The Imam Mahdi Islamic Centre in Thornhill, Ont., allegedly has ties to the Iranian regime, and has long been targeted by anti-Iranian regime protesters. And once again, a small group of demonstrators, led by Nasser Pooli Mamaghani, showed up last Friday to air their grievances. Members of the Persian community insist the mosque has direct ties to the Iranian regime and they allege that the mosque engages in money laundering.
We reached out to a representative of the mosque and he said the Imam Mahdi Islamic Centre has no connection with the regime and that it does not engage in money laundering.
He also said the mosque has no connection with Firas al Najim. Al Najim is the individual that showed up to the Oct. 23 demonstration. As that protest was wrapping up, al Najim allegedly attempted to drive his SUV into the crowd.
This was a truly shocking incident given that several members of the York Regional Police Service were already at the mosque observing the demonstration.
In the aftermath, police charged al Najim, 38, of Toronto with Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Flight from Police, and Weapons Dangerous.
According to York Regional Police, al Najim drove a white Kia SUV at a high rate of speed in the direction of the demonstrators. The accused stopped the vehicle abruptly, squealing the tires while yelling at the protestors.
Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but the suspect fled from police. He was located a short time later and was arrested. When officers searched the vehicle, they located items including an airsoft gun, a baton, and bear spray.
Al Najim, who has a sordid history of carrying out acts of antisemitism in the greater Toronto area, has apparently switched gears and is now standing up for the Iranian regime for whatever reason. (We reached out to al Najim but never heard back.)
Thankfully, al Najim was a no-show at last Friday’s protest. But interestingly, Mamaghani was served with a legal letter warning that he will be charged under the Trespass to Property Act if he sets foot on the property of the mosque. This was a most curious notice indeed as Mamaghani has led several protests outside this mosque and neither he nor his fellow demonstrators have ventured on mosque property.
The letter also warned him not to display any “banner which defames any employee, imam worshipper of the mosque” and warned him about taking photographs of mosque attendees.
In an interview, Mamaghani claims his group has proof indeed has proof that the mosque has ties to the Iranian regime and is engaged in money-laundering activities but has decided not to release that information yet.