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”
@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.”
@Akhlaq1386 “:@MoAnsar @StanCollymore In response to your own tweet, what you think of Anelka’s gesture & the intentions of doing it?”
@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.”
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”
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.”
Ansar continued with his 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.”
@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.”
… before hastily backtracking, after realising that Anelka’s action was in fact antisemitic:
@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.”
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″%5B1,031%5D
@MoAnsar: “Absurd no less than using antisemitism for a non Semitic group of European settlers (sephards excluding).”[1,032]
@DAronovitch: “Do you have any idea where the term ‘anti-semitism’ comes from? What the history of it is?”[1,033]
@MoAnsar: “As interesting to look at conflating criticism of Zionism with antisemitism. We feel for the actual Semites (Palestinians).”[1,034]
@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.”[1,035]
@MoAnsar: “No one said that. Qs is whether non Semites can ostensbly claim antisemitism, chucking it in with antizionism. Qui bono?”[1,036]
@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. ????”[1,037]
@MoAnsar: “Vanilliarity during a massacre isn’t righteousness. The REAL anti-semite-ism Philistines continue to complain about. Perverse.”[1,038]
@DAaronovitch: “Anti-semitism (since you won’t answer the question) was a term coined by pseudo-scientific Jew-haters in late 19th century.”[1,039]
@MoAnsar: “Don’t be obtuse. Original qs was about Pseudo-Zionists conflating anti-zionism with anti-semitism. You’ve always done it.”[1,040]
@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.”[1,041]
@MoAnsar: “6th April 2009 (my birthday) at the Sunday Times Literary Festival. Want more?”[1,042]
@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.”[1,043]
@MoAnsar: “You attacked Palestinians & anti-Zionists as being anti-Semitic. Why look towards Kurds, Tibet or Darfur for relativism?”[1,044]
@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.”[1,045]
@MoAnsar: “Atzmon was a gimme. The Venn diagram safe space between non-Islamophobe, vanilla on Zionism is a busted flush.”[1,046]
@DAaronovitch: “I have no idea what that last tweet of yours means. And my guess is that you haven’t either.”[1,047]
@MoAnsar: “The ugly cacotopia is that antisemitism is actually Euro-Zionism against Shemite Palestinians. Qs: Jews a race, even Semitic?”[1,048]
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?”[1,049]
Journalist Mehdi Hasan weighed in:
@mehidrhasan: “Mo, pls stop. Atzmon has produced crazy anti-Semitic smears, statements and conspiracy theories.”[1,050]
@mehidrhasan: “@DAaronovitch @moansar @holland_tom Mo, there is a reason why most palestinian solidarity groups and even the SWP have repudiated Atzmon!”[1,051]
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…”[1,052].
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.”[1,053]
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/”%5B1,054%5D.
Later tweets by followers of @MoAnsar were retweeted by Mo Ansar[1,055].
The subsequent twitter flurry by antifascist antiracist activists[1,056], exposed fully Francis’s antisemitic conspiracy theory “journalism” and received positive support from Tell Mama UK[1,057], and the Community Security Trust, members of whom became involved in dialogue with Ansar[1,058].
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. [1,059].
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[1,060][1,061][1,062] used an article, written Freedman, to support his argument [1,063][1,064][1,065].
The article Mo Ansar used was located at an extreme right wing Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, holocaust denial website http://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.”[1,066]
Lillbirdtoldme: “Actually, to be precise, a Jewish Mediterranean Semite.”[1,067]
Ansar: “Who said he was Jewish?”[1,068]
Lillbirdtoldme: “Why, who said he wasn’t Jewish?”[1,069]
Ansar: “I do: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/jesusjew.htm”%5B1,070%5D
Lillbirdtoldme: “Despite the semantic & political battle in yr 2 examples,why then did he celebrate Passover,a soley Jewish rite?”[1,071]
Ansar: “Semantic battle? I really think you should take some time and read Freedman’s research more carefully.”[1,072]
Also contained within the link to “Freedman’s research”[1,073] 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.”[1,074]
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.
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 [1,075] 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”[1,076] between Muslims and Jews[1,077] are disregarded.