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Al Quds Day in London – Hatred Takes Wing

A Call For Annihilation
Here is one of the ugly scenes from Al Quds (Jerusalem) Day, the Khomeinist hatred march held on June 10 in London. Flanked by Hezbollah flags and an image of Ayatollah Khomeini, Mohammed Saeed Bahmanpour takes the stage and calls for the annihilation of Israel.

Praise to God who eradicates the tyrants, praise to God who destroys the oppressors. Praise to God who hears the voice of the oppressed. I have a couple of messages today. One message for the Jewish people who are living in Palestine, the other message for the Zionist bunch who are occupying the Palestine, and the other messages is for the Saudis – we are standing in front of their embassy – and the people who are standing on the wrong side. My message to the Jewish people of Palestine is that the British governments, several decades ago, and then America used you to wipe Palestine off the map and you can make sure that the resistance will come and free Palestine and wipe Israel off the map.

This call for annihilation is greeted with joyful applause. Next, Bahmanpour hails Hezbollah “military” operations, making the ridiculous claim that they only target soldiers. Then he returns to threats:

We tell you, you haven’t seen in the Al Quds Day yet. The Al Quds Day, when we march into Al Quds (cheers) with all the conscientious people, with people who have human hearts, with Muslims, and Jews and Christians, we will come, we will free Palestine and we will free the world of this Zionist bunch who is supported by all corrupt powers in the world. My message to the Zionist bunch who are occupying Palestine: “Your days are numbered, either you go yourself, or we will drive you away, we will kick you out of Palestine, that’s a promise.” (more applause)

Sunni Muslims get a kicking as well. On current form, they too are destined for “damnation”:

And my message to the Sunnis: you are just an apprentice in politics, you don’t know what you are doing. You are on the wrong side and if you join the wrong side, you will be doomed to the damnation of the wrong side which is going to be wiped out soon.

By the way, Mr Bahmanpour is another old friend of this blog. In this profile, you can see him dismissing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an assault on God, whitewashing human rights violations in Iran, supporting “resistance” against Western forces in Iraq, making it clear that “we are all Hamas, we are all Hezbollah”, and happily discussing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion with the Holocaust denier Michèle Renouf.

Helping The Police
Bahmanpour’s speech alone makes a mockery of the UK’s absurd distinction between the “military” and “political” wings of Hezbollah. The former is a proscribed terrorist group while the latter is not. Hezbollah itself makes no such distinction and nor do its supporters really believe in any separation, including the Al Quds speakers and marchers assembled by the self-styled Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC).

The police do, though. Here’s the Met in the run-up to Al Quds Day:

A letter sent to MP Louise Ellman, the vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel, said that police would allow the controversial flag to be raised once again at the June 10 parade because parliament had “consciously chosen” to proscribe only the military wing of Hezbollah – but the group’s flag is “shared across all elements of that organisation.”

Metropolitan Police Commander Jane Conners says in the letter that both she and Commissioner Cressida Dick “share concerns” that the raising of the Hezbollah flag on London’s streets “may be construed as belonging to a terrorist organisation.”

But Conners adds: “Purely holding a flag does not necessarily incite religious or racial hatred.

“It is the words or actions of the person holding the flag that can cause incitement.”

Well, here’s a helpful suggestion for Scotland Yard. If a call for the annihilation of an entire country is not incitement, what is?

Massoud Shadjareh is the head of the IHRC. Perhaps the police might find his words helpful too? Here he is on the Iranian propaganda channel Press TV saying “resistance seems to be the only way forward” and agreeing that the “message of the Al Quds march is resistance”. In the context of the whole broadcast, it is abundantly clear that “resistance” refers to violence by Hamas and Hezbollah.

For more on the IHRC’s record, including support for terrorists in the UK and the USA, see this profile.

Charity Funded Hatred
Remarkably, while the Tories let all this happen, some Labour figures have been very outspoken. On June 11 Joan Ryan MP penned a rather brisk letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid:

I am writing to express my concern and anger over the events which unfolded in central London yesterday at the Al Quds Day march.

As you will be aware, the flags of Hezbollah, an antisemitic terror group, were openly flown, and speakers at the event called for Israel to be “wiped from the map”.

