Britain Today

Al Quds Day in London – Hatred Takes Wing

A Call For Annihilation
Here is one of the ugly scenes from Al Quds (Jerusalem) Day, the Khomeinist hatred march held on June 10 in London. Flanked by Hezbollah flags and an image of Ayatollah Khomeini, Mohammed Saeed Bahmanpour takes the stage and calls for the annihilation of Israel.

Praise to God who eradicates the tyrants, praise to God who destroys the oppressors. Praise to God who hears the voice of the oppressed. I have a couple of messages today. One message for the Jewish people who are living in Palestine, the other message for the Zionist bunch who are occupying the Palestine, and the other messages is for the Saudis – we are standing in front of their embassy – and the people who are standing on the wrong side. My message to the Jewish people of Palestine is that the British governments, several decades ago, and then America used you to wipe Palestine off the map and you can make sure that the resistance will come and free Palestine and wipe Israel off the map.

This call for annihilation is greeted with joyful applause. Next, Bahmanpour hails Hezbollah “military” operations, making the ridiculous claim that they only target soldiers. Then he returns to threats:

We tell you, you haven’t seen in the Al Quds Day yet. The Al Quds Day, when we march into Al Quds (cheers) with all the conscientious people, with people who have human hearts, with Muslims, and Jews and Christians, we will come, we will free Palestine and we will free the world of this Zionist bunch who is supported by all corrupt powers in the world. My message to the Zionist bunch who are occupying Palestine: “Your days are numbered, either you go yourself, or we will drive you away, we will kick you out of Palestine, that’s a promise.” (more applause)

Sunni Muslims get a kicking as well. On current form, they too are destined for “damnation”:

And my message to the Sunnis: you are just an apprentice in politics, you don’t know what you are doing. You are on the wrong side and if you join the wrong side, you will be doomed to the damnation of the wrong side which is going to be wiped out soon.

By the way, Mr Bahmanpour is another old friend of this blog. In this profile, you can see him dismissing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as an assault on God, whitewashing human rights violations in Iran, supporting “resistance” against Western forces in Iraq, making it clear that “we are all Hamas, we are all Hezbollah”, and happily discussing The Protocols of the Elders of Zion with the Holocaust denier Michèle Renouf.

Helping The Police
Bahmanpour’s speech alone makes a mockery of the UK’s absurd distinction between the “military” and “political” wings of Hezbollah. The former is a proscribed terrorist group while the latter is not. Hezbollah itself makes no such distinction and nor do its supporters really believe in any separation, including the Al Quds speakers and marchers assembled by the self-styled Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC).

The police do, though. Here’s the Met in the run-up to Al Quds Day:

A letter sent to MP Louise Ellman, the vice-chair of the Labour Friends of Israel, said that police would allow the controversial flag to be raised once again at the June 10 parade because parliament had “consciously chosen” to proscribe only the military wing of Hezbollah – but the group’s flag is “shared across all elements of that organisation.”

Metropolitan Police Commander Jane Conners says in the letter that both she and Commissioner Cressida Dick “share concerns” that the raising of the Hezbollah flag on London’s streets “may be construed as belonging to a terrorist organisation.”

But Conners adds: “Purely holding a flag does not necessarily incite religious or racial hatred.

“It is the words or actions of the person holding the flag that can cause incitement.”

Well, here’s a helpful suggestion for Scotland Yard. If a call for the annihilation of an entire country is not incitement, what is?

Massoud Shadjareh is the head of the IHRC. Perhaps the police might find his words helpful too? Here he is on the Iranian propaganda channel Press TV saying “resistance seems to be the only way forward” and agreeing that the “message of the Al Quds march is resistance”. In the context of the whole broadcast, it is abundantly clear that “resistance” refers to violence by Hamas and Hezbollah.

For more on the IHRC’s record, including support for terrorists in the UK and the USA, see this profile.

Charity Funded Hatred
Remarkably, while the Tories let all this happen, some Labour figures have been very outspoken. On June 11 Joan Ryan MP penned a rather brisk letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid:

I am writing to express my concern and anger over the events which unfolded in central London yesterday at the Al Quds Day march.

As you will be aware, the flags of Hezbollah, an antisemitic terror group, were openly flown, and speakers at the event called for Israel to be “wiped from the map”.

None of this was unexpected. Last year, a large Hezbollah flag was flown at the front of the march, while hundreds of smaller paper flags bearing the machine gun logo of the Hezbollah movement were carried by participants. Supporters held up banners stating “Zionism is Racism” and “We are all Hezbollah” and members of the crowd chanted slogans such as “From the river to the sea – Palestine will be free.” Speakers called for the annihilation of Israel and blamed the Grenfell fire on “Zionists”.

Alongside my colleague, Louise Ellman MP, and the Mayor of London, I have been campaigning over the past year for an end to this sick spectacle, which, as Sadiq Khan has rightly argued, causes huge offence to the Jewish community here in Britain.

I am appalled that the government should once again have allowed this Iranian-inspired hate fest to take place on the streets of London and I fail to understand why the Home Office has not heeded the repeated warnings raised over the past year.

The Home Office should indeed be taken to task, but so should the Charity Commission.

The IHRC has two legal entities – a limited company registered at Companies House, which is controlled by Massoud Shadjareh, and a registered charity.

The charity’s official “activities” are “to promote human rights and equality and diversity (in particular good race relations) throughout the world for the benefit of the public”.

The charity passes funds to the company. Last year it paid the company £244,600, or 82% of the charity’s total income, “for various charitable projects undertaken on behalf of the Charity”.

How the Al Quds hatred march – the biggest event of the year for the IHRC – can be considered legitimate “charitable activity” is beyond me.

There’s more. The IHRC raises money for the charity with a “shop”. These are not your average charity collectors, oh no. How about a print of Leila Khaled, an infamous pioneer of terrorist hijacking, carrying a rifle?

Khaled still supports violence in our times, as you will see here, for example.

Maybe this print is more to your taste? “I’m a stone thrower. Are you?”

This book boosts Hezbollah. Its author “hopes the articles dispel myths surrounding conflicts in the Middle East with a focus on what is perhaps one of the most ‘successful non-governmental military, social and political organisations, whose achievements and support-bases, both local and global, are phenomenal.” The book includes speeches by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

From the Taliban, poetry.

An account of the extremists of Hizb ut-Tahrir, by a Hizbi.

How about some rather old-fashioned antisemitism, described by the CST as “particularly inflammatory and offensive”?

The Charity Commission let it be known a year ago that it was investigating the IHRC. It said:

The Commission expects the trustees to carefully consider, and take action to mitigate, the potential reputational risks to their charity which could arise from links and associations with other organisations.

The IHRC “considers” Hezbollah as its beloved cause, not a “risk”. This has been very plain and widely known for years on end. The march on June 10 was but superfluous proof.

One year on, the Commission has nothing to report.

Unfortunately, Commission inquiries can make Labour antisemitism investigations look like models of speed and efficiency. When it eventually does pronounce on Islamist extremists abusing charity, its words are normally underwhelming and its actions are weak. On past form, one simply cannot expect the Commission to take any meaningful action in the case of the IHRC.

Note how this fits into the bigger picture. The UK’s new counter-terrorism strategy is all about joined up thinking, moving faster, and hitting harder. Good. Now show us.

By the way, if you are a British taxpayer, you are helping to fund all this insanity. Last year the IHRC claimed £50,647 in “Gift Aid” from HMRC.