|Asghar & David Irving link - just another smear|
|Sunday, 19 November 2006|
MPACUK exists to fight religious and racial prejudice and discrimination. That is the very reason we oppose Zionism - a racist political ideology that believes in a state for a particular racial and religious group, not for all its citizens equally. An ideology that endorses ethnic cleansing and an 'ethnically pure' state, as advocated by the new extreme-right deputy prime minister of Israel, Avigdor Leiberman.
Like every pro-Palestinian advocate, from Ken Livingstone to Christian Aid, we've endured the false smear of anti-Semitism. Recently we were accused of anti-Semitism on the basis of an article that was actually written by a Jewish Israeli blogger!
These false accusations are a classic tactic by the Zionist lobby: "The main purpose behind these periodic, meticulously orchestrated media extravaganzas is not to fight anti-Semitism but rather to exploit the historical suffering of the Jews in order to immunize Israel against criticism.". (Finkelstein, Beyond Chutzpah, 2005, p.21)
We were therefore shocked but not surprised to hear that one of our members was facing fresh accusations - so we made sure we got the facts of the case straight. And here they are - not neccessarily as juicy as it reads in the newspaper, but reality isn't always quite sensational enough.
The truth is that an individual who is now a member of MPACUK made a mistake 6 years ago - before this organisation even existed. At that time, acting as a private individual with no associations to any group, Asghar Bukhari supported and sent money and letters to anyone who he saw as people who stood up to Israel, and their powerful lobbies within Britain and the world. At that time, David Irving championed himself as exactly that, fashioning himself as a respectable historian, and writing articles opposing the Israeli lobby and Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians - and appealing for funds for the libel case in which he denied accusations of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. Now, 6 years and 2 Irving court cases later, a journalist Jamie Doward at the Observer has somehow come across a letter and small cheque to David Irving.
Mr Bukhari must have known David Irving would be convicted 6 years later of holocaust denial? If Asghar Bukhari had known of David Irving's holocaust denial and racism he would have condemned him, not given him any support!
The Observer has previously had to issue a correction after this same journalist Jamie Doward smeared SOAS University's Islam Awareness Week as being anti-Semitic. So we weren't suprised to find his article to be biased, but the plain fact is that MPACUK have been very clear in our condemnation of holocaust denial - we laid out our views when controversy hit the media over the government's new Holocaust Memorial Day. If anyone denies the Holocaust they are very wrong - Holocaust denial is an evil that must be opposed. If they hate Jewish people, if they see them as one block then this is an utterly abhorrent opinion that must be condemned. None of our members hold such abhorrent views. The Qur'an teaches us that Jews are repected as 'People of the Book' and that among them are both good and bad individuals. You cannot be a Muslim if you believe otherwise. It is Zionists who often stereotype all Jews as supporters of the evil acts of Zionism, when in fact there are many Jews who actively campaign for the human rights of the Palestinians.
Asghar Bukhari's mistake 6 years ago was to judge on the basis of the limited number of David Irving's articles he had seen, and assume that accusations of anti-Semitism against him were simply another smear campaign. In 2000 when this incident occurred Irving was fighting a libel case and the key principle in our legal system is 'innocent until proven guilty'. Now that it has become clear that Irving does in fact hold such dispicable views Asghar Bukhari has no hesitation in opposing him.
When so many mainstream critics of Israel are falsely accused of anti-Semitism, you can't condemn an individual for being sceptical about such accusations. And you can't just run as soon as the cry of anti-Semitism is started, because you then fall right into the trap that is exploited by smear campaigns - "the charge of anti-Semitism is a very effective tactic: anti-semitism is something no one wants to be accused of" (Mearsheimer and Walt 2006 - two Harvard professors who were also smeared after their academic study on the Israeli lobby).
Twisting an innocent gesture of support (even if gravely mistaken) into more than it is, is just another Islamaphobic attack aimed at undermining and harming the brave individuals who support the Palestinian cause and the cause of British Muslims. As Robert Fisk wrote: "If we want a quiet life, we will just have to toe the line, stop criticizing Israel" (Independent 16/5/02).
We hope those who support the Palestinian cause will not buckle or be afraid to carry on fighting for what they believe in, no matter how ferociously the powerful Israeli lobby and its friends attack them. Because the real scandal is the Palestinian children killed in their sleep last week in Beit Hanoun, the Lebanese children who continue to be killed by Israeli cluster bombs every week, and the pro-Israel lobby that justifies this.
