Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and a number of his MPs attended the launch of “Islamophobia awareness month” with the group Mend, which according to a new report promotes “extremist views”, harbours anti-Semites, and gives a platform to Islamist views.
Just days ago, a new report detailed Muslim Engagement and Development’s (Mend) extensive connections to radical and anti-Semitic groups and speakers, and listed examples of its leaders condoning attacks on British troops and praising al-Qaeda terrorists.
Mend has strongly opposed counter-terror laws and pro-Western Muslims, as well as “regularly host[ing] illiberal, intolerant and extremist Islamist speakers at public events”, the report by The Henry Jackson Society think tank explained.
Mr. Corbyn was joined by representatives of London’s police, fellow Labour MPs Naz Shah, Stephen Kinnock, Wes Streeting, Afzal Khan, and Kate Green, as well as Shakira Martin, president of the National Union of Students (NUS) at the event in parliament.
— Shazad Amin (@DrShazadAmin) November 2, 2017
— Kate Green (@KateGreenSU) November 1, 2017
One of those in the audience was Imam Sulaiman Ghani, who has spoken in support of al-Qaeda terrorists, said homosexuality is “unnatural” and women should be “subservient,” and organised sectarian hate campaigns in London.
Jennifer Gerber, the director of Labour Friends of Israel, told the Jewish Chronicle it was “utterly unacceptable that Jeremy Corbyn last night chose to attend an event organised by a group which has repeatedly peddled myths about the power of the ‘Israeli lobby’ that play into classic antisemitic tropes”.
Maajid Nawaz, who founded the Quilliam counter-extremism think tank, condemned Mr. Streeting and Mr. Kinnock’s participation. Speaking on his LBC radio show, he said:
“What are you two thinking? You should be ashamed of yourselves. There’s no way you should be involved with this organisation. If your colleagues have pulled out, what are you still doing involved with this event?”
— Maajid – (Mājid) [maːʤɪd] ماجد (@MaajidNawaz) November 2, 2017
Mr. Corbyn, who has previously praised Islamist terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah, reportedly told the audience: “Our future lies in mutual respect between all communities.”
Before the event, Labour Mr. Kinnock said: “I believe that one of my most important duties as a member of Parliament is to actively seek opportunities to engage with people with whom I disagree.”
He added that he would “not hesitate in calling them [Mend] out and challenging them on the numerous actions and comments that I find totally unacceptable”.