The United Kingdom has created or sponsored programs to bring young Muslims deemed at risk of radicalization into contact with Muslim “anti-extremists” who will help them toward a more peaceable vision of their religion. While these anti-extremists are genuinely opposed to Islamic State and al-Qaeda, writes John Ware, their views about Israel are far from moderate. One of them, the government-approved mentor Hanif Qadir, refers to Palestinians who stab Jewish civilians as “resistance fighters”:
A first stage in the development of extremist ideas can be, as Prime Minister David Cameron has said, a belief in conspiracy theories about Jews exercising malevolent power. So what about this tweet from Qadir when Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, its 50-day military assault on Gaza to stop rocket fire into Israel in the summer of 2014? “A whole nation is being radicalized to exterminate the Palestinians. Where are the interventionists? Who is going to prevent this terrorism?” “Exterminate”? There could be no more serious, nor tendentious, charge against Jews. . . .
At the height of operation Protective Edge, Qadir also tweeted a picture showing Israelis supposedly playing badminton inside the al-Aqsa mosque. . . . The picture was captioned: “One of the most disturbing images of today. This is inside al-Aqsa mosque!! Palestinians were not allowed to pray inside but these people are allowed to play!” Attached to it were pictures of what look like smoldering Qurans and a woman defiling a Quran by standing on it with her bare feet and painted toenails.
The picture . . . appears to have come from Turkish media reports in July 2013 showing badminton (and karate and soccer) being played—not in Jerusalem but in the Milas mosque in the Mugla province of Turkey. A simple Google search would have alerted Qadir to his error.