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UK security minister labels Iran-funded mosque a ‘vile threat’ to the country

March 23, 2023 at 3:42 pm

Islamic Centre of England, Maida Vale [Wikipedia]

The British government is stepping up pressure on an Iranian-funded mosque in London after a minister branded it a “vile threat” amid on-going investigations by the Charity Commission. On Monday during a parliamentary debate, concerns were raised over the mosque’s alleged links with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which the government has been considering designating as a terrorist organisation.

Several MPs spoke out against one of Britain’s leading Shia mosques, the Islamic Centre of England which is run by the UK representative of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. During the parliamentary session Stephen Crabb, Conservative MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire, said that the centre reflected a “deliberate attempt by the Iranian regime to use whatever foothold they can get in our national life to spread conspiracy theories, extremism and radicalisation”.

Christian Wakeford, the Labour MP for Bury South, said that revelations of its “extreme activities” provided further evidence of the “threat Iran poses here in the UK”.

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Responding to demands by MPs to proscribe the IRGC, Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said: “The work we’ve been doing against the Iranian threat has not diminished, in fact it’s increased in recent months.”

“Sadly the Islamic Centre for England is not alone and the work of the IRGC is not limited to those Iranian proxy organisations,” he added.

Tugendhat also added that the government was “pulling together” to combat “this vile threat that’s taken over a country and is now threatening ours,” reported the Times. The newspaper also said it carried out its own investigation which exposed hate speech at the “regime’s outpost”.

Last year the Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the centre “over serious governance concerns” after an Official Warning was issued to the centre after it hosted two events in 2020 eulogising the late Iranian general of the IRGC Quds Force, Qasem Soleimani, who was subject to sanctions by the British government.

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