Iranian hardliners behind UK ‘Love Quran’ Campaign
On 18-20 of June, Porchester Hall played host to the “Love Quran Exhibition,” organised by the Iranian regime’s World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought (WFPIST). The WFPIST has previously run the similar “Love Muhammad Exhibition,” which was profiled by Stand for Peace at the time. Below is a partial list of the guest speakers who attended the Love Quran Exhibition:
Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, the brother of the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, is the Secretary-General of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought – a position to which he was appointed by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself – which organised the Love Quran Exhibition. Having formerly been Khamenei’s personal envoy to the UK and a member of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, Araki is very much a regime insider. He has met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and advocates the death penalty for apostasy. He was also a founding trustee of the Irshad Trust, the fundraising arm of a British Muslim school that was discovered to be teaching its students that non-Muslims are “filth”.
Mohammad Ali Shomali
Mohammad Ali Shomali is a senior Iranian cleric who serves as Head of the Department of Religions at the Imam Khomeini Education and Research Institute in Qom, Iran. The Institute’s founder and “guiding light” is the “archconservative” Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi, who is considered to be “the mystical mentor of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” In the aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, the institute’s official publication, Parto-Sokhan, ran advertisements that led to the recruitment of an estimated 55,000 young Iranians for the regime’s “Lovers of Martyrdom [Suicide Bombers] Garrison,” which was deployed inside Iraq.
Noor Siddiqi is the vice principal and senior lecturer at the Hijaz College Islamic University in Warwickshire. The college set up Britain’s first Sharia court in 2007 under the direction of Faisal Siddiqi (Noor’s younger brother), who told reporters that “British society was not ready” for such punishments as “beheadings, public floggings and thieves’ hands being chopped off … But he added that if society became more ‘civilised’ then those who broke the law should expect to receive the highest degree of punishment.”
Musharaf Hussain is a senior trustee of Muslim Hands, an Islamic charity which allegedly provides funds to Hamas through its social infrastructure in Gaza. Hussain has been described by the Daily Star as “an Islamic scholar with anti-West views,” and has been filmed referring to non-Muslims using the derogatory term “kuffar” and urging Muslims to fight them “because they are tyrants,” adding: “This is why the Koran says get out and go whether you are lightly armed or heavily armed, whether you have all the means or not, you must take part in this jihad.”
Merlin Miller is an American politician who was the 2012 presidential nominee of the white supremacist American Third Position party. He believes in the “Jewish-Zionist control of … mainstream media,” and has expressed his total agreement with the statement that “homosexuality and other perversions, [such as] mixture of the races” are destroying American society. He has also said, “I don’t want my daughters to marry people from other races,” and has met with and praised former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.