Is Mohammad Afzal Khan a suitable speaker for an interfaith panel?
Mohammed Afzal Khan is a Manchester-based councillor. From 2005, he was Lord Mayor of Manchester. Khan is an inaugural member and co-chair of the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester.
In February, Afzal Khan is speaking at the Limmud Conference (organised by the Jewish community) to discuss the question of interfaith dialogue. His co-panelists include Jonathan Arkush, Vice President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Stand for Peace recently published an extensive report on the extent to which interfaith dialogue has been exploited by extremist groups with bigoted and violent beliefs.
Mohammad Afzal Khan is, on the face of it, the perfect “interfaither”. With what other groups, though, is Afzal Khan involved?
Will Mr Afzal Khan, in the light of the information revealed below, explain his relationship with these extremist organisations and disassociate himself from their extremist ideas?
Finally, does Mr Afzal Khan still stand by his belief, as heard in a recording obtained by Stand for Peace (found below), that Israel is committing “genocide” against the Palestinians?
UK Islamic Mission
Afzal Khan was a representive of the UK Islamic Mission (UKIM), an extremist group tied to Jamaat-e-Islami. In 2010, UKIM organised a series of fundraising events with Qazi Hussain Ahmed, a former president of Jamaat-e-Islami. Ahmed, a strong supporter of Bin Laden, claims that the Jews were responsible for the September 11 attacks. He also has said, “Now is the time that we should be prepared for Jihad. This Jihad will be against oppression … And the jihad in the way of Allah is not terrorism. I salute the girl who killed five American soldiers in a suicide attack in Iraq.”
Jamaat-e-Islami – and its cousin, the Muslim Brotherhood – is a global radical Islamist group whose leaders promote terrorism and incite hatred against Jews, women, homosexuals and other minorities. Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, as well as its officials in Britain, have been convicted of involvement in acts of genocide during Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Independence.
The academic Jonathan Spyer has noted:
“The first identifiable bodies created among British Muslims were associated with the Jama’at-i-Islami organization founded by Mawlana Mawdudi in India in 1941. The UK Islamic Mission, founded in 1962, was one of a host of organizations founded by individuals wishing to promote the message of the Jama’at-e-Islami in Britain.”
In 2002, Afzal Khan spoke at a large rally organised by extremist Islamist groups as a representative of UKIM. During the rally, Afzal Khan claimed Israel is “committing genocide against the Palestinian people…Let there be no war against Saddam. Let there be freedom for Palestine.”
His fellow speakers at the 2002 rally included Ismail Patel, a noted supporter of the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas; Azzam Tamimi, who once told students of his desire to become a suicide bomber; and Majid Al Zeer, a prominent Hamas activist.
It is unclear whether Afzal Khan continues to hold any official position with UKIM; he does, however, continue to speak at their conferences.
Islamic Society of Britain (& Young Muslims UK)
Afzal Khan claims he was “involved in setting up and serving on a number of national community organisations, such as Young Muslim UK, the Islamic Society of Britain…”
According to the former Muslim Brotherhood spokesman in the West, Kamal el-Helbawy, the Islamic Society of Britain was established by the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2009, the Brotherhood’s spiritual leader, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, thanked Hitler for having “managed to put Jews in their place . . . Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the (Muslim) believers.”
The former head of the MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, has described the Muslim Brotherhood as being, “at heart, a terrorist organisation.”
Ed Hussein, former Director of Muslim thinktank the Quilliam Foundation has described the Islamic Society of Britain (and UKIM) as “supporters of hardcore Islamist ideologies.”
In 2005, the Independent reported that:
“…literature aimed at children between 11 and 18 on the youth section of the Islamic Society of Britain’s website calls on them to ‘boycott those who openly wage war against Allah’. The article containing that quote, entitled ‘Imam Hassan al-Banna on jihad’, [Hassan Al-Banna is the founding ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood] goes on to say: ‘Jihad is a powerful invigorating yearning for Islam’s might and glory … which makes you cry when looking at the weakness of Muslims today and the humiliating tragedies crushing him to death everywhere.'”
Further, in the past, the Islamic Society of Britain has promoted the lectures of the late Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar Al-Awlaki.
Human Appeal International
Afzal Khan describes himself as a “founding trustee of Human Appeal international”.
A leaked 1996 CIA report claimed Human Appeal International’s branches were among a number of Islamic charities used as conduits for funds to terrorist organisations. The FBI, in 2003, claimed there was a “close relationship between Human Appeal International and Hamas”.
In August 2002, an Islamic youth group featured an advertisement for a Hamas fundraising scheme, called the “101 Days Campaign”. The youth group claimed profits from the sale of intifada videotapes would go to the campaign through Human Appeal International. In 2005, a website belonging to the Palestinian terror group Hamas reported that funds were transferred from Human Appeal’s affiliated organization in the UAE to IQRA and Rifdah, two Hamas front organizations based in the West Bank.
