Islamism,  UK Politics

Asghar Bukhari’s Facebook ‘Indiscretion’

This is a guest post by Mr Greene

This is Asghar Bukhari. He often appears on TV as a founding member of MPACUK, an organisation which was banned from university campuses in 2004 for anti-Semitism and was described by the 2006 Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into anti-Semitism (pdf) in this way:

The use of ‘Zionist’ as a replacement for ‘Jewish’ is common on the MPACUK website. The CST submitted evidence that in one explicit case of this the Talmud, a Jewish religious text written many centuries ago, was described as a “Zionist holy book”. The website also posed the question: “Is this the most Powerful and Racist book in the world?!”

MPACUK has also articulated Jewish conspiracy theories through the language of Zionism describing it as an “octopus that now penetrates every western nation and pushes it to start world war three upon Muslims” and warning that “Any man who knows anything of Zionists, knows that they will not stop until the Muslims ‘followed by mankind’ are dead or enslaved”.

Asghar personally encountered trouble in 2006 for giving cash to holocaust denier David Irving. Then, in 2008, he had a run in with Mel P after writing this comment on Facebook:

Muslims who fight against the occupation of their lands are ‘Mujahadeen’ and are blessed by Allah. And any Muslim who fights against Israel and dies is a martyr and will be granted paradise. The concept of Jihad is a beautiful thing, and logical to those with a sincere heart. It tells the human being to stand up and fight against those who bring evil and oppression on this earth, and by standing up – roll back that oppression until the people are free from it. There is no greater oppressor on this earth then [sic] the Zionists, who murder little children for sport…Any public attack on Islam and the Ummah is not going to be tolerated by men like me. I have dealt with these Zionists before, a veneer of reason, below which lies a crooked mind plotting and planning to extend their hatred against us.

Surely, in the cold light of a new decade, Asghar would have distanced himself from these comments and moderated his views?

Apparently not. Just last night he was debating with various ex-members of al-Muhajiroun on Facebook about the legitimacy of voting. Asghar proposed that voting in democratic elections as a way to defeat the Zionists could be thought of as jihad. His opponent disagreed with this understanding, making Asghar rather annoyed that anybody should think that he rejects violence as legitimate jihad.

Yes, Asghar Bukhari of MPACUK considers al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki, linked to both the Christmas Day plane bombing attempt and the Fort Hood massacre, as a “scholar” and that “[m]any would argue” that he is fighting jihad with his tongue. Another example of jihad, for Mr Bukhari, is the leader of terrorist organisation Hamas. Although not directly advocating violence, he apparently sees ‘jihad of the tongue’ as being compatible with, and providing ideological cover for, people who have encouraged and even directed terrorist attacks on innocent civilians.

Even if Asghar doesn’t seem to have moderated his views since he was caught out in 2008, he has at least learnt one lesson:

I don’t know whether appearing to accept Awlaki and Hamas as being involved in legitimate jihad is “glorifying terrorism,” but why do media outlets continue to present Asghar Bukhari as anything but the extremist he is?