None of this was unexpected. Last year, a large Hezbollah flag was flown at the front of the march, while hundreds of smaller paper flags bearing the machine gun logo of the Hezbollah movement were carried by participants. Supporters held up banners stating “Zionism is Racism” and “We are all Hezbollah” and members of the crowd chanted slogans such as “From the river to the sea – Palestine will be free.” Speakers called for the annihilation of Israel and blamed the Grenfell fire on “Zionists”.

Alongside my colleague, Louise Ellman MP, and the Mayor of London, I have been campaigning over the past year for an end to this sick spectacle, which, as Sadiq Khan has rightly argued, causes huge offence to the Jewish community here in Britain.

I am appalled that the government should once again have allowed this Iranian-inspired hate fest to take place on the streets of London and I fail to understand why the Home Office has not heeded the repeated warnings raised over the past year.

The Home Office should indeed be taken to task, but so should the Charity Commission.

The IHRC has two legal entities – a limited company registered at Companies House, which is controlled by Massoud Shadjareh, and a registered charity.

The charity’s official “activities” are “to promote human rights and equality and diversity (in particular good race relations) throughout the world for the benefit of the public”.

The charity passes funds to the company. Last year it paid the company £244,600, or 82% of the charity’s total income, “for various charitable projects undertaken on behalf of the Charity”.

How the Al Quds hatred march – the biggest event of the year for the IHRC – can be considered legitimate “charitable activity” is beyond me.

There’s more. The IHRC raises money for the charity with a “shop”. These are not your average charity collectors, oh no. How about a print of Leila Khaled, an infamous pioneer of terrorist hijacking, carrying a rifle?

Khaled still supports violence in our times, as you will see here, for example.

Maybe this print is more to your taste? “I’m a stone thrower. Are you?”

This book boosts Hezbollah. Its author “hopes the articles dispel myths surrounding conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on what is perhaps one of the most ’successful non-governmental military, social and political organisations, whose achievements and support-bases, both local and global, are phenomenal.” The book includes speeches by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

From the Taliban, poetry.

An account of the extremists of Hizb ut-Tahrir, by a Hizbi.

How about some rather old-fashioned antisemitism, described by the CST as “particularly inflammatory and offensive”?

The Charity Commission let it be known a year ago that it was investigating the IHRC. It said:

The Commission expects the trustees to carefully consider, and take action to mitigate, the potential reputational risks to their charity which could arise from links and associations with other organisations.

The IHRC “considers” Hezbollah as its beloved cause, not a “risk”. This has been very plain and widely known for years on end. The march on June 10 was but superfluous proof.

One year on, the Commission has nothing to report.

Unfortunately, Commission inquiries can make Labour antisemitism investigations look like models of speed and efficiency. When it eventually does pronounce on Islamist extremists abusing charity, its words are normally underwhelming and its actions are weak. On past form, one simply cannot expect the Commission to take any meaningful action in the case of the IHRC.

Note how this fits into the bigger picture. The UK’s new counter-terrorism strategy is all about joined up thinking, moving faster, and hitting harder. Good. Now show us.

By the way, if you are a British taxpayer, you are helping to fund all this insanity. Last year the IHRC claimed £50,647 in “Gift Aid” from HMRC.



The Muslim Council of Britain Call for an Inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory Party

It’s difficult to take the Muslim Council of Britain seriously when they do much of anything much less when they call for the governing Conservative Party to launch an investigation into Islamophobia in their own party. It would be interesting to see the reaction of the Muslim Council of Britain were we to call for them to investigate antisemitism within their ranks and in the speakers they invite to mosques affiliated to them.

Harry’s Place exists out of a sense of dissatisfaction from people on the left of the political spectrum who couldn’t understand how it was possible that their movement was allying with and even presenting as progressive those whose views on freedom of speech, homosexuality, freedom of religion (and freedom to abandon religion) were so utterly reactionary as to advocate Koranic punishments for them. More than this, the founders of the blog couldn’t understand how it was possible that not only were the leaders of the left wing turning a blind eye to this but actively embracing those who justified and even advocated killing innocent people for example the “crime” of living a liberal life in the West and leaving their religion behind them.

