Make no mistake, the only reason I am here to write this report is because yesterday the police managed to stop those who were trying to get at us to cause us harm. Of all the antisemitic, hate-filled gatherings that take place in the UK, the annual Al Quds march sits at the very top of the pile. The Ayatollah’s UK fanbase may have had the genocidal Hezbollah flag forcibly removed from its grasp, but this poisonous Iranian backed orgy remains as toxic as it ever was.
The background to London’s march of hate
Al Quds day is an Iranian invention, that was introduced into the calendar in 1979 by the regime in ‘opposition to the existence of Israel’. The UK’s celebration of the Islamic hate festival is organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC). The IHRC is an antisemitic extremist group that glorifies terrorism.
I have been reporting from the annual Al Quds events for about a decade. Before the Hezbollah flag was proscribed, I’d see people proudly wearing Hezbollah T-shirts or Nasrallah T-shirts, walking through some of London’s most famous streets. This image from 2018:
Antisemitism is always present. In 2017, even before the march had started, I filmed Nazim Ali (then Director of the IHRC), whipping up the crowd by blaming ‘Zionists’ for the Grenfell Tower disaster, saying the Board of Deputies had blood on its hands, and suggesting that Zionists were ‘imposters’ – not real Jews. This recording led to the General Pharmaceutical Council opening a ‘fitness to practice’ hearing against him (the original sham trial was thrown out by the High Court and the case is still ongoing). It came as no surprise to see Nazim Ali still leading the Al Quds event this year:
So yes, this hatefest and I – we have history.
The Ayatollah’s Al Quds March 2023
Time was when they would gather outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House, and the march would close down parts of Oxford Street as in their 1000s they slowly made their way through the heart of London’s shopping district. These days they are restricted to the small trek between the Home Office and Downing Street. They also can no longer wave the Hezbollah flag.
What we are left with really is a mix of the worst-of-the-worst from the Shia side, with the list of supporters including a run of Khomeini support groups (The Islamic Human Rights Commission, InMinds, 5 Pillars, Ahlulbayt Islamic Mission, the Union of Islamic Students of Europe, Ahlulbayt Sisters and Idara-e-Jaajeriya).
Some of these are familiar faces to readers of this blog. InMinds is an active band of antisemites, that operate on the street promoting boycotts of Israel. For a long time the group was fronted by Sandra Watfa – an antisemitic conspiracy theorist and Holocaust denier. 5 Pillars is just the UK media platform for Roshan Salih, who writes for Iranian Press TV.
Holding the hands of the Ayatollah’s support network are some of the most notorious stalkers of British Jews:
- The rabidly antisemitic Scotland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
- Marxists of the Revolutionary Support Group who still picket outside of Marks and Spencers decades after Jewish people stopped owning it.
- The newly formed ‘Covivencia Alliance’, which is a toxic partnership of hate groups led by the disgraced antisemitic vicar Stephen Sizer.
- Neturei Karta, the fringe extremist Jewish cult that attended the Ayatollah’s ‘Holocaust denial’ event in Tehran.
- Jewish Network for Palestine, run by David Cannon, an antisemitic conspiracy theorist who suddenly adopted a Jewish identity a few years ago.
As I said – a gathering of the worst-of-the-worst.
The Al Quds march begins – and the counter protest
The Al Quds march always follows the same procedure, and this year was no different. The crowd gathers outside an important London site (this year the Home Office), the attendees are ‘put in the mood’ as they practise chants that demonise Israel. This normally goes on for about an hour, until eventually the police, who are working to their own game plan, give them the green light. The protestors then begin to march through the streets mostly shouting ‘from the river to the sea‘ – a call for the destruction of Israel.
As the protest turned from Horseferry Road into Millbank, the pro-Israel crowd, numbering about fifty, came out of the park and stood ahead of the haters in the street. 50 against 1500. In truth this is a dance everyone knows well, as it happens every year. The police give the two sides a few minutes facing off at a distance and then the Israeli flag wavers begin their own march, walking ahead of the hating pack.
Our police and the troublemakers
The police strategy becomes clear. With the pro-Israelis walking ahead, the police, acting from behind them, gently make sure they are moving at a relatively swift pace. Whilst they do this, the police standing in front of the pro-terrorist group, slow that group down – so whilst neither side is aware of what is taking place, the police are creating an ever-increasing distance between the two sides.
