Forty five British Muslim scholars have signed a statement condemning the British government’s support for Israel and calling on Muslim nations to send armies to save the Palestinians from genocide.
The scholars, who represent congregations all over the country, slammed the government which, in their words, “brings shame on itself by continuing to provide diplomatic and military support to the oppressive apartheid regime in Israel; as that entity massacres Palestinian civilians.”
The scholars also:
- Call on the government to formally recognise Israel as an apartheid regime.
- Call on Muslim political leaders to demand that their party leaders call for an immediate ceasefire.
- Call on all Muslim governments to sever diplomatic ties with Israel and terminate all trade and commercial activity, including, where applicable, the imposition of oil embargoes.
- Affirm the right of the British people to protest in support of the Palestinian cause.
Below is their statement in full:
We, the undersigned Ulama of Britain, make the following statement on the current crisis in Palestine:
The term “Nakba,” literally “the Catastrophe” or “Cataclysm,” refers to the forced permanent displacement of the indigenous Palestinian peoples and the pillaging and destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages by Zionist militias in 1948 and thereafter. For the Palestinians, the brutal reality is that the Nakba has never ended. The appalling events that have unfolded since October 7th, 2023, are merely an extension of nearly a century of Zionist occupation of Palestinian lands, immiseration and brutalisation of the Palestinian people; leading to the confinement of approximately 2.2 million Palestinians into what eminent Israeli Sociologist, Baruch Kimmerling, has termed “the world’s largest concentration camp,” the Gaza strip.
The Zionist movement was founded in the Colonialist and Nationalist milieu of the 19th and early 20th century. The Zionist state of Israel is a racist settler-colonial enterprise premised on the ethnic cleansing and forced displacement, dispossession, brutalisation, and humiliation of the Palestinian people.
The racist nature of the regime is recognised by major human rights organisations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Israeli organisation, B’Tselem; as well the UN Human Rights Rapporteur. Our purpose in citing these organisations is not to invest them with sacred authority, for us Allah is the Lawgiver and the plight of the Palestinians is clear, rather it is to demonstrate that Israeli apartheid is an incontrovertible reality, racism is a sine qua non of apartheid, so those who give their support to Israel without denouncing this essential feature of it, are themselves ipso facto racist and divest themselves of moral authority.
Contrast this with the Islamic caliphate, in which Jews enjoyed the protection of the Caliph who governed his subjects in accordance with the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (SallAllahu alaihi wa sallam). The history of the Ottoman Empire stands testament to this: Jewish communities expelled from Christian Spain were given refuge in their thousands by the Caliphate. In fact, many Sephardic Jews living in Palestine before the Nakba traced their ancestry to this period.
At the time of writing over 8,000 Palestinians, including more than 3,500 children, have been killed and over 22,000 injured. 2,000 others remain trapped under the rubble, hospitals are running out of fuel to remain operational, performing caesarean sections on women and amputations on children without anaesthetic.
Firstly, we address the British Government and our political leaders. We note that the Prime Minister instructed the British representative at the United Nations to abstain from a General Assembly motion calling for an “immediate durable and sustained humanitarian truce leading to a cessation of hostilities.” We believe this to be a display of disgraceful and unconscionable lack of moral courage by the British Government. The Government brings shame on itself by continuing to provide diplomatic and military support to the oppressive apartheid regime in Israel; as that entity massacres Palestinian civilians, and for its refusal to adopt even the most basic and minimal of ethical positions, i.e., that of seeking to prevent the further loss of civilian lives by demanding an immediate ceasefire.
The Government pays lip service to a commitment to support for “humanitarian pauses” instead of a ceasefire. This is simply not enough and amounts to complicity in the ongoing slaughter of the Palestinians. The Government’s hypocrisy was also on full display when it abstained on a UN Security Council resolution which called for humanitarian pauses. At every stage the government has given Israel the green light to continue its barbaric siege of Gaza to starve, slaughter, bomb and forcibly displace the civilian population in its monstrous act of collective punishment.
We hereby call on the British government to formally recognise Israel as an apartheid regime and a rogue state in light of its long and well-documented history of breaching international humanitarian law and to formally designate its army, the IDF, as a proscribed terrorist organisation. The hypocrisy of the British government in permitting British citizens to join the IDF and participate in murderous assaults on civilian populations in the occupied Palestinian territories in breach of international law makes a mockery of its avowed commitment to a rules-based international system (RBIS); and specifically its objective of: “supporting the International Criminal Court and other tribunals involved in global efforts to end impunity for the most serious crimes of international concern.”
