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Views

On Antisemites

Anelka

On 28 December 2013 on twitter, Mohammed Ansar commented on Anelka’s post-goal gesture, suggesting that it might not be antisemitic, but instead that the footballer was being smeared as an antisemite using ‘guilt by association’:

@MoAnsar, 28 Dec 2013, 7:14pm: “Anelka’s goal celebration brouhaha: anti-Zionist, anti-Semitic or fascist? http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/25537686 … @StanCollymore”[814]
@MoAnsar, 28 Dec 2013, 8:21pm: “@steveplrose @StanCollymore I’ve heard about this guilt by association stuff – and its been attempted against me to. I think its absurd.”[815]
@Akhlaq1386 “:@MoAnsar @StanCollymore In response to your own tweet, what you think of Anelka’s gesture & the intentions of doing it?”[816]
@MoAnsar, 28 Dec 2013, 8:55pm: “@Akhlaq1386 @StanCollymore *IF* the info on Dieudonné is correct, it was a stupid and potentially racist action. We’ll wait and see.”[817]

MoAnsar then retweeted @anelkaofficiel’s tweet sometime between 9:18pm and 9:22pm:

@MoAnsar: @anelkaofficiel: “This gesture was just a special dedication to my comedian friend Dieudonné”[818]

Mohammed Ansar’s retweet garnered a great deal of attention:

@daaronovitch, 28 Dec, 9:22pm: “@anelkaofficiel @MoAnsar Balls. Your ‘comedian friend’ is a well-known and convicted anti-Semite. As you must surely be aware.”[819]

Ansar continued with his original theme:

@MoAnsar, 28 Dec 2013, 9:54pm: “Astounding that some will attack Anelka for stupidly honouring an anti-Semite but say little about the Israeli genocide of the Palestinians.”[820]
@MoAnsar, 28 Dec 2013, 9:55pm: “And let’s be *VERY* clear about one thing: speaking up against Zionism and for the plight of the Palestinians is NOT anti-Semitism.”[821]
@MoAnsar, 28 Dec 2013, 10:20pm: “Nicolas Anelka was wrong. On the evidence, his actions were quite probably anti-Semitic and we must speak-up against anti-Jewish hate.”[822]

Atzmon

On 28 October 2011:

@DAronovitch: “When a good person uses “chosenness” about Jews, it’s really time to worry. My Jewish Chronicle column this week – http://bit.ly/sAP5y9[823]
@MoAnsar: “Absurd no less than using antisemitism for a non Semitic group of European settlers (sephards excluding).”[824]
@DAronovitch: “Do you have any idea where the term ‘anti-semitism’ comes from? What the history of it is?”[825]
@MoAnsar: “As interesting to look at conflating criticism of Zionism with antisemitism. We feel for the actual Semites (Palestinians).”[826]
@DAaronovitch: “I asked you if knew where the term anti-semitism came from. You seem to think that Jews invented it, creating term for themselves.”[827]
@MoAnsar: “No one said that. Qs is whether non Semites can ostensbly claim antisemitism, chucking it in with antizionism. Qui bono?”[828]
@DAaronovitch: “I think you mean ‘cui bono’. And I ask you for the third time whether you know what the origin of the term ‘anti-semitism’ is. ????”[829]
@MoAnsar: “Vanilliarity during a massacre isn’t righteousness. The REAL anti-semite-ism Philistines continue to complain about. Perverse.”[830]
@DAaronovitch: “Anti-semitism (since you won’t answer the question) was a term coined by pseudo-scientific Jew-haters in late 19th century.”[831]
@MoAnsar: “Don’t be obtuse. Original qs was about Pseudo-Zionists conflating anti-zionism with anti-semitism. You’ve always done it.”[832]
@DAaronovitch: “I’ve always conflated anti-Zionism with anti-semitism, have I? Fine. So give me one example of where I’ve done that. Just one.”[833]
@MoAnsar: “6th April 2009 (my birthday) at the Sunday Times Literary Festival. Want more?”[834]
@DAaronovitch: “In what way did I ‘conflate anti-Zionism with anti-semitism’ at that session? It was recorded so you should be able to quote.”[835]
@MoAnsar: “You attacked Palestinians & anti-Zionists as being anti-Semitic. Why look towards Kurds, Tibet or Darfur for relativism?”[836]
@DAaronovitch: “You’re making it up as you go. At no point did I ‘attack Palestinians’, but I did attack the anti-semitic buffoon Gilad Atzmon.”[837]
@MoAnsar: “Atzmon was a gimme. The Venn diagram safe space between non-Islamophobe, vanilla on Zionism is a busted flush.”[838]
@DAaronovitch: “I have no idea what that last tweet of yours means. And my guess is that you haven’t either.”[839]
@MoAnsar: “The ugly cacotopia is that antisemitism is actually Euro-Zionism against Shemite Palestinians. Qs: Jews a race, even Semitic?”[840]

