SNP forced to U-turn over invite for radical Islamic hate cleric

Pro-Palestinian “academic” Dr Azzam Tamimi, who has even said he would be a suicide bomber himself – was asked to address an event  by Nationalist MSP Ivan McKee.

The invitation prompted fury from Jewish leaders in Scotland, who said it was tantamount to having “a neo-Nazi” speak at the parliament.

But after being approached by the Daily Express tonight, the SNP insisted that Mr McKee had been unaware of Tamimi’s vile views.

A spokesman said: “Ivan McKee was unaware of Dr Tamini’s previous comments and has uninvited him from the event.”

Tamimi is an outspoken supporter of proscribed terror group Hamas and has insisted Middle East suicide bombers are fighting “a noble cause”. 

The 62-year-old has said he would “martyr” himself for Palestine if he “had the opportunity”.

Details of the event – Scottish Independence: Implications for Palestine – emerged in an email. Organised by Mr McKee and the European Palestinian (Europal) Communications Forum, which is also said to have links to Hamas, attendees will also hear from Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie, Health Secretary Shona Robison’s parliamentary assistant, Nadia El-Nakla, and Ragad Altikriti, of Europal.

But it was Tamimi’s involvement that sparked a row. In a BBC interview in 2004, the former director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought said: “If I can go to Palestine and sacrifice myself I would do it.

“Why not? Sacrificing myself for Palestine is a noble cause.

“It is the straight way to pleasing my God and I would do it if I had the opportunity.”

Tamimi repeated this view during a 2012 speech at Queen Mary University Palestine Solidarity Society, reiterating his ties to Hamas and his willingness to become a “martyr” if he had the opportunity.

Raymond Mann, treasurer of the Scottish Friends of Israel, said: “It surprises me that a man like this is invited to the Scottish Parliament, a man who wants to kill innocent people.

The SNP might as well invite a neo-Nazi to speak.” Ephraim Borowski, of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, said he was appalled by the invitation.

Mr McKee’s event will “discuss the role an independent Scotland, within the international community of nations, could play in helping to bring a peaceful and equitable solution to Palestine/Israel”.

Participant John Finnie said he condemned violence from any quarter and urged  that conflict be resolved by dialogue.

Three SNP MPs, Tommy Sheppard, Paul Monaghan and Corri Wilson, have previously faced criticism for travelling to Jordan with the Europal Forum’s founder, Zaher Birawi.

Birawi has previously been described by one of his own groups as a “Hamas activist in Britain”, while Europal is also said to have links with the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Daily Express :: Scotland Feed

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