Mar. 3, 2016
- Hizbullah: Iran’s Henchmen in Brazil – Emanuele Ottolenghi
Across Latin America, Iran is leveraging connections with anti-American regimes and movements to gain a foothold and to indoctrinate local Muslims in its brand of revolutionary Islam. Dozens of Iranian and Lebanese Shia clerics have been joined by a new generation of locally-born clerics. Converts are routinely sent to Qom, all expenses paid, to attend Iranian seminaries before they return home to act as Iran’s unofficial emissaries.
The Boy Scouts attached to Shia mosques are a mirror image of Hizbullah’s Mahdi Scouts and are led by Lebanese instructors who do not hide their sympathy for Hizbullah. Images of Scout groups show members enacting military drills during the May 25th celebrations marking Israel’s 2000 withdrawal from south Lebanon. Community members routinely post photographs of the Brazilian flag juxtaposed with the Hizbullah logo.
Iran’s religious outreach is intoxicating thousands in Latin American. The targets of Iran’s anti-American indoctrination could one day draw the logical conclusion from their education that striking the “Great Satan” itself is no less than God’s will. The writer is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (National Interest)