January 06, 2018

From Muslim Liberal to JudeoNazi: The Very Strange Case of Shadman Zaman

I wasn't entirely surprised to see Jonathan Hoffman upping his antics from disruptive to borderline violent but I had never heard of the man, Middle East Monitor was describing as the ring leader of a fascistic attack on a public video documentary showing on Palestine at SOAS just recently.

Here's the video:

The chap who seemed to be saying that the speakers at the meeting were trying to hide the fact that the Sinai desert was no longer occupied by Israel is called Shadman Zaman.  I googled his name and, in spite of the odyssey he describes on the Ilford Synagogue website here, he seems to have been quite sympathetic to the Palestinian cause only three years or so ago if a Twitter account I believe to be his is anything to go by.

But first, take a look at how he describes his "journey":
Shalom! I am Shadman Zaman. I am the first Bangladeshi national in history to travel to Israel and this is my story. If the social trends are anything to go by, then I would have been an anti-Semite like most of my countrymen not someone who is on the threshold of orthodox conversion to Judaism. I would have hated Israel and thought of Israel as the root of all problems and Zionists as the controllers of the world who wanted to destroy Muslim identity. But bucking the trend, my story ended up rather differently......

The culture of Bangladesh used to encourage and indoctrinate its people in anti-Semitism from a very early age.

But my story was to be different. Being born into a very affluent family, I was brought up in a culture which promoted humanity above all else. [my emphasis] My father is a secular atheist who never followed any religion and my mother is a very liberal Muslim. My maternal grandfather, an atheist, was the first Bangladeshi Zionist and it was he who introduced me to Zionism and the greatness of Judaism. At school and in public places, I was always told to hate Jews but at home my parents and my grandpa always told me not to. They told me to read about Judaism, Zionism and Jewish history. They told me to read first and then question myself whether the hatred that the common people of Bangladesh harbour towards Jews was justified or not. As a result of my curiosity and encouragement from my parents, I read the book “A Case for Israel” by Alan Dershowitz at the age of 12. Since then I have read a lot of books on Israel and the middle east and I have no doubt that to prevent another holocaust, there has to be an independent State of Israel. In fact, on the centenary of the Balfour declaration, I believe if it had been acted upon after the First World War, 6 million Jewish lives wouldn’t have been lost. So, if Britain should apologise to anyone then it should be the Jews for backtracking on the Balfour Declaration.
The sense of entitlement is palpable even without the claim that his family's wealth makes them inherently kind and caring.

And he read his Alan Dershowitz at the age of 12.

Then what's all this on his Twitter account?  See what he tweeted during Israel's attack on Gaza back in 2014:

and this:

Here's a screengrab just in case, he goes full on Toby Young and deletes the tweets.

Anyone might change their mind but this Shadman Zaman chap doesn't want anyone to know that he changed his.  I wonder why.