Suiliman Gani and Assorted Tory MPs

The hate preacher and campaigner for jihadist convicts and for a boycott of Ahmadi shops, Suiliman Gani/Ghani sprung into action last night, posting a series of photographs of him in the company with Tory politicians.

First up, Zac Goldsmith:

Followed by Tania Mathias:

And finally, Jane Ellison:

Politicians are asked to appear in photographs all the time. If they are ambushed into having pictures taken with promoters of sectarian hatred, it is a pity: and they should explain themselves, just as surely as they ought to if they were pictured, smiling, next to a Britain First agitator.

We don’t know how Zac Goldsmith came to be pictured with Gani: but at least he has described him as “one of the most repellent figures in the country“. He does not appear to have any relationship with Gani.

Jane Ellison and Tania Mathias fall into a different category. Both have been campaigners for Shaker Aamer: a man who was detained as a “recruiter for Al Qaeda”. We know this, because Moazzam Begg – pictured alongside Ellison – told the US authorities that this was so. So, naturally, both have a history of associating with pro-jihadist campaigners and hate preachers. Mathias is a member of the Shaker Aamer Parliamentary Group and apparently once went on a ‘fast for Shaker“.

Whatever you think of the rights and wrongs of Aamer’s detention, any politician should think twice and then back away from a campaign that involves politicians and preachers who promote theocratic totalitarianism and sectarian hatred. Anybody with an ounce of sense should know this without prompting. One might conclude that neo-Nazi had been imprisoned improperly: but most sensible people would shy away from joining up with various fascist groups to campaign for their release.

However, just like Sadiq Khan, in the face of clear evidence that they had fallen in with villains, Ellison and Mathias doubled down on their associations.

The history of British politicians and public figures entering into alliances with nasty peddlers of hatred is reminiscent of the Jimmy Savile scandal. At the time, many turned a blind eye to evidence of the man’s true nature. Nobody appeared to mind. Roll forward a few decades, and serious questions about judgement have been quite properly asked.

Except that the situation is far worse with Gani, and indeed Begg. Their politics has always been crystal clear. Unlike Savile, they made no secret of it. It is just that, at the time, the issue of hate preaching and support for jihadist convicts was not quite as big an issue.

Well, now it is.