UK Politics

Red Carpets, Red Lines

If you want to support religious murder, let an expert show you how to do it.

Prominent Pakistani preacher Muhammad Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman, for example. Here he delivers a wild tirade for Mumtaz Qadri, the man who assassinated Pakistani politician Salman Taseer in 2011 for “blasphemy”.

A banner depicting Mumtaz Qadri is the backdrop in the video above. At its lower left corner sits a man who appears to be the preacher’s father, Muhammad Naqeeb Ur Rehman. He signals his support as the fury mounts.

Firing up big and angry crowds is important too. Here ur Rehman shouts at the funeral of Mumtaz Qadri after Pakistan executed Qadri for his crime.

Muhammad Naqeeb Ur Rehman was at the funeral too, paying his respects to Mumtaz Qadri.

Who would want to hear from such men outside Pakistan? Plenty of people here in the UK, of course, ready and keen to extend the warmest of welcomes. The pair are currently on a seven week UK tour which began in July and will run to early September.

The itinerary includes mosques and Islamic groups in Banbury, Batley, Birmingham, Blackburn, Bradford, Brierfield, Chesham, Crawley, Derby, Dudley, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Halifax, London, Luton, Maidenhead, Newcastle, Northampton, Nottingham, Oldham, Rochdale, Rotherham, Slough, Stockton on Tees, Wakefield, and Watford.

Oh, and Lambeth Palace too. Archbishop Welby said it was “great” to welcome the preachers to Lambeth Palace in July.

Not all are fooled and there are signs of change.

Even the SNP, a party not best known for expertise and determination in challenging extremism, is alarmed. Here’s MSP Hamza Yousaf:

No mosque should give a platform to anybody who expresses sympathies with the likes of Qadri.

An imam in Oldham has been challenged and chose these words rather than the “context” wriggling we so often see in these affairs:

When asked if he was aware of the clerics’ comments about Qadri, he added: “On a personal level I didn’t know what they believe.

“When I found out I was upset. I think it was really upsetting and wrong.

“I think this will change how things are organised at the mosque. They should take better precautionary measures.”

But what about our government, which has promised time and time again to get tough on foreign hate preachers? It’s quite close to home in this case – one of the tour events was actually held in our Prime Minister’s constituency.

Surely open, brazen and dangerous support for religious murder must be one of the thickest and best defended red lines at our borders.

Alec adds: As Mr. Salter almost said to Lord Coper, Humza Yousaf’s clear expression of disgust for Qadri’s supporters is welcome up to a point. I suspect a large part is a creeping realizing that the moral cesspool which they have crawled out of cannot be linked even nominally to the touchstone progressive political causes which the shallow and vacuous Yousaf defines himself by. This is a display of genuine incomprehension at what some of us have been aware of for years.

I also cannot help but feel another small part at least face-saving exercise after years by his Party – and him specifically – of promoting no less repugnant figures. Such as founding member of the Muslim Association of Britain, Kemal “I know what a real Jew is” el Helbawy who has been mistranslated as advocating the murder of Jewish children.

Many members of Yousaf’s extended family were and are involved with the Scottish wing of the MAB. Such as his cousin, the rolled-up trouser snake Osama Saeed who did a bunk to Qatar after his SNP front organization, the Scottish-Islamic Foundation folded. Saeed, now back in the Calvinist Republic of North Britain, previously had welcomed Helbawy on a public junket as a “dear beloved son“.

Yousaf also has handed public cash to Islamic Relief Worldwide, one of whose local reps has a habit of knowing families whose sons have become Jacobite Jihadis.

Shah’s murder occurred during the Scottish Parliamentary elections, and many candidates broke off from the normal campaigning to attend an impromptu rally in “solidarity”. Then, when it became clear that he not been murdered by a white fascist, came this appalled Tweet:

But Helbawy’s comments and Islamic Relief Worldwide are acceptable? (In the circumstances, perhaps “stamped out” was an inappropriate term.)

Much has been said that Scottish society remains a tolerant and welcoming place. In any event, this would be a glib platitude. Given that Shah’s family are reported to have left Scotland fearing for their safety, it is revolting.

I also wonder how much is down the Salafi-inclined MAB versus the presumable Hanafi-inclined circles Qadri and Shah’s murderer moved in. The BBC reported that they implacably oppose the also Salafi ISIS.

Although Yousaf has objected publicly to Choudary, he has not exactly been highly vocal. Except when he can have a dig at all things British.

Idiot. Nasty idiot.