Watching people such as Yusuf Qaradawi, whose rulings provided religious justification for suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, being literally embraced by Ken Livingstone is a case in point:

And now Jeremy Corbyn has backed the Muslim Council of Britain’s demand that the Constervatives launch an investigation into Islamophobia in its ranks. Writing in the Telegraph Ed Husain calls this “the worst kind of whataboutery”he goes on to say;

For more than a decade, Corbyn has been a vocal supporter of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and a friend to several of its leaders. To their shame, the MCB – who were first to call for an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Tory party – have used the term as a political card, mimicking homophobia. Anti-Muslim bigotry undoubtedly exists, but it must be more than merely a stick with which to beat the Conservatives, a political party which gave the world a Muslim chairperson, a culturally Muslim Home Secretary and prime ministers that host Iftar and Eid gatherings in Downing Street.

He adds:

We forget at our peril that the MCB’s long-term leader Sir Iqbal Sacranie (yes, knighted) led campaigns against freedom of expression, saying that “death” would be “too easy” for Salman Rushdie. This is the same MCB that refused to attend Holocaust Memorial Day for years, and which, after the July 7 terrorist attacks, blamed British foreign policy for the deaths of innocents in London. A poll by Policy Exchange found that only 2 per cent of UK Muslims saw themselves as represented by the MCB.

Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim Chairperson of the Tory Party, has supported the MCB call for an inquiry into islamophobia. Warsi resigned from her role as Foreign Office Minister in 2014. Her stated reason for doing so was over David Cameron’s refusal to sanction Israel harshly enough during the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. She Tweeted that:

But whereas Warsi takes issue with the UK government’s inability to remain a colonial power and force other countries around the world, or perhaps just Israel, to handover their decision making process to London she’s by no means too moral to share platforms with antisemites like Asa Winstanley and Tim “Jewish power” Llewelyn:

Asa Winstanley claims that antisemitism in the Labour Party is just a conspiracy to attack Jeremy Corbyn, yet Warsi had no moral issues about sitting right next to him in order to attack Israel and the British government as it was 100 years ago. The above event took place at the end of last year in Bath.

While the source of the call for an inquiry is odious the question at the heart of it is an important one. Is there islamophobia in the Conservative Party?

Yes there is. The party has suspended members and even councillors for making odious remarks on their social media. Should victims of racism be reporting that racism to the party with the expectation that the party will act?

Yes of course they should.

In his inquiry into the handling of the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence Sir William Macpherson established an important principle when it came to the way issues of racism should be handled, he stated that a racist incident is “any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person”. This doesn’t mean that an incident perceived as racist is, in fact racist, it places an obligation on the part of the investigating authority to do their job and investigate, to take the complaint seriously, to establish the facts of the matter.

With this in mind and despite the clear issues surrounding Warsi and the MCB it can only be to the better of the Conservative Party to investigate the extent of racism in its ranks.

Where there are instances where members have been islamophobic or victims of islamophobia the party must take the appropriate disciplinary action, if it isn’t already.

Whether or not it’s a full blown inquiry or taking extra measures is irrelevant the point is that if people, even the MCB, are claiming victimhood the Tory Party has an obligation to check as to whether there is any truth to the allegations.


How to avoid antisemitic tropes: a masterclass from Giles Fraser

You can read Fraser’s full blueprint for a better society  here. In the first version a rather dodgy phrase was used.

Here’s the second version – presumably altered because someone pointed out the problem.

Sorted!

Hat Tip: @Twlldun


News from Iran

Put aside for a moment Ayatollah Khamenei’s latest threat to Israel (and Israel’s response).

Pay attention to what’s actually happening inside Iran.

Potkin Azarmehr reports:

Throughout the December protests in Iran, one common chant by the protesters was, “Let go of Gaza and Syria, think about our plight”. Iran’s state TV and media often boast of the regime’s generous charity work outside Iran. For those inside Iran, watching the regime’s prioritise others’ needs in contrast with their own poverty is becoming unbearable.

On Monday, Iranian media published a video of a state run charity, Imam Khomeini Relief Committee, feeding 300,000 Palestinians in Gaza with an Iftar dinner, for the month of Ramadan. The reaction to the video was a lot like watching a powder keg being lit. One Iranian was so outraged that he took an Imam Khomeini Relief Committee donation charity box and threw it in the bin, filming himself in the act. He then sent his clip to Manoto TV, the London based satellite broadcaster, and the most popular Persian TV station, in Iran.

The station aired the clip of the donation box being binned, and in no time at all Manoto was inundated with copycat videos from other viewers inside Iran.

