Three years ago I was present at the pro-Hezbollah Al-Quds rally in London. In the process of whipping up the crowd to prepare them for the march, the leader of the rally, Nazim Ali, made several blatantly antisemitic statements over a loudhailer. After it became known that Nazim Ali was a pharmacist, complaints were made to the General Pharmaceutical Council. They took three long years to even arrange a hearing. Last week they published their determination – that the four test statements they had selected, whilst offensive, were not antisemitic. An embarrassing joke of a finding and a slap in the face for all of us. The obvious conclusion from this story is that there is no real justice for Jewish people in the UK.
Justice and the facts
The undisputed facts of the case are these:
Nazim Ali is a pharmacist and is also a Director of the Islamic Human Rights Commission. The IHRC is an extremist group ‘inspired by the worldview of Ayatollah Khomeini’. On the last Sunday of each Ramadan, they hold a demonstration on ‘Al Quds’ day, an Ayatollah designed, pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iranian march through London. Until proscribed in the UK, Hezbollah flags were ever-present at these rallies. Nazim Ali has been the voice of the Al-Quds demonstration for several years.
At the event in 2017, and before the gathered protestors began to march, Nazim Ali made several antisemitic comments about Zionists. Some examples: Ali claimed Zionists were not real Jews, he blamed them for the Grenfell disaster, stated that they genetically need to ‘occupy’ and suggested British Rabbis have blood on their hands.
Justice fails in the findings
The publication of the findings of the ‘Fitness to Practise’ hearing confirmed all our worst fears. The entire process had been a badly handled, incompetent affair, that resulted in a near total whitewash. The Committee decided that whilst offensive, the words of Nazim Ali were not antisemitic.
There are several *major failures* in the determination. These are the two that I consider the most important:
Antisemitism – In deciding what was and was not antisemitic, their Legal Adviser had provided them with the dictionary definition. The IHRA definition was included by the Council in the bundle of papers ‘for guidance’. In assessing whether a comment was antisemitic, the Committee decided it would attempt to judge the view of a ‘reasonable person’, with knowledge of all the facts and context. Someone with ‘no particular characteristics‘ (ie not Jewish).
Impartiality – both myself and Jonathan Hoffman were not considered impartial. They mentioned that I had just returned from a visit to Israel along with the fact my daughter recently volunteered for the Israeli Defence Force. They concluded that this meant I was not an ‘entirely impartial observer‘. For Jonathan they stated that he had described himself as being ‘of the Jewish faith’, before mentioning his public order conviction and the fact he had visited Nazim Ali’s pharmacy as the reasons why he too, was not fit to be described as a ‘wholly impartial observer‘.
They found we were of ‘little assistance’ in reaching their decisions (page 52).
The bitter pill we are forced to swallow
Having read the determination twice, it is difficult to overstate how atrocious the decisions were. I want to use this example – taken as to why the comment about ‘European alleged Jews‘ was found to be not antisemitic:
The Committee concluded that most reasonable people would not find anti-Semitic a part of a comment they could not understand when it appeared to make no sense. (page 56).
In other words, because Nazim Ali had been unable to explain clearly why he had used the phrase and because the Committee considered a reasonable man would be unable to decipher the comment – it therefore could not be considered antisemitic. This is absolute incoherent and absurd poppycock. What were they smoking?
All this shows is that the Committee had neither the expertise nor knowledge to do anything more than conduct a show trial. Nazim Ali blatantly stated that he regards approximately 93% of Jewish people as not Jewish (2015 survey, 93% consider Israel a part of their Jewish identity, 90% support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state). How is this not a clear attack on Jewish identity? That even after three years of preparation, they still did not possess the basic understanding of modern antisemitic tropes (and the accusation about fake European Jews is a favourite of modern antisemitism) is nobody’s fault but their own.
Imagine a racist making an offensive comment about black people, using well-worn slurs to which a black person would be highly sensitive. Then imagine a committee led by white folk dismissing the claim, simply because it had neither the knowledge nor the understanding to comprehend what the argument was about. Farce? That doesn’t even begin to cover it.