In 2004, documents obtained from the Internal Revenue Service by Senator Charles Grassley revealed that the IRS considered Human Appeal to be one of a number of charities “which finance terrorism and perpetuate violence.” Further, leaked State Department cables also reveal that staff from the Human Appeal UAE branch were funding terror groups, and that, “In 2003, there were indications that HAI was sending financial support to organizations associated with Hamas and that members of its field offices in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Chechnya had connections to al-Qaeda associates.”
In 2008, the Israeli Government proscribed a number of Human Appeal’s affiliated international branches as “bodies that are active abroad and which are responsible for raising very large sums for Hamas activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip.”
In July 2011, Human Appeal hosted, along with the Palestinian Forum of Britain, an event with a number of radical hate preachers and Hamas supporters. One speaker due to address Human Appeal’s 2011 event was Raed Saleh, a prominent supporter of Hamas, known for his anti-Semitic and anti-homosexual views. Saleh has claimed that 4000 Jews skipped work at the World Trade Centre on 9/11, those who killed the “Martyr, Sheikh Osama Bin Laden” had “sold their consciences to Satan”, and that the honour killing of girls is acceptable.
One of Saleh’s poems includes the lines:
You Jews are criminal bombers of mosques,
Slaughterers of pregnant women and babies.
Robbers and germs in all times,
The Creator sentenced you to be loser monkeys,
Victory belongs to Muslims, from the Nile to the Euphrates.
Saleh is best known for his frequent invocation of the ‘blood libel’ — an ancient anti-Semitic claim that Jews kill children to use their blood to make matzah at Passover. Even a British court concluded that Saleh’s comments were hateful of Jews.
Saleh was joined at the Human Appeal event by Ahmad Noufal (also spelled ‘Nawfal’), a prominent figure in the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood who was “directly involved in sponsoring and organizing Hamas terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.” In 2005, Noufal endorsed the French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy on Saudi television:
“Roger Garaudy said: ‘If we take the number of gas chambers and the maximal daily capacity of an oven, and multiply them by the period you Zionists, claim the Holocaust lasted – even if we multiply the number of ovens by the maximal [capacity], the figure is grossly exaggerated. The number of those burned [sic] was 600,000. You added another zero, and turned it into six million.'”
In December 2011, Human Appeal hosted an event which featured the hate preacher Haitham al-Haddad as a guest speaker. Al-Haddad regards Jews as “enemies of god, and the descendants of apes and pigs”, and disregards any form of peace until “Allah’s law [will] govern the whole earth, and for no other law to remain.” Haddad deems homosexuality a crime and supports the subjugation of women, telling them: “you must obey [your husband].”
Afzal Khan continues to express his admiration for Human Appeal International.
Muslim Council of Britain
Afzal Khan was Assistant Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) from 2000-2002.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) was founded in 1998, and has received several hundred thousand pounds of taxpayers’ money, despite its links with extremists. Cabinet ministers have condemned the MCB for its periodic boycott (see also here) of Holocaust Memorial Day. In 2001, the MCB also expressed its “concern” about commemorating the “alleged Armenian genocide as well as the so-called gay genocide”.
In 2009, the British Government cut ties with the Muslim Council of Britain after Daud Abdullah, the Deputy-Secretary General, became a signatory to the Istanbul Declaration, which called for attacks on British troops and Jewish communities. Daud Abdullah has since signed a letter against the War Crimes tribunal in Bangladesh, in which he defended one of the accused war criminals, Ghulam Azam, as an “Islamic personality”.
A report published by the Department for Communities and Local Government explicitly links the Muslim Council of Britain to Jamaat-e-Islami, which committed acts of genocide during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.
One affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain is Da’watul Islam, which was established by the wanted Bangladeshi war criminal Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a leader of the Al-Badr killing squad. In November 2013, the Bangladeshi War Crimes Tribunal sentenced Mueen-Uddin to death for his role in the abduction and murder of 18 journalists and intellectuals.
In 2006, the Secretary General of the MCB offered the East London Mosque as a platform to Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Jamaat-e-Islami vice-president who has since also been sentenced to death in Bangladesh for his involvement in acts of genocide during the 1971 War of Independence. Muhammad Abdul Bari has also defended the East London Mosque’s decision to host an event with Anwar Al-Awlaki, the late Al Qaeda leader
Muslim Brotherhood representatives within the MCB have included:
- Omer El-Hamdoon, the Assistant Secretary General of the MCB, is also the President of the Muslim Association of Britain, which, in December 2010, was identified in the House of Commons as a Muslim Brotherhood front.
- Dr Kamal El-Helbawy, who “…helped create the MCB”, is described by an official Muslim Brotherhood website as, “…a prominent Muslim Brotherhood figure,” the “Europe-based Muslim Brotherhood leader” and “…founding president of the Muslim Association of Britain and former spokesman for the Brotherhood in Europe.”
- Ahmed Al-Rawi, former president of both MAB and the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe – two prominent Brotherhood organisations – was, in 2004, also a signatory to the document which expressed support for terrorism in Iraq and Israel. [Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), 8/23/2004 – pg 4]