Al Quds Day: Waving Hezbollah Flags in London and Challenges to Mayor Sadiq Khan
I recall when I attended Al Quds Day in Pakistan and in London, waving Hamas flags and chanting “Death to Israel”, “Free Free Palestine.” I never knew then, that today I would stand with Israel and the Jewish people and now chant, “Am Israel Chai.” This seems like a really sweet dream. At that time, I stood with lies, hate, racism and Anti-Semitism, yet now I stand with truth, bright proof, against racism and Anti-Semitism.
People especially in the Muslim community do not know what Al Quds Day is. It’s a day started by Iran and Hezbollah to address their hatred and racism against the State of Israel and the Jewish community in the world alike. This day has nothing to do with Sunni and Arab countries as it is marked by Iran after creating a so called Islamic regime.
The UK’s Muslim community organising and celebrating Al Quds for the last two decades, as far as I know, have absolutely no clue of the ideology behind marching on this day. Al-Quds Day was inaugurated in 1979 by Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini to protest the existence of the State of Israel. Since then, Muslims, especially South Asians, Sunni and Shia, have been marching together to show the anger and racism against the legitimate and legal State of Israel. This day is held on every last Sunday of the Month of Ramadan as organised by the Iranian regime.
Surprisingly, UK’s non-Muslim organisations are also among the organisers of this march and many followers of human rights’ organisations attend the protest. It is not because they support Muslims but it is because they hate the Jewish people and their only country Israel. They forget that this day was introduced in the country in which they live in peace and freedom to express their full human rights, by those that also want their death and destruction.
The presence of Hezbollah supporters is a sign of terrorism in the UK. Hezbollah is declared one of the terrorist organisations among ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Hamas in the UK. Still, people celebrate Hezbollah and Hamas days (Al-Quds) in the western countries without noticing that there is no difference from ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. The rule of defining terrorist organisations does not distinguish between them, so, why would we? Because, we are blind in hatred of the Jewish people and forget whom we support.
How would you feel if someone waved a flag of ISIS in a rally or in a march in the streets of London?
Obviously, it would create chaos among the UK population and it would generate a panic situation in the UK media and it would alert the UK security service. However, waving Hamas or Hezbollah flags would not bother any of them because it is against the State of Israel and against the Jewish people across the world?
Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organisations under the schedule 2 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Under the terrorism act, it is a criminal offence if someone promotes or encourages terrorism (Including the unlawful glorification of terrorism). So, in this case, waving the flags of declared terrorist organisations in the streets of London falls under the definition of unlawful glorification of terrorism and the individual(s) who commit the offence must be dealt with by the UK security departments under the Act of Terrorism 2000. Hamas was declared a terrorist organisation in 2001 and Hezbollah 2001 and 2008 under the Terrorism Act 2000.
But, there is a loophole in the UK law system which creates law enforcement departments confusion in regards to how to react if someone flies the flag of terrorist organisations in the UK. It’s hard to prove his action in the court whether he is a supporter, sympathiser or an active member of the prescribed terrorist organisation. Here mentioned are two different definitions of flying terrorist flags.
- According to the Public Order Act 1986, which is implemented in England and Wales, someone is guilty of causing “harassment, alarm or distress” if they “display any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening or abusive with the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby.”
- According to the Terrorism Act 2000, “A person in a public place commits an offence if he (a) wears an item of clothing, or (b) wears, carries or displays an article, in a such way or in such circumstances as to arouse reasonable suspicion that he is a member of supporter of a proscribed organisation.”
The Hezbollah organisation has been prescribed since 2001. This offence if proven guilty of terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000, carries a person’s sentence of up to six months and a fine.
In fact, the London Mayor has no authority over our power to stop the Al-Quds protest because it comes under the European convention of human rights 1952, Article 10, Freedom of Expression and Article 11, Freedom of Assembly.
Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights provides the right to freedom of expression and information, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas.
Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights protects the right to freedom of assembly and association, including the right to form trade unions, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”.
According to these human rights laws, as in the UK, it is hard for any authority to impose a ban on such marches and it is beyond the Mayor of London’s powers to go over and impose sanctions on the protest whether it is the current Mayor, Sadiq Khan or Boris Johnson or any future Jewish Mayor. But, it is a prime responsibility of the office of Mayor and the London Metropolitan Police to make sure flags of terrorist organisations cannot be flown in the streets of London because the impact of waving flags of terrorist organisations would be intense and it would definitely generate extremism and racism against certain communities and country.
Mayor Sadiq Kahn is working hard with the Jewish community, providing reassurance that any act of Anti-Semitism would not be welcomed by him and would be dealt according the law.
Yet, waving Hamas and Hezbollah flags in his jurisdiction would send a negative message to the London Jewish community.
This act will surely damage the positive efforts of Sadiq Khan and will break Jewish trust with him. Therefore, this is a prime opportunity for the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to prove himself and that the matters of the Jewish community in England and their concerns are most important for him and would be taken seriously.