On 4 November 2012, Mo Ansar, supported an article by Gilad Atzmon promoted by Yvonne Ridley, denying the article was anti-Semitic:

@MoAnsar: “Atzmon goes after Zionism / holocaust-neo-Jewry, not ALL Jewry. You label it anti-semitic, ok. Do you do the same for Islam?”[841]

Journalist Mehdi Hasan weighed in:

@mehidrhasan: “Mo, pls stop. Atzmon has produced crazy anti-Semitic smears, statements and conspiracy theories.”[842]
@mehidrhasan: “@DAaronovitch @moansar @holland_tom Mo, there is a reason why most palestinian solidarity groups and even the SWP have repudiated Atzmon!”[843]

On 22 March 2013, Mo Ansar brought up Atzmon and Francis again, in relation to criticisms made of an article written by Mehdi Hasan:

@MoAnsar: “@mehdirhasan @azadaliCCM @HotterThanCurry It seemed to be that when Gilad Atzmon or Joanna Francis do something similar with Jews…”[844].

On 28 December 2013, during the Anelka debate, Mohammed Ansar appears to use a veiled reference to Atzmon:

@MoAnsar: “@DAaronovitch @anelkaofficiel And ha, cute! My complaint to you was about Zionism not Jewishness. You knew it then and know it now. Still.”[845]

Joanna Francis

On 15 March 2013, Mo Ansar promoted the antisemitic, racist, extreme-right wing Catholic journalist Joanna Francis:

@MoAnsar: “MUST READ: “A letter from a Christian to a Muslim Woman” – by Joanna Francis http://texasmuslims.lefora.com/2009/03/25/a-letter-from-a-christian-to-a-muslim-woman-by-joa/[846].

Later tweets by followers of @MoAnsar were retweeted by Mo Ansar[847].

The subsequent twitter flurry by antifascist antiracist activists[848], exposed fully Francis’s antisemitic conspiracy theory “journalism” and received positive support from Tell Mama UK[849], and the Community Security Trust, members of whom became involved in dialogue with Ansar[850]. That dialogue was to no avail, and despite Francis being exposed as a racist anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, located within “the crazy right wing of Catholicism”, Ansar did not delete or retract his promotion of Francis’ writings:

“A LISMORE priest has distanced his parish from a local extremist group of Catholics who back claims of a Jewish conspiracy of genocide against Christians. St Carthage’s Cathedral rector Father Dennis Carroll this week took the unusual step of censuring the anti-abortion group Apostles for Life in his parish bulletin. Fr Carroll told parishioners the group had lost his support and had been discontinued as a parish group. He warned parishioners ‘to be wary of the anti-Jewish views expressed’ on the group’s website.
Those views included an article by anti-Semitic writer Joanna Francis, which says abortion-on-demand ‘for American Jews signified the beginning of their Messianic age, wherein they could now freely practice genocide against their ancient enemies, the Christians, with impunity’. In other articles, Ms Francis has also claimed Pope Benedict XVI was a Zionist double agent and that Israeli snipers were killing US soldiers in Iraq.
When contacted by The Northern Star, Fr Carroll said he stripped Apostles for Life of its status as a Parish group early this year ‘because they have spun off into the crazy right wing of Catholicism’. This week’s censure came after Fr Carroll was contacted by the Inter-Faith and Ecumenical Commission about the anti-Semetic material. He said he had not known of the material before being contacted by the commission. [851].