We call on Muslim political leaders including MP’s and Councillors across the political spectrum to demand that the heads of your parties call for an immediate ceasefire to allow much needed humanitarian aid into Gaza and prevent the loss of further civilian life.
We address also the wider Muslim leadership across the world and join the multitudes of honourable and upright scholars from across the Muslim world in emphasising that it is an obligation on Muslim governments to deploy their militaries to intervene in this conflict to restore peace and ensure a just outcome for the Palestinian people. With every passing minute more human beings are being killed and running out of the basic means of survival. How long will you wait and how many must die before you are stirred to action? For the avoidance of doubt, our plea for military intervention is directed to the leaders of Muslim countries and not to non- state actors.
It is likewise incumbent on all Muslim governments to sever all diplomatic ties with Israel and terminate all trade and commercial activity with Israel forthwith, including, where applicable, the imposition of oil embargoes on Israel.
We affirm the right of the British people to protest in support of the Palestinian cause. We too, intend to continue in our free exercise of this right as responsible members of this society and will not be cowed by the alarmist and inflammatory rhetoric and proclamations of certain members of the government and political class that are clearly designed to have a chilling effect on freedom of expression at this moment when freedom of political expression is so crucial. We were appalled to note the omments of the Home Secretary in her letter to the Chief Constables of England and Wales in which she insinuates that waving a Palestinian flag or chanting certain slogans meant to express solidarity with the Palestinians and their struggle for freedom, can and should be construed as a criminal offence. She has also referred to the peaceful Palestine solidarity protests in London as “hate marches;” it should go without saying that such incendiary remarks make a mockery of the standards of behaviour and honesty enshrined in the Ministerial Code by which she is expected to discharge her duties.
To conclude, we will always remain steadfast in our unceasing support for the Palestinian people and their inalienable rights to defend themselves and exercise their right to self-determination. We join the overwhelming vast majority of the world in condemning the murderous assault on the people of Gaza and express our solidarity with the global protests against the murderous actions of Israel in Gaza.
Shaykh Asrar Rashid, Birmingham
Shaykh Amjad Mahmood, Birmingham
Mawlana Naveed Jameel, Nottingham
Mufti Muhammad Saeed Ahmad, Accrington
Mawlana Naveed Ashrafi, Blackburn
Mawlana Muhammad Bilal, Halifax
Mawlana Saad bin Sadiq, Birmingham
Mawlana Muhammad Jameel, Bradford
Hafiz Qasid Ali, Birmingham
Mufti Ansar ul Qadri, Bradford
Imam Bilal Asif, Birmingham
Mawlana Sudagar Hussain, Bradford
Mawlana Omar Khan, Keighley
Mawlana Muhammad Sajid, Watford
Mawlana Arshad Misbahi, Manchester
Imam Khalid Husain, Leicester
Mawlana Sayyid Zarqani, Bradford
Mawlana Sayyid Samdani, Bradford
Mawlana Haroon Raza, Birmingham
Mawlana Hafiz Muhammad Usman, Birmingham
Mawlana Haider Ali, Preston
Mufti Saqib Raza, Oldham
Mawlana Kamran Khan, Doncaster
Mawlana Muhammad Amar, Derby
Mawlana Ibrar Shafi, Derby
Mawlana Muhammad Qasim Qadri, Nottingham
Mawlana Umar Farooq, Bolton
Mawlana Muhammad Danyal, Birmingham
Mawlana Sajjad Rizwi, Bradford
Mawlana Murtada Ahmad Attari, Bolton
Prof. Masood Akhtar Hazarvi, Luton
Mawlana Muhammad Mateen Anwar, Wakefield
Mawlana Muhammad Husain, Bolton
Mawlana Habeeb Attari, Doncaster
Imam Adil Shahzad, Bradford
Mawlana Muhammad Adil Nazir, Birmingham
Mawlana Umer Asif, Bradford
Mawlana Muhammad Akeel, Birmingham
Mawlana Adnaan L. Raaja, Birmingham
Qari Mikaeel Mala, Birmingham
Hafiz Muhammad Nasser Khan Siddique, Birmingham
Mawlana Ahmed Raza Madani, Accrington
Pir Munawwar Shah Bukhari, Blackburn
Mawlana Habib ur Rahman Sialvi, Oldham
Imam Muhammad Owais, Halifax
Shaykh Noor Ud Deen Rashid, Banbury
Dr Ustaadh Shazad Khan (Bradford)
Moulana Qazi Abid (Bradford)