U.K. media has reported that leaders of a group working for the re-election of London Mayor Ken Livingstone includes individuals linked to Hamas and the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood. According to one report, the group known as “Muslims for Ken” has for the past year:
…. been working on a strategy to win an estimated 200,000 Muslim votes in an effort to re-elect the Mayor. It includes a campaign of vilification aimed at his Conservative rival, Boris Johnson. It is being waged by Muslims 4 Ken, led by 39-year-old lecturer Anas Altikriti and Palestinian-born Azzam Tamimi, a supporter of Hamas, the militant group dedicated to the creation of an Islamic state of Palestine…..Muslims 4 Ken moves into overdrive this week after months of lobbying for Mr Livingstone among Muslim community leaders, in mosques and among political organisations. The Islamic alliance backing the Mayor is based in east London and has already drawn on wide support from the area’s Bangladeshi community. Muslims 4 Ken grew from Mr Livingstone’s links with activists and his generous sponsorship of Muslim causes. Mr Altikriti was instrumental in the Mayor’s patronage of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Islamic cleric who was welcomed by Mr Livingstone to City Hall. The Mayor’s critics believe his praise of Mr al-Qaradawi was part of a cynical plan to exploit the Muslim vote. Mr al-Qaradawi is banned from Britain over fears his presence may not be conducive to “security and peace”.
Azzam Tamimi is a long time member of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and recently switched allegiance to the British Muslim Initiative (BMI), both organizations being part of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.K. He is the director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IPT), known to have had Georgetown University Professor John Esposito on its Advisory Board as well as global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. While stating that he “abors violence”, Tamimi is the author of books on Hamas and in a 2004 TV interview, he expressed his willingness to be a suicide bomber. In January of this year he told Iranian TV that “I want to see Israel come to an end.” Anas Al-Tikriti is also a former leader in the MAB and currently active in the BMI. In 2003, his father was reported to be the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party as well as the “general supervisor” of the Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Tikriti has said that the above story was “riddled with lies” and that his group would be contacting the U.K. Press Complaints Commission.