Freedman

Mohammed Ansar has recommended the work of a notorious extreme right wing Catholic racist, Benjamin H. Freedman. Ansar’s claim that Jesus wasn’t Jewish[852][853][854] used an article, written Freedman, to support his argument [855][856][857]. The article Mo Ansar used was located at an extreme right wing Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, holocaust denial website www.biblebelievers.org.au
On 28 November 2012:

Ansar: “”When and how Jesus became ‘white’ http://huff.to/10XuMtW ” < He’s not white, not black. Just Palestinian.”[858]
Lillbirdtoldme: “Actually, to be precise, a Jewish Mediterranean Semite.”[859]
Ansar: “Who said he was Jewish?”[860]
Lillbirdtoldme: “Why, who said he wasn’t Jewish?”[861]
Ansar: “I do: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/jesusjew.htm[862]
Lillbirdtoldme: “Despite the semantic & political battle in yr 2 examples,why then did he celebrate Passover,a soley Jewish rite?”[863]
Ansar: “Semantic battle? I really think you should take some time and read Freedman’s research more carefully.”[864]

Also contained within the link to “Freedman’s research”[865] were claims that European Jews are descended from “Turko-Finn ancient Mongolian” Khazarian converts:

Freedman: “Unsuspecting Christians are subjected to this barrage from sources they have little reason to suspect. Incontestable facts supply the unchallengeable proof of the historic accuracy that so-called “Jews” throughout the world today of eastern European origin are unquestionably the historic descendants of the Khazars, a pagan Turko-Finn ancient Mongoloid nation deep in the heart of Asia, according to history, who battled their way in bloody wars about the 1st century B.C. into eastern Europe where they set up their Khazar kingdom.”[866]

Ansar has used the antisemite Freedman’s Khazar conspiracy theory several times on his blog and on twitter when advocating for Palestinians, who would most likely be horrified at the use of an extreme right-wing Catholic antisemite associated with hate-preacher Gerald K. Smith to promote their cause.

Qaradawi

In January 2013, Ansar, billed as a “social and political commentator”, appeared as a guest on Ernie Rea’s Beyond Belief radio programme about Anti-semitism in Europe [867] alongside Dr Ed Kessler, Director of the Woolf Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Faiths and Dr Yaakov Wise, from the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester.

Mohammed Ansar presented the controversial Egyptian cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, as having “a nuanced understanding” of anti-Semitism:

Mohammed Ansar: “We have somebody who’s been considered a very controversial Muslim scholar in the West, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who goes to great lengths to ensure that people have a nuanced understanding and saying if you have difficulty with Israeli foreign policy, if you have difficulty with military occupation, this is something distinct from Judaism and Jews. And so regardless of many of his other statements, I think it’s really important that wherever we work we continue to make this distinction.”.

Despite Ansar’s suggestion that al-Qaradawi’s other statements be disregarded, a nuanced understanding of al-Qaradawi’s attitudes to Jews cannot be achieved if previous statements calling for “total war”[868] between Muslims and Jews[869] are disregarded.

Birth Rates

On 25 February 2012:

Ansar: “My prediction some time ago, was that stemming the tide of Islam in the West was beyond reversal…”[870]
Wojtunik: “I think the spread of atheism in the west is beyond reversal. #itsnotacompetition”[871]
Ansar: “Check the birth rates sometime. #neveraracetotheonecominglast”[872]

Ansar has since deleted his last tweet.

On 29 October 2012:

Moghul:“I’m patient. We’ll be majority minority soon enough”[873]
Ansar: “Get on with it. #Babies”[874]
Moghul: “+5”[875]
Ansar: “+6. Keep up.”[876]

Ansar has two step-children[877] from his wife’s previous relationship.

