Mo Ansar, the discredited fraudster who has tried to pass himself off as an academic, theologian, imam and lawyer despite no qualifications or employment history in any of those fields, made an abortive attempt to return to public life just before Christmas with an appearance on the BBC that was swiftly cancelled when bosses learned of his dark past.
Ansar, who is called the “Islamic Walter Mitty” by critics, has claimed some 35 jobs in 15 years. He was exposed in May 2014 by a broad coalition of authors and journalists, from across the political spectrum, after a pregnant woman claimed he had masqueraded as a marriage counsellor and advised her to stay with her abusive husband and he made a spurious complaint to the police about award-winning gay radio presenter Iain Dale, accusing the latter of “islamophobia.”
Jamie Bartlett called him a “bogus social media commentator” in an article for the Telegraph website after reports emerged that television producers at Sky, the BBC and other channels were booking him on the basis of his Twitter account, rather than any real-world expertise, and despite numerous scandals surrounding him.
In retaliation for his cancelled media appearance, Ansar is said to have called the employers of journalist Nick Cohen and presenter Nicky Campbell to make similar allegations to those levelled at Dale, while refusing to answer Financial Times legal writer David Allen Green when challenged on his claim to be a lawyer, a claim he later retracted, deleting the tweets in which he made the claims and apologising for any “misunderstanding.”
Ansar has also in the past called the workplaces of antagonists on social media, including a nurse in Wales who was suspended from his job after Ansar accused him of islamophobia. Ansar has also made extensive and repeated reports to Twitter in an attempt to silence his critics, to occasional success.
In July 2012, he contacted the workplace of a critic on Twitter and reported her to the police after she swore at him, she says because he “denied marital rape was a thing,” in an attempt to intimidate her into silence. Now that Ansar’s reputation has been shattered by revelations about his fictitious qualifications and work history, other victims are coming forward with similar complaints.
Ansar’s attempt to return to public life coincides with a newly vicious tone to his social media profiles, in which he has taken hard-line Islamist attitudes to social and political attitudes despite presenting himself as a face of moderate Islam and submitting himself to producers as a spokesperson for the Muslim community.
He has in the past cozied up to Anas Al-Tikriti of the Muslim Brotherhood, son of wanted man and nephew of Saddam Hussein, Omar Al Tikriti, publicly thanking Al-Tikriti in 2012 for a gift of perfume, which he described as a “beautiful gift” from a “dear friend.” In a documentary screened by the BBC, Ansar failed to confirm when pressed his views on whether thieves should have their hands cut off if sharia conditions are met. He has also, incredibly, defended slavery and expressed no moral qualms about gender segregation.
No Muslim community leader, journalist or think tank organiser Breitbart contacted said he has any role in the British Muslim community whatsoever, and his scheduled appearances at Muslim events have been cancelled since our reporting and that of other journalists appeared in May.
Ansar has fabricated qualifications and work history while allegedly claiming state benefits. A neighbour in Charlock Way, Watford, which I visited as part of my investigation into his personal circumstances in May, accused Ansar of running a household almost entirely on state benefits. “But telly studio cars come day and night,” said the neighbour, who declined to be named for fear of reprisals by Ansar and his family.
He has also come under fire for demanding police protection that an officer in his local constabulary told Breitbart last year was “totally unnecessary,” at a cost to the taxpayer of as much as £500,000, after he claimed to be “at the top” of a wanted list assembled by militant group Al-Shabab, despite no such ranking being in existence. The Spectator‘s Douglas Murray described him as “a tremendous drain on the taxpayer.”
Describing himself as the “Muslim Bishop of Southampton,” Ansar once claimed to have been offered an Archdeaconship if he converted to Christianity, prompting widespread ridicule on social media. He has also claimed, at various times in the past 15 years, to be a scuba diver, a cricket coach, a chaplain, an LGBT rights activist, a “professional logician” and a child protection expert.
Mo Ansar reinvented himself as a “social commentator” after being fired from a UK bank for not repaying a staff loan in the early 2000s.He has not been seen on television since the revelations about him appeared in May 2014. Court documents show he was belligerent and aggressive with female superiors. Ansar did not return a request for comment.
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