The seeds were sown with Khan’s now-former in-laws. During London’s ‘90s Islamist heyday, Khan’s brother-in-law Makbool Javaid was affiliated and listed as a spokesman to the now banned terrorist group al-Muhajiroun, founded by the hate preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad, and then led by the infamous fanatic Anjem Choudary. I knew of Makbool back then, too. His brothers were colleagues of mine, affiliated to my former extremist organization, Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Through such connections Khan ingratiated himself in the London Islamist scene. In 2003, he appeared at a conference alongside Sajeel Abu Ibrahim, a member of that same banned al-Muhajiroun.
Sajeel ran a camp in Pakistan that trained the 7/7 bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan. Speaking there, too, was one Yasser al-Siri, who had been convicted in Egypt over a political assassination attempt that left a young girl dead.
In 2004, Khan gave evidence to the House of Commons in his capacity as the chair of the Muslim Council of Britain’s legal affairs committee. This is the same Muslim Council of Britain that chose to condole the recent Ahmedi murder victim in Glasgow, by declaring Ahmedis not Muslim.
In his MCB capacity, Khan argued in Parliament that the Muslim Brotherhood cleric Dr. Yusuf Al-Qaradawi “is not the extremist that he is painted as being.”
This is Qaradawi who, among other things, authored a book called The Lawful and Prohibited in Islam, in which he justifies wife beating and discusses whether homosexuals should be killed.
Infamously, Qaradawi also issued a fatwa advocating suicide bombings against Israeli civilians, a view which has seen him join the likes of Omar Bakri Muhammad in being denied entry to the U.K.
Khan’s relationships with extremists ran so deep in fact, that he attended events for the jihadist rights group Cage, and wrote a foreword for one of their reports. Cage has since declared ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi-John’ to be a beautiful man live on the BBC.
Khan’s defence of such a prolific flirtation with Islamism is that he was a human rights lawyer. However, most of these events were not attended in his capacity as a lawyer at all. One suspects he was simply trying to gain votes.
By 2010, with increasing grassroots popularity among highly organized Islamists and fundamentalists, but carrying the burden of the Labour Party’s War on Terror record, Khan’s bid to get reelected in his home-base of South London’s Tooting was facing challenges from another Muslim. For unlike the Labour Party, this Muslim’s party had opposed the invasion of Iraq.
Khan’s rival was Liberal Democrat Nasser Butt. Liberal Democrat opposition to the Iraq war posed a serious challenge to Khan and his Muslim power base in Tooting. British South Asian Muslims —myself included—overwhelmingly opposed that war. “Luckily” for Khan, Nasser happened to be an Ahmadi Muslim. Yes, this is as relevant as Sadiq Khan being a Sunni Muslim. In other words not at all, in a perfect world. Alas, Khan’s world was far from perfect. Ahmedis are perhaps the most persecuted minority sects among Sunni Muslims.
Khan knew this, and yet this fact didn’t stop his campaign working closely with Tooting Mosque to stir up anti-Ahmedi sectarian hatred in order to secure the Sunni vote for his victory. For many of my fellow Sunni Muslims Nasser Butt being an Ahmedi was a doctrinal “offence” for which he was personally responsible, while Khan was too junior of an MP at that time to have much to do with the invasion of Iraq. By now, Khan’s religious writing was clearly on the mosque wall.
Again, Khan is no Muslim extremist. Indeed, this cannot be repeated enough. Nor can the fact that Khan clearly has a record of terribly poor judgment in surrounding himself with Islamists and Muslim extremists, and in using them for votes.