Evolution

Mohammed Ansar has “read almost everything” on evolution, and claims that “a leap of faith” is required regarding common descent, i.e. sharing a common ancestor with apes. In February 2012, Mohammed Ansar tweeted:

@MoAnsar: “Oh dear. Another ‘missing link’ story on the BBC. So many fabrications over the decades. Human evolution, 2 million years. No thank you.”[878]
@MoAnsar: “Curious. Why have there been so many hoaxes to plug the evolution gap over the years.. and where exactly are all those missing links?”[879]
@MoAnsar: “Islam explains life & the universe – science, the Creator, evolution, interventions, pain, suffering – even delusions”[880]

On 21 Dec 2012, Mohammed Ansar blogged an interview by Robin Ince:

Mohammed Ansar: “When we come to evolution, the million dollar question I’m often asked is ‘do you do common descent?’. Well, for me the jury is in on natural selection and certainly on intra-species evolution. On common descent, the evidence doesn’t yet meet the high threshold, although I’m certainly not of a closed mind. Having read much on the subject, including more recently Coyne, Miller and the unirascible and softly treading Shermer, I’m not yet convinced on common descent.

Acceptance requires a gargantuan leap of faith and as a person of logic and reasoning, it’s not a leap I can make without the evidence. If my belief was founded on faith and not reason, blind trust and not knowledge, then perhaps that leap is easier to make.”[881]

On 13 Jan 2013, Mohammed Ansar retweeted:

@bbcbigquestions: “Nicky Campbell is on at 10 on BBC1 holding the ring on an extremely lively debate – Is it time all religions accepted evolution?”[882]

A debate ensued:

@rizzoo: “MoAnsar are you referring to the ‘theory’ of evolution?? Whatever it is, its still a theory bbctbq”[883]
@MoAnsar: “@rizzoo @bbcbigquestions Not all evolution can be bracketed together. #bbctbq”[884]
@rizzoo: “@MoAnsar @bbcbigquestions some species become better accustomed to their environment, it doesn’t follow that we came from apes #bbctbq”[885]
@inayatb: “@rizzoo @MoAnsar @bbcbigquestions We don’t ‘come from apes’. We share a common ancestor with apes. See http://tinyurl.com/aan8ybk #bbctbq”[886]
@MoAnsar: “inayatb rizzoo bbcbigquestions Now that bit is debatable, on the science. Read my piece.”[887]
@inayatb: “MoAnsar rizzoo bbcbigquestions Evidence for common descent is compelling. Read Robert Asher’s Evolution & Belief. He is on today’s prog.”[888]
‏@kalam2509: “@MoAnsar are u blocked from bbctbq as well as AN lol?”[889]
@‏MoAnsar:“inayatb rizzoo bbcbigquestions I’ve read almost everything. Not convinced on common descent. Too big a leap of faith reqd.”[890]
@‏MoAnsar: “kalam2509 I have a great relationship with Mentorn and bbcbigquestions. They are a great team.”[891]
@‏kalam2509: “MoAnsar bbcbigquestions would’ve great been to see u on the panel today!”[892]
@‏MoAnsar: “kalam2509 bbcbigquestions InshaAllah, another show. Did 2 or 3 last series + documentary.”[893]
@rizzoo: “inayatb MoAnsar bbcbigquestions compelling or not depends on your understanding but its still theoretical without hard evidence”[894]
@‏RyadAlly: “OFFICIAL: inayatb believes he comes from the Ape! Is that really so? rizzoo moansar bbcbigquestions TBQ pic.twitter.com/8VvsGSmM”[895]
@‏RyadAlly: “Bro inayatb do you really believe Muhammad (saw) and a zoo monkey has a common ancestor? Really? TBQ moansar rizzoo bbcbigquestions”[896]
@‏inayatb: “RyadAlly MoAnsar rizzoo bbcbigquestions Go and read a good science book before exposing ur ignorance to the world.”[897]
@SaifRRahman: “SaifR@inayatb @rizzoo @MoAnsar @bbcbigquestions Disagree with all of u. We dont come from apes; nor share commn ancestor with apes. We ARE apes.”[898]
@SaifRRahman: “@inayatb @rizzoo @MoAnsar @bbcbigquestions I suggest you all take look @ biological/zoological classification of ape species”[899]

Immigration

On 30 November 2012, Ansar opined:

“Record numbers, some 545,000 Polish passport holders, now live in the UK. Evidently, we seem to be importing Eastern European Islamophobia.”[900]

Owen Jones “a British columnist, author and commentator associated with left-wing politics”[901] openly expressed his disappointment with Ansar’s bigotry: “This is as bad as Islamophobes who use issues of sexism or homophobia to justify their bigotry”[902]. Jones explained further: “You’re making the same arguments as Islamophobes. ‘Bigoted Muslims coming in, challenging our liberal and tolerant values’[903].