“Charity begins at home, I don’t want what comes out of the pockets of our people to be spent in Lebanon and Gaza. I too, back the campaign of ‘No donations to Imam Khomeini Relief Charity’ ”, was typically what was said on these videos.

And within recent weeks this has happened:

And this:

And this:

And this:

And this from the Iran correspondent of ARD German Television:

And perhaps most encouragingly, this:


George 🖤 Joseph Vissarionovich

The Twitter account of George Galloway (remember him?) now features as its heading a photo of one of the three worst mass murderers of the 20th century. The one who enabled the other two.

No surprise, of course. Galloway strongly implied his affection for Stalin in a 2002 interview with The Guardian:

“I am on the anti-imperialist left.” The Stalinist left? “I wouldn’t define it that way because of the pejoratives loaded around it; that would be making a rod for your own back. If you are asking did I support the Soviet Union, yes I did. Yes, I did support the Soviet Union, and I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life.”

The only difference, it seems, is that Galloway no longer fears the pejoratives.


Harun Khan of the Muslim Council of Britain – Political Fraudster

Harun Khan, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), likes to strike an aggrieved innocent pose. He has been at the forefront of the MCB’s new campaign for an “inquiry” into “Islamophobia” in the Conservative party, offering words like these:

We have long spoken out and proactively challenged terrorism and extremism, as have British Muslims across the country.

The reality of Islamophobia is that Muslims and the Muslim Council of Britain have to deal with the smear of extremism even though they have clearly and consistently condemned violence perpetrated by people who claim to do this in the name of our religion.

Oh dear, Harun, oh dear.

On the MCB website, Khan proudly states this that he is “a management committee member at my local mosque, Redbridge Islamic Centre”.

Would that be the Redbrige Islamic Centre (RIC) that hosted the terrorist cheerleaders of Cage earlier this year? Why, yes, it would.

That should help people to understand why the mosque is on the security radar. As Al-Jazeera reported back in 2014:

Shakur Rahman, an imam at the Redbridge Islamic Centre in east London, told Al Jazeera that he and other mosque officials had been regularly visited by Prevent officers voicing concerns about invited speakers and other events.

“We have people claiming to be Special Branch [SO15] coming in and demanding a meeting with the imam and saying: ‘If you do not comply we are going to make your life difficult,’” Rahman said.

Let’s take a look at a few more episodes in the record of Mr Khan’s mosque.

Ismail Menk
Ismail Menk is a preacher from Zimbabwe. He is an enthusiastic supporter of brutal sharia punishments – he grins when speaking about chopping off hands and feet – and has the most crude and harsh words for homosexuals and pop stars.

He delivered the Friday sermon at the RIC just last month.

Shakeel Begg
Shakeel Begg is a proven supporter of violent extremism. In 2016, his thuggish lawfare harassment of the BBC was rejected bluntly and comprehensively.

An influential imam has lost a libel action against the BBC after a judge ruled he had promoted violence.

London-based Shakeel Begg sued after being accused on the Sunday Politics show of espousing extreme beliefs.

The judge said Lewisham Islamic Centre’s chief imam had hidden his true views behind a cloak of respectability.

Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said he “clearly promotes and encourages violence in support of Islam and espouses a series of extremist Islamic positions”.

You can read the full Shakeel Begg judgment here. It is damning.

A mosque that has no time for extremists would never welcome Mr Begg. The Redbridge Islamic Centre is no such mosque. Begg spoke there this year and has made a number of appearances in earlier years. In fact, he served as the mosque’s regular imam from 2009 to 2011.

Ibtihal Bsis
Ibtihal Bsis is another noted extremist. She was welcomed at the RIC in March 2018:

She was caught out quite badly by the BBC in 2015. As the then anti-extremist campaigner Sara Khan rightly notes in the BBC report, Bsis’s divisive rhetoric is one of the “push factors” helping to drive Muslims into the arms of the terrorists of Islamic State.

Bsis is reportedly a member of the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. You can see her suggesting that Islamic State is an American conspiracy in this Hizbi publication.

Haitham al-Haddad
Haitham al-Haddad probably needs no introduction here. He is one of Britain’s most notorious hate preachers. If you don’t know him, try this tape, where he says even quiet apostates from Islam will be pursued and murdered.

So, is Haddad welcome at the RIC? Yes, of course.

