Muslim anti-hate event targeted
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Muslim anti-hate event targeted

London event is subject of online campaign of opposition that led to the withdrawal of one speaker

Joe Millis is a journalist

Fiyaz Mughal, the founder and director of Faith Matters and Tell MAMA
Fiyaz Mughal, the founder and director of Faith Matters and Tell MAMA

A London event, involving Muslims Against Antisemitism (MAAS), planned for today has been targeted by local activists.

A leading Muslim campaigner against antisemitism, MAAS chairman Ghanem Nuseibeh, has pulled out of the meeting following a Twitter-led campaign of opposition to his presence.

However, the meeting, where Redbridge London Borough Councillor Jas Athwal is due to speak, is still going ahead despite the opposition of some with past links to controversial group Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND).

Nuseibeh is the descendant of a prominent Palestinian family, whose ancestors have held the keys to Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulchre Church for generations due to intra-Christian infighting.

The family is largely trusted by both the Palestinians and the Israelis and Nuseibeh has been vocal in his support for the British Jewish community’s fight against antisemitism.

One of those attempting to create a Twitter storm over the meeting is former chairman of Redbridge MEND Vaseem Ahmed (@v4seem1968). In a tweet, tagging Wes Streeting MP and Athwal, dated 14 October, 9.36pm, Ahmed wrote: Why, at time [sic] when appg [All-Party Parliamentary Group] is ready to launch definition of Islamophobia, has someone (Nusiebeh) with ties to islamophobes… been invited to our constituency by Redbridge council?? Please tell him he is not welcome here.”

Ahmed followed up with a tweet on 15 October at 7.29pm: “Good news! Nuseibeh has been removed from the panellists [thumbs up emoji] however still doesn’t take away the issue with the overall framing of the event in one of the most diverse boroughs in the country. Is this meant to help community cohesion? Zero engagement with the Muslim community.”

Fiyaz Mughal, the founder and director of Faith Matters and Tell MAMA – two Muslim organisations with close ties to the Jewish community – told Jewish News: “Why can’t we talk about antisemitism in small sections of Muslim communities?”

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