Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of Britian's The Labour Party, has many problematic associations with Islamists and known terrorists. These connections are made all the more galling in the light of his victory in Labour's leadership election, putting him in the position of being the only leader of a major British political party to have called terrorists his “friends.”
A backbench MP for the majority of his career, revelations about his associations began to surface once he was a candidate for the Labour leadership. Presented here is a list of these associations:
In July 2015, his associations with Ibrahim Hewitt made national news. Hewitt is a hardline Islamist preacher who believes that adulterers and apostates should be killed and compared homosexuals to pedophiles. Corbyn described him as “a very good friend.” He visited Gaza with Hewitt’s charity Interpal. Interpal is regarded by the US government as part of the funding network of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood affiliate that runs the Gaza Strip. In 2003, the United States government designated Interpal as a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” along with several Hamas figures and Hamas supporting charities in Europe.
Nevertheless, Corbyn condemned the “damaging designation of Interpal” as a terrorist organization and attended a 20th anniversary event for the group.
Jeremy Corbyn speaking at an Interpal event:
Corbyn has direct contact with Hamas as well. He has directly called the terrorist group his “friends” along with the terrorist group Hezbollah. He has also met with representatives of both groups. He claims he used the word “friends” in the context of discussion and debate and did not mean that he supported the groups.
He further called the group "An organization that is dedicated to the good of the Palestinian people and bringing about long term peace and social justice and political justice in the whole region."
Jeremy Corbyn calls Hamas and Hezbollah his “friends”
Hamas officials have since praised Corbyn as a “man of conscience” after learning he is leading in the polls.
Jeremy Corbyn on Channel Four News defends his use of the word “friends:”
In an interview on Russia Today he compared the actions of the Islamic State to that of American forces. He said about ISIS atrocities “Yes they are brutal, yes some of what they have done is quite appalling, likewise what the Americans did in Fallujah and other places is appalling.”
Jeremy Corbyn compares ISIS to American troops:
Corbyn has also come out in support of CAGE, the Hizb ut-Tahrir linked group founded by Taliban supporter and former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg. Corbyn signed a letter to support the group. There was a public outcry after a CAGE leader Asim Qureshi described Mohammed Emwazi, better known as Jihadi John, the Islamic State’s lead executioner, as a “beautiful young man.”
Amnesty International severed its ties with the group over the incident.
Perhaps most shockingly, Corbyn called the death of Osama bin Laden a “tragedy” speaking on Iranian state owned Press TV after the al-Qaeda leader's death. Corbyn was arguing that he should have been arrested and tried instead, yet drew fire for comparing the “tragedy” of bin Laden’s death with that of 9/11.
Jeremy Corbyn calls the death of Osama bin Laden a “tragedy:”
There are many other examples of Corbyn’s associations with known terrorists. In his capacity as chair of the Stop the War coalition he co-sponsors Al-Quds Day, an Iranian backed day commemorating the capture of Jerusalem by Israeli forces. At the annual parade there are many anti-Semitic banners which Corbyn ignores.
In 2003, he attended a conference in Cairo which urged Iraqis to kill American and British forces. In 2012, he spoke at a rally attended by people waving dozens of Hezbollah banners showing machine guns.
He has supported Israeli Islamist leader Raed al-Saleh, who believes in the blood libel and has served prison time for transferring money to Hamas. In 2012 he said of Saleh “He is far from a dangerous man. He is a very honoured citizen, he represents his people extremely well, and his is a voice that must be heard.”
One of these associations would be troubling enough. All of them, taken together, are evidence that Corbyn has chosen to consistently support individuals and organizations with Islamist extremist ideology and goals.