Egypt

On 6 December 2012, Ansar said:

Ansar: “Morsi is attempting to create a stable and democratic Egypt, in spite of the fact some are suffering from ‘revolutionitis'”[904]

On 2 July 2013, Ansar declared that:

Ansar: “Egypt are fast becoming ungovernable and a laughing stock. Incredibly sad for such an honourable, ancient and noble peoples.”[905]

On 3 July 2013, Ansar espoused a conspiracy theory that the military coup in Egypt was sponsored by the USA:

Ansar: “The US sponsored military coup in Egypt tonight, brings the total number of govts usurped by US since WW2 to almost 100.”[906]

Iran

On 14 April 2012, Ansar said of the Islamic Republic of Iran that:

“Its[sic] no more islamic than this is Christian. Shiaism and unislamic practices are… well.. unislamic. Labels be as they might.”[907]

Ansar was asked to clarify what he meant by this tweet[908], but failed to do so. He deleted this tweet between 13 and 14 October 2012[909].

Mali

Ansar: “#Mali is the 5th poorest nation in the world, with a $60m arms budget and an army of 10,000. Still enough to handle 300 extremists. #bbcqt”[910]

It’s about the Gold, Stoopid

On his blog, Ansar characterised the military intervention in Mali, as being only about gold:

Ansar: “The French invasion of Mali, Islam and Tunisian rebellion; the new gold rush. The Golden Age of Security: http://moansar.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-golden-age-of-security.html[911]
Ansar: “#Mali – France is obsessed by Gold. It has more of its assets held in Gold than virtually any other European country.”[912]

Ansar called the intervention a “re-invasion”:

Ansar: “The French re-invasion of #Mali, the lessons of the history of Tunisia and the West African gold rush: http://www.moansar.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-golden-age-of-security.html … #bbcqt”[913]

Claimed the French were sponsoring genocide

Ansar claimed that the French were sponsoring a genocide:

Ansar: “The French are sponsoring a genocide.”[914]

Conspiracy Theory re. Islamic Heritage, Shrines and Manuscripts

On 28, 29 and 30 January 2012, Ansar began spreading a conspiracy theory to his twitter followers that it was not Islamist militias who had destroyed shrines and manuscripts in Timbuktu , but the French[915].

“Not a suicide bomb in Iraq, until the UK and US invaded. Not a Malian manuscript set alight until the French re-invaded. #JustMusings”[916]
“Moh’d Mathee, African Timbuktu manuscripts researcher says the French might have created the manuscript burning story: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/ks2hrr[917]
Ansar: “Timbuktu manuscript researcher says accounts of burning of manuscripts FALSE, potentially started by French as pretext: twitlonger.com/show/ks2hrr”[918].

The Director of the Tomboctou Manuscripts Project, Dr Shamil Jeppie, clarified in an interview with PBS, that while “the number of lost manuscripts is closer to 2,000” and ##”that a lot of manuscripts were hidden or spirited away from Timbuktu to keep them out of reach of the jihadis”“a significant number of manuscripts were burned, and were burned by Islamist extremists”. Additionally, Dr. Jeppie stated, via pers.comm. to Professor Llewelyn Morgan, stating “that Dr Mathee has no affiliation to the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project” and that “Dr Mathee does not speak or write in its name”[919]

Islamism in Africa

On 3 February 2013, Ansar wrote:

Ansar: “Islam in Africa. The West wants to rid Africa of Islamism (very, very roughly Islam as a political force). #DoTheMath pic.twitter.com/rBIYBanA”[920]

Slavery

The first mention of slavery came on 29 April 2012, when historian Tom Holland tweeted in response to Mohammed Ansar’s claim that Islam delivered ‘the West’ from the ‘Dark Ages’:

