Islamic Centre Hamburg

The Islamic Centre Hamburg (German: Islamisches Zentrum Hamburg) is one of the oldest Shia mosques in Germany and Europe. Established in Hamburg, in northern Germany, in the late 1950s by a group of Iranian emigrants and business people it rapidly developed into one of the leading Shia centres in the Western world.


Many leading Iranian theologians and politicians (including Ayatollah Beheshti, Ayatollah Mohammad Mojtahed Shabestari or Mohammad Khatami) have spent time (often years) here, have encountered and studied Western sciences and philosophy and contributed to the Western understanding of Shia Islam.


History

During a meeting at Atlantic Hotel (Hamburg) in 1953, a group of Iranian residents of Germany discussed the need to establish their own religious center. A letter was sent to the late Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Husayn Borujerdi asking him for help; Grand Ayatollah agreed with the plan and donated 100,000 Rials to the center. The construction began in 1960 and by 1965 it was completed. In the same year Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti was appointed to lead the center.


During the 1970s the centre played a significant role in bringing about the political rising of Iranian students in the West against the Shah and ultimately contributed to the Iranian Revolution.


In 2007, the center announced the launch of first Shia Union in Europe.


Today the centre continues to play a role in furthering mutual understanding of Iranian Shia and the Western World.


Surveillance

The centre is under surveillance of the Hamburg state Office for the Protection of the Constitution, (Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz) for its connections to Hezbollah.