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Date Hate

Here’s a report in The Guardian about the latest antics of Ismail Patel’s “Friends of al Aqsa”.

British Muslims are being urged to boycott Israeli dates when breaking their fast during Ramadan in protest at the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Campaign organisers Friends of Al Aqsa hope the boycott will dwarf previous attempts to hit Israel in the pocket, capitalising on the attention afforded to the plight of Palestinians by the deadly Israeli attack on a flotilla carrying aid to Gaza at the end of May.

The focus is on dates because of their symbolic importance to Muslims, who traditionally consume them at sunset during the holy month – due to begin on Wednesday next week – to break the daylight fast.

“At a time when we are thinking about people less fortunate than ourselves it would be hypocritical and an affront not only to ignore what’s happening about Palestine but also to support it by buying dates from Israeli. You’re fuelling oppression,” said Shamiul Joarder from Friends of Al Aqsa.

The check-the-label campaign is supported by a number of groups, including War on Want and Jews Boycotting Israeli Goods.

The report is by Haroon Siddique, the man who wrote up the scaremongering poll of iERA without providing background on the group. Such as the fact that iERA’s advisors include two men who have been excluded from the United Kingdom (Zakir Naik and Bilal Phillips), Abdullah Hakim “Death to Gays” Quick, Hamas supporter Haitham “Jews should leave Palestine” Haddad, and 9/11 troofer, Jew hater and jihad backer Hussein Yee. (By the way, an iERA group will be hosted at the East London Mosque’s London Muslim Centre this weekend.)

This time Siddique’s report doesn’t provide any detail on Friends of al Aqsa. It is headed, of course, by Ismail Patel, a disgusting antisemite, a supporter of Hamas, and a fan of Holocaust deniers.

“Hamas is no terrorist organisation. The reason they hate Hamas is because they refuse to be subjugated, occupied by the Israeli state, and we salute Hamas for standing up to Israel.”

So, what’s an “ethical” consumer to do about dates? Especially if he or she is concerned about the plight of Muslims around the world? How about Europe’s biggest supplier, Tunisia? Oh:

Domestic and international human rights organizations reported instances of police harassment of women wearing the hijab and men with traditional Islamic dress and beards.

The Government prohibits efforts to proselytize Muslims and restricts the wearing of “sectarian dress,” including the hijab (Islamic headscarf) by women and beards and the qamis (knee-length shirts) by men.

The Government does not permit the establishment of political parties based on religion, and it continued to ban the Islamist party An-Nahdha. The Government asserts that religious parties could be vehicles for extremism and that by preventing political parties from becoming channels for intolerance, hatred, and terrorism, it promotes societal tolerance. The Government maintains tight surveillance over Islamists and does not issue passports to some alleged Islamists. It maintains that only the courts possess the power to revoke passports; however, reports indicated that it rarely observed this separation of powers in politically sensitive cases.

Government decrees dating from 1981 and 1986 restrict the wearing of sectarian dress, generally interpreted to mean the hijab, in government offices and discourage women from wearing it on public streets and at certain public gatherings. In 2006 a lower court ruled that the 1986 decree was unconstitutional, but the ruling is not binding. The Government stated that the hijab is a sign of membership in a fundamentalist group that hides behind religion to achieve political ends and that, according to the Modern Islamic school of thought, wearing the hijab is not an obligation. The Government describes the hijab as a sectarian garment of foreign origin and justifies its restriction of the hijab in public institutions as necessary to preserve the impartiality of officials.

What about other suppliers then? Here’s a UN list of the world’s top producers. How about Egypt? Or Libya? Sudan?

Egypt (1102 thousand tonnes), Iran (900 thousand tonnes), Saudi Arabia (712 thousand tonnes), Pakistan (550 thousand tonnes), Iraq (400 thousand tonnes), Algeria (370 thousand tonnes), UAE (318 thousand tonnes), Oman (260 thousand tonnes), Sudan (177 thousand tonnes), Libya (132 thousand tonnes), China (110 thousand tonnes) and Tunisia (107 thousand tonnes)

Never mind, move along, nothing to see here.

The Hamasniks of Friends of al Aqsa will be welcomed at Regent’s Park mosque this Friday at the next stop on their Israel hatred campaign. Then on Saturday morning it’s on to Edgware Road for some harassment of shoppers and store owners with the charmers of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.