Austria university disinvites Iran-affiliated Imam after uproar

The Vienna University of Technology has withdrawn an invitation to a radical pro-Iranian regime Imam with respect to an event about mosques after a human rights group protest, it confirmed on Tuesday to The Jerusalem Post.Herbert Kreuzeder, the university spokesman, told the Post that “Mr. Waldmann [the Imam] was originally invited” but after information from Stephan Grigat from Stop the Bomb the decision was reversed.Grigat is the academic director of Stop the Bomb, an NGO that seeks to improve human rights in Iran and prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons.Erich Muhammad Waldmann is a key organizer of the al-Quds Day march in Vienna that advocates the destruction of Israel. The al-Quds Day rally, which attracts supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel, was called into global action in 1979 by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran.The spokesman said the university has no connection with al-Quds Day.Kreuzeder said the event titled “Mosques in Transition” was held last week and dealt with the subject of “whether architectural, spatial solutions promote mutual understanding in society.”  Kreuzeder declined to answer a Post query asking who invited Waldmann.Kreuzeder added that  the event covered “integration and peaceful coexistence” and the university sought to avoid doubts about that intention by  the  participation of certain persons.“The TU Vienna is an open-minded university and rejects every form of discrimination, hate and exclusion,” said Kreuzeder.Stop the Bomb and the Vienna-based website “The Jewish” run by the Israeli journalist, Samuel Laster, have documented Waldmann’s activities over the years. He is a member of the Council of Imams at Austria’s Religious Islamic Community IGGiÖ and serves as an Imam at the pro-Iranian Imam Ali mosque.According to Stop to the Bomb, the Austrian Ministry of Interior “registered Hezbollah and jihad flags as well as antisemitic banners saying ‘Boycott the 4th Reich, Zionists = Nazis’ and a Star of David mutating into a swastika” at al-Quds demonstrations.Laster’s website noted that Waldmann, an Austrian, argued for the destruction of Israel during a broadcast with Österreichischer Rundfunk, an Austrian national public service broadcaster.Austria’s government has not outlawed the entire Hezbollah organization. Germany banned all Hezbollah activities last year because it considers the Iranian-sponsored Lebanese organization, its political as well as its military arm, to be a terrorist entity. Source

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