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Why Sheikh Raed Salah (‘The Gandhi Of Palestine’) Was Arrested In The UK And Deported Back To Israel

by | 2nd, July 2011

THE Guardian’s editorial defends Sheikh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel . The British Government is deporting him because his presence in the country was not “conducive to the public good“. On June 28, Salah was arrested by the UK Border Agency on 28th June. He has been served with a deportation order under Section 3 of the Immigration Act.

How did he get into the UK in the first place?

The British Home Office last week issued an order banning Salah from the country. Haaretz has learned that the reason Salah may have been able to enter the country despite the ban was because of a misunderstanding. Although he is known in Israel and throughout the world as Raed Salah, official documents, including his Israeli passport, bear the name Raed Mahajna, and this may have been overlooked at passport control at the airport.

“A full investigation is now taking place into how he was able to enter,” Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May said yesterday in a statement to Al Jazeera. “I can confirm he was excluded and that he managed to enter the UK. He has now been detained and the UK border agency is now making arrangements to remove him.”

Salah’s arrest came after British newspapers questioned his presence in the country. The Daily Mail called Salah’s entry a “joke” and reported that he “strolled through border checks which were supposed to identify that he was on a list of banned fanatics.” A blog in the Daily Telegraph was headlined, “They’ll let anyone in: anti-Semitic preacher Ra’ad Salah is in London despite being banned.”

Middle East Monitor invited him to the UK. What say they about him?

“In addition to his charismatic personality, he is known for his close relationship with ordinary Palestinian citizens, being well-known for his modest way of life, high moral standards, quiet character and kind smile that never leaves his face…

He leads the “Islamic Movement in Palestine ’48” the Palestinian territories occupied by Israeli forces in 1948 the most popular Palestinian political force in those areas. Shaikh Raed and the movement he leads rejected the option of contesting elections for seats in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) as he believes that there are no opportunities to end Israel’s occupation through parliamentary involvement due to the dominance of military, intelligence, extremist and racist forces in the Israeli political arena.

Shaikh Raed [sic] is famous for his tireless and peaceful protests against the Israeli occupation and its continued violations. His reliance on non-violent means has earned him the sobriquet “the Gandhi of Palestine”.

He sounds gentle and kind. Understandably, the Guardian wants to know why he was nicked? The paper tells us:

Is it the fact that the sheikh was accused in some British newspapers and one website of making antisemitic statements, which he says were fabricated, and for which he has started libel proceedings?

And what of those Jews?

Both Mr Salah and Mr Nofal were due to speak at an annual Palestinian festival in London. In a separate celebration, Jerusalem Day, rightwing Israeli activists marched into the Arab Old City shouting slogans such as “Muhammad is dead”, “May your village burn”, and “Butcher the Arabs”. This is racist incitement for which no action is being taken. Should Britain be taking lessons from Israel on incitement?

Hell no! Good job none of those boneheads have been inited to talk on peace in a room at the House of Commons.

But what did this man of peace reportedly say?

During the speech at the February 16, 2007 protest in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Wadi Joz, Salah accused Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread.

“We have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children’s blood,” he said. “Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread.”

“Great God, is this a religion?” he asked. “Is this what God would want? God will deal with you yet for what you are doing.”

The counter-argument:

However a statement issued by the sheikh’s office earlier this month dismissed the allegations “an absolute lie and a malicious fabrication”.

The statement continued: “Mr Salah was arrested and questioned over these allegations in Israel and released when they were revealed as being wholly fabricated with no evidence.

“Mr Salah told the Israeli authorities: ‘My belief is that no divinely-inspired religion ever sanctions the shedding of children’s blood; likewise, no adherents of any religion should sanction the killing of children in Palestine or anywhere in the world.'”

Sheikh Salah has been acquitted of charges in connection with rioting that followed the speech. However, sources insist charges relating to incitement to racism are still outstanding and are due to be heard next spring.

This is what the Palestinian Ghandi had to say on gays in 2003:

“It is a crime. A great crime. Such phenomena signal the start of the collapse of every society. Those who believe in Allah know that behaviour of that kind brings his wrath and is liable to cause the worst things to happen. There is no solution for this, unless the individual’s faith is strengthened.”

What about Ghandi II’s views on so-called honour killings?

