Azzam Tamimi has given an interview on a Hamas-affiliated T.V. station in which he cautioned Arab TV channels to be careful about using the term Jews and to avoid denying the Holocaust because of “people who lie in wait.” According to a MEMRI translation of the interview:
Following are excerpts from an interview with Azzam Al-Tamimi, director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought, which aired on Al-Aqsa TV on March 15, 2012. Interviewer : We in Al-Aqsa TV were kicked out by I don’t know which European authority… We were removed from [Eutelsat’s] satellite under European pretexts, and we are forbidden from broadcasting on European satellites, and we [cannot]reach a large audience of Arabs and Muslims in Europe. Does this not constitute a violation of freedom of speech? Azzam Al-Tamimi : Freedom of speech is not absolute. There are laws in Europe. Unfortunately, these laws are unjust, because they permit some things and prohibit others. For example, they permit alcohol and usury, whereas according to our laws, alcohol and usury are forbidden. Laws in these societies have a certain history and a certain context. Due to the influence of the Zionist lobby, certain opinions are considered, out there in the world, to be crimes. There are people who lie in wait for the Arabic TV channels. There is an organization called MEMRI… Interviewer : Yes, they record… Azzam Al-Tamimi : This organization was founded by Mossad officers, and it monitors your channel, as well as Al-Jazeera TV, Al-Hiwar TV, all the channels… They monitor Al-Quds TV… They seek loopholes in order to stop you from broadcasting. Therefore, my advice to my brothers in Al-Aqsa TV and the other Arab channels is that as long as we are broadcasting over satellites that we do not own – these satellites are owned by the West – we must refrain from violating these laws, because this might lead them to take us off the air. At the end of the day, your goal is to convey a message. Therefore, we must be very careful when we use the term “Jews.” Denying the Holocaust, which took place in the days of the Nazis, is considered a crime in the West and might lead to… By the way, denying the Holocaust is unwise, because it did happen. Interviewer : The problem lies in the exaggeration of its scale… Azzam Al-Tamimi : No, I distinguish between denying the Holocaust and between [claiming]that it is used to oppress another people. I don’t want to minimize its scale. That is not the issue. Like Finkelstein, said in his famous book The Holocaust Industry, Zionism uses the Holocaust to justify the crimes committed by Israel. If we say that, there won’t be any problem, but if we deny that the Holocaust happened, there will be a problem. I once heard a guest on Al-Aqsa TV denying the Holocaust. This is a problem. […] “
Azzam Tamimi is a Palestinian whose family moved to Kuwait when he was seven. He was a long time member of the Muslim Association of Britain but switched allegiance to the British Muslim Initiative, 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. Tamimi is the author of books on Hamas and has been interviewed by Hamas T.V. During a 2004 BBC interview, he said that sacrificing oneself as a suicide bomber in Israel was a “noble cause,” adding that it was “the straight way to pleasing my God and I would do it if I had the opportunity.” In January of 2008 he told Iranian TV that “I want to see Israel come to an end.” A post from last month discussed a speaking appearance by Tamimi at the Queen Mary University Palestine Solidarity Society where he reiterated his ties to Hamas and willingness to become a “martyr” if he had the opportunity.