Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, an interfaith organisation, was invited on to BBC 5 Live on Sunday night to review Monday morning’s newspapers. A quick perusal of Shafiq’s tweets revealed that he isn’t pro-Israel.
Here was one I really noticed:
A twitter exchange between us followed where I, more or less, accused Shafiq of being unfair to Israel and Jews, to which he responded that he was only “reporting what newspapers and tv news have said”. He sent me a link from CNN to prove it and demanded an apology.
But the CNN piece makes no mention of the settlers being “Jewish”. People know settlers are Jewish so why emphasise it, especially when the person emphasising it works for an interfaith organisation like the Ramadhan Foundation?
CNN’s article only refers to “Israeli extremists”, “radical Israeli settlers” and “extremists”. Mainstream commentators would, surely, refer to President Ahmadinejad as being “Iranian”, not “a Muslim”.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu condemned the act and investigations are still continuing to find the perpetrators.
I offered no apology but, instead, looked further at his tweets and found this:
So Shafiq has retweeted a message, which crudely refers to the Torah and Mein Kampf in the same sentence, to all his followers. It originated from IsraelTheNazis whose logo has turned the Star of David into something resembling a Swastika.
One of the Ramadhan Foundation’s values is “To be ethical and truthful” and one of its objectives is to “To enhance a better understanding between Muslims and non Muslims in the West”. One of the central messages of its Chairman, Muhammad Umar, is “to promote tolerance and peaceful co-existence.”
Let’s see how its Chief Executive puts all that out into the world:
1. When extremist Israeli settlers do something horrendous Shafiq puts emphasis on their Jewishness, so connecting ALL Jews with the crime.
2. Shafiq refers to Jerusalem as “occupied”. Not just east Jerusalem but the whole of Jerusalem, therefore, not allowing Israel to claim even a part of the city that is central to the Jewish faith.
3. Shafiq forwards a message from IsraelTheNazis which seems to imply that one of the Jewish holy books is Hitler’s Mein Kampf, while the logo of IsraelTheNazis includes the Jewish symbol, the Star of David, resembling a Swastika.
Will the BBC and other media outlets continue to use Shafiq as a social commentator? Of course they will!
For the sake of clarity I did ask Shafiq why he retweeted IsraelTheNazis hoping he might say it was a mistake or, possibly, apologise. Three days on there has been no response.
Meanwhile, even today Shafiq is trying to connect all Jews with wrongdoing. His latest pronouncement is to cite “Jewish donors” who have financed a film offensive to the Muslim community. Shafiq continues: “We call on the Jewish community to condemn this film and those that have donated to it.”