Europe

Jewish, Muslim Groups Urge UK Home Secretary to Ban Next Month’s Hezbollah Parade in London

A Hezbollah march, due to take place in central London in honor of Al Quds Day next month, would put both Jews and Muslims at risk, community representatives of both faith groups warned Home Secretary Sajid Javid in a joint letter. Al Quds Day is promoted internationally by Iran.

The Evening Standard reported that the Campaign against Anti-Semitism and the Muslim-led anti-extremism group Faith Matters warned the government that the march would provoke divisions among Jews and Muslims.

“It [Quds Day] is a rallying point for anti-Muslim bigots who wish to portray all British Muslims as terrorist sympathizers, and for anti-Semites, who admire Hezbollah’s stated mission to seek out and murder Jews around the world,” the letter said. It added that Iranian-backed Hezbollah’s “sworn mission is the genocide of Jews.”

The letter further described Hezbollah’s flag, which features an assault rifle alongside a dagger, as “bloodcurdling,” warning its presence at the rally would “embolden those who seek to incite hatred” and make “a mockery of counter-extremism initiatives.”

The letter concluded with an appeal to the Home Secretary. “We write to you jointly as a British Muslim and a British Jew who are allies in the fight against racism and extremism,” it said, urging Javid not to allow extremists and their supports to take to the streets of London.

While Hezbollah’s military wing is banned in Britain, it’s political wing is not – a distinction Hezbollah’s own leadership rejects. Deputy Secretary-General, Naim Qassem, mocked the distinction, saying in 2012: “We don’t have a military wing and a political one; we don’t have Hizballah on one hand and the resistance party on the other…Every element of Hizballah, from commanders to members as well as our various capabilities, are in the service of the resistance, and we have nothing but the resistance as a priority.”

Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, and Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, called on the British government for Hezbollah to be outlawed in its entirety so that the parade, on June 10, can be stopped.

“While Hezbollah sympathizers marched through the streets without interruption, police demanded that anti-terrorist protesters move out of the way,” The Israel Project Senior Fellow Julie Lenarz observed about last year’s Qud’s Day march. “The extremists were rewarded. The terrified public punished. Evidence of a truly broken moral compass,” she concluded.

[Photo: habibi / YouTube]