iERA

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Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA)
iERA logo
Type International organization
Registration No. 1134566
Founded 2008
Headquarters
Focus(es) education, research
Mission Dawah
Website http://www.iera.org/

iERA (Islamic Education and Research Academy) is an international dawah organization founded in the United Kingdom in 2009 for proselytizing Islam. The iERA has been characterised as a hate group by some secular and rationalist organisations or pundits.[1][2][3][4][5]

Board of trustees[edit]

Activities[edit]

In 2010 iERA commissioned a study (undertaken by DJS Research) on negative perceptions of Islam in Britain, which was mentioned in the Guardian.[7]

iERA was also mentioned in the Guardian for its criticism of a documentary on the emergence of Islam.[8]

Criticism and controversy[edit]

Seating arrangements at UCL[edit]

iERA, under its platform The Big Debates, organised a debate at UCL between Lawrence Krauss and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis entitled "Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?". It was claimed that iERA attempted to separate the seating of women and men in the audience. [9] Krauss is quoted (on Twitter) as saying that he almost "walked out of IERA debate as it ended up segregated." However, the debate went ahead as planned after seating arrangements were discarded.

Zayd Tutton of the iERA disputed Krauss' account of events. Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, he said: "There were three sections as agreed with UCL prior to the debate. This was agreed clearly with UCL representatives. Muslim women choosing to adhere to orthodox Islamic principles in sitting in their own area had their own section. As for those who wanted to sit together, male or female, they had their own section where they freely mixed and sat together from the beginning." Tutton also said the "three kids" mentioned by Krauss were in fact two men who forcibly tried to sit in the female section.

He said: "When arguing it was about sitting in any area in the auditorium, they were offered an entirely free aisle in the aforementioned Muslim female section, but insisted that they wanted to sit in between the Muslim females, with a view to offending their religious beliefs." [10]

iERA have been banned from holding events at UCL, which "concluded that iERA "had attempted to enforce segregation at the debate on 9 March".[11][12]

Recently, a report from Universities UK states “concerns to accommodate the wishes or beliefs of those opposed to segregation should not result in a religious group being prevented from having a debate in accordance with its belief system”…”if imposing an unsegregated seating area in addition to the segregated areas contravenes the genuinely held religious beliefs of the group hosting the event, or those of the speaker, the institution should be mindful to ensure that the freedom of speech of the religious group or speaker is not curtailed unlawfully”. [13]

Charities Commission investigation[edit]

In May 2014, the Telegraph reported that the iERA is being investigated by the Charity Commission "amid allegations that its leaders promote anti-Semitism and have called for homosexuals and female adulterers to be stoned to death." The Telegraph reported that Abdur Raheem Green "has been caught on camera preaching at Hyde Park Corner, calling for a Jewish man to be removed from his sight. 'Why don’t you take the Yahoudi [Jew] over there, far away so his stench doesn’t disturb us?' he can be heard to say."[14][15]

CEMB report[edit]

On May 19, 2014, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) released a 44-page report that contains direct quotes from iERA staff and guest speakers condoning female genital mutilation, the killing of apostates from Islam, the death penalty for homosexuality, and wife beating.[16] The report is free to download and contains citations for each quote by an iERA member, staff, or affiliate. iERA has posted a response to the CEMB report.[17]

Affiliations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ex-Muslims call for Islamic education charity to be classified as a “hate group”". National Secular Society. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Namazie, Maryam. "iERA: Islamic far-Right and Hate Group not Charity". Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Al-Razi. "Groups like the iERA should be viewed no differently than the BNP". Left Foot Forward. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Woodward, Edward. "The curious case of iERA and homosexuality". The Rationaliser. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Gamble, Dave. "UK based Hate Group has charitable status for promoting intolerance". Skeptical Science. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  6. ^ iERA
  7. ^ Three-quarters of non-Muslims believe Islam negative for Britain | World news | guardian.co.uk
  8. ^ Islam TV show triggers deluge of Ofcom complaints | World news | The Guardian
  9. ^ ucl
  10. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/10/segregated-seating-row-at-ucl-debate_n_2848326.html
  11. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/15/ucl-bans-islamic-group-over-segregation
  12. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2293248/University-College-London-bans-Islamic-group-iERA-segregating-men-women-debate.html
  13. ^ http://www.iera.org/press-releases/universities-uk-report-vindicates-iera-policies-on-separate-seating-at-events
  14. ^ Robert Mendick and Ben Lazarus. "'Anti-Semitic' charity under investigation". The Telegraph, 26 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "Investigation launched into educational charity". Charity Commission, 8 May 2014. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "New Report: Evangelising Hate – Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA)". Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, 19 May 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Press Release: iERA Responds to Anti-Religion Extremists". iERA, 21 May 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2014. 

External links[edit]