- Head of Institute of Islamic Political Thought
- Supports Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad
Dr. 'Azzam Al-Tamimi was born in Hebron in 1955, and his family immigrated to Kuwait in 1965. He studied in London and completed a Ph.D. in Political Theory from Westminster University in London in 1998. From 1980-1985, Al-Tamimi worked as a media monitor and news analyst at the U.S. government's Foreign Broadcast Information Service. Al-Tamimi directed the Parliamentary Office of the Islamic Movement in Jordan from 1990-1991.
Between 1992-1999 Al-Tamimi headed the Liberty for the Muslim World Institute in London, and was also a researcher for The Center for the Study of Democracy at Westminster University. Since 1999, Dr. Al-Tamimi has headed The Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IIPT) in London. The IIPT board of advisors includes Dr. Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradhawi, who in July 2003 spoke in favor of suicide terror attacks in the Stockholm Mosque at the 11th Convention of the European Council for Fatwa and Research.
Al-Tamimi has been a senior lecturer at Markfield Institute of Higher Education since 2000, and is an executive member of the Muslims Association of Britain. He has published several books and articles on Islamic political thought, and he is frequently invited to lecture by Muslim communities in South Africa, the U.S., and Britain, where he resides. In April 2003, Al-Tamimi lectured in Sweden on Islamic issues at a conference organized by Sweden's Young Muslims, and in November of that year he delivered a lecture called "Understanding Islam" to diplomats in Stockholm at the Stockholm Mosque.
Al-Tamimi told the Guardian Unlimited (December 2003) that he "was a friend of Mr. [Khaled] Meshal, the chief political officer of Hamas." "There is a personal relationship with some of them," he added, "[and] because of that I am sometimes asked to advise them. I have been asked, 'What do you think of how we present ourselves to the world?' I can be of use both to Hamas and people in the West who know nothing of what Hamas is about."
Al-Tamimi describes himself as a "sympathizer and supporter" of Hamas. "I know some of the senior figures in Hamas," he said. "Some were my friends, my classmates." Palestinian political scientist Muhammad Muslih, however, defines Al-Tamimi in a study on Hamas's foreign policy as a full-fledged "Hamas member."
Al-Tamimi is candidly outspoken on Middle Eastern and Islamic issues. He feels a profound hatred for Israel, advocating the Jewish state’s destruction and elimination from the face of the earth as the only acceptable resolution to the Mideast conflict. He passionately endorses the actions of Palestinian suicide bombers; he strongly supports Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic Jihad; and he blames the United States for having invited the 9/11 attacks with its allegedly unjust foreign policies.
Among Al-Tamimi’s many hateful and controversial public assertions are the following:
"It is totally unacceptable to coexist with this [Zionist] entity and to acknowledge its legitimate right to exist. If it is inescapable, and negotiations with [the Zionist entity] must take place, then the negotiations with its authorities [should focus on] the measures to dismantle and eliminate [this Zionist entity]. Either they [i.e. the Israelis] accept the disappearance of their project in a peaceful way... or the flag of the Jihad in sake of Allah will remain fluttering on high until Allah permits the change of the balance of power in favor of the Muslims and then the Zionist entity will disappear the same way the Crusader entity was eliminated before..." (1997)
"If the Westerners as a whole – and the Germans in particular – are immersed in feelings of guilt because of what they have perpetrated against the Jews, isn't it a just thing that they will act together to expiate for their sins by granting the Jews a national homeland in central Europe, for instance, within one of the German states? Or, why will not the U.S., the Zionist father through adoption, grant [the Jews] one out of its more than fifty states..?" (early 1998)
"Armed resistance is not an aberration from the norm. The Oslo agreement between the PLO and Israel is the aberration. Hamas … is a constant reminder to the Palestinian people that the Zionist project is doomed." (1998)
"There can be no dialogue except after the elimination of oppression. We will continue to communicate with Israel using the same weapon it has been using against us, the rifle... We shall continue to communicate with it using the same method until the entire land of Palestine, and not only a part of it, is liberated..." (mid-2000)
"[B]ehind them [the Israelis] is only the sea, and either they get on boats to return from whence they came, or they will drown in the sea. This is Israel's bitter end..." (October 2000)
"In the short term, only full Israeli withdrawal from all the areas occupied in 1967 and total evacuation of all Jewish settlements built in this area, may bring some peace – for a while – to the region. However, in the long term, Israel has no future, and the Jews who support Israel and Zionism, and especially those who have chosen to migrate to Palestine to occupy the lands and homes of the Palestinians, should reconsider their positions. Eventually, Palestine will return to the Muslims as it did after more than a century of occupation by the Crusaders about 10 centuries ago." (mid-2001)
"In the Arab and Muslim countries, everyone jumped for joy” when the Twin Towers fell on 9/11." (late 2001)
