What is Mehdi Hasan’s attitude towards a hate preacher who preaches the millennia-old libel: that Jews bake the blood of children in their “holy bread“?
He gloats that Raed Salah has avoided deportation.
The blood libel has a long and proven history of triggering not just hatred, but massacres of Jews. Not hundreds of years ago: right into the modern era.
But Mehdi Hasan isn’t bothered at all. In fact, the court victory of a man who incites hatred against Jews makes him happy.
So, what does make Mehdi Hasan cry?
Here is a section of a speech which Mehdi Hasan made a few years ago. The subject is, broadly speaking, the history of the Sunni-Shia sectarian conflict. Mehdi Hasan argues that, as a result of their defeats, Shia Muslims have suffered black propaganda and persecution. In the present day, he condemns Saudi Sunnis in the harshest terms for distorting the Qu’ran and the Hadiths, using them to mislead Muslims generally and to attack Shi’ites in particular.
So, it seems, Mehdi Hasan does understand how ancient religious libels can be used to incite hatred in the present, after all.
Mehdi Hasan then links the plight of Shi’ites to the persecution of various Imams: a number of whom were poisoned by their political rivals and died in various horrible ways. The speech culminates with a lachrymose retelling of the aftermath of the Battle of Karbala, in which a small group composed mostly of relatives of Muhammad’s grandson Husain ibn Ali were beaten, captured and then decapitated by the army of Caliph Yazid I.
Have a listen to the Political Editor of the New Statesman, choking with emotion as he tells the story of the fate of a military commander who died over a thousand years ago.
But when it comes to theologically based racist incitement, in the present day, in Britain against Jews who are his fellow citizens – well, Mehdi Hasan couldn’t give a flying fuck.