“The extremist Islamist Sheik Raed Saleh has been at it again. Watch this hate-filled rant from the leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, broadcast on Al-Jazeera on September 21:
Our souls and our blood we will give to you, oh Prophet of Allah. As for you, you haters, you midgets, you little insolent people … listen to us, so we can show you who you really are. You are slaves to global Zionism.
Astonishingly, when Saleh won his appeal against deportation from the UK earlier this year, many on the liberal-Left celebrated. Jeremy Corbyn MP called a press conference and proclaimed: ‘He is far from a dangerous man. He is a very honoured citizen, he represents his people extremely well, and his is a voice that must be heard.’ Corbyn added a personal message: ‘I look forward to giving you tea on the terrace because you deserve it!’
As CIF Watch noted, the Guardian ‘produced a plethora of articles, all eerily similar in their support for Salah and his British patrons and in the whitewashing of who Salah is’. Sarah Colborne, director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) defended Saleh, saying ‘before coming to Britain, he faced horrific allegations of anti-Semitism, which he completely refuted’. Mehdi Hasan, then Political Editor of The New Statesman, prettified Salah as ‘the Palestinian leader of the largest civil society body in Israel,’ and argued the hostile media treatment of Salah was an example of the media’s ‘lazy and simplistic coverage (demonisation?) of Muslims.’
All this was astonishing – and for anyone on the democratic Left, deeply depressing, for the evidence about Salah and the Northern Islamic Movement was plain enough.