antisemitism,  Freedom of Expression,  Islamism

Kaboom and Brum

Azzam “Kaboom” Tamimi, one of the UK’s most radical Islamists, is scheduled to address a conference at the University of Birmingham on 20 January.

The conference is titled “In Pursuit of Justice: Remember Gaza” and is organised by the university’s student Islamic society (ISOC).

Tamimi’s fellow speakers will be Tony Benn and Mike Cushman of the British Committee for Universities for Palestine and Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods.

Tamimi is not the first radical guest of the ISOC. Just last month it hosted Abu Usamah At Thahabi, imam of the Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham, where Jew hating preachers are invited to speak and defended. Thahabi was barred from addressing an event at University College London (UCL) in November 2009, but was apparently still welcome in Birmingham the following month.

Turning back to Tamimi, he is known as “Kaboom” for this infamous exchange on the BBC’s “Hard Talk” programme, which charted the hateful depth of his commitment to Hamas:

TIM SEBASTIAN: And meanwhile you advocate the suicide bombing. You said on an internet chat forum early in 2003: ‘For us Moslems martyrdom is not the end of things but the beginning of the most wonderful of things’. If it’s so wonderful to go and blow yourself up in a public place in Israel why don’t you do it?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: Martyrdom is not necessarily suicide bombings as you call then. Martyrdom is …
TIM SEBASTIAN: No, please answer my question. It was a serious question.
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: I’m trying to answer it …
TIM SEBASTIAN: Why don’t you do it?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: I’m trying to answer it because this is a concept. Unless it is explained, how can you answer it? Because martyrdom means giving / sacrificing yourself for a noble cause. Now these bombings, the human bombs …
TIM SEBASTIAN: Are you prepared to do this or not?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: I am prepared, of course.
TIM SEBASTIAN: You would [go] and blow yourself up?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: No. I’m trying to explain to you …
TIM SEBASTIAN: Ah – so it’s okay. So that’s just for the poor and the disillusioned to go and blow themselves up? You would not be prepared to do it …
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: Most of the …
TIM SEBASTIAN: … you advocate other people to do it?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: Unless you give me a chance to explain …
TIM SEBASTIAN: Please … Please …
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: Not a single person of those who bomb themselves, bomb themselves because they are desperate or poor. It doesn’t happen because of this. They do it because they want to sacrifice themselves for a cause after all avenues have been closed before them. If the Palestinians today are given F16s and Apache helicopters …
TIM SEBASTIAN: No – please come back to my question. Please come back to my question. Why if it is so glorious and honourable to do this, why don’t you do it?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: I would do it …
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: If I have the opportunity I would do it …
TIM SEBASTIAN: When are you going to do it?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: When? If I can go to Palestine and sacrifice myself I would do it. Why not?
TIM SEBASTIAN: So what’s stopping you?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: I cannot go to Palestine. I cannot go to Palestine.
TIM SEBASTIAN: You simply can’t get in?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: No, I cannot get in.
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: I cannot get in because I am not counted as a Pales[tinian]. When my home town was occupied I was outside Palestine and I just wasn’t counted. I’m not considered by the Palestinians as a legitimate Palestinian / by the Israelis as a legitimate Palestinian. So as much as they don’t recognise me I don’t recognise them.
TIM SEBASTIAN: So this is the reason – the only thing that is holding you back from strapping on a suicide belt is the fact that you can’t get back to the Palestinian territories?
DR AZZAM AL-TAMIMI: You see sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause. It is the straight way to pleasing my God and I would do it if I had the opportunity.

Here he is chanting the “We Are All Hamas” mantra at one of last winter’s pro-Hamas demonstrations in London:

This is Hamas:

Heres Tamimi’s own thinking on Jews (only the Zionist variety of questionable humanity, mind you):

“More people today than ever before are sick of Israel’s holocaust industry that is providing a justification for its own holocaust against the Palestinians…[Jews] rely on extremely sophisticated propaganda machine (sic) that is the product of more than sixty years of holocaust-related campaigns aimed at making non-Jews pay Zionism and Israel for what Hitler did to his Jewish as well as non-Jewish victims in Europe.”