But this strategy also creates a no-mans-land with few police in the middle – and it is in this area that those like me and Joseph from the Israel Advocacy Movement are operating with our cameras. On the one hand we need to stay near the haters to keep filming, but on the other the police protecting the Jewish counter demo are now a long way away.
Enter the thugs. A few dozen protestors from the Al Quds march had bypassed the police cordon, either by going through the park, or ‘innocently’ sneak by as if they were unaffiliated. They wanted confrontation and once past the police they made their way towards the first Jews they could see:
This must have gone on for about twenty minutes, with different individuals trying to get at us (and Joe was the key target here) – whilst the few police in the middle – worked to spot where the next attempt would come from – trying to keep them at bay. It was unsettling. The police did their job and did it well – but as I looked into the aggressive and angry faces that were pointing and shouting abuse at us – I knew that we were lucky the police were there. I am 100% certain that if these Islamist thugs could have reached us, I would not be writing this now.
The human rights activists!!
Eventually the two sides made it to the final spot. The Al Quds demo had a large stage set up near Downing Street – the Jewish counter demo was placed about 150 meters further down the street. Once everyone was in place the support for terrorism became even clearer, like with this image of Qasem Soleimani:
And this message for the UK, that the ‘Ummah is here’ threatening an end – not to Israel, but the UK:
Some scenes from the protest were simply surreal. They also highlight that for these people this is a religious war (Jihad). Flags that were waved included those from Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey – four Islamic nations that have horrific human rights records.
Not one of these states comes close to the types of freedoms available in Israel – nor its human rights record in protecting minority groups. The Lebanese flag was there too. Lebanon? A country that has held Palestinians inside an actual Apartheid system for seventy years.
The only logical reason these flags can be waved at a demo such as this – is because human rights have nothing to do with it at all. This is a Jihad against the Jewish state – and they are allowed to march through London’s streets.
The Al Quds hatefest speakers
The named speakers in the program included an impressive list of haters:
- Huda Ammori is a British Muslim with an Iraqi mother and Palestinian father. Ammori co-founded Palestine Action, a group of antisemitic criminals who break into businesses owned by Israelis and vandalise them.
- ‘Rev’ Dr Stephen Sizer needs little introduction, a nasty antisemite with a long history of baiting Jews. Sizer is a Christian Supersessionist, who was finally ejected by his own church for his vile Jew-hating behaviour.
- Mick Napier is an ever-present figure at these Ayatollah Al Quds Day hate-fests (examples – 2012, 2015, 2019). He is the man behind the toxic Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and seems to have few red lines. Napier went as far as trying to silence the voice of Scottish Jews by helping to promote a Polish antisemite who was pretending to be Jewish – as the ‘true voice of Scottish Jews’.
- Ahammed Hussain from the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), is a litigious soul who is based at the Lewisham Islamic Centre / Mosque. Shakeel Begg’s who told British students to go and fight in ‘Palestine’, is the head Imam there.
- Richard Medhurst is a relative newbie – a Syrian-British ‘journalist’ (British father, Syrian mother) who runs social media platforms that are pro-Assad, pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iran. He leads his own show on Iranian State TV.
- Rabbi Ahron Cohen from the Neturei Karta personally attended the Holocaust ‘questioning’ event in Iran in 2006 – and his actions were responsible for his cult being ostracised – even from within their own fringe ultra-orthodox community.
- Chris Williamson. Williamson is a disgraced former MP, who fell deeply into Corbyn’s rabbit hole and who now peddles antisemitic conspiracy theory for Iranian state media.
In the end
In the end there were few surprises. The speeches were full of hate – just as they were expected to be. And of course Neturei Karta burnt an Israeli flag:
A stream of antisemitic rhetoric on a public platform outside of Downing Street. Lowkey also turned up to speak and spread lies about an Israeli plan to destroy the Muslim Holy Places. Dangerous Islamist incitement that has in the past led to numerous massacres of Jews.
Another speaker told the crowd to send ‘power to the martyrs’, referencing the terrorists in Nablus and Jenin. And just a week after a British / Israeli mother and her two daughters were brutally murdered in their car, the crowd gets told these acts are not terrorism, but ‘resistance’.
It is an absolute disgrace that these people are the ones who feel at home here – while the Jews are the ones who need to hide away. There is no excuse for allowing threatening, pro-terrorist, antisemitic, hate speech to be aired in public – it is a choice the UK government is making.
And then it was time to go home, to be with my family. Thankful to be in one piece and reminding myself that not every day is like this one.
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