The Fourth Global Convention of Solidarity with Palestine has been going on in Beirut for the last several days. The conference is organised by something called The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine the conference’s aims are advertised as follows;
1- Discussing the most effective means to stand up against the plots and projects violating the Palestinian rights.
2- Developing coordination mechanisms between activists and NGOs for organizing solidarity activities and events.
3- Agreeing on a common Solidarity work program for 2018-2019
The conference kicked off by giving Gilad Atzmon an award and then the attendees were addressed by (among others) the Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah Sheikh Naim Qassem and Ismail Haniyah addressing the conference from Gaza.
There is no way to regain Palestine other than through the resistance—first and foremost, armed resistance, followed by all other forms of resistance. We shall not replace resistance by weapons with any other form of resistance, until this enemy surrenders, and surrender it will. [Editor’s note:Do you think he’s a part of the political or military wing?]
Qassem left no doubt about his antisemitism when interviewed in 2006;
However, there was no margin of doubt in the sheikh’s view that Israel should be abolished, a position bolstered by quotes from the Koran denouncing Jews and calling for a struggle against them. I put it to Qassem that this use of the Islamic tradition, in a context of modern political conflict, was racist, a point he evidently did not accept.
It’s interesting that such a little known organisation as The Global Campaign to Return to Palestine is able to pull in such heavy speakers…
And here are some British people who went out to participate in the conference;
Framed in yellow in the first screenshot is Azzam Muhammad Vice Convenor of the Muslim Council of Scotland. This is the same Muslim Council of Scotland that has just refused to participate in a march against racism tomorrow. They have refused because they don’t want to march with Zionists;
Also present with Azzam Muhammad of the Muslim Council of Scotland is Karen Bett who David Collier names as the treasurer of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign (SPSC). This is the same organisation who were found to have a whole bunch of members who David Collier found had posted antisemitic and Holocaust denial posts on their Facebook profile. The SPSC have also refused to march against racism alongside Zionists.
Of course neither organisation sees the contradiction between on the one hand having officers attending a conference that gives an award to Gilad Atzmon who wrote a book that the Community Security Trust said is; “quite probably the most antisemitic book published in this country in recent years” and on the other claiming to be anti-racists.
Furthermore they’re attending a conference that has one speaker who is the Deputy head of Hezbollah who are currently helping Assad use poison gas (among other weapons) to murder his own civilians and Ismail Haniyah a senior political leader of the terrorist group Hamas who perfected the suicide bombing of civilians. And then complaining that marching with fellow Scots who happen to feel connected to Israel is just beyond the pale of their morality!
We assume that the Muslim Council of Scotland will wish to clarify what their Vice Convenor is doing there.
When the march took place on Saturday the Zionist group was effectively prevented from joining the march by SPSC demonstrators (whose representative was in Beirut).
“Also on the delegation, which has now returned, was Azzam Mohammad, director of the Ahl Al Bait Society in Scotland, whose knowledge of Iran and the Middle East was influential in staging the visit.”
How is it that a local Muslim community leader in Glasgow has those kinds of links? How is it that in 2015 Azzam Muhammad is influential in organising a high level delegation travelling to Iran and a few years later is in Beirut in a conference being addressed by no less than the deputy head of Hezbollah?
It turns out that Azzam Muhammad has a history that includes being banned from holding a directorship of a company or charity. This ban was imposed for a six year period beginning in March 2011. Despite being unable to legally be a director of a charity he didn’t resign from the Ahl Al Bait society until 2014 at which point he was replaced by his brother. The whole thing is outlined in detail here.
His money issues didn’t stop the Ahl Al Bait society for getting a grant of over £130,000, nor did it stop them from getting another one of over £80,000 (see previous link). Naturally the man who managed the project (for a fee) was…Azzam Muhammad.
The Muslim Council of Scotland, the organisation Muhammad’s deputy head of, refuses to march with Zionists because they’re racists but doesn’t even comment when their Vice Convenor is hanging out in Beirut with terrorists!