The chairman of a UK human rights organization which has received over £1.4million in charity cash has praised the fatwa on Sir Salman Rushdie less than a year ago , The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
Massoud Shadjareh, founder and chairman of the controversial Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), spoke with emotion of the death sentence imposed on the writer in 1989 following the publication of his novel The Satanic Verses.
The IHRC, which has been described by former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn as representing “all that is best in Islam”, is closely aligned with Iran and its leaders have previously declared the West as “the enemy”.
He showed his support for terrorists detained in the UK and US, including hate preacher Abu Hamza.
Addressing a conference on Islamophobia last December, Mr Shadjareh said: ‘I am old enough to remember what was going on at the time of the Rushdie affair.
Massoud Shadjareh, founder and chairman of the controversial Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC)
Salman Rushdie (pictured in Los Angeles in 2013) suffered liver damage as well as severed nerves to his arm and eyes in the ferocious attack in New York last weekend
“We were not organized as a Muslim community. We didn’t even have huge national umbrella organizations.
“But ordinary Muslims from all walks of life, even those who were not fully practicing, came with the understanding that this was wrong and they supported the fatwa against it.”
Mr Shadjareh, 70, has previously described Iran’s infamous Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeni, who issued the fatwa, as a “torch of light for all of humanity”.
The IHRC is mainly funded by its charitable arm, the Islamic Human Rights Commission Trust, which shares the same address in Wembley, north London.
The charity has channeled over £1.4 million in donations to the HRIC and has benefited from over £300,000 in taxpayer-funded financial aid donations over the past six years.
The charity IHRC Trust has also received over £20,000 in government grants during the pandemic.
Iran’s infamous Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeni who issued the fatwa
The Charity Commission conducted a two-year investigation into the relationship between the HRIC and its trust, but ordered no changes.
The IHRC also organizes the annual Al Quds March in London, during which many participants wave the flag of Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group backed by Iran and banned by the Home Secretary in 2019.
In 2020, Mr. Shadjareh spoke at a vigil held for Iranian General Qasem Soleimani after he was killed by the United States.
He said: “We are working hard to make sure there will be many, many more Qasem Soleimanis. We aspire to become like him.
He also backed former Labor leader Jeremey Corbyn’s Peace and Justice project.
Sir Salman suffered liver damage as well as severed nerves to his arm and eyes in the ferocious attack in New York last weekend.
His alleged attacker, Hadi Matar, praised the ayatollah in an interview from prison last week and described Sir Salman as “someone who attacked Islam“.
Mr Matar, 24, has pleaded not guilty to the attack.
Dr Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, said: “The IHRC is a concerning organization that has supported many controversial and dangerous causes over the years.
“Its president now being tied to pro-Rushdie fatwa rhetoric only reinforces the idea that no matter how divisive its structure, no government funding should go to it.”
Shajareh refused to condemn the recent attack on Sir Salman
A report published by the Henry Jackson Society in 2019 concluded that the IHRC is an “institutionally pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic organization.”
Last night Mr Shadjareh refused to condemn the recent attack on Sir Salman.
He said: ‘It seems The Mail on Sunday doesn’t understand the speech I gave in December 2021 or the broader ‘fatwa’ issues and the Muslim community‘s response to it.
“In the spirit of honesty, openness and investigation, I suggest that they organize an event where myself and perhaps one of their contributors, such as Peter Hitchens, can discuss the case and of how Muslims in general and I in particular feel about this.’