Saturday, May 18, 2024

Western Islamists Who Have Embraced Hamas Leaders

ResearchInvestigationsWestern Islamists Who Have Embraced Hamas Leaders

Across the Western world, Islamist activists do not only support the designated terrorist group Hamas from afar, but have embraced Hamas leaders in person. This live document, updated with new examples as we gather them, will serve to document such instances.

In November 2021, Osama Abu Irshaid, director of American Muslims for Palestine and a board member of the U.S. Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), spoke alongside terrorist members of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Other participants to share the stage with Abuirshaid included Sami Khater, a senior Hamas Politburo leader and co-founder, and Mohammad Nazzal, Hamas’s official representative in Jordan.

As reported by MEMRI, Osama Abu Irshaid spoke at an Islamist conference in Jordan


The Qatar Foundation,
which operates an enormous U.S. office, and partners with K-12 schools and colleges across the United States, is openly supportive of Hamas. In 2012, Qatar Foundation official Haya Al-Nassr presented Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh with a “victory shield” featuring the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.

Qatar Foundation official Haya Al-Nassr with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Anwar Ibrahim, prime minister of Malaysia and chairman of the Virginia-based International Institute of Islamic Thought, met with Hamas leaders in 2020. In 2022, Ibrahim filmed himself taking calls of congratulation from Hamas leaders upon his victory in Malaysian elections.

Ibrahim spoke with Hamas leaders and expressed support for Hamas after its slaughter of Israeli civilians.

Essam Yousef (also known as Essam Mustafa), head of British Islamist charity Interpal, has often been pictured with senior Hamas leaders.

Interpal has been supported by dozens of British MPs. Disgraced journalists such as Peter Oborne, meanwhile, remain supportive of Interpal, with Oborne even writing a defense of Yousef for “appearing in a video next to Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, [and] appearing to participate in an anti-Israeli song that praises Hamas’ military wing, Al Qassam Brigades, and martyrdom.”

Essam Yousef (center) with Ismail Haniyeh (right). To their left is Ahmed Brahimi, founder of the British-based Project for Peace and Development in Palestine (PPDP).
Interpal trustee Essam Yousef pays his respects at the shrine of Hamas terrorist Ahmed Said Khalil al-Jabari.

Former Interpal official Ibrahim Hewitt and Islam Channel head Mohamed Ali Harrath, have also travelled to Gaza to meet with Hamas leaders and pray at the grave of Hamas’s founder. Hewitt is also an senior editor at London-based Islamist media outlet Middle East Monitor, which is reportedly funded by Qatar.

Mohamed Ali Harrath and Ibrahim Hewitt pray at the grave of Hamas’s founder, Sheikh Yassin.
Former Interpal official Zaid Hassan at a Hamas rally in Gaza.

Mohammed Sawalha, whom the British government appointed in charge of London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, is now a member of Hamas’s political bureau.. The BBC has previously reported that Sawalha “masterminded much of Hamas’s political and military strategy” from London. 

With Sawalha, prominent British Islamists such as Mohamed Kozbar – another trustee of Finsbury Park Mosque and now a senior official of the Muslim Council of Britain – have also met with Hamas leaders such as Mahmoud al-Zahar, again along with British-Tunisian Islamist Mohamed Ali Harrath.

Zahar recently stated: “The entire planet will be under our law, there will be no more Jews or Christian traitors.”

(From right to center: Kozbar, Mohamed Ali Harrath, and Hamas leader Mohamed Al-Zahar
Kozbar with Ismail Haniyeh

Zaher Birawi, who responded to Hamas’s October 7th killings of Israelis by declaring a “blessed morning,” has also been pictured, with Sawalha, meeting with Hamas’s Ahmed Bahar.

Hamas leaders Mohammed Sawalha and Ahmed Bahar meet with Zaher Birawi (far-Left)

Other Islamist aid charities, despite openly funding Hamas charitable fronts in Gaza, have been more careful not to associate with Hamas officials openly. Nonetheless, the logos of Western Islamist charities, including Human Appeal and Islamic Relief, seemingly appear at Hamas events in Gaza.

The logos of Islamic Relief (second from left, Human Appeal (sixth from right) and Interpal (third from right) at a Hamas event in Gaza

Islamic Relief founder Hani El-Banna has repeatedly given interviews to Hamas and pro-Hamas media in the Palestinian territories, including Hamas’s official radio station.

And London-based Islamist charity Human Aid sells Palestinian scarf autographed by a senior Hamas official.

British Islamist charity Human Aid auctions a scarf signed by the head of Hamas

Anas Al-Tikriti, a British Islamist involved with the Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood, has also met with Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh. Tikriti once stated that the decision by the Muslim Council of Britain to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day was a “principled stand.” Tikriti regularly appears at events organized by American Islamists, such as the United States Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of America’s leading Islamist organizations.

Anas Al-Tikriti with Ismail Haniyeh

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