Mohammed Saeed Bahmanpour is one of the scheduled speakers at this year’s “al Quds Day” Israel hatred march in London. It will take place on September 13.
Here is the list of al Quds Day speakers and “supporting organizations”. The named supporters include the Muslim Council of Britain, George Galloway’s “Respect” party, and the “Stop the War Coalition”.
Bahmanpour is an Iranian and a long-term resident of Britain. He is the principal of the Islamic College in Willesden, London, and a teacher at Hawza Ilmiyya, a religious school in the same building.
In 2006 a group of students at Hawza Ilmiyya were so concerned about some of the teaching materials that they went to The Times:
The text that has upset some students is the core work in their Introduction to Islamic Law class and was written by Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, a 13thcentury scholar. The Hawza Ilmiyya website states that “the module aims to familiarise the student with the basic rules of Islamic law as structured by al-Hilli”.
Besides likening unbelievers to filth, the al-Hilli text includes a chapter on jihad, setting down the conditions under which Muslims are supposed to fight Jews and Christians.
The text is one of a number of books that some students say they find “disturbing” and “very worrying”. Their spokesman told The Times: “They are being exposed to very literalist interpretations of the Koran. These are interpretations that would not be recognised by 80 or 90 per cent of Muslims, but they are being taught in this school.
“A lot of people in the Muslim community are very concerned about this. We need to urgently re-examine the kind of material that is being taught here and in other colleges in Britain.”
Bahmanpour brushed off the students’ concerns.
Here is something else he dismisses – the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is nothing less than an assault on God and the believers, he says (pdf):
The Declaration of Human Rights, having its roots and origins in the liberalist mindset of the modern West, can by no means accommodate in its entire framework the concept of God, the concept of the world beyond and the practical implication of these two, i.e. the concept of sin. The very language, tone, insinuation and undertone of the Declaration are all in defiance with such a concept.
As a matter of fact the Declaration of Human rights was devised partly to curb and control the precarious and arbitrary practices of religious authorities in the West, and in its primary vision the most enemy of human and Human Rights was God himself incarnated in His representatives, i.e. the Christian clergy. It was an insurgence of human against God, and in this uprising it was not human who sinned, but God who was the greatest of all sinners. Such a mindset never can accommodate the concerns and attitude of those who believe in God and therefore can not take them on board.
Concerns about freedom in Iran are also given short shrift. These quotes are from a “live dialogue” in 2004 which was published on Islam Online, Islamist preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s propaganda outlet:
It is certainly not a liberal democracy that Iranians are opting for and they should not be judged according to the standards of liberal democracies. Iran is trying to create a democracy based on Islamic priniciples, something that has no past precedence. They might have made and continue making mistakes on their path towards this aim and their efforts might have not been complete, but if you judge the democratic institutions they have created after the revolution you would certainly give them a high mark in what they have achieved.
The issue of diversion of the youth from Islam, if it is concede at all, is not due to the Islamic rule or the type of madhhab, but due to the world wide web of corruption and indecency which is plaguing all Muslim countries from the West.
What I can say as compared to many other Middle Eastern countries is that the elections are not a show. They is real and transparent. Even disqualifications are done not under the table but in a very transparent way.
Human rights are being violated in almost every country including Iran and the US. However, a degree of such violation is acceptable for a country like Iran which has not yet developed a perfect and mature judiciary system, and is still struggling to establish a stable political system. What is important is that such violations are not systematic and the situation is being improved day by day.
To speak in terms of statistics, there are now more than 3000 magazines and news papers being published in Iran. There are limitations for freedom of speach everywhere in the world, however, how this limitation is defined depends on the national interest and codes and regulations of any country.
There might have been some unwarranted arrests or limitations authorized by some young judges in this regard, but this should not be blamed wholly on the system. Moreover, censorship of the press is usually authorised whenever the national interest of a country is at stake, and this might have different meanings for different political groups.
Other topics demand clarity and firmness rather than dismissals and evasions. Such as supporting the “struggle” in Iraq, provided the “oppressor” is targeted. Bahmanpour signed this statement (pdf) in 2006:
Sectarian violence only further helps to prolong the occupation and causes oppressed peoples to fight each other rather than challenging those who have occupied their land and who gain most from such bloodshed.
We call on all Muslims in Iraq and beyond to put aside sectarianism, and unite to fulfil their religious duty to struggle in defence of the oppressed against the oppressor.
Israel, of course, is condemned outright. In fact, the Israeli state should be eliminated. This is from Bahmanpour’s speech at the al Quds Day London march in 2007:
A peace could not be obtained without the presence of Hamas and those real Palestinians who are fighting and resisting for their freedom. To exclude Hamas from the peace negotiations in Palestine would only end in failure. There will be no peace until and unless you could bring the true people of Palestine on board. If you say that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, we want to declare here, now and today that we are all Hamas, we are all Hizbullah. Anyone saying that Hamas or Hizbullah is a terrorist organisation is just dubbing everyone, every Muslim around the world to be a terrorist.
The zionist regime in Israel is the materialisation, is the epitome of racism and apartheid. How do you want to create peace and justice with such a state? The only solution for peace in Palestine is one state solution. One state in which Muslims, Jews, and Christians have equal and free right to vote, to have their own government installed and in place. And I tell you, and you can remember this – so long as this would not happen you would not see peace in Palestine, and consequently you cannot see peace in the world.
Bahmanpour, framed by Khomeini and Malcolm X and crowned by a Jewish fig leaf
You can listen to the speech here:
With this record, no wonder Bahmanpour shows up in the Islamist – white racist far right nexus. Here he is in a clip from IRIB, the state-controlled Iranian broadcaster. Who are his guests in the studio? Why, Peter Rushton, who has been a member of the openly Nazi “White Nationalist Party” and the BNP, and Michèle Renouf, a disgusting antisemite.
Did you know that feminism is a “disaster” and something of a Jewish plot? And that the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” should be taken as an instruction manual in contemporary cultural analysis? So says Renouf.
It is certainly not the case to claim it to be antisemitic to remark that feminism is basically Jewish-oriented.
So that we know that there were many proofs, from their own lips and their own writings, Herzl in his diaries, which indicate that those Protocols of Zion, although they may well be forgeries, nevertheless do indicate certain aspects of cultural direction that we ought to look at, be they forgeries or otherwise.
Bahmanpour just grins at her and murmurs his assent. He’s in his element. As he will be on the al Quds hate march in London on September 13.