Readers have left 28 comments.
Jamie Doward also made inaccuracies in other journalism also
Either a sloppy journalist or partisan jounralist with an agenda, wrose still it might be a combination of both. Either way, the Observer need to start keeping their standards high. Finally I cannot help but notice that all inaccuracies were to do with villifying muslims. Coincidence? You decide.
(1) 2006-11-19 13:26:04
It seems that there is a continual attack on muslims and muslim orgnisations. Previously, it has been MCB, Islamic relief, Hizb Ut-Tahrir and now MPAC. As muslims we need to unite against this media and political onslaught. As far as how our mosques are run or which ones allow women access, these issues can be mutually resolved amongst ourselves.I urge all muslims individuals and groups to unite against this repressive government and media agenda.
(2) 2006-11-19 13:42:32
Those who paid attention, knew who David Irving was six years ago. Mr. Bukhari's inability to check who he was before sending money makes him look like a idiot. Your organization seems to play it right in the hands of Israels supporters. Maybe you should let other people, who can seperate between true friends of the Palestinians and scum like Irving, organize the resistance to Israel?
Regards, A Norwegian
(3) 2006-11-19 14:36:22
This is ridiculous, if not laughable... The Zionist lobbies are hell bent in destroying and smearing the credibility of MPACUK - a very effective and influential Muslim lobby group. The Q is why? Simple - the more successful and effective you are in defending Muslims, fighting for the Palestinian cause, and exposing the evils of Zionism - the more you are a threa to Zionism.
Take MCB, Inayat Banglawala, Interpal, Livingstone, Robert Fisk, Galloway, etc ... all have undergone this same predictable attack.
MPAC, stand firm and do not waver in your trials and tribulations for the Ummah. My duas and donations are with you always, inshAllah.
(4) 2006-11-19 14:51:08
To A Norwegian. The Q here is not necessarily the mistake made by a member of mpac (note, mpac did not even exist at this point when the mistake was made) but the Q is how on earth did the letter / cheque get in the hands of this journo? Coincidence - i think not! There are external agencies working against Muslims/influential individuals in the UK and this is a classic example of this.
How the hell would Asghar or anyone else for that matter knw that Irving would be imprisoned 6 yrs down the line! If that was known (what a shame asghar isn't psychic as well as fighter for the ummah) the supportive letter would not have gone out - as it says so in the article.
Open your eyes people. Wake up and smell the zionists sniffing around ... starting with some of the commentors on this site....
(5) 2006-11-19 15:34:13
May Allah bless you all in your fight against the evils of Zionism. MPAC brothers and sisters have consistently strived for the Ummah for the sake of Allah and the Jihad - it's about time we Muslims did more than moan from the sidelines. Fund MPAC, join MPAC, support MPAC ... else just shut it!
(6) 2006-11-19 15:36:36
Well. If these people are being attacked by zionists. It proves to me they are doing something right. I think its times for me to start giving them my support and money again. I am putting the women in mosque issue behind me. Guys i am here for you. Allah-u-Akbar.
(7) 2006-11-19 15:43:47
Except that, if you read the article, you find that all this took place back in 2000. Bukhari says that at that time he didn't realise who Irving was and now describes his actions as "gravely mistaken". So, in other words, he clearly isn't "a supporter of David Irving".
(8) 2006-11-19 16:05:04
Finally, some light onto the whole matter! So really this is being hyped for no particular reason as:
a) Asghar who is now in mpac was not in mpac then as mpac did not even exist 6 years ago.
b) now that Irving has been prosecuted as a holocause denier - mpac/asghar do NOT support him and regret doing so in the past.
This does prove to me however that MPAC are doing a sterling job of defending human rights and standing against zionism. I am not a muslim but have always had symapthy for the palestinian cause.
A donation coming your way mpac, though it is very small, sorry. I like your work and your atttude - keep it up!
