Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What was the "Palestine Conference"?

Another point to make about Stephen Sizer's attendance at the Palestine Conference is that it reveals some of the company he keeps. According to the poster he put up on his blog (see above), his fellow speakers included Azzam Tamimi and Daud Abdullah. The conference was organized by the student association of Islamic groups on British campuses (FOSIS) and cosponsored by the Palestinian Return Centre, Interpal, the British Muslim Initiative, and the Friends of Al-Aqsa.

Harry's Place has written quite extensively on Tamimi and Abdullah. See this recent article on some of Tamimi's extreme statements on Israel and Jews. The author writes, "Support for Hamas suicide bombings is a consistent theme in Tamimi’s public talks, alongside the idea that Israel must disappear – either peacefully or through force."

A report in the Jewish Chronicle (of Feb. 11) covers a recent talk he gave at a prestigious university in London:

Palestinian academic Azzam Tamimi, who has advocated suicide bombing, has told students he “longs to be a martyr” and that Israel “must come to an end”. Dr Tamimi, director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London, spoke to students at London’s School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS) on Tuesday. On Monday, he addressed Cambridge University’s Islamic Society and is also due to speak at the Federation of Student Islamic Societies’ Palestine Week at Manchester University this weekend.
At SOAS, he praised Hamas and said: “Today Hamas is considered a terrorist organisation because that’s what the Americans and Israelis and cowardly politicians of Europe want, but what is so terrorist about it?
“You shouldn’t be afraid of being labelled extreme, radical or terrorist. If fighting for your home land is terrorism, I take pride in being a terrorist. The Koran tells me if I die for my homeland, I’m a martyr and I long to be a martyr.”
He criticised calls for a two-state solution and said: “Why are the Jews superhuman and better than anyone else that God would give them a homeland? Is God a racist? A god who would prefer people because of their race is not a god I want to associate with. Claiming they are being given the land of God is a racist idea.
“If the world felt so guilty about the Holocaust, the Jews should have been compensated, not brought to my country at the expense of my people. “Israel does not belong to my homeland and must come to an end. This can happen peacefully if they acknowledge what they did — or we will continue to struggle until Israel is no more.”
He also urged students to continue hosting debates, despite calls to ban controversial speakers from campuses. He said: “I want to encourage you not to be intimidated by the pro-Israel lobby. The Zionists tell a pack of lies.
Dr Tamimi spoke alongside Ben White, author of Israeli Apartheid: A Beginner’s Guide, who urged students to boycott Israeli goods.
On Abdullah, see this article at Harry's Place: Daud Abdullah, the Royal Navy and Jihad.

Why is a Christian theologian, of all people, associating with Azzam Tamimi and Daud Abdullah?

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