Once upon a time Labour leaders could be rather good at opposing Islamists. No, really.
Turn back to spring 2009, when extremism expert Shiraz Maher wrote this:
It is not a popular thing to speak in support of politicians these days – particularly when many do themselves and their profession no favours – but the efforts of Hazel Blears, the sterling secretary of state for communities, are deserving of our recognition.
Over the last two weeks Blears’ department has been expressing its concerns to the Muslim Council of Britain about their deputy secretary-general, Daud Abdullah, who signed a deeply disturbing “statement” addressed to “all rulers and peoples concerning events in Gaza”.
The statement is unambiguous (pdf). It condemns those who have “given up the choice of jihad in the way of Allah as an effective means in defeating the occupation”. This is clearly beyond the pale. By endorsing jihad in Gaza, Abdullah is glorifying Hamas terrorism and inciting an already turbulent region to yet more violence.
But the document does not stop there. It also issued a number of “legal judgements” which include: “The obligation of the Islamic nation to regard the sending of foreign warships into Muslim waters, claiming to control the borders and prevent the smuggling of arms to Gaza, as a declaration of war, a new occupation, sinful aggression, and a clear violation of the sovereignty of the nation. This must be rejected and fought by all means and ways”.
This is a thinly veiled threat against the British armed forces who offered to send warships to the Mediterranean as part of an international peacekeeping force during the Gaza war. Abdullah has tried – and failed – to explain away these comments ever since.
Stung, Daud Abdullah resorted to lawfare with an attempt to sue Hazel Blears. It went nowhere.
Now Corbyn leads the party. Oh how far we are from the Blears days.
Can I now ask you to give a very warm welcome to Daud Abdullah from the British Muslim Initiative, who’s played such a huge role in the Stop the War coalition and done so much to mobilise Muslim youth in particular against the war on terror and in support of the work of the Stop the War Coalition.
So there you have it. For Mr Corbyn, a nasty Hamas supporter who backed attacks on the Royal Navy and sued one of his fellow Labour MPs is to be given “a warm welcome” and praised for his leadership.
There’s more, of course.
Back in 2011 Daud Abdullah’s “Middle East Monitor” (MEMO) was one of the groups that invited Raed Salah, the blood libel sheikh, to the UK. Salah was excluded from the country, entered anyway due to security failures, and became embroiled in controversy.
Reams of evidence about Salah’s gross antisemitism and support for Hamas were produced by this blog and others.
Corbyn, by contrast, was keen to help. Look at him here hailing MEMO and Raed Salah at a MEMO press conference, with Daud Abdullah by his side. For Corbyn, Salah is “a very honoured citizen” who “represents his people extremely well” and offers “a voice that must be heard”. Indeed, Corbyn added, “‘I look forward to giving you tea on the terrace” at Parliament.
For good measure, at that press conference Corbyn strongly backed Salah’s lawyer’s call for a judicial inquiry into Jewish community groups.
Or try trouble in the streets of London.
The police rightly arrested hordes of thugs for their appalling violence in London during the Gaza war demonstrations of 2009. The CPS prosecuted many of them for serious offences.
Mr Corbyn was outraged – how dare they! – and brought Daud Abdullah to Parliament for a lamentation session. On that occasion Corbyn chose to stir up baseless anger with a line that is simply ridiculous but sure to resonate in the extremist circles he serves:
This week the families of those sentenced, the vast majority of whom are Muslim, met lawyers and MPs at the Commons to set out their concerns.
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour MP for Islington North who chaired the meeting, said that the sentences amounted to an attack on the Muslim community and the right to protest.
See this CST post for even more on MEMO, Corbyn and Salah. A sample:
MEMO has featured repeatedly on the CST Blog for peddling conspiracy theories and myths about Jews, Zionists, money and power. This has included questioning the suitability of Matthew Gould for the post of UK Ambassador to Israel simply because he is Jewish. MEMO also continued to spread the untrue story that the ‘Innocence of Muslims’ film was a Zionist plot to stir up hatred of Muslims, several days after it had been widely established that the film was made by Egyptian Christians. One MEMO article, titled ‘How money from pro-Israel donors controls Westminster’, was even praised by American neo-Nazi David Duke.
Note too that Abdullah’s deputy at MEMO is none other than Ibrahim Hewitt, a nauseating fundamentalist and servant of Hamas. Corbyn has saluted Hewitt, calling him “my very good friend”.
This is serious. Just look at the man who Corbyn hails as a leader of Muslim youth. This is a trademark deranged rant for Hamas.
The blood of those who have been shed [sic] in the Gaza strip will not be in vain. The blood will water the machine of resistance. It will fuel the hearts of those who fight you in the Gaza strip.
Maybe one day the likes of Hazel Blears will be able to say “we got our party back”. That day can’t come soon enough.