The anti-Semitic “Al-Quds March” – an Iranian-backed rally that calls for the “liberation of Jerusalem” – returns to the streets of central London on Sunday in what will be the first occasion since the formal banning of Hezbollah in the UK.
The march has always traditionally expressed support for Hezbollah through speeches and with flags commonly being on display. However, the new law introduced by the UK government in February now gives Met police greater powers that were previously lacking.
The “al-Quds rally”, established in Tehran by Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei was created to call for the destruction of Israel. It is also held in several cities around the world, including Toronto and Berlin, where last year anti-Semitic signs comparing Zionism with Nazism and calling for a boycott of Israel were widely distributed. London’s rally has previously been attended by people such as Jeremy Corbyn (before becoming Labour leader) and Rev Stephen Sizer, who attended last year during which the lighting of an Israel flag was made a public spectacle.
Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), which is one of the main organisers behind London’s Al Qud’s march, is a pro-Palestinian campaign group that works under the guise of “human rights” whilst displaying hatred of Israel and contempt for Jews and Zionism. IHRC has long given support to extremist voices, including prominent support for terrorist organisations such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
Earlier this year, CUFI unearthed footage of IHRC head, Massoud Shadjareh, appearing to urge people in to wage “Jihad in Palestine” like they do in Syria. Shadjareh is billed as one of the main speakers on Sunday.
In the video Shadjareh said, “You know people are rushing in large numbers from Britain, from Europe, from all around the world, from Arab countries to go and do Jihad in Syria. What about Jihad in Palestine? Why not even single one of them have gone to fight for Palestine for over 65 years.”
In 2017, another leader of the organisation, Nazim Ali, accused Zionists of carrying out the Grenfell tower fire, saying it is “Zionists who give money to the Tory Party to kill people in high rise blocks”.
He stated: “We are fed up of the Zionists. We are fed up of their rabbis. We are fed of their synagogues. We are fed up of their supporters.”
IHRC hosts an annual “Genocide Memorial Day” each year on the same date as Holocaust Memorial Day where they spread the lie that what is happening between Israel and the Palestinians is “genocide”. This false narrative not only undermines real genocides, such as the Holocaust, but it also reveals that the root cause of the organisation is not to promote human rights but to spread an anti-Semitic narrative against Israel.
This year, however, the IHRC is advising demonstrators not to bring flags of any proscribed groups such as Hezbollah. Until the new law was introduced by Sajid Javid earlier this year, Britain had only banned Hezbollah’s “military” arm but not its “political” wing. This meant it was possible for people to openly support Hezbollah without any consequence whatsoever even though Hezbollah itself does not differentiate between its political and military wings.
The Hezbollah flag reads ‘Hezbollah’ meaning “Party of Allah” in Arabic Kufic script. The first letter of “Allah” reaches up to grasp an assault rifle. In recent years, protesters in the UK received dubious legal advice to place a sticker claiming the flag was in support of Hezbollah’s political wing – further proof of the inadequacy of the Home Officer’s former position.
No longer can Hezbollah supporters use this deception. It will now be illegal for anyone to fly the Hezbollah flag on Sunday and CUFI hopes that police will use these new powers should they be required.