Paris, 6 October 2022
Madam Prime Minister,
Permit me, on behalf of Rabbi Marvin Hier, Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Centre’s Associate Dean and Director for Global Social Action, as also our worldwide 400,000 members, including the British Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, to wish you every success as Prime Minister.
The Wiesenthal Centre is shocked by the hateful rhetoric of Seyed Hashem Moosavi – Representative of the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and Director of the Islamic Center of England, based in London.
In reference to daily anti-regime protests in Tehran, he is noted to have stated: “Those who protest [now in Iran] are soldiers of Satan... women removing their hijab are poison.”
Following the arrest and murder of 22-year-old Kurdish-Iranian Mahsa Amini, by the so-called “Morality Police” – for not wearing her headscarf ‘properly’ – the anti-regime protests have been met by brutal repression. Now the death toll of unarmed protesters killed by the Ayatollah’s police and Basij militia (the youth branch of the IRGC – Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) has reached over 100, without counting the thousands injured, tortured, arrested and awaiting a probable death sentence by hanging.
Among those arrested and detained are tens of British and other Western nationals – the most recent to date is Italian blogger Alessia Piperno – who are tried on spurious charges and, de facto, kept as hostages in the context of the JCPOA negotiations.
Moosavi’s speeches often include not-so-veiled incitement to violence, such as: “Does not Western Islamophobia justify terrorist acts?” (directly taken from a letter by Ayatollah Khamenei to Western youth, 2021) or “If you see a king or a leader breaking the law of Islam... then it is your responsibility to change that with words or actions... otherwise it is the right of Allah to put you with that king in Hell.” (excerpt from Arba’een commemoration speech, 2020).
Furthermore, in 2014, the Islamic Center celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, inviting Jeremy Corbyn, who was not yet leader of the Labour party. At the time, he was an active backbencher and also worked for Press TV, receiving a salary from Iran’s English-language broadcasting arm. Unsurprisingly, at the Islamic Center, Corbyn was introduced as “a very dear friend... who would make the case for Iran.”
Only in 2020, the Charity Commission finally issued an Official Warning to the Islamic Center, regarding “misconduct and/or mismanagement,” following Moosavi’s idolizing eulogy for General Qasem Soleimani, late head of the Quds Force. The latter is the clandestine unconventional warfare branch of the IRGC, responsible for mayhem worldwide, from Bosnia to Lebanon, from India to Germany, from Washington D.C. to Buenos Aires and Caracas.
Moosavi and his Islamic Center of England have not dropped their incitement, In July 2022, a promotional IRCG video-clip entitled “Salute Commander!” – with children singing their desire to become “martyrs!” – was screened in their Maida Vale headquarters.
Iran’s five Islamic centers in the UK – London, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Glasgow – are reportedly the core of the Islamic regime’s British network. Their main task – financed through abundant funds– is to establish umbrella institutions, local charities, education centres and media outlets. They also apparently vie to infiltrate the British political and financial establishment.
Madam Prime Minister, a year ago, as Foreign Secretary you addressed the plight of ten British citizens imprisoned in Iran, but made no reference to the disruptive influence of Iran’s agents in the UK. It is time for action!
The Islamic Center’s daily message to the ‘faithful’– including incitement to violence, antisemitism, repression of any opposition – reveal an extremist political agenda obviously in tune with Iran’s Supreme Leader... that does not correspond to its declared charitable aims of “advancing the religion of Islam and education, and the provision of social and religious welfare facilities.”
This must surely be enough to raise more than one red flag and, at least, have their “Charity Status” revoked.
Dr Shimon Samuels
Director for International Relations
Simon Wiesenthal Centre
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