Police to investigate Azzam Tamimi SOAS talk

Police are investigating after Palestinian academic Azzam Tamim told students at a lecture at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies that he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”.

On Monday, Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society.

He is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.

At SOAS, he praised Hamas and said: “Today Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation because that’s what the Americans and Israelis and cowardly politicians of Europe want, but what is so terrorist about it?

“You shouldn’t be afraid of being labelled extreme, radical or terrorist. If fighting for your home land is terrorism, I take pride in being a terrorist. The Koran tells me if I die for my homeland, I’m a martyr and I long to be a martyr.”

He criticised calls for a two-state solution and said: “Why are the Jews superhuman and better than anyone else that God would give them a homeland? Is God a racist? A god who would prefer people because of their race is not a god I want to associate with. Claiming they are being given the land of God is a racist idea.

“If the world felt so guilty about the Holocaust, the Jews should have been compensated, not brought to my country at the expense of my people.

“Israel does not belong to my homeland and must come to an end. This can happen peacefully if they acknowledge what they did — or we will continue to struggle until Israel is no more.”

He also urged students to continue hosting debates, despite calls to ban controversial speakers from campuses.

He said: “I want to encourage you not to be intimidated by the pro-Israel lobby. The Zionists tell a pack of lies.”

Last updated: 2:58pm, February 12 2010