004: $20,000

 

Universal Muslim Association of America

3/24/2012: $10,000

2010: $10,000

2009: $4,000

2008: $5,000

2007: $6,000

2006: $3,000

2005: $100,000

MI

Islamic House of Wisdom

2009: $4,000

2008: $4,000

2007: $6,700

2006: $6,000

2005: $8,000

2004: $15,000

MN

Resalat Farsi School

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

MO

Dar al-Zahra Mosque and Education Center / Shia Islamic Education Center

2011: Thank-you letter on Alavi’s website states that it has received a total of $600,000.

2006: $135,000

2005: $300,000

NJ

Muslim Foundation / Masjid-e Ali

2011: $250,000, as stated in a thank-you letter on the website.

2010: $250,000

2007: $150,000

2005: $230,000

 

New Jersey Islamic Center

10/16/2009: Unspecified donation to construction.

 

Noor Center Corporation

2005: $67,000

2004: $30,800

 

Persian Language Institute of NJ

2008: $4,100

2007: $20,000

NY

Ahlul Bayt Mosque

11/20/2011: $50,000

Nov 2011: $10,000, according to a thank-you letter posted on the Alavi website.

2010: $50,000

2009: $10,000

2008: $10,000

2007: $65,000

2006: $54,000

2005: $95,000

2004: $23,000

 

Al-Khoei Benevolent Foundation

11/6/2012: $25,000

2009: $5,000

 

Ark Institute

1/31/2011: $10,000

2010: $10,000

 

Iranian-Armenian Society

11/25/2011: Unspecified donation.

2009: $3,000

2007: $6,000

2006: $6,000

2005: $3,000

2004: $2,000

 

Islamic Institute of New York

3/20/2013: $120,000

11/15/2011: $240,000

2010: $50,000

2009: $240,000

2008: $180,400

2007: $250,000

2006: $155,000

2005: $162,000

2004: $98,191.86

 

Islamic Learning Center of Orange County / Masjid al-Ikhlas

2011: Unspecified donation according to a thank-you letter on Alavi’s website.

 

Islamic Seminary Inc. N.J. (based in NY)

Identified as an Alavi book distribution center.

2010: $26,480

2009: $10,000

 

Jafaria Association of North America

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

12/16/2011: $15,000

2010: $20,000

10/16/2009: Unspecified donation for “scholarly research”

2008: $19,500

2007: $30,000

2006: $55,000

2005: $14,400

2005: $100,000 loan converted to donation

 

Masoomeen School of Islamic Education

3/2/2012: $10,000

2010: $10,000

2009: $3,000

2008: $5,000

2007: $6,000

2006: $3,000

2005: $3,000

2004: $15,600

 

Nurudeen Islamic Charity Org. of NY

2011: Unspecified donation according to a thank-you letter on Alavi’s website.

 

Razi School

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

11/13/2011: $450,000

11/9/2012: $8,000

7/13/2012: $400,000

2010: $420,500

2009: $345,000

2008: $279,000

2007: $368,000

2006: $237,420

2005: $318,200

2004: $154,200

OH

Payam Farsi School

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

OK

Oklahoma Farsi School Foundation

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

12/16/2011: $8,000

1/4/2011: $8,000

2010: $8,000

2009: $8,000

2008: $8,000

2007: $11,500

2006: $11,300

2005: $11,900

2004: $8,000

OR

Islamic Center of Portland

2005: $400,000

PA

Aramgah Memorial Garden Foundation

2011: $100,000 interest-free loan, according to a thank-you letter on the Alavi website.

 

Parvin Etesami Persian School (affiliated with Noor Center Corp. of NJ)

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

 

Khoja Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat of Pennsylvania

8/15/2011: $5,000

2004: $20,000

TN

Al-Zahra Islamic Center

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

 

Al-Mahdi Islamic Center

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

 

Islamic Message Group

2005: $210,000

2004: $30,000

TX

Anjuman-E-Haideri / Persian School of Houston

12/13/2011: Unspecified donation.

2008: $42,000

2007: $3,000

2006: $43,800

2005: $22,000

2004: $52,000

 

Ferdowsi Persian School

Identified as a recipient on the Alavi website.

 

Islamic Education Center of Texas

Identified as an Alavi book distribution center.

 

Pars Academy

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

2010: $8,000

2008: $4,000

2007: $16,400

2006: $10,000

2005: $14,600

2004: $26,700

 

Texas Persian School

1/4/2011: Unspecified donation.

UT

Alrasool Islamic Center

2009: $10,000

VA

Imam Reza Foundation

2005: $6,000

VA

Manassas Mosque

2005: $53,000

2004: $140,000

WA

American Moslem Foundation

2005: $55,000 loan converted to donation

CANADA

Toronto Farsi School

Alavi website declares April 2013 donation

November 2011: Letter acknowledges unspecified donation.

2010: $30,000

2009: $26,000

2008: $27,500

2007: $35,000

2006: $44,626

2005: $50,000

2004: $30,000

It is quite possible that a recipient was unaware that the Alavi Foundation was part of Iran’s “propaganda machine,” but the Foundation didn’t donate to just anybone.  Funds are limited and are distributed with the intent of having the maximum effect. It is suspicious when the Alavi Foundation/Iranian government decides that a specific U.S. organization deserves its money.

Every dollar spent on these organizations is a dollar that could have gone into the regime’s rapidly-thinning wallet. If an Iranian government front decides that a recipient is a more worthy investment than the regime itself, then the regime must be getting a lot for its dollar.