Manchester cleric reportedly praised Iranian terror chief at event where audience chanted “Death to Israel”
It has been reported that a cleric in Manchester gave a speech in which he praised an Iranian terror chief at an event where the audience chanted “Death to Israel”.
According to the JC, cleric Farrokh Sekaleshfar is listed as a trustee and director at the Islamic Cultural Centre, a Manchester-based charity, and as a speaker at the Islamic Centre of England, the latter of which is said to have been described as the “London office” of the antisemitic Islamist terrorist group known as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and is currently under investigation by the Charity Commission.
Mr Sekaleshfar is alleged to have appeared as a keynote speaker at a memorial event for IRGC terrorist mastermind, Qasem Soleimani, who was assassinated by the United States in 2020.
During the event in Qom, Iran, the audience is reported to have chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to England”.
Mr Sekaleshfar is also reported to have described Soleimani as a “martyr” in a separate speech in 2021.
Earlier this year, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to all MPs calling on them to back the Government’s reported proposal to proscribe IRGC under the Terrorism Act 2000.
We have provided the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and the Security Minister, Tom Tugendhat, and all MPs with a dossier on the IRGC, detailing its horrendous record of antisemitism and violence against Jewish people.
In light of the mounting pressure to proscribe the IRGC, there have been calls made to close London’s Islamic Centre. The Islamic Centre is believed to serve as an office for Iran’s Supreme Leader, and its Director, Seyed Hashem Moosavi, is understood to have been appointed by the regime as a mid-ranking cleric.
The institution also aired an Iranian propaganda film, posted on IRGC websites, featuring children singing a song that referenced an apocalyptic myth about murdering Jews, according to the JC. The Islamic Centre denied that its “local version of the song” carried the same meaning. It also has a history of publishing inflammatory rhetoric about Zionists and extolled Iranian support for the antisemitic terror groups Hamas and Hizballah.
The Islamic Centre is located just minutes from several synagogues in the area.