||This article may require copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone, or spelling. (November 2014)|
|Focus||education, research, Dawah|
|Slogan||A new era in dawah|
iERA (Islamic Education and Research Academy) is an Islamic missionary group founded in the United Kingdom by Abdur Raheem Green in 2009 for proselytizing Islam. The iERA has been characterised as a hate group by some secular and rationalist organisations and pundits. iERA has denied these accusations.
- 1 Board of trustees
- 2 Activities
- 3 Criticism and controversy
- 4 Affiliations
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Board of trustees
The board of Trustees consists of:
- Abdur Raheem Green — Chairman
- Saqib Sattar
- Yusuf Chambers
- Nasser Khan
Former board members have included:
In September 2012 iERA wrote a lengthy critique challenging historian Tom Holland's Channel 4 documentary Islam: The Untold Story that questioned parts of the story of the origins of Islam. The Islamic Education and Research Academy said it was "historically inaccurate" and "clearly biased".
iERA projects its message in two main ways. One is by acting as a proactive organization, facilitating missionary activities to promote Islam. The other is by serving as an aggregating organization which coordinates and pays its affiliate preachers. iERA does not have a stated constitution, but the core group and affiliates that it aggregates all tend to have ideas centered on the beliefs of Islamist organizations and hate groups such as Hizb ut Tahrir and of Wahaabi and Salafi Islam as a whole.
Criticism and controversy
Seating arrangements at UCL
iERA, under its platform The Big Debates, organised a debate at UCL (University College London) 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. Krauss was 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." 
iERA have been banned from holding events at UCL, which concluded that iERA "had attempted to enforce segregation at the debate on 9 March". UCL released a statement stating ""We do not allow enforced segregation on any grounds [but] it now appears that, despite our clear instructions, attempts were made to enforce segregation at the meeting." The statement went on to say "that their interests are contrary to UCL's ethos and that we should not allow any further events involving them to take place on UCL premises."
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”.
Charities Commission investigation
The Charity Commission is currently investigating the IERA over a number of “regulatory issues” over its policies for organising events and inviting external speakers. The Telegraph speculated that the iERA was 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."
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. 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 report claiming it is "filled with spin and statements deliberately taken out of context, it is designed to sensationalise and misrepresent".
On 30 November 2014, the Telegraph reported that the iERA was "closely linked to a number of the 'Portsmouth jihadis', who were six young men from the Hampshire city who travelled together to fight for Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria." The report called Green an "extremist preacher". It noted that the iERA denied that the Portsmouth group were part of the IERA organisation, but added: "However, Portsmouth Dawah Team members, including Hassan and Jaman, dressed in IERA T-shirts to proseltyse and used IERA banners and literature on their street stall. The group was last year described by Mission Dawah, part of IERA, as 'our team from Portsmouth.'" iERA responded that anyone could obtain those T-shirts as part of its campaigns. In addition iERA later wrote an open letter to the editor challenging the report, saying that Andrew Gilligan, the Telegraph reporter, quoted its speakers out of context and was "fuelling an atmosphere of hate and fear of Muslims." 
In 2012 Abdur Raheem Green was barred from speaking at the Emirates Stadium following community concern and in 2015, "after concern from the local community, including local Jewish people", he was banned from St James Park.
Controversial leaders and speakers
Abdur Raheem Green
In May 2014, the Telegraph reported that the iERA which Green chairs 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" and was barred by Arsenal F.C. from speaking at a conference at their Emirates Stadium for similar views.
Zakir Naik has publicly said that all Muslims should be terrorists and was banned from both Canada and the UK for his inflammatory comments. His speeches were also posted to the YouTube channel “The Merciful Servant” which Tamerlan Tsarnaev followed in the months before the Boston Marathon Bombings. He has also been the subject of a fatwa that claims his teachings are un-Islamic and contradict the Koran.
Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips
Bilal Philips formerly served on iERA’s board of advisors. He has been banned or deported from Kenya, Germany, America, Australia, and Britain. Bilal Philips was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
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- Saqib Sattar, Vice-Chairman, iERA. "Define Extremism: An Open Letter to the Editor of the Telegraph". iERA. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- ISLAMIC EDUCATION AND RESEARCH ACADEMY (IERA) FINANCIAL STATEMENTS 30 JUNE 2013, p 1.
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- ucl "IERA event at UCL on 9 March" Check
|url=scheme (help). ucl.ac.uk. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
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- "University College London bans Islamic group iERA for segregating men and women at debate |". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
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