(9) 2006-11-19 16:14:50
So because Asghar once supported David Irving are the Zionists trying to say he is also guilty of holocaust denial? Well if that is so, then the many western leaders who supported Saddam Hussain must be guilty of genocide, as it was they who supplied him with his chemical weapons which he used to kill Iranians, Kurds and probably some Shias. In fact can these deaths along with the deaths of millions in Rwanda not also be classed as holocausts? Not forgetting, of course, what those who survived the Jewish holocaust are now doing to the Palestinians. I would not deny that what Hitler did in Germany, Russia and surrounding countries to both Jews and non Jews alike was a disgrace but I am sick of hearing the Zionists milking it to death. Millions of other, perhaps more innocent, people have died since 1945 but no one thinks to remember them on any day of any year. In fact I believe that Zionist only want to use it as an excuse to keep the sympathy of people who remember those dark days of Hitler. I wonder how many actually do care about those who died over 60 years ago. They use it as a political tool to criticise those who speak against them and expose their wickedness. Zionists and their supporters (eg) America have killed more innocent people than Hitler ever did. So I advise them to look at themselves before criticising others.
(10) 2006-11-19 17:46:28
The Norwegian so called anti Zionist who wants others to organize the resistance to Israel, i would say simply this - if they were so good at it why are Israeli's still killing the Palestinians everyday what is this so called "other resistance doing", organizing another meeting and pointless march?
Can you name a single effective group or individual who has not been attacked as anti Semitic? - go boil your head, and come back the real anti Zionists have finished the fight. Advice from you is like asking the reluctant grumbling soldier to lead the army.
Keep fighting MPAC - you must b doing something right!
(11) 2006-11-19 18:45:19
mpac is wonderful, the best organisation in the world, I hope it gets bigger and better.
Every1 show your support, donate as much as you can, they need funding 'big time' the effort and hard work that goes into every article and maintaining the site and rallies and events is demanding and the people who work for mpac deserve some respect.
Big urself up Mpac, rep' your own and never back down!
So dont be shy, don't be stingy, donate!!!!!
EVIL PREVAILS WHEN GOOD MEN FAIL TO ACT!
(12) 2006-11-19 19:32:36
Why on earth did you bother wasting time and effort writing an article to justify one man's action.
A simple statement denying any knowledge of Mr Bukhari's actions prior to the existence of Mpac would have been sufficient.
It is not wise to admit any of your actions as mistakes in/or to documented media.
What Mr Bukhari did at the time, he felt justified, supporting a nobel cause. That's his business and has nothing to do with Mpac.
Mpac stands firm on challenging for the rights of people to make informed decisions with regards to politics.
Mpac does not enforce its views and beliefs on anyone. Mpac simply provides an informative resource for individuals.
Therfore any action taken by any Mpac members/supporters before or during Mpacs existence without Mpac endorsement does not represent Mpac's stance as an organisation.
(13) 2006-11-19 19:33:08
This is a classic example of guilt by association. I have read up on MPACUK and they have never got into any stupidity such as holocaust denial or anything of the sort. A clear distinction has to be made between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. If Asghar gave money to the guy to fight an as then yet untested allegation then why should he have any case to answer? Everything I've read about MPACUK shows that they are out to tackle extremism by getting Muslims to engage in democratic politics. If the Zionists are trying to destroy that good work then the alternative is very bleak indeed. Stiff upper lip, that's what I say.
(14) 2006-11-19 20:08:50
Great job MPAC. I have been reading around the blogs today. Its seems like you people really vex the pro-zionists. I have just sent my donation. Go get em and give em hell. Do not apologise for anything. Hitler killed jews not you. Zionists kill palestinians and dont apologise. Why should you apologise from crime you aint comitted?.
(15) 2006-11-19 21:06:57
Blind leads blind:
Muslim leader sent funds to Irving
This is the heading in the paper today.
Who is the laeder in question?!
Who appoints him as a leader to this wretched Ummah? Allah Allum?!
(16) 2006-11-19 22:07:31
When Muslems criticise zionists, they mean Jews. Muslems on here are talking anti-Semitism.
(17) 2006-11-19 23:02:14
Asghar is a top guy! Highly intelligent and down to earth. This sort of smear will not deter potential MPACers I think it will rejuvenate MPAC within the Muslim community.
MPAC is the most effective & powerful muslim organisation in UK so far. It's growth is expanding quite rapidly nationally and inshallah internationally. So whether you smear MPAC via Asghar or not it will continue to grow STRONGLY as is quite evident from nationwide teams being established. So BEWARE Zionists, this sort of smear is nothing compared to the kind of crap you will be pulling out with tomorrow, As MPAC gets more organised, mobilised and disciplined throughout the UK.