One must admit that Israel and its supporters in the USA and Western Europe are highly experienced in marketing Jewish casualties and in posing before the world as the victims. They rely on extremely sophisticated propaganda machine that is the product of more than sixty years of holocaust-related campaigns aimed at making non-Jews pay Zionism and Israel for what Hitler did to his Jewish as well as non-Jewish victims in Europe. Today’s victims of Israel, the Palestinians, are definitely no match to pro-Israel propaganda machine, which includes the majority of U.S. media, the U.S. film industry and a large proportion of American politicians who are indebted to Jewish money for their success.

Human beings may understand why a person should choose to sacrifice himself for the noble cause of liberating one’s country or defending one’s honor, but few humans may accept the racist claim of other humans of being God’s chosen ones who may kill others because they are less divine.

Zionist Jews must ask themselves, do they really think they can get away with such racist ideology and with their constant fabrication of lies in order to justify it? Until when will the world be able to put up with their arrogance and aggression? If they want to be as human as anybody else, Jews must wake up before it is too late. Israel is their number one liability and Zionism is no honorable cause for any respectable human being.

Tamimi’s radicalism is not focused on Israel alone. This is what he said in November 2001 about the September 11 atrocities in the United States, in an interview with Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia:

Headline: “I admire the Taliban; they are courageous.” Tamimi begins by assuring the interviewer that “everyone” in the Arab world cheered upon seeing the Twin Towers fall. “Excuse me,” says the interviewer, “did you understand my question?” Tamimi: “In the Arab and Muslim countries, everyone jumped for joy. That’s what you asked me, isn’t it?”

How does the ISOC square inviting this man with this statement on its website?

Does ISOC condone terrorism?
NO. ISOC is completely against and appalled by the blowing up of buildings and the killing of innocent people, and this is something that the prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, forbade. We stand in solidarity with the people of any country against such atrocities, and will not tolerate any such sentiments within our society.

The University of Birmingham’s current speech policy (pdf) makes a strong statement in favour of freedom:

1.3 Under the Education (No.2) Act 1986, although there is no legal obligation on the University to permit meetings, the University is now legally required to take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers.

1.4 The University is an academic community of staff and students. Central to this concept is the ability of all its members freely to challenge prevailing orthodoxies, query the positions and views of others and to put forward ideas that may sometimes be radical in their formulation.

2.2 So far as is reasonably practicable, no access to, or use of land or buildings of the University shall be denied to any individual or body of persons on any grounds solely connected with: (i) the beliefs or views of that individual or of that body; or (ii) the policy or objectives of that body, always providing that the University takes account of the general law relating to incitement to unlawful conduct (including racial hatred), unlawful assemblies, the presence of proscribed organisations or individuals, and other similar matters which may require it to have regard to what is said on its premises.

It also says this:

1.6 Universities do not function in a vacuum and wider conflicts and disputes, often involving ethnicity or religious faith, may sometimes find expression on campus amongst the student body or other constituencies. The challenge for universities is to identify when the pursuit of freedom of ideas and expression crosses a threshold and becomes extremism or intolerance.

1.7 General legal principles, and in specific areas legislation, provide that the proportionate and reasonable limitation of expression is permissible in order to maintain public order and safety or to ensure that there is no breach of the law. Therefore, the right to free speech is not open-ended or absolute. The University will, on occasion, have to weigh conflicting demands for free, public expression of ideas against concerns, on its part, regarding public order and safety, or the potential for breaches of the law to occur. The University acknowledges that it has both a legal and a moral responsibility to act in a proactive manner in order to minimise the possibility that extremism or intolerance will arise on campus whilst, at the same time, ensuring the general continuance of freedom of speech.

Mr Tamimi is most certainly an intolerant extremist. So I would love to know how the conflict between cherished freedoms and the need to reject intolerance and extremism has been assessed, if it has been assessed formally at all, by the University of Birmingham in the case of Azzam Tamimi.

If sections 1.6 and 1.7 of the code of practice on freedom of speech do not justify a ban, who would be banned?

Here’s what happened in High Street Kensington, London, which is just about as close to the Israeli embassy as the racist thugs bent on violence could get, a few hours after Tamimi’s “We are All Hamas” speech (shown above):