Ask the British Labor-party leader Jeremy Corbyn, or his sympathizers, why he is so fixated on Israel’s supposed misdeeds, and you’ll no doubt hear about his abiding commitment to Palestinians’ human rights. To polish his image as a defender of Muslims, notes Fiyaz Mughal, he scarcely misses an opportunity to be photographed taking part in a Ramadan celebration or other Muslim event. Yet he is a stubborn defender of the former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic, who took part in a genocidal campaign to “cleanse” Bosnia of Muslims, and was engaged in similar efforts against the Muslims of Kosovo when the U.S. and its allies intervened. Years later, Corbyn even introduced a motion in parliament praising one John Pilger for writing an article defending Milosevic. (Free registration may be required.)
Over 800,000 Kosovar Muslims were displaced [in 1999]. Kosovar Muslim men, women, and children were murdered in a systematic manner; hundreds of people disappeared, only to be found dumped in shallow graves with gunshot wounds and brutal fresh scars—evidence of torture. [Yet Pilger’s] piece ended with a dismissal of the then-ongoing trial of Milosevic for war crimes as a “farce” and a “show trial” of a man whose only crime was his refusal to “surrender sovereignty” to the demands of global finance organizations. Needless to say, Pilger, together with fellow journalist Seymour Hersh, is also a leading light among apologists [for another mass-murderer of Muslims, Syria’s] Bashar al-Assad.
But give [Corbyn] a photo opportunity at a mosque and he is there looking like the “magic grandpa” of his fans’ online iconography, surrounded by young Muslims who know little about his political history and how little his solidarity with Muslims in danger is really worth.
And then there is Corbyn’s solidarity with Iran, on whose government-run English-language television channel he has made innumerable appearances:
Muslims like me, willing to criticize, challenge, and reflect on some Muslim observances and practices, and opposed to enforced religious observance, would not stand a chance in Iran. We would be arrested, tortured, or killed. So how has Corbyn “challenged” the Iranian regime’s human-rights record and its determined assault on “disobedient” Muslims, even at the cost of their lives? In 2014, . . . Corbyn praised the “tolerance and acceptance of other faiths, traditions, and ethnic groupings in Iran.”
And when Islamic State, another leading killer of Muslims, launched a terror attack on Egyptians in the Sinai, Corbyn naturally blamed the Jewish state. After all, writes Mughal, “all roads in his conspiratorial mindset lead to Israel.”