November 25, 2006

Asghar Bukhari didn't bankroll Irving

Here we go again. Muslims are yet again being told to be all seeing and all knowing when it comes to what offends Jews. This in spite of a concerted confusion campaign by zionist groups and publicists to blur the distinction between antisemitism and anti-zionism. Here's an article from last weeks Observer where it is said, correctly, that Asghar Bukhari of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, "sent funds" to the holocaust denier, David Irving. The lurid headline made it look as if Asghar had some influence there and it's only deep into the article that we discover that the events described took place 6 years ago and the "funds" were sixty quid. They were kind enough to give space to Asghar's rueful explanation:
'I had a lot of sympathy for anyone who opposed Israel,' Bukhari told The Observer said. 'I wrote letters to anyone who was tough against the Israelis - David Irving, Paul Findley, the PLO."I don't feel I have done anything wrong, to be honest. At the time I was of the belief he [Irving] was anti-Zionist, being smeared for nothing more then being anti-Zionist.

'The pro-Israeli lobby often accused people of anti-Semitism and smear tactics against groups and individuals is well known. I condemn anti-Semitism as strongly as I condemn Zionism (in my opinion they are both racist ideologies). I also believe that anyone who denies the Holocaust is wrong (I don't think they should be put behind bars for it though).'
Now MPACUK has run an explanatory piece by Asghar Bukhari:
From a Muslim perspective, without any real understanding of the complexities of anti – Semitism (which is the majority of Muslims in the world including the UK, including myself at that time and to even some extent now), we saw the whole issue as a pretty simple equation: Jewish people had robbed Palestinian people of their land, not content with that, they massacred them, oppressed them brutally, and even went so far as murdering their children. Then anyone who spoke out against these Jews and what they were doing was silenced by being smeared as anti Semitic.

That’s the understanding I myself had when I was growing up. It’s pretty much correct and true, the problem was my total ignorance of the situation. I know it sounds hard to believe, but I didn’t think any Jews supported the Palestinians, just like I would have choked to hear any Muslim standing up for Israel. Why would they support us?

I wasn’t an activist I was just a kid growing up in the streets, with other Muslim kids.
Read the whole thing here.

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