In 2001, Sheikh Yasir Qadhi gave a horrendously and thoroughly racist lecture about Jews, which combined pretty much every lie and slander you could imagine.
This is the culmination of Qadhi’s lecture:
All of these Polish Jews which Hitler was supposedly trying to exterminate, that’s another point, by the way, Hitler never intended to mass-destroy the Jews. There are a number of books out on this written by Christians, you should read them. The Hoax of the Holocaust, I advise you to read this book and write this down, the Hoax of the Holocaust, a very good book. All of this is false propaganda and I know it sounds so far-fetched, but read it. The evidences [sic] are very strong. And they’re talking about newspaper articles, clippings, everything and look up yourself what Hitler really wanted to do. We’re not defending Hitler, by the way, but the Jews, the way that they portray him, also is not correct.
You can listen to this nasty little racist here.
Roll forward seven years, and Qadhi is being promoted by the organisers of the Islamist Global Peace and Unity Event as a moderate voice, fit to share the stage with senior Labour, Liberal Democrat and Tory politicians. The last thing that Qadhi thought would happen, when he rebranded, was that his racist hatemongering past would catch up with him.
Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians shamefully stayed silent about the racist and Holocaust Denier they were sharing a platform with. They had no comment to make, at all, about the other speakers at the GPU Event: the 9/11 conspiracy theorist, the exhorter of the suicide murder of Sir Salman Rushdie, the Hamas supporters, and the man who preaches the sanctity of wife beating.
It appears to have been Dominic Grieve, the Tory Shadow Home Secretary, who was the only politician to have condemned any of these figures.
This came as a shock to Qadhi. Here is his response, in which this racist poses as an ingenue, hurt – shocked! – to discover how his words have been used against him. Let’s take a look at it, line by line, to see how racists and Holocaust deniers once unmasked attempt to salvage their sorry reputations.
First of all comes the mea culpa.
It was all a mistake!
Where did I get all of this information from? In the summer of 1999, someone had forwarded me a website of a group that called itself the ‘Institute for Historical Review’. At the time, I found the articles on it quite fascinating; the pseudo-scientific style in which they wrote gave the impression that they were a serious academic research body. It was only later, after more research, that I realized that they were a front for a group of actual anti-Semites, and were the leading Holocaust-denial organization in the world. Remember that this was a pre-Google and Wikipedia era, and I was sitting on the internet in my apartment in Saudi Arabia, far away from academic institutes where I could have verified the real agenda of this group. So, unfortunately, my mind abuzz with articles from this site, and believing there was legitimate scholarly difference of opinion over such issues, I digressed to a topic that I had not actually intended to talk about and made some serious historical blunders.
Yeah, right. He came across an article which claimed that Jews weren’t Jews, that the Hitler was maligned, and … he found it fascinating. He found it fascinating because he’s a racist. And of course, there was no way he could have realised that this site was a Holocaust denial site, because, apparently, there were no search engines in 2001. None at all. And the actual Holocaust denial wasn’t actually a give away that this was a Holocaust denial site.
I’ve only ever made this one little mistake
Its been almost a decade since that one-time mistake; I admit it was an error and an incorrect ‘fact’ was propagated. But even in that talk, I did not deny the actual occurrence of the Holocaust, or express any support or admiration for Hitler, or claim that all Jews were worthy of being despised or hated.
I don’t believe him.
I didn’t see this coming
When I gave that lecture, so many years ago, I was a completely unknown nobody. I honestly had no idea that one day I would be as recognized as I am today, so much so that the Shadow Home Secretary of the UK feels compelled to dissociate himself from the likes of me!
He means “I never thought I’d be caught”
Some of my best friends…
I have stated many times, and firmly believe, that Muslims in the West have a lot to learn from the experiences of Judaism. Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, are the closest religious group to Muslims in terms of practice and legal code. There’s a lot to be gained from how they coped and survived in the Western environment.
The oldest line in the book.
It was all a long time ago
Quite simply, it was the result of a remark that was made in a lecture, in passing, almost a decade ago.
Liar. It was seven years ago.
It has all be blown out of proportion
Apparently, this was a charge that was being spread by an obscure internet site, and which had then been taken up by other sites (including David Horowitz’s Frontepage magazine), growing and magnifying along the way, until finally it reached the offices of British politicians, as an undeniable fact: ‘Sheikh Yasir Qadhi was a Holocaust-denying anti-Semitic Hitler-sympathizing extremist fundamentalist radical Muslim preacher’.
If the cap fits.
Blame Jewish political influence
Hence, in my case, apparently politicians felt that their appearance with me on stage might jeopardize their relations with their Jewish constituents.
Well, it turned out that [Dominic Grieve's] tirade against me gave me material for another paragraph for my lecture later on in the day. His frenzied rant fitted in perfectly with the theme of my talk at the GPU, which centered around the rise of Islamophobia in Europe and the proper way to respond to it. Islamophobia is defined to be the illogical and irrational fear of Islam, and Dominic Grieve seemed to be a perfect example of it. Its as if he wanted the GPU speakers to all be extremist fanatics, to make a point that no matter how ‘moderate’ Muslims try to make themselves, they’ll never be moderate enough for him and his party. (My talk was of course recorded and broadcast live on Islam Channel; hopefully it should be out on the internet soon). Well, of course he shot himself in the foot by showing the real problem is ignorance and bias on the side of politicians and the media; the real problem is the willingness, nay, the eagerness, to promote the stereotyping of ‘the other’ rather than engage in true and meaningful dialogue.
You’re caught out, preaching racism and Holocaust denial. But as far as you’re concerned, that’s entirely consistent with political moderation. And, apparently, to condemn racism, is to display “Islamophobia”.
Sheikh Yasir Qadhi is utter scum. He would never have been given this pass, were he a White Supremacist. To apply different standards to this man, simply because he is Muslim, is true anti-Muslim bigotry. The politicians who shared a platform with him, without complaint, must think that moderation – for Muslims – means promoting Holocaust denial.
Congratulations to Dominic Grieve for having called Qadhi on it. It is a desparate situation, is it not, when – apparently – only the Tories are prepared to confront open and bare faced racism.