“A representative of a controversial UK Muslim group has described an initiative led by Jewish society heads at campuses across the UK as indicative of the “Zio lobby”.
In a Facebook status posted on Saturday, Raza Nadim, spokesman for the London-based Muslim Public Affairs Council, which purports to “focus on non-violent jihad”, hit out against the “power of the Zio lobby”.
Mr Nadim’s rant on social media came after heads of every active Jewish society (JSoc) across the country called on Malia Bouattia, who is campaigning to be the next NUS president, to clarify previous comments she made about Israel. Signatories also questioned why she appeared to take issue with large JSocs, referring to a 2011 article she co-wrote which described Birmingham University as a “Zionist outpost in British higher education,” adding: “It also has the largest JSoc in the country, whose leadership is dominated by Zionist activists.”
The open letter to NUS Black Students’ Officer Ms Bouattia, which was published on Wednesday, also asked whether she welcomed an endorsement for her presidential candidacy by Mr Nadim, given that MPACUK has been banned from university campuses by the NUS.”
Those familiar with the record of MPACUK are unlikely to be surprised by Raza Nadim’s employment of the pejorative term ‘Zio’, his conspiracy theory concerning a powerful Jewish lobby or his support for the NUS candidate who two months ago appeared at an ‘Israel Apartheid Week’ event but in 2014 opposed NUS condemnation of ISIS on the grounds that it was ‘Islamophobic’.
It is however worth reminding ourselves of the fact that this is a man the BBC saw fit to invite to participate in a “moral, ethical and religious debate” programme just over a couple of months ago.
Had the BBC addressed its own issues concerning ‘Jewish lobby’ conspiracy theories, that lack of discernment (and additional examples of the BBC’s showcasing of Nadim as the ‘British Muslim voice’– especially on its Asian Network) might perhaps have been avoided.