The ignorance of the committee
From start to finish this hearing failed to deal with the problem seriously. It rejected offers of expert advice on antisemitism. On one of the most highly charged issues of today it was handed a dictionary and told to get on with it. The Committee clearly felt they knew better.
There was no proper guidance on the anatomy of the Jewish community, which meant that the Committee was left evaluating everything under the illusion that the community is split between ‘Zionists’ and ‘anti-Zionists’. Once they had fallen into the neatly created rabbit hole provided by one tiny extreme cult called Neturei Karta, any chance of a real hearing was doomed.
As someone who is well versed in all the arguments, – reading the determination is like reading the deliberation of a man from Mars. The Committee may have meant well – but their own exaggerated sense of self-importance destroyed any chance they ever had of reaching a proper conclusion. Seriously. ‘It cannot be racist because we personally didn’t understand it‘ – on what planet is that justice?
Listen to the Jews
They had two Jewish people in front of them, but they didn’t ask either any probing questions on either Zionism or antisemitism. The Committee clearly felt they knew all they needed to. In the end they dismissed the *ONLY* real evidence they had – because those who provided it were not considered ‘impartial observers‘. The reason for the dismissal? We were Zionist Jews.
Once again the committee failed to grasp exactly what happened. What mattered was that we were *victims* and we should have been accorded the respect that ALL victims deserve. When Nazim Ali said European Jews were fake – he was talking about us. As he referenced greed, bloodlust and evil doings – he was talking about us too.
The Committee’s finding suggests that any victim would be of ‘little assistance’ to them because a victim has an interest in the case. They don’t want victims, witnesses just get in their way. This is a Committee that knows it all already.
The injustice of impartiality
In August 2020 my daughter made Aliyah to volunteer in the IDF. As any parent would, I went to see her when I had the chance. And here is the first problem with the Committee dismissing my evidence – in June 2017 when the event happened – I hadn’t been to Israel in 11 years and my daughter was a 16-year-old who was contemplating A-Levels and university. In other words the excuses for them dismissing the evidence I provided in 2017, hadn’t yet occurred.
The same can be said of Jonathan Hoffman. His altercation with Sandra Watfa the Holocaust denier only occurred in 2018. Similarly, he only visited Nazim Ali’s pharmacy because of the events that had already occurred in 2017. How on earth can you justify post-dating a person’s bias?
In truth the problem was that we were both Jewish. As the committee clearly stated – only a non-Jewish person is ‘reasonable’ to identify what is antisemitism. These people live in the Dark Ages.
Exploring the problem with bias
The Committee never bothered to understand antisemitism and couldn’t find the time to learn a little about the Jewish community and Zionism. Now I want to explore its reasoning for considering my evidence of ‘little assistance’ even further. They had a problem with where I went on holiday. So is it legitimate to ask where they went on holiday? Do Judges and panels and arbitrators need to complete a ‘Where Have You Been on Holiday?’ form before being deemed acceptable?
What about my daughter’s choice? Am I responsible for that? Does each of the members of the Committee need to explain exactly what each of their family members do prior to being deemed acceptable? My daughter, in the three years of Corbyn, decided that her immediate future lay outside the UK – this is an indictment of what the UK did to British Jews, it has nothing to do with me.
Once you start down this road – you end up in chaos. I will now provide a perfect example.
The Legal Adviser
Every step the Fitness to Practise Committee took was guided by the most important person in the room – the Legal Adviser.
A person who was there to guide the hand of the Committee to ensure all legal issues were explained and addressed properly. She is the one who gave the Committee the dictionary definition of antisemitism for example, even though they already had the guiding hand of the IHRA to work with. The Legal Advisor also nailed down for them any issue they had.
The Legal Adviser was Ms Sadia Zouq. Immediately we run into a situation for the Committee. Ms Sadia Zouq is a Muslim of Pakistani heritage.
Before I begin, I want to stress this. I consider Ms Sadia Zouq to be an intelligent and successful barrister and there is absolutely no intention at all to suggest she did anything other than provide exemplary and unbiased advice. I wouldn’t dream of suggesting anything else. But it seems that the Committee would. If Jewish witnesses are a problem, why does the same not apply to a Muslim Legal Adviser?
