Written by Student Rights on 10 May 2010 at 10am

Inbetween The Lines: Tamimi's attempts to pull the wool over our eyes

No doubt the past week has been both incredibly busy and halted a lot of work that has gone on as the UK elections took centre stage.  Post May 6th, however we find ourselves in a situation without a government but where we all need to get back to work.  One of the things I'd like to address that may have been missed over this period is Azaam Tamimi's piece in the Guardian Comment is Free section, on Tuesday 4th May.

What Tamimi attempts to express in this article is that:

1.  He is not an extremist and is willing to sit down and have discussions with Jewish leaders in order to facilitate a greater culture of peace of campus - and yet he has endorsed suicide bombings against Israel?

2.  He has been the subject of a campaign to stop him speaking at UK universities - as if he has not been complicit in causing campus divisions and repeatedly targeting areas to cause disruption

3.  That there is a further conspiracy at work against him which travels to the Prime Minister's office - although his delusions of grandeur are palpable he may be correct in assuming that our Parliament is concerned about extremists

This is of course, Tamimi's attempt to whitewash his record, but it's all too apparent what he's doing.  If he really wants to fly the straight and narrow from here on out, he'll have to do a lot better than a defensive article in the Guardian in an attempt to garner sympathy. If it wasn't already clear by now what our issue with Tamimi is, you can find the details here, here and here. This man needs to do a lot more if he wants to start engaging against extremism on campuses and the first step is a complete and utter denouncement of suicide bombings and martyrdom tactics that he has espoused in the past. 

Secondly, Tamimi needs to distance himself from Hamas and prove that he in no way endorses these people's approach to 'democracy' and 'war'.  The man so far as done neither of these things but wishes to be treated as a 'moderate'. As long as he stands by his comments on BBC HardTalk and an interview with a Spanish newspaper where Tamimi claimed that “everyone” in the Arab world celebrated the 9/11 attacks, he will continue to be viewed as a divisive and dangerous extremist. So what is he trying to do when writing for the Guardian, claiming he is the subject of some kind of gagging attempt? 

Anyone who has bothered to research a little bit into this man sees the glaring hypocrisy in his attempts to exercise absolute freedom of speech, while those who he 'sympathises' with would never allow this.  Hamas would never allow this. And yet Tamimi remains a fan.