IranMarch 13 2023, 3:44 am

Controversial Speaker Invited to Islamic Center Described as Iranian Regime’s London Office

Ahmed Haneef, a Cana­di­an Shia schol­ar, has been invit­ed to speak at the Islam­ic Cen­tre of Eng­land (ICE), which has been described as the Iran­ian regime’s “Lon­don office.” How­ev­er, Haneef’s past con­tro­ver­sial state­ments have raised con­cerns. In a pre­vi­ous speech to the ICE, he claimed that the 9/11 attacks were a false flag oper­a­tion and sug­gest­ed that Jews cel­e­brat­ed the attacks.

He said: “It was a self-imposed ter­ror­ism in Amer­i­ca. You know, you find this plane crash­es into the build­ing and it immo­lates, it bursts into flames. Oops.

“By the way, we just found the pass­ports of some of these hijack­ers in the rub­ble. Come on, you know, things like that.

“You know, how they found some Jew­ish kids on some roof actu­al­ly film­ing the event and jump­ing up for joy. No word from them. So there’s a false flag operation.”

Haneef has also praised the 1979 Iran­ian rev­o­lu­tion and talked about the Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty’s influ­ence in Britain.

He had pre­vi­ous­ly told ICE’s YouTube chan­nel: “They’re not afraid of us, they make their own peo­ple afraid of us because they use some of us in their programme.

“They’re using Sau­di Ara­bia and the Gulf States and so on to foment this thing called extrem­ism that they want to scare their own peo­ple about.”

Secu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Tom Tugend­hat has stat­ed that the Char­i­ty Com­mis­sion will report soon on its find­ings regard­ing ICE. The cen­ter has yet to com­ment on the matter.

The Islam­ic Cen­tre of Eng­land (ICE) in Lon­don serves as an office for Aya­tol­lah Ali Khamenei and his per­son­al rep­re­sen­ta­tive in Britain. A Char­i­ty Com­mis­sion inquiry fol­lowed two events held at the char­i­ty’s premis­es in 2020 that eulo­gized Qasem Soleimani, the Islam­ic Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps gen­er­al killed in a US drone strike in Jan­u­ary 2020, which described him as a “mar­tyr.”

The Char­i­ty Com­mis­sion, which reg­u­lates char­i­ties in Eng­land and Wales, issued an offi­cial warn­ing to the ICE after inves­ti­gat­ing the event. Tim Hop­kins, Assis­tant Direc­tor of Inves­ti­ga­tions and Inquiries at the Char­i­ty Com­mis­sion, said:

“Through their actions, the trustees have failed in their legal duties towards this char­i­ty, putting its rep­u­ta­tion at risk. Any char­i­ty being asso­ci­at­ed with ter­ror­ism is com­plete­ly unac­cept­able and we are con­cerned by the cor­ro­sive effect this might have on pub­lic con­fi­dence in this and oth­er charities.”

The Char­i­ty Com­mis­sion. Is also exam­in­ing a speech made by the cen­tre’s direc­tor, Seyed Moosavi, after he referred to Iran­ian anti-gov­ern­ment pro­test­ers as “sol­diers of Satan” and announced in Novem­ber 2022 that it had opened a statu­to­ry inquiry into the Islam­ic Cen­tre of Eng­land Lim­it­ed over seri­ous gov­er­nance concerns.

“A fol­low-up case in 2021 con­clud­ed that the char­i­ty was only par­tial­ly com­pli­ant with the actions set out in the offi­cial warn­ing and iden­ti­fied fur­ther reg­u­la­to­ry con­cerns.” These includ­ed con­cerns about the con­tent of the char­i­ty’s web­site and the trustees’ man­age­ment of con­flicts of inter­est, and led to the com­mis­sion issu­ing an action plan.

The ICE has not respond­ed to var­i­ous requests for com­ment, only stat­ing in its accounts that it is “ful­ly com­pli­ant” with the Char­i­ty Com­mis­sion’s requests.

The ICE has received hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds from the UK gov­ern­ment in var­i­ous schemes dur­ing the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic. How­ev­er, some crit­ics have ques­tioned why such an orga­ni­za­tion should be receiv­ing pub­lic funds. Kas­ra Aara­bi, from the Tony Blair Insti­tute, said on Twit­ter the cen­tre should be closed.

“The UK gov­ern­ment must take action against the Islam­ic Cen­tre of Eng­land, (Khamenei’s Lon­don office). It’s clear the views prop­a­gat­ed at the cen­tre are a direct threat to British val­ues and cit­i­zens. The cen­tre should be shut down and Khamenei’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives should be expelled,” he said.

In an inter­view post­ed on the Ahlul­Bayt Islam­ic Mis­sion (AIM) YouTube chan­nel on June 19, 2020, titled “The Black Strug­gle for Jus­tice in the USA,” Haneef said that cer­tain his­tor­i­cal fig­ures are idol­ized today even if their views regard­ing non-white peo­ple were “worse than the [views of the] Nazis.” Haneef gave the exam­ple of Win­ston Churchill, who he said had an “Aryanist” and “suprema­cist-type” ide­ol­o­gy that is min­i­mized today because Churchill had defend­ed Britain against the Nazis in World War II. Haneef explained that while Churchill had been fight­ing the Nazis in Europe, he and his ilk were com­mit­ting the exact same crimes in Africa, India, the US, and the Americas.

Haneef was born in Trinidad and stud­ied in Qom, Iran. He was pre­vi­ous­ly a pre­sen­ter in a reg­u­lar pro­gram on Press TV, Iran’s Eng­lish-lan­guage state-run TV chan­nel. AIM is a UK-based Shi’ite Islam­ic orga­ni­za­tion endorsed by UK rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Iran­ian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.



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