It may have been a long time ago, but Ms Zouq did sign an anti-Israel petition as a student. The petition she signed is full of the usual messages about a ‘conspiracy of silence’. It calls on nations to boycott Israel and pushes the usual slurs about war crimes, Apartheid and ethnic cleansing. The Legal Advisor does have a history that contains anti-Israel activity.
The exploration of absurdity.
Let me explore this absurdity further. Sadia comes from a family, which built a successful dairy business in Rochdale. Doctors, barristers and business people, they are without doubt a model of successful immigration. The family is generous too. Ms Zouq is a trustee of a newly formed foundation which has provided large donations to worthwhile and needy causes.
The dairy product company was started by her father, Ghulam Qadir Zouq. Her father is also Director of the Central Mosque in Rochdale. He has been a Director since 1996. He is also a trustee of the Mosque’s charity.
When we look at the Mosque website it quickly becomes clear, that we have a problem.
The Mosque, Israel and the fake Jews.
I want to restate that I am not drawing any connection between Ms Zouq and the revisionist and offensive history on the Mosque website. Nor am I suggesting her father agrees with everything on the website. I am simply pointing out that her father is a Director of the Mosque, and that the Fitness to Practise Committee decided that family activity was important in deciding impartiality.
There are a few pages on the website relevant to anti-Israel activity. The first is a history of the conflict. Scanning the page is like reading one half of the story. There is no reference anywhere to anti-Jewish violence, no mention of a historical Jewish presence – and whilst every single attack on Jews is omitted, every violent Jewish action – real or imagined is listed. This image contains two glaring examples:
There was no ‘war’ in 1929 – there were anti-Jewish pogroms – massacres of innocent communities in Hebron, Tzfat and Jerusalem. The 1935 reference is also troubling. Izz ad-Din al-Qassam was not Palestinian, he was Syrian. He was an Islamist terrorist who targeted innocent Jewish civilians as well as the British. After killing a Jewish British police officer, al-Qassam was eventually trapped and died in a shoot-out. It should come as no surprise to learn that Hamas have named their military wing after him. The use of the word martyrdom to describe a killer of civilians is unsettling. The description of the Mandate as an ‘occupation’ is ahistorical poppycock. Is this really what Mosques teach to Muslims in the UK? No wonder antisemitism is on the rise. These are lies, mixed in with pro-terrorist sympathies.
Another page on the website gives a religious ‘history’ of area. I have no interest in contradicting religious history. At the end of the page there is a small selection of four facts. This is one of them:
Jews are not Jewish at all. It seems stories about ‘European alleged Jews’ have made it all their way to Rochdale.
The Mosque That Boycotts Israel
It gets worse. The mosque of which Ms Souq’s father is a Director advocates and promotes the boycott of Israel. This is from their Facebook page. A Media display at the Masjid telling people to check the label of products, so they don’t purchase Israeli goods.
Injustice turns full circle
The Mosque ran with the ‘Check the Label campaign’ for several years. Here is an earlier post from 2012:
Check the label was a campaign run by Friends of Al Aqsa, an extremist Islamist group with a history of problematic associations. This group has been instrumental in running the Al-Quds day demonstrations. And Friends of Al Aqsa was one of the supporting organisations of Al Quds Day in 2017.
Which means the father of the Legal Adviser to the Committee, is Director of a mosque that boycotts Israel and works directly with an organisation that was one of the backers of the very demonstration which Nazim Ali led – when he made those antisemitic comments.
What was that about my daughter again?
Can you support this fight?
This research is unique – it goes wherever it needs to – and it depends on community support. The results speak for themselves and for six years I have been creating headlines. I engage in forensic research, much of it undercover, into anti-Jewish hatred, anti-Zionism and anti-western extremism.
I battle back against those who seek to revise history and expose antisemitism and I fight when others don’t. If you can, please consider making a donation.
You can make PayPal donations using the donate button below.
You can also make a donation via my Patreon page
Every contribution is truly appreciated