“We have to ask those who talk about murder for the sake of the family honor – mainly feminist organizations – what they did to prevent the murder of family honor itself. Unfortunately, nothing at all has been done in this regard. On the contrary: Some of the people who invented this concept are encouraging anarchy in the society, because they don’t know how to handle the matter.”

How peaceful is he?

Radical Muslim leader Sheikh Raed Salah was released from prison yesterday after serving a five-month term for assaulting a policeman.

What he did:

According to the court, Salah spit in the face of a Border Policeman in 2007 in the midst of a demonstration against reconstruction work in Jerusalem’s Old City.

The court decision states that Salah arrived at one of the entrances to the Old City in East Jerusalem to protest Israel’s rebuilding of the Mugrabim bridge. Salah and dozens of other protesters tried to storm the site, to the point of illegal rioting, the court states. During the event, Salah spit at a policeman “who felt the ugly warm spit on his face, as he described in his testimony,” judge Yitzhak Shimoni wrote

What did he say after 9/11, when al-Qaeda murdered thousands of peoples in New York?

“A suitable way was found to warn the 4,000 Jews who work every day at the Twin Towers to be absent from their work on September 11, 2001, and this is really what happened! Were 4,000 Jewish clerks absent [from their jobs] by chance, or was there another reason? At the same time, no such warning reached the 2,000 Muslims who worked every day in the Twin Towers, and therefore there were hundreds of Muslim victims.”

How could anyone call him an anti-Semite?

Last week, the Home Office issued an exclusion order against Sheikh Raed Salah, an Israeli-Arab Islamist who heads the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, a Hamas-like gang of nutters whose house organ, Sawat al-Hak, Salah has used to describe Jews as “monkeys” and “germs” and “butchers of pregnant women.”

The Guardian clears the racism allegations up in that editorial:

If the home secretary is unwise enough to start applying her “prevent” policy to all Palestinian activists Israel has a problem with, Britain will face a backlash in the Arab world.

If you protect the Jews from a man accused of anti-Semitism, who says Jews were in on 9/11, from addressing Muslims in the UK, then the Arabs will be unhappy. No mention that Jews may be relieved.

Haneen Zoabi tells Guardian readers:

Unable to produce any legal evidence, the Israeli establishment and its supporters in Britain accuse him of antisemitism. Salah has rebutted the fabricated allegations behind these claims and instructed his lawyers to begin legal action against those repeating them.

It appears that the charge of antisemitism is being used as a way of suppressing criticism of Israeli policies. Since when has the struggle for equality become a form of racism? Since when have states that boast of their democratic credentials acquired the right to arrest people for their political views?

Is He Persecuted?

In 2003, Salah was arrested on suspicion of raising millions of dollars for Hamas. He was released two years later in a deal that bars him from going abroad and requires him to check in with an officer every month. The charges against him were a “mockery,” Salah says.

Salah has some interesting acquaintances:

In addition, Salah and Mahmoud Mahajna, who headed the movement’s Institute for Humanitarian Aid, are accused of conspiring with Nabil Mahzouma, whom Israel freed and expelled to Lebanon in the 1985 prisoner exchange known as the Jibril deal. Since then, Mahzouma has served as an Iranian intelligence agent in Lebanon, responsible for recruiting and running Palestinian and Israeli Arab agents to obtain intelligence about Israel. Salah and Mahajna are charged with having been in continuous contact with Mahzouma in 2001-2002.

Does Jordan like him?

Sheikh Ra’ad Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, was forbidden to cross into Jordan yesterday by Jordanian border police at the Sheikh Hussein Bridge. Salah was en route to Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage to Mecca to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan. This is the third time this year that Jordanian authorities have prevented Salah from entering the Hashemite Kingdom.

Finally, when Geert Widlers the firebrand Dutch anti-Islam politician was banned form the UK, Lord Nazir Ahmed wrote in the Guardian:

When I found out that Geert Wilders was planning to come to Britain and that Baroness Cox and Lord Pearson wanted to show his film, I wrote to the Home Office, the leader of the House of Lords and Black Rod to say that his presence would lead to the incitement of religious and racial hatred, which constitutes a public order offence. I pointed out that Wilders is already facing a serious charge in his home country for inciting racial hatred. Furthermore, Cox and Pearson could hardly use an argument for free speech to justify giving him this platform because Wilders himself is calling for the banning of the Qur’an.

That’s Lord Ahmed who has close links with…Middle East Monitor…



Posted: 2nd, July 2011 | In: Key Posts, News Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink