Questions have been asked of the SNP Government after it was revealed that they handed out almost £200,000 to a mosque which is under official investigation due to its alleged links to the repressive Iranian regime. Al-Mahdi Foundation, based at the Al-Mahdi Islamic Centre of Glasgow, received about £193,000 of climate change funding.
However, exiled dissidents have claimed that the premises have become an unauthorised base for the rogue state in Scotland. It is an affiliated outpost of the London-based Islamic Centre of England which provoked anger after it hosted a vigil for Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s most powerful military commander, after he was killed in a US drone strike.
The Times reported that the Home Office has been made aware of concerns about the mosque which is based in Glasgow’s Southside. The charity there also has links to a former SNP councillor who stepped down earlier this year, citing work commitments.
Ali Salamati, who represented East Kilbride West on South Lanarkshire Council, represented Al-Mahdi Foundation at Holyrood’s cross-party group on challenging racial and religious prejudice. We previously told how he had been accused of being an apologist for the Iranian regime after attending a number of events sympathetic to the cause.
He attended the controversial Quds rally in central London and has also shared a post on Facebook praising Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif for defending the country’s right to pursue a missile programme. In May 2020, Mr Salamati also participated in an online conference to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution when religious hardliners took over in Iran and transformed it into a theocracy.
The mosque in Glasgow has displayed pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini, who called for the death of British author Salman Rushdie, and also Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is Iran’s supreme leader and praised Hamas “resistance fighters” in the wake of their terror attack in Israel on October 7.
A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed that they had handed the Al-Mahdi Foundation cash in 2020. He said that they received “Climate Challenge funding” to “support awareness raising of climate change issues among disadvantaged and ethnic minority communities and to make their community building more energy efficient”.
He insisted that “all grant applications were subject to the relevant due diligence checks and all grants were monitored to ensure they delivered against their objectives.” The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator confirmed it had been “proactively contacted” by the foundation over its governance.
But questions have been asked about why the SNP Executive handed money to such a controversial organisation. Scottish Tory justice spokesman Russell Findlay said: “SNP ministers must now order a full investigation to inform the public exactly why a significant sum of public money was handed to an organisation with suspected links to the Iranian regime.”
The UK Government has growing concerns that Iran is stepping up hostile activities across the UK, and is using a network of agents to target opponents of the region. The Home Office said: “We continually assess potential threats in the UK and will continue to use all tools at our disposal to protect our people and interests against threats from the Iranian state.”
A Whitehall source added that national security concerns would be “thoroughly investigated” and action taken “where necessary and proportionate”. The Al-Mahdi Foundation’s website continues to name the Scottish Government as a “partner.”
Source » scottishdailyexpress