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AIM condemns ‘reckless’ US closures of Shia Islamic websites

The Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission is appalled by the recent reckless move by the American regime to “seize” a number of religious, cultural, and news websites belonging to a broad spectrum of the Shia Muslim community. 

As many are by now aware, the US Department of Justice has seized over 30 websites affiliated to the Islamic Radio and Television Union with the pretext of US sanctions on Iran claiming that these websites are being used to spread “disinformation and malign influence”. 

These are websites belonging to media outlets and organisations from a broad spectrum of the Shia Muslim community and include:

  • Karbala TV: the official channel of the shrine of Imam Hussain (as)
  • Press TV: an English language news broadcaster of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Ahlulbayt TV: a UK based Islamic broadcaster propagating religious content in the English language
  • Hodhod TV: a children’s Islamic broadcaster 
  • Al-Maaref: an Islamic channel broadcasting Shia faith based content in the Arabic language
  • Afaq TV: an Iraq based news channel 
  • Harkar Musulunci: Nigerian Islamic channel propagating Shia faith based content
  • Other channels include Al-Alam, Al-Anwar, Al-Kawther, Al-Serat, and Al-Masira

We consider this to be clear act of censorship against Shia Muslims and an open attack on our faith, aspirations, and freedoms.

It is a reminder that the various faces of the US political spectrum, whether it be Trump or Biden, ultimately serve the same draconian imperialist policies that persist in violating the rights, freedoms, and liberties of Muslims around the world. 

It is this same American regime that has placed sanctions against the holy shrine of Imam Al-Ridha (as) and the Hawza Ilmiyya. It is this same regime which has directly or indirectly been involved in the murder of individuals like Shaheed Sadr, Shaheed Nimr, Shaheed Soleimani, and Shaheed Abu Mahdi. It is this same regime which has created, funded and encouraged terrorist organisations like Alqaeda and ISIS, and has brought war and destruction to many places including Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Palestine. 

We remind the global community of the importance of partaking in the struggle for justice and protecting the oppressed from the imperialist colonialist project. In these pressing times, AIM calls on scholars and community leaders “to speak a word of truth in front of a tyrannical ruler” and to empower others to speak up for their rights and freedoms. 

Commenting on this issue, AIM Chairman Sayyid Al-Haidari said: “Let this be a lesson to the advocates of being apolitical. As Muslims we can never escape the natural position of calling for truth and justice as taught to us by the Ahlulbayt (as) and if we make progress at any level in this regard, the arrogant powers won’t hesitate to shut us down if the opportunity presents itself. We must always be conscious of this reality and understand the real struggle underneath all the political correctness and false narratives of free speech, liberal democracy, and human rights.”

Wa Min Allah Al-Tawfiq

Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission 

24th June 2021

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