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Azad Ali, Awlaki Fan, Opponent of Democracy: Now Vice Chair of Unite Against Fascism

Unite Against Fascism has just elected, as its Vice Chair, the Islamic Forum Europe’s Azad Ali.

Here’s a report by the AWL’s Sacha Ismail:

Meanwhile the alliance with right-wing political Islam continues, now in the shape of the East London-based Islamic Forum of Europe, whose Azad Ali was “elected” UAF vice chair. No one on the left, as far as I know, suggests the IFE and its like are terrorists (I mention this because it’s a straw man Ali raised repeatedly – criticise us, and you must think we’re al Qaeda) or that we should refuse to stand even with Islamists to physically defeat fascist violence. But the idea that the left should be building a political alliance with a group that has established a bigoted, reactionary and repressive political climate in the Bengali community of Tower Hamlets is astonishing.

Just to recap:

  • Azad Ali opposes democracy “if it means at the expense of not implementing the sharia”
  • Azad Ali sued the Daily Mail for suggesting that comments on his blog showed that he was “a hardline Islamic extremist who supports the killing of British and American soldiers in Iraq by fellow Muslims as justified”. He lost.
  • Azad Ali used to attend talks by the spiritual leader of Al Qaeda in Europe: Abu Qatada.
  • Azad Ali wants Ismail Haniyeh – leader of the genocidal antisemitic terrorist organisation, Hamas – to be the Caliph of the next Caliphate.
  • Azad Ali admired the Al Qaeda and recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki and had this to say about him on the Islamic Forum of Europe’s blog: “I really do love him for the sake of Allah, he has an uncanny way of explaining things to people which is endearing.”
  • Azad Ali’s show on the Islam Channel was sanctioned by OFCOM for its failure to maintain due impartiality in its coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict, including in relation to comments on Mahmoud Abbas. That’s because he’s a Hamas supporter.
  • When an undercover reporter for Dispatches exposed Azad Ali’s political views, he threatened them on his radio show, saying: “We’ve got a picture of you and a lot more than you thought we had. We’ve tracked you down to different places. And if people are gonna turn what I’ve just said into a threat, that’s their fault, innit?”

This is just a fraction of the evidence against Azad Ali. I’m not proposing to recap the links between the Islamic Forum Europe and the far Right South Asian party, Jamaat-e-Islami. Nor will I list the ongoing parade of hate preachers, racists and bigots who are paraded through the East London Mosque/London Muslim Centre. There’s no need to. All of this information is very well known, and you can find it in the archives of this website.

The appointment of Azad Ali as Vice Chair of Unite Against Fascism is the lowest point of this organisation, so far.

I mention, for completeness, that Unite Against Fascism has re-elected as its Assistant Secretary, the SWP full timer Martin Smith. Smith was the principal promoter and defender of the racist and promoter of Holocaust Denial, Gilad Atzmon. He was convicted of assault in 2010, following the disorder outside the BBC during a demonstration to protest the presence of the British National Party’s Nick Griffin on Question Time.

Here is a list of UAF’s founding signatories.