According to the event’s official Facebook, Hamas spokesman and UK Muslim Brotherhood leader Dr. Azzam Tamimi has been in Malaysia for a series of speaking appearances on a tour that began December 1 and is scheduled through December 8. Last week, the GMBDW reported that Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal had arrived in the capital of Malaysia in order to attend the annual conference of the United Malays National Organisation (UNMO). The presence of two important Hamas figures in Malaysia at the same time is likely part of the ongoing effort by the organization to seek new sources of support in the wake of the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt.
According to a Washington Report on Middle East Affairs article, Azzam Tamimi was born in 1955 and he was seven when his family moved from Hebron to Kuwait. After high school graduation, he moved to England and the University of Westminster, London. First studying pure science, he changed to politics, earning a Ph.D., with a thesis on “Islam and Democracy.” Later in Jordan, he organized and was administrator of offices designed to assist the 26 Islamists who won parliamentary seats in a 1989 election. An online bio adds that from September 2000 to 30 March 2004, he worked as a senior lecturer at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicestershire, a center for the Global Muslim Brotherhood. He was visiting professor at Kyoto University in Japan from March to September 2004 and visiting professor at Nagoya University also in Japan from December 2005 to March 2006. 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 UK.
Dr. Tamimi 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 and other important individuals from the Global Muslim Brotherhood. 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.” During a 2012 speaking appearance at the Queen Mary University Palestine Solidarity Society , Dr. Tamimi reiterated his ties to Hamas and his willingness to become a “martyr” if he had the opportunity.