Incidentally, the MCB “myth busting” page says this:

The Sharia does not permit or sanction acts of hatred or use of violence against any person on grounds of their belief or non-belief.

Perhaps Harun Khan could get that page updated?

Azad Ali
Azad Ali, another proven extremist, is also welcome at the RIC. Here he is, billed alongside Shakeel Begg. Ali has since graduated from the Islamist agitation group Mend to Cage, a perfect place for a man who wants Muslims to pray for jihadis.

Asim Khan
Asim Khan is currently an imam at the RIC. The mosque promotes him enthusiastically.

What does he think of lashing and stoning for premarital or extramarital sex? It’s a great idea.

There’s more to say about Asim Khan but it can wait.

A Friend
So, who would want to be friendly with a political fraudster like Harun Khan? You know the answer.


Jeremy Corbyn with Harun Khan at the MCB “Leadership Dinner” in April 2018

Allegations of anti-Muslim bigotry should normally be taken seriously.

When they come from Islamist agitators, though, reach for a whole souk of salt.


Fathom 20 | Burning money: the urgent need to rethink UNRWA

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Dr Simon A. Waldman is the author of Anglo-American Diplomacy and the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1948-1951. In this opinion piece he makes the case for the urgent institutional reform and restructuring of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) before other countries follow Trump and cut funding, making the humanitarian work of UNRWA impossible.

In many countries, it’s a serious offence to burn or destroy currency. Get caught doing it and you might find yourself with a fine or even prison time. However, by unconditionally funding the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), burning money is exactly what successive governments have been doing.

For years the US and its allies, namely, Britain, the EU and Saudi Arabia have supported UNRWA. President Donald Trump’s decision earlier in the year to cut American funding by half marks a stark departure from previous administrations, since UNRWA was founded almost 70 years ago.

UNRWA was established in December 1949 following UN General Assembly Resolution 302 which called for a body to help Palestinians who either fled or were expelled during the 1948 Palestine War and encamped in neighbouring Arab countries. Later, the body took on the extra duties of schooling and healthcare. But the actual impetus behind establishing UNRWA was to resettle the refugees, and to do so as quickly as possible in order to help bring about a peace between Israel and the Arab states.

The idea was to use refugee labour for large-scale Middle East development projects. This would, or so it was thought, increase the economic productivity and infrastructural growth of the Middle East while eradicating Palestinian dependency, extremism and social stigmas associated with refugeeism. Meanwhile, the refugees would be resettled. UNRWA was the body that was supposed to make it happen. Although his may sound somewhat lofty, there were precedents for such grandiose ambitions, the Marshall Plan and the redevelopment of Europe and Japan after the devastation of World War II. READ MORE.


East Finchley Labour’s motion on antisemitism

The motion pasted at the bottom of the post  has been submitted for consideration to the East Finchley Labour Party branch. It asks members not to discuss the problem of antisemitism – or criticisms of the processes set up to deal with it -  outside existing structures. There are several details to pick out here as well as the attempt to silence dissent – the glossing over of the JLM’s links with Labour for example, and the unintended humour/bathos of the first bullet point after the holds heading. I wonder if those putting this motion forward would support a similar approach from the Tories in the face of accusations of Islamophobia?

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Sajid Javid on Marr

As readers will probably be aware, there have been calls for the Conservative Party to set up an independent enquiry into anti-Muslim bigotry.  It seems as though there is a strong prima facie case for going ahead with this, given a string of disturbing allegations.

Sajid Javid’s attempts to defend the Conservative Party didn’t strike me as fully convincing – and ironically echoed some of the arguments used by those eager to minimise accusations of antisemitism against Labour.  You can see the relevant section of the interview with Andrew Marr here.

For a start, the fact that Muslims have reached high office in the CP isn’t in itself proof there isn’t a problem – compare the successes of both Ed and David Miliband in Labour.

Javid then drifted away from the specificities of the charge – anti-Muslim hatred in the Conservative Party – to vaguely acknowledge that there were problems with all types of hate in Britain generally and they all needed to be tackled – shades of the ‘antisemitism and all other forms of racism’ refrain.

I share Sajid Javid’s reservations about the MCB (and can’t go along with his ‘I’ve got a lot of time for Baroness Warsi’) but that doesn’t in itself invalidate the concerns.


Another time

Yup. This post of mine from way back then seems downright quaint.