"It is undeniable that the calamity that struck the United States on September 11 may have been a source of joy for some Muslims whose hatred for America prevents them from recognizing the savagery and inhumanity of this attack. U.S. policy makers may not be oblivious to this fact. They probably know, only too well, that if Muslims were actually responsible for the catastrophe, it is U.S. foreign policy that breeds and provokes such elements that are willing to go as far as killing themselves to inflict pain and humiliation on the United States." (late 2001)
"Israel [is] a Zionist, racist, and fascist State. It is . . . inadvisable to speak of a one-state solution, even a Palestinian state solution. What the discourse should focus on is that occupation must end and that Zionism is evil and should, just as apartheid was, be dismantled." (2002)
"For us Muslims, martyrdom is not the end of things, but the beginning of the most wonderful of things. In the next life one is in an everlasting bliss, while in this life those after him continue to receive inspiration from him... The blood of martyrs provides nourishment and sustenance for those who continue the struggle. The cause will always be stronger when more sacrifices are offered. This is what the Israelis do not understand and will probably never understand. . . . Every martyr that the Palestinians offer is a gain and not a loss, for he or she is alive and their blood provides constant inspiration for many generations to come. Eventually, it is the Israelis who will lose, for they did not come from Europe and other places around the world to die in Palestine. They came to live, and what sort of a life are they living…? Allah tells us in the Qur'an very clearly that if we suffer, they suffer too, but the difference is that we have something to hope for from our Lord and they have not..." (early 2003)
"Don't forget, in the long-term the outcome of this conflict isn't about how many Palestinians die, it is about how many Israelis die. The Israelis can't fight or match the willingness of the Palestinian people to sacrifice their lives." (October 2003)
On August 29, 2005, Al-Tamimi penned an article titled "The London Bombing: Harm Is Brought Upon the Muslims Only by Their Own," in the London Arabic-language daily Al-Quds Al-'Arabi. In this piece, Al-Tamimi asserted that Muslims who dare to criticize radical Islamists are loathsome traitors to their faith. His comments were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). In particular, he impugned liberal Arab and Muslim writers who were critical of Britain’s longstanding policy of tolerance for Islamist clerics preaching hate and violence. Without the help of such writers, said Al-Tamimi, "Blair, and Bush, and the leaders of Australia and New Zealand, would not have dared to act impudently toward Islam and the Muslims" in a "frenzied attempt to destroy Islam."
Following are some additional excerpts from Al-Tamimi's August 29 article:
"Since the July 7 bombing in London [by radical Islamists], there have been continuous attacks on Islam and Muslims, not only in Britain but throughout the liberal democratic system in what is known as the West, in Europe or beyond."
"There is no doubt that the forces of the extreme right and the racist movements… and the Zionist lobby in this democratic system have been full of rancor and hatred, and that these events gave them the opportunity to spew their venom…"
"Yet all the human and material resources possessed by these forces, including media and political [influence], have not served [their interests] as much as has a fanatical group of Muslims, who, competing with politicians and writers hostile to Islam, immediately rushed to defame the most esteemed 'ulama and the Muslims in general. They shirked from defending the just causes of Islam in Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir and Chechnya, [while they justified] the violations of human rights, civil liberties and the rule of law, under the pretext of fighting [Islamic] extremism and terrorism. . ."
"The leaders of the liberal West… have received much moral support from a group of Muslims detached from their faith and from the Islamic nation. In some cases, their support was given in the form of fatwas, and in other cases in the form of advice to the leaders of liberal democracy. Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and the leaders of Australia and New Zealand would not have dared to act impudently toward Islam and the Muslims but for the existence of [traitors from among our own]. [It is these traitors] who help them in their frenzied attempt to destroy Islam, which ascends high in spite of them."
"Despite their small numbers, [these traitors] are widespread. Some of them are rulers of Islamic countries, causing suffering to their own people. One such [ruler] rushed to arrest hundreds within hours of the publication of the news of the bombing on July 7. He then ordered the expulsion of hundreds of foreign students from the religious schools of his country..."
"Despite the severity of the harm caused by these [rulers], their danger is limited in comparison to the danger posed by those traitors, who reside in the liberal democratic countries and who have suddenly found for themselves a role whereby they rise to the surface and become closer to the rulers…"
"It is they who suggested to Tony Blair and his ilk most of the procedures to persuade Parliament [to adopt], as soon as it convenes in September – and at the top of the list [of procedures] is the deportation of anyone who praises Jihad or martyrdom for the sake of Allah, or supports the mujahideen in Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan…"
"It is they who suggested to him to ban Islamic groups whose rhetoric they did not like, even if they [i.e. these groups] were completely innocent of any act of violence or terrorism, such as the Tahrir party."