From what I have seen so far, MPAC will become a thriving institution. It will not have one Asgar it will have hundreds scattered all over the UK. Just imagine the IMPACT!
(18) 2006-11-19 23:21:52
You know what, people make mistakes, and Asghar made a mistake. The Labour party did the same when they depicted Howard as Fagin, and depicted them as pigs. Everyone has forgotten that, because Tony Blair worships Israel, but when a Muslim makes a mistake, its everyone go nuts!
(19) 2006-11-20 01:09:19
It makes this organistation and people who post on this site look ridiculous, paranoid and racist to keep on banging on about the "Zionist/Israel lobby", as if it runs the world. Believe it or not, it is actually newsworthy to discover that a prominent Muslim figure funded a known Holocaust denier (this was known long ago - to plead ignorance is absurd), and it is very reasonable for the media to report this. If it is truly opposed to Holocaust denial and antisemitism, then MPAC should simply firmly distance itself from such atrocious behaviour, rather than making evasive, weasly and accusatory excuses.
I am a committed and proud Jewish Zionist and I also, incidentally, consider myself pro-Palestinian, something you might find many Zionists and Jews are if you ever tried to find out.
Please feel free to respond.
(20) 2006-11-20 01:36:15
Question - As Muslim supporters of the Palestinians, do you support or understand martyrdom? Do any of you actually support oh... let's say... walking into a market wearing a bomb and killing 80 people at a market? Do you? If you do, and you do it because you think your religion tells you it's ok, I've got a few clues for you. #1 Your religion is WRONG. Religions do not sanction cold blooded murder of innocents. Goverments do, but not valid religions. #2 Do you beleive that the end of Israel will cure all of your (and our) problems? The Palestinians can't even run their own country as it is. Nor can the Iraqis, the Iranians, Syrians, Somalis, et al. ... Admit it or not, Islams is based on HATE and MURDER #3 (And I'm really curious!) Does Allah REALLY say it's ok to have sex with little girls and animals!!!??? Great religion ya have there! Allah snackbar!
(21) 2006-11-20 07:25:44
Irving has been a Holocaust denier throughout his nasty little career: it's the only reason he's ever been noticed. Anyone choosing to send him money knew that, whether 6 years ago or 2o. To pass off such a donation as "a mistake" is to stretch the English language too far. Your friend knew exactly who and what he was supporting. That's not a smear, it's an uncomfortable home truth, which is why,as usual, it's the messenger who gets shot on this forum.
(22) 2006-11-20 11:48:38
i wonder where those hundred of @i like what you do but not the way you do it" brigade are now....
yeah well now MPAC are being attacked how come you havent jumped to their defence, how come you havent said to the observer I like the free press but not the right to smear. because your all liars and hypocrites. Allah why have you cursed us that the best amongst us are left alone to fight your enemies while the ummah is made up of hypocrites and cowards.
MPAC you do what you say and i pray that Allah sends his friends to you.
(23) 2006-11-20 12:08:47
the truth always prevails!!! good work mpac
(24) 2006-11-20 18:48:57
i'd like to ask 'are we here to jugde Asghar or is it us that will be jugded for not helping him at the end of the day'. Lets not forget he is our brother, who is putting his life on line for us!
May Allah guide you through the dark times.
(25) 2006-11-20 20:05:52
Mr Bukhari sent his letter and cheque of support in 2000.
Perhaps as part of his defence he could either publish the letter or tell us the date he sent the letter.
My guess is that he will do neither.
Anyone who knows about Irving also knows the date of the letter is important.
(26) 2006-11-21 13:02:10
Just to correct you. When Muslims and non Muslims criticise Zionists they are criticising Zionists as we know that not all Jews follow Zionism. Many Jews in fact criticise Zionism and those are the ones I can respect. I am sick of hearing about anti semitism. Don't hide behind it like a coward. You use anti semitism to stop the truth being told and yet you criticise others and make racist comments about Muslims. Zionists are not Semites, they are evil leaches who want to control the world and it is the Zionists in Israel who want to destroy the Palestinians.
(27) 2006-11-21 18:48:13
Why is anyone surprised at the Zionist's behaviour? Of course it's easier to cry anti semitism rather than engage in a debate where you may be found out.
(28) 2006-11-21 20:14:12