An imam who labelled Israel a “terrorist state” and referred to “Jewish, Zionist politicians” in a speech has reportedly been reinstated into his counter-extremism role.
Mr Chishti co-founded the company Me and You Education, a partner of the Government’s counter-terrorism scheme, “Prevent”, where it is reported that Mr Chishti “fights radicalisation for up to £1,500 a day.”
During May’s conflict between Israel and Hamas, the antisemitic genocidal terrorist group, Imam Irfan Chishti, MBE made a speech in Rochdale, in which he reportedly said: “We ask you Allah that you accept every single shahid (martyr) who has given their life for Palestine.”
He allegedly added that Israel was “this terrorist state forcing terror upon our brothers and sisters” and that Muslims must be smart, as “our Jewish brethren” are “a lot smarter than us”.
He went on to say that Muslims knew “exactly the strategy that those Jewish, Zionist politicians are doing and we also know how to respond. It’s got to be long term, it’s got to be economic, it’s got to be with strategy.”
According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is an example of antisemitism.
Following this, the Home Secretary launched an inquiry into Mr Chishti, with the Home Office calling his comments “completely unacceptable” and warned they risked “damaging community relations and undermining Prevent’s important work.”
However, following the investigation, Mr Chishti has returned to his role.
When asked about his comments shortly after he made them, Mr Chishti said that he was “jolted” upon reading back his speech and admitted that he “could have chosen better and less equivocal words” to encourage “the expression of opinions”.
He added: “Some of my words reflect a clear error of judgment, in the heat of the moment and do not reflect my sentiments or the sentiments of the audience. I now appreciate that my ill-chosen words will have caused offence and hurt to the Jewish community and I tender my most profound apologies.”