BY SHIRAZ MAHER
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC) is a virulently anti-Semitic organisation. Almost since its inception, the group has obsessed about Jews and Israel, pumping out a near endless stream of articles on the topic.
Yesterday, the group's website posted this response to an article in the Jewish Chronicle about the disgraced Inayat Bunglawala's ongoing and vicious sectarianism at a time when he is trying to rebrand himself a ‘moderate':
Here is a clear case of stirring trouble and hatred (which Zionists are good at)
Do you see how Zionists divide Muslims? Is it not time we united against this scum of the earth?
Zionists are ‘scum of the earth' - a telling insight into the mindset of MPAC. The story which offends them so much comes from a piece by Martin Bright highlighting Inayat Bunglawala's disgusting behaviour after British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD) attracted support from some British Jews for their decision to organise a protest against the fanatics of al-Muhajiroun.
Of course, Bunglawala launched his own campaign against al-Muhajiroun at the same time - riding on BMSD's coattails - despite having had more than a decade to do something like this.
Bright's article revealed emails sent from Bunglawala to members of the Islamic Society of Britain and Young Muslims group on Yahoo. One said:
I have received some emails from people concerned that British Muslims for Secular Democracy (whose chair opposes the wearing of the hijab, openly admits to drinking alcohol etc) are also demonstrating. Muslims4UK will be completely separate from them and will have our own area, banners and placards, insh'Allah.
Four days later Bunglawala sent another email:
The BMSD - whose leading members advocate that Muslim schoolgirls should be forbidden from wearing the hijab and believe there is nothing wrong with drinking alcohol in Islam - have naturally attracted the support of Zionists like Mel P, Harry's Place and the Spittoon blog.
Then we really get a glimpse into Bunglawala's worldview:
Muslims4UK [Bunglawala's new group] have spoiled that little plan of theirs, Alhamdulillah!
He reconfirmed his problem with ‘Zionists' in a statement to the Jewish Chronicle, saying:
The only support BMSD appear to attract seems to be from pro-Israeli groups. That itself is very telling.
Indeed, some things are very telling. BMSD's director, Tehmina Kazi, was naturally shocked by this, saying the organisation was ‘really disappointed' by Bunglawala's behaviour. She added:
We are an impeccably non-sectarian organisation. We invited Inayat to join the demonstration in good faith. We were therefore surprised to discover that he had asked for a separate pen to protest in.
That is the way Bunglawala operates - duplicitous, insincere and sectarian - he could learn a lot from Kazi and BMSD. Just last week I wrote here about Bunglawala's ongoing support for the deeply anti-Semitic cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Now we have these emails. Small wonder then, that Inayat supports MPAC.
When it was revealed that MPAC's founder, Asghar Bukhari, had given financial support to help the holocaust denying David Irving in his libel action, Bunglawala showered MPAC and Bukhari with the following encomium:
This story has mysteriously surfaced at this time in a clear attempt to try and discredit Asghar Bukhari and MPACUK. Asghar's donation of sixty pounds to David Irving over six years ago may be regarded as perhaps overly idealistic and indeed naive. However, it is disgraceful - though not unexpected, of course - that the usual suspects have tried to use this incident in an attempt to portray Asghar as an anti-semite.
I know that Asghar is a staunch critic - and rightly so - of Zionism and the bloody and repressive policies of the Israeli government, but also that he has absolutely no truck whatsoever with anti-semitism or any other form of racial prejudice.
I hope MPAC will not be deterred by this episode and continue to focus on encouraging British Muslims to play their full role in the mainstream of British society and not allow themselves to be marginalised through inaction and passivity.
Bukhari wanted to support Irving's ‘fight for the truth', believing that he ‘suffered' because he was ‘trying to expose certain falsehoods perpetrated by the Jews'. Inayat dismisses this as ‘overly idealistic' while focusing on what really troubles him - ‘the usual suspects'.
Bunglawala might try to dismiss all this as 'McCarthyism', arguing that Bukhari has ‘changed' and that he wants to dissociate himself from some of MPAC's more recent pronouncements. After all, we saw this with a few people after the jihadist theorist, Anwar al-Awlaki, came out in support of the Fort Hood shootings.
Pre-empting cries of ‘foul play', it's worth taking a look at exactly what MPAC was saying and doing before Bunglawala offered them his support in November 2006.
In September 2006, the Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Anti-Semitism found that MPACUK is one of ‘a minority of Islamist extremists in this country [who] do incite hatred towards Jews'. That claim is not without foundation. MPAC has repeatedly reproduced anti-Semitic cartoons on its website, such as this one it copied from a neo-Nazi website called globalfire.tv in 2005.The previous year MPAC published a picture of a big-nosed, media-controlling, Jew vomiting propaganda into the living rooms of unsuspecting TV watchers. You can view it here.
In an article for the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, Dave Rich found:
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee have used their website to reproduce material taken from the sites of both David Irving and The Heretical Press (a far right publisher based in Hull)... Often when Islamist organisations use far right sources it reveals a deeper antisemitism. The Muslim Public Affairs Committee's reproduction of material from the far right sits on their website alongside open support for Holocaust denier David Irving, accusations of Zionist media and political control, lists of Jewish donors to New Labour and an investigation into whether the Talmud is "the most Powerful and Racist book in the world".
A common worldview on Jews is not all that Bunglawala shares in common with MPAC. Like him, they are also terribly sectarian, casting aspersions over Muslims they regard as too impious. For Bunglawala it was the fact that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown does not want to see prepubescent girls enveloped by a headscarf and that, on occasion, she enjoys a tipple of wine which put her beyond the pale.
For MPAC it was the sexuality of a secretary at the Al-Islah Muslim Girls' School in Blackburn who was hounded out of her job. MPAC published private pictures from her facebook account which showed her with short hair, wearing a shirt, trousers, drinking and smoking.*
Nothing from Bunglawala on that 'McCarthyism' - but then perhaps MPAC were just being ‘overly naive' again?
*The pictures have since been removed.
Focus on Islamism is a blog dedicated to analysing and exposing the modern ideological phenomenon known as Islamism.
Shiraz Maher is a writer and broadcaster.
Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens is a PhD student at King's College, London. He has contributed to various online and printed publications including, The Daily Telegraph, Lebanon's Daily Star, Standpoint and NOWLebanon.
To contact the authors, click here
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