Charity Commission ‘assessing’ British Islamic charity over Soleimani vigil
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Charity Commission ‘assessing’ British Islamic charity over Soleimani vigil

Watchdog looking into event held by the Islamic Centre of England and literature published on its website, following the killing of the top Iranian general

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Screenshot from Twitter video showing a vigil outside the Islamic centre
Screenshot from Twitter video showing a vigil outside the Islamic centre

A British-Islamic charity that publicly mourned the death of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani is being scrutinised by the Charity Commission.

The watchdog told Jewish News it is “assessing information” after a video emerged of the vigil outside the Islamic Centre of England in Maida Vale, along with a ‘message of condolence’ on its website.

The London-based charity reportedly flew the Iranian flag at its headquarters, and funded a candlelit vigil on Saturday, at which mourners held placards featuring Soleimani and Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.

During a short clip posted online, Islamic prayer can be heard, and according to the Mail Online, 25 minutes before the vigil took place a man was arrested to prevent a breach of the peace and for  obstructing of officers.

The organisation says its aim is the “advancing the religion of Islam and education, and the provision of social and religious welfare facilities” according to the Commission’s website.

This comes after Tehran vowed harsh retaliation after President Trump authorised killing of general Soleimani, as millions took to the streets across Iran to mourn him.

The message of condolence, written by a representative of Ayatollah Khamenei and director of centre, Seyed Hashem Moosavi, refers to the “martyrdom” of Soleimani.

It claims he was “consistently present on the battlefield with the devils and the diabolic powers of the world”, and adds that he “fought bravely and sincerely … until his blood was shed at the hands of the most wicked members of human race”.

The Charity Commission said: “We are aware of a vigil held by the Islamic Centre of England over the weekend and publications on its website.”

We are currently assessing information and will be contacting the charity to seek further information.”

The Islamic Centre of England has been approached for comment.

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