U.K. Daily Telegraph writer Andrew Gilligan has posted an articled titled “A runaway victory for George Galloway – and all praise to Allah” which analyzes the recent parliamentary victory of George Galloway and his appeals to Islam during the campaign. The article begins:
In the last few days before George Galloway’s amazing by-election triumph in Bradford, a crudely photocopied leaflet flooded the Asian areas of the seat. “God KNOWS who is a Muslim. And he KNOWS who is not,” it said. “Let me point out to all the Muslim brothers and sisters what I stand for. I, George Galloway, do not drink alcohol and never have. Ask yourself if the other candidate [the Labour candidate, Imran Hussain]in this election can say that truthfully. I, George Galloway, have fought for the Muslims at home and abroad, all my life, and paid a price for it. I, George Galloway, hold Pakistan’s highest civil awards.”The leaflet contains no official logo of Mr Galloway’s Respect party, or the names of an agent or printer, as required by electoral law; Mr Galloway denies that it came from him. Its allegations that Mr Hussain is a heavy drinker are totally false and libellous.At Mr Galloway’s official campaign rally in Bradford’s Hanover Square last Sunday, footage of which was still available yesterday on his own website, he said: “I’m a better Pakistani than he [Mr Hussain] will ever be. God knows who’s a Muslim and who is not. And a man that’s never out of the pub shouldn’t be going around telling people you should vote for him because he’s a Muslim. A Muslim is ready to go to the US Senate, as I did, and to their face call them murderers, liars, thieves and criminals. A Muslim is somebody who’s not afraid of earthly power but who fears only the Judgment Day. I’m ready for that, I’m working for that and it’s the only thing I fear.”There was a Respect campaign banner behind Mr Galloway as he spoke. The slogans on it were in English and Urdu. The Urdu slogans were above the English ones.At another rally that evening, the man who is now Bradford’s MP talked again about divine judgment. “We stand for justice and haqq [the Islamic concept of truth and righteousness],” he told the overwhelmingly Muslim crowd. “Many of us, myself included, believe that for religious reasons… I believe in the Judgment Day, that all of you do. And I just say this: how will you explain, on the Last Day, that you had a chance, on 29 March 2012, to vote for the guy who led the great campaign against the slaughter of millions in Iraq, but instead you voted for a party which has killed a million Iraqis? In the early hours of yesterday morning, God, it seems, delivered. Even at 2am, an ecstatic, 100-strong crowd still waited outside the Richard Dunn Sports Centre, where Mr Galloway had just achieved the third largest swing in modern British political history – 36 per cent, annihilating Labour, which has held this seat since 1974, with more than double the number of votes they got.
Read the rest here.
George Galloway had been a far-left British M.P. who was expelled from the Labor Party over incendiary comments made at time of the 2003 Iraq War. He subsequently formed the Respect Coalition which prior to a 2007 split included the Socialist Workers Party and members of the Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Council of Britain, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. The Respect coalition was the sponsor of the February 2003 anti-Iraq war demonstration in London, reported by police to have been the largest demonstration ever held in the U.K. A previous post discussed the 2007 falling out between Galloway and the Socialist Workers Party and the speculation that the difficulties stemmed from Galloway’s desire to focus more on developing a Muslim constituency. At that time, Galloway launched a new movement called Respect Renewal which helped to elect Mr Galloway as a Respect MP. As discussed in a post from May 2007, Mr. Galloway lost his seat in the House of Commons, the only seat held by the Respect Party.
Galloway has been a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes and a previous post discussed his role in Viva Palestina, a UK registered charity associated which had been under investigation by U.K. authorities. The organization has organized several convoys of humanitarian aid to Gaza including the first convoy where Galloway was reported to have handed cash and three cars to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah and the second convoy where Galloway met again with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah. Previous posts have discussed Galloway’s trips to the U.S. in conjunction with the convoys including a trip in March 2009 where he participated in a Northern Virginia fund-raising event in which Muslim American Society leader Mahdi Bray was also scheduled to appear.