Speeches broadcast to London students calling for ‘death to Israel’ now under investigation

Speeches promoted by the Islamic Students Association of Britain denied the Holocaust and called on students to become ‘soft-war officers’


A number of antisemitic videos which were broadcast to British students in 2020 and 2021 are now being investigated by the Charity Commission.

One of three antisemitic events was live streamed to students at an event held in west London, where chants of “death to Israel” were reportedly heard.

The videos, which were promoted by the Islamic Students Association of Britain (ISA), are now under investigation after warnings about MI5 and counter-terrorism police, BBC reports.

Two of the three events were live streamed speeches by former and active Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commanders, while the other was an in-person event inside the Kanoon Towhid Islamic centre, ran by the Al-Tawheed Charitable Trust in west London.

Promoted by the Islamic Students Associations of Britain (ISA), the organisation was founded to promote the philosophy of the leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah Knomeini. Online adverts for the speeches in the videos also displayed the logo of the Islamic Students Associations of Britain, with the association’s name spelled out on the screen in Farsi in one video.

One video shown to students featured General Saeed Ghasemi, a former commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, while he urged British students to “bring an end to the life of the oppressors and occupiers, Zionists and Jews across the world”. The same video denied the existence of the Holocaust and called for the “good students of Europe” to be added to the “beautiful list of the soldier of the resistance”.

Seen by tens of thousands of people, the video also shows former IRGC commander Gen Saeed Ghasemi comparing Soleimani’s death to the film Terminator 2, saying that after Soleimani was attacked, the broken pieces would come back stronger than before.

Another video was live streamed to students an event held at the Kanoon Towhid islamic Centre. In a video seen by the BBC, the online talk in January 2021 honoured Iran’s dead military leader, Gen Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US air strike in 2020 due to his role in formenting terrorism abroad. Reports of the phrase “death to Israel” were allegedly chanted at the event.

Owned by the Al-Tawheed (TUCF) Charitable Trust, the Kanoon Towhid was already being investigated by the Charity Commission after reports of the event honouring Soleimani, who was sanctioned by the UK for his links to terrorism.

The third video was of another Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Corps commander, Hossein Yekta, who claimed that universities had become “the battlefront” and who called on students to become “soft-war officers” in what was alleged to be an apparent attempt to recruit them as Iranian propagandists. The video, an Instagram Live from Iran in September 2020, has been viewed around 1,500 times.

All three videos were promoted by the Islamic Students Association of Britain, which is understood to use the Kanoon Towhid Islamic Centre as a meeting place. The association is now being investigated by the Charity Commission following warnings by MI5 and counter-terrorism police about an increased “hostile state” activity by Iran in the UK, which includes attempted assassination plots.

Conservative MP, Alicia Kearns, told the BBC that the videos under investigation were “inciting violence”, “hatred” and “division” and that they were a “brazen act of radicalisation”.

She said: “It makes me really worried about the state of our society, everyone should be horrified by what they’re seeing in those videos.

“It’s division, it’s hatred. It’s inciting violence, potentially it’s incredibly serious. Everyone should be horrified by what they’re seeing in those videos.” She added: “Potentially it’s incredibly serious.”

The Islamic Students Association of Britain told the BBC it is an independent group led by student volunteers with no affiliations to any government.

The association said it respects people from all backgrounds, faiths and communities and “does not support or endorse anyone that does not share these values”. It also added that “all its activities are clearly lawful”.

The Kanoon Towhid Islamic centre and the Iranian Embassy has been contacted for comment.

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