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Judge Rules in Favor of Iran-Linked Mosque in IL
The Irshad Islamic Center (ILC), established in 2000 in greater Chicago, has finished a three-year struggle where the DuPage County Zoning Board of Appeals twice voted against approving the tranformation of a private house into a mosque in Naperville. A judge reversed the decision, approving the use of a building purchased by the organization. Clarion Project has learned that the ILC has received funding from the Alavi Foundation, which has been accused of being an Iranian government front.
In 2009, federal prosecutors accused the Iranian government of using the Alavi Foundation to channel funds to its Bank Melli, an institution subject to international sanctions because of its links to Iran's nuclear program. Its president, Farshid Jahedi, was indicted for destroying evidence needed by a grand jury. 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 Alavi Foundation's website lists the ILC as a recipient of its financial aid program. The ILC is Shiite, the branch of Islam practiced in Iran, and has a Saturday school for grades one through eight. The center describes itself as a non-profit Islamic learning center geared toward youth and the community, that has the intention of holding cultural events and services for special occasions, Islamic teachings and programsand the promoting of respect and tolerance in the community.
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