Britain’s ‘liberal imam’ says politicians should be ‘called out’ for having Jewish family members

Taj Hargey said Sir Keir Starmer having Jewish family members is why he’s ‘pussyfooting’ on the Israel-Hamas conflict


Dr Taj Hargey (Credit: OIBI YouTube)

The founder of a charity that promotes a more tolerant and modernised Islam for British Muslims has compared Zionists to Nazis and stated that politicians should be “called out” for having Jewish family members.

Taj Hargey, a historian and imam who has previously been described as “Britain’s liberal imam”, was speaking to the Yorkshire Post about the specific issues Muslim voters have.

He said during the interview there had been an “awakening” among Muslims in recent months who now understand the “distinction between Germans and Nazis,” adding, “Not all Germans were Nazis. And similarly, not all Jews are Zionists.”

Hargey, who leads the Oxford Institute for British Islam (OIBI), added it is “important that prominent British politicians” who “blindly support Israel” should be “identified” if they have family links to the Jewish State.

Hargey went on to talk about Sir Keir Starmer having close family who are Jewish, saying he should be “called out on this.”

“And so that’s part of the reason why he’s pussyfooting on this whole issue,” he added.

Hargey also accused both former Home Secretaries Priti Patel and Suella Braverman of being “married to a Zionist.”

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Hargey asked how politicians can “be non-partisan and unbiased if they do not declare their personal connections to Zionism and Israel?

“Is this not the case when the public are frequently reminded directly or indirectly about the faith of Muslim leaders”, Hargey said using London mayor Sadiq Khan, politicians Humza Yousaf and Scottish Labour Party leader Anas Sarwar as examples.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said they would be contacting the Charity Commission over Hargey’s “atrocious” comments.

The CAA said: “The analogy of Zionists to Nazis is particularly vile, given that our polling shows that eight in 10 British Jews consider themselves to be Zionists. This rhetoric is hugely divisive, and has no place in the charitable sector.”

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Hargey dismissed CAA’s comments, adding “Zionists and their camp followers do not have any substantive merit,”

Writing for the JC in 2022, Hargey argued that Islam needed a similar reformation to that of which Judaism and Christianity went through. He promoted OIBI as a “progressive new Muslim think tank” which focuses on “inclusivity and tolerance”, and aims to advance “free-thinking pluralism by providing fresh insights benefitting the five-million strong Muslim community.”

The Charity Commission is reportedly assessing the comments to determine if there is a role for the regulator.

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