John Ware

Human rights farce is behind the Al Quds day of hate

The Al Quds march organisers are supported by several useful idiots, writes John Ware

June 14, 2018 10:07

On Sunday, Britain’s most active Khomeinist “human rights” organisation held its annual march through the centre of London, demanding that the world’s only Jewish state “be wiped off the map”.

Star speaker Sheikh Mohammed Bahmanpour reassured Israelis this wouldn’t be done by “genocide” but “honourably”.

The Sheikh’s hosts were the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), based in Wembley. As so often with the IHRC, the truth was about to be stood on its head. Eighty seconds later, the Sheikh elaborated: “Your days are numbered. Either you go yourself, or we will drive you away… that’s a promise.”

The Sheikh teaches at a North London Khomeinist outpost called ‘The Islamic Centre’.

In 2014, the aspirant British prime minister Jeremy Corbyn made a speech entitled ‘The Case for Iran’ at the Islamic Centre, which was marking “the auspicious (35th) anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran”.

He’s also a big fan of the IHRC because, he says, it “represents all that’s best in Islam concerning the rights of individuals to free expression”.

That’s not free expression in any Western sense, of course. Mr Corbyn seems to have shimmied round the fact that the IHRC’s spiritual forebears wanted to string up author Salman Rushdie for his satirical dig at The Prophet.

But then both Sheikh Bahmanpour and his Al Quds Day host, IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh, consider the Western concept of human rights to be vastly inferior to the Islamic concept.

To Bahmanpour, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 has its “roots in the Liberalist mindset of the modern West”; to Shadjareh, “rights” in Islam “belong first to Allah, then the community and then the individual” — and anyway the Declaration can be traced back to a “leading Zionist”, Hersch Lauterpacht.

The IHRC avers these values commit them to “a new social and international order based on truth (and) justice, righteousness and generosity” — except perhaps when genocide is carried out by their fellow Shia in Bashar Assad’s Syria.

Even Sunni Islamists avoided their Shia brothers for the first time at this year’s rally, presumably because the IHRC has not had much to say about Syria. I don’t doubt that IHRC supporters believe they walk the organisation’s virtuous talk, even if it’s starkly obvious to the rest of us that their claims are wreathed in double standards and downright untruths.

For example, Mr Shadjareh says the “Al Quds Day protest has been an exemplary event held in the capital for 30 years”.

Marching through Central London each year waving the distinctive yellow flag of Hezbollah with its clenched fist clasped to an AK47, peppered with speeches widely regarded as provocative and antisemitic, is not "exemplary".

Nor are marchers chanting “Khaybar, Khaybar” — the notorious war chant celebrating Mohammed’s defeat of the Jews in 628, and rallying cry of hardcore Islamist antisemites.

The event’s master of ceremonies is an IHRC director, Nazim Ali. Referring to the Grenfell Tower inferno through his loudspeaker last year, Mr Ali blamed “Zionists who give money to the Tory party, to kill people in high rise blocks... Careful of those rabbis who belong to the Board of Deputies who have got blood on their hands”.

For Sadiq Khan, enough was enough and he became the first London Mayor with the political courage to urge the Home Secretary to ban the waving of Hezbollah flags at this annual hate fest.

To which the wretched Shadjareh has responded by accusing Khan — himself a Muslim — of being “complicit” in murder with far-right racists — a reference to Darren Osborne who rammed his van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers killing 48-year-old Makram Ali.

Since 2013, the IHRC — a limited company — has been paid nearly £1m by a registered charity operating from the same premises and with the same name, save that “Ltd” has been replaced by “Trust”.

Surely the Charity Commission should stop this nonsense, I hear you say? Well, first say hello to another IHRC fan, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

Every year the IHRC holds an “Islamophobia Awards” ceremony and Rowan approves, apparently seeing no irony in this anti-hate ceremony being hosted by an organisation that fuels hate.

Sending his “congratulations and warm greetings to all involved”, the old boy emphasised how important it was not to “deepen suspicions in our society” or to “reinforce negative stereotypes”. Quite so.

Time to set up an annual “Useful Idiots Award” ceremony, perhaps.

John Ware is an author and former investigative reporter for BBC's Panorama

June 14, 2018 10:07

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