@MoAnsar: “Ask yourself: why don’t our kids know Al Ghazali, Al Kindi, Al Farabi, Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd delivered the West from the Dark Ages? #think”[921]
@holland_tom: “@MoAnsar The main role played by Muslims in delivering the West from the ‘D Ages’ was likelier as purchasers of slaves. Henning, J., 2003, Slavery or freedom? The causes of early medieval Europe’s economic advancement[922]

The topic reappeared in July 2012, when a discussion arose between Ansar and Holland in response to historic conversions to Islam:
14 July 2012

@MoAnsar: “#IslamicHistory: academic John Renard, St Louis University says the idea Muslims converted people at the point of a sword is inaccurate”[923]
@holland_tom: “Indeed – early Muslim authorities discouraged conversion. They needed lots of infidels to provide them with their tax base.”[924]
@MoAnsar: “Cheeky. You know the Quran, the Prophet and Islam prohibts proselytisation. Now, the Christians however….”[925]
@holland_tom: “Yes – the Arabs wanted tax-payers, not converts – &, of course, “such slaves as God has assigned to you through war.” (Q 33.50)”[926]
@MoAnsar: “You’re better than this Tom! Its Geller and Spencer like to keep taking verses out of context. Is this your driver, now?”[927]
@holland_tom: “Not at all – I don’t deny that Islam brought great benefits to the war-torn and exhausted M East. But the Arabs WERE imperialists.”[928]
@MoAnsar: “Tom, buddy. A methodology of discourse which involves taking Quranic verses out of context is beneath you #TakeItOnTheChin”[929]
@holland_tom: “But the Quran DOES talk about God granting booty to the Faithful. That’s not to condemn it – just to say it’s a book of its time.”[930]
@holland_tom: “And just to show I’m being even-handed, there’s nthg in the Q that sanctions booty-taking on the scale of the Bk of Joshua.”[931]
@MoAnsar: “War booty or RnB?”[932]

15th July 2012

@MoAnsar: “#IslamHasAnswers – In more Islamic times, politicians were allowed NO other sources of enrichment ONLY than their salary.”[933]
@holland_tom: “Hmm! U know what the Muslims of Kufa said, when brought news of a slave revolt? “But they are our booty – granted us of God!””[934]
@MoAnsar: “War booty *probably* not the strongest ground for an English / Empirophile Christian man to venture onto.”[935]
@Hehirchris: “Sound very much like you are saying Islam no worse than other faiths. Thought it was supposed to be better!”[936]

@holland_tom: “But I’m not holding up Clive as a moral exemplar! And also, haven’t you forgotten the bit about Muslims inventing the lightbulb?”[937]

@MoAnsar: “Islam allows for war booty as many things. But they are not as defined by the West, as Tom knows. For example…”[938] “..In Islam slaves were permitted, so long as they were given full rights, ate at the same table as the family…”[939] “were entitled to all human rights, marriage, property, to be clothed from same clothes as the best the family…”[940] “…wears. Revisionists often conflate this with Amistad-style slavery. Same word, entirely different thing.”[941]
@holland_tom: “Empires cannot be great without also being predatory & terrifying. I wldn’t look to any of them for moral exemplars.”[942]
@holland_tom: “Iraq under the Umayyads & Abbasids was racked by slave revolts – so the slaves can’t have been THAT happy.”[943]
@Hehirchris: “@MoAnsar Not so sure… what about the Barbary Corsairs? Carried out slave raids all over Europe. Not cuddly slavery either!”[944]
@MoAnsar: “Like I said, revisionists always look to conflate issues they know to be false. And take verses out of context, too”[945]
@MoAnsar: “@Hehirchris Perceptions or realities and are we conflating tribes who arent following Islam, with Islam itself?”[946]
@Hehirchris: “Pirates of Barbary by Adrian Tinniswood well worth a read on this topic. A fascinating aspect of early modern history.”[947]
@holland_tom: “‘Origins of the European Economy’ by Michael McCormick – appetite of Caliphate 4 slaves so vast it changed Eur history.”[948]
@MoAnsar: “@Hehirchris @holland_tom I’m get quite the tummy ache from ingesting the nonsense from Western, biased and inauthentic accounts.”[949]

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