LONDON: The head of a British charity with links to Iran has slammed women resisting the regime’s rule as “soldiers of Satan,” condemning women who remove their hijabs as spreading “poison.”
Seyed Moosavi, the director of the Islamic Centre of England, said in a social media speech on Tuesday: “We do not expect any good from the soldiers of Satan, but we are the lovers of Allah. We try to protect our religion, to protect the truth.”
The center, which is funded by government authorities in Tehran, hosted the broadcast by Moosavi amid demonstrations against the Iranian regime following the death of Mahsa Amini, who died under suspicious circumstances after being arrested for “inappropriately” wearing the hijab.
The center, which is based in the prosperous Maida Vale district in northwest London, was the scene of protests from anti-regime Iranians as the fight against the ayatollahs spread from Iran to the diaspora around the world.
Moosavi, who is a personal representative of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said the bolstered laws on compulsory headdress were good and that the protestors were going “against the teaching of Islam.”
The Times of London reported that Kasra Aarabi, an Iran analyst at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change who has contributed to Arab News features, uncovered the controversial sections of the speech in a tweet: “The UK govt must take action against the Islamic Centre of England. It’s clear the views propagated at the centre are a direct threat to British values & citizens. The centre should be shut-down & Khamenei’s representatives should be expelled.”
The mosque is part of a network of groups that analysts believe have close links to the regime. Britain’s charity regulator investigated the center in January 2020 after it described the slain Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Gen. Qassem Soleimani as a “martyr” during a vigil following his killing by a US drone strike.
The Times contacted the Islamic Centre of England for comment.
The Charity Commission told the British newspaper that Moosavi’s social media speech would be included in its review of the organization’s output.
A spokeswoman said: “We are aware of a speech given by a trustee of the Islamic Centre of England. We have an ongoing regulatory compliance case into this charity to monitor whether it has addressed an official warning previously issued. We will be assessing this speech as part of this case.”