London's Quds Day, with Stop the War and who else?

2 Aug 2013 by CST

Today, the last Friday of Ramadan, is "Quds Day", demanding the so-called "liberation" of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) and Israel. It was instituted by Ayatollah Khomeini after the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The list of participants gives an annual update of who is (and is not) in the pro-Iranian and pro-Hizbollah destroy Israel camp. It happens in London and in many other countries across the world.

In Lebanon and Iran, it is quite straightforward. The Hizbollah flags fly, the marchers march and weaponry is often on full display. With Hizbollah's propensity for straight arm salutes and antisemitic imagery, it is sometimes hard not to recall Europe in the 1930s. In Britain, things are a tad less obvious. The Islamic Human Rights Commission organises it again, the usual Jews are put on public display; and the Stop the War group proves, once more, that its name is somewhat misleading.

This year, however, Stop the War's involvement (they are due to give a speech and are advertising the rally on their website) is even more shocking than usual. We have seen Hizbollah and Iran provide the muscle to keep Syria's President Assad in power, with horrendous levels of death, murder and destruction. This can drag fragile Lebanon into the war. Stop the War are proving that they will not be diverted by such considerations. Who knows, perhaps Syrian death tolls are somehow too bourgeois, or pro-American.    

Many decent people opposed UK and US involvement in Iraq and Afghansitan, but the true ideology of Stop the War itself is stripped bare by their allying with the Quds Day marchers. Furthermore, if anybody wants to see what an Iranian or Hizbollah "liberation" of Jerusalem or Israel would actually look like, then they should look north to Syria, and multiply the carnage one hundred-fold. 

Given the Syrian death toll, it seems petty to also point out that the UK Government has very recently led the European Union to ban the "military wing" of Hizbollah. The ban followed Hizbollah's role in Syria and also the exposure of Hizbollah terrorism against Israelis and Jews in Bulgaria and Cyprus respectively. Everybody knows that there is no distinct military wing of Hizbollah: the whole thing is one entity, including the political, charitable and propaganda arms. Nevertheless, the ban is still better than nothing.

Then, there are the shifting alliances on the ground in Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Egypt, the Gulf States and Iran. Hamas is caught between a rock and a hard place, because it deserted Damascus and is now suffering the consequences from Iran and Hizbollah. For fascinating detail on all of this, see here on Hamas; and here on Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, of Ken Livingstone and global Muslim Brotherhood fame saying of Hizbollah (the Party of G-d):

The leader of the Party of Satan comes to fight the Sunnis...Now we know what the Iranians want...They want continued massacres to kill Sunnis 

Sheikh Qaradawi also very publicly said that every Muslim "trained to fight and capable of doing that [must] make himself available" in Syria to help defeat Assad and his Iranian and Hizbollah backers. Qaradawi is, perhaps, the most important Muslim cleric in the world today. How this open warfare in the Middle East impacts upon Britain's diverse Muslim and Islamist (both Sunni and Shia) activist groups will be fascinating to witness. For example, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is claiming that the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Association of Britain remain amongst the "supporting" groups for today's UK branch of the international Quds Day operation. Is this really the case?

To very briefly illustrate: in 2008, the Muslim Council of Britain described Sheikh Qaradawi as enjoying "unparalleled respect and influence throughout the Muslim world". In 2004, when Mayor Ken Livingstone controversially greeted Qaradawi in London, it was the Muslim Association of Britain that was hosting the Sheikh in Britain. They called him"the scholarly figure widely considered to be the world's chief proponent of moderate Islam".

Despite this, both the Muslim Council and the Muslim Association remain on the IHRC's web list and flyers (pdf link) showing the supposed supporters of today's London Quds Day demonstration. The roll of shame (including Stop the War) is as follows:

  • Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission
  • Friends of Al Aqsa
  • Friends of Lebanon
  • Innovative Minds
  • Islamic Centre of England
  • Islamic Human Rights Commission
  • Islamic Students Association
  • Jews for Boycotting Israeli Goods
  • Lebanese Community UK
  • Muslim Association of Britain
  • Muslim Council of Britain
  • Muslim Directory
  • Neturei Karta International
  • Scottish PSC
  • Sons of Malcolm
  • Passion Islam
  • Stop the War Coalition
  • UKIM

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Former Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police