Douglas Murray

Why this year’s al-Quds Day march could be different

Why this year's al-Quds Day march could be different
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This weekend might provide an interesting spectacle. On Sunday the annual al-Quds Day march sets off in London from outside the Home Office. Of course al-Quds Day is the day inaugurated by the late bigot Ayatollah Khomeini, and his initiative allows peace-loving Khomeinists to stroll along the streets of London (among other capital cities) calling for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Historically the event has always attracted controversy, not just because it is organised by the farcically misnamed ‘Islamic Human Rights Commission’ but because the speakers and organisers routinely make their intentions perfectly clear. Two years ago one of the speakers on the Al-Quds Day platform declared that ‘Zionists’ were responsible for the then very recent tragedy at Grenfell Tower. This is par for the course. The only people who would be attracted to the Al-Quds Day march are Muslim and non-Muslim anti-Semites. Those who it has attracted in the past have included the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn.

But the reason why this year is interesting is because of a rare positive development in the UK. In February I wrote about the British government’s announcement that it was intending to proscribe the terrorist group Hezbollah in its entirety. Up until then the British government had attempted to insist that there was a distinction between the political and military wings of Hezbollah, which is like pretending that there is a difference between the military and social action wings of ISIS.

In any case, it was a positive move not least because – as I wrote in February – it almost makes one look forward to al-Quds Day. Each year the anti-Semites on the Al-Quds march in London have particularly pleasured themselves by waving the flag of Hezbollah. When Jewish groups and others have complained about this act of open incitement the UK authorities – like the Khomeinists who organise the march – have been able to point to the UK government’s distinction without a difference viz military and political wings. Perhaps (the logic has gone) the flag-wavers in London are merely supporters of the political wing of Hezbollah and naturally abhor any of the terrorism, rocket-firing etc which is so regrettably connected with the totally separate entity which shares its name, offices, etc.

But if Hezbollah is designated by the UK government as a terrorist entity in its entirety then flying the flag of Hezbollah in London will be flying the flag of a terrorist group and – like flying the flag of ISIS in the open in London – will be an arrestble offence. So if the yellow flag of Hezbollah makes any appearances at all on Sunday then presumably the British police will swiftly move in, arrest the culprits and take them down to the local station to charge them. We shall see.

Written byDouglas Murray

Douglas Murray is Associate Editor of The Spectator. His most recent book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity is out now.

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