"It is they who suggested to him to forbid Islamic figures such as the Imam of the Al-Haram Mosque of Mecca ['Abd Al-Rahman] Al-Sudayis and the great scholar [Sheikh Yousuf] Al-Qaradhawi from entering the country, due to their speeches which contain criticism of the Zionists occupying Palestine."
"It is they who suggested to him the idea that whoever did not assimilate into our society and did not accept our values – let him seek another country."
"It is they who caused him to be frightened of the popular reaction in Britain to the events of July 7, thus ruling that young Muslim women should be stripped of their headgear to protect themselves from being harmed in the street."
"It was some of them who claimed that the Muslims of Great Britain are not represented by the large [Muslim] organizations… arguing that those in charge of these organizations are either under the influence of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Hasan Al-Bana, or of the founder of the Al-Jama'a Al-Islamiyya in Pakistan Abu Al-A'la Al-Mawdudi, or are followers of Muhammad Ibn 'Abd Al-Wahhab, one of the greatest reformers [of Islam] in the 18th century…"
"The Muslims of Britain and Europe have heard for the first time voices that claim to speak for a silent Muslim mainstream, which, according to this claim, is the true representative of an Islam that renounces violence and calls for peaceful co-existence and complete assimilation – namely, Sufi Islam."
"The most peculiar thing about this claim is that it harms the Sufis more than it harms other trends which have developed throughout Islamic history… How can one who lives comfortably and joins the company of great wealth and political power be a real Sufi? [The real Sufis] were ascetics devoted to worship, giving up the pleasures of this world in preference for the afterlife, turning away from men of wealth…"
"A Sufi cannot possibly be a confidant of the likes of Tony Blair and George Bush, who are waging war on Islam and Muslims. A [true] Sufi cannot denounce Jihad for the sake of Allah, for the [Sufis] are all continuously engaged in Jihad. Who, if not they, have confronted colonialism since the 16th century – first at the far end of the Asian Orient, and subsequently in the countries of Africa, south, east, west and north?…"
"The position of the Muslims in Britain and other countries of the liberal system would not have been weak had it not been for those who stuck the pickaxes in the body of the Islamic groups in the service of the enemies of Islam and of the Muslims…."
"It is wonderful that the Muslims find non-Muslim men and women who stand by them and support them during this trial, while there is treachery on the part of people who presume to belong to the Islamic nation and claim to be defending its creed and law. These [wretched] ones are a far cry from the giant Ken Livingstone, the mayor of London… likewise, they are a far cry from [other] giants of the British Left, led by the fighter George Galloway, who has allied himself with the Muslims and has defended them against the racists and the Zionists…"
"This is a small group which is full of envy and rancor, due to the great success achieved by pioneering Islamic organizations such as the Muslim Association of Britain, the Muslim Council of Britain, and the Islamic Foundation in Leicester, which the program attempted to damage, accusing them of extremism and terrorism. The problem was not in the words of the representatives of these organizations who were interviewed on the program, but in what was said about them by the [biased traitors] who wanted to glorify themselves and their organizations. [These organizations] hardly represent anyone but themselves and their families, at the expense of the higher Islamic interest."
"In our long-term war of defense against injustice and aggression, we are going to find [in our midst] leaders, politicians, writers, and academics who stand in the other camp against us… They are the enemy, and we must be wary of them. By the same token, we will find in our camp those who do not embrace Islam as a creed or live by its laws, yet who stand with us on the foundation of common humanity. They are today the most precious [assets], as we are living as minorities facing the hatred of racism and Zionism. With them, we must strengthen and ally ourselves to support justice and truth, and to oppose injustice and falsehood wherever and whenever struggle or fight breaks out between the two camps."
In an artcle Al-Tamimi penned for the London-based, Arabic-language daily, Al-Quds Al-'Arabi, he wrote:
"It is wonderful that the Muslims find non-Muslim men and women who stand by them and support them during this trial, while there is treachery on the part of people who presume to belong to the Islamic nation and claim to be defending its creed and law. These [wretched] ones are a far cry from the…giants of the British Left, led by the fighter George Galloway, who has allied himself with the Muslims and has defended them against the racists and the Zionists…"
Part of this profile is adapted from the article Opening "the Locked Gates of Jihad", published by MEMRI and reprinted by FrontPageMagazine.com on