Addressing Misrepresentations in the Debate on Middle Eastern Affairs

In a televised debate on May 6 hosted by GB News, NJA Chairman Gary Mond debated Abdullah Al Andalusi, Co-Founder of the “Muslim Debate Initiative,” who made several erroneous claims regarding the Israel-Hamas war and broader conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, which require correction and clarification.

Mr. Al Andalusi defended Greens Party councillor Mothin Ali’s declaration, “We will not be silent. We will raise the voice of Gaza. We will raise the voice of Palestine. Allahu Akbar (God is great)” after Ali was elected to Leeds City Council. More critically, he downplays the problematic association of “Allahu Akbar” with terrorism, suggesting it’s merely an “exaltation.” However, it cannot be ignored that this phrase has been repeatedly used by Islamist terrorist organisations, including during the attacks on October 7th by Hamas, to sanctify acts of violence and terror.

The claim that “Allahu Akbar” should not be associated with terrorist acts is contradicted by the widespread adoption of this exclamation by various terrorist groups during attacks. It is also popularly used by every Islamic terrorist organisation in the world, including the dozens of such groups which have been proscribed in the UK.

Mr. Al Andalusi’s assertion that Israel is committing genocide is unfounded and contradicted by international legal standards and rulings. The International Court of Justice, along with other global bodies, has not upheld any claims of genocide committed by Israel. Such allegations are simply factually incorrect.

The argument that “Jewish Europeans have a better claim to Palestine than native Palestinians” completely disregards the diverse origins of the Israeli population, which includes a majority of Jews whose families were ethincally cleansed from their former Middle Eastern and North African homes. It also completely sidesteps the failures of Arab and Palestinian leadership in working towards peace or engaging in any semblance of state building.

By labeling Hamas as merely a “symptom” of a long-standing problem and attributing its aggression solely to Israeli policies, Mr. Al Andalusi shifts blame away from Hamas for its history of terrorism and perversely holds Israel responsible for its genocidal intent and actions.

The NJA encourages Mr. Al Andalusi to refrain from engaging in counterfactual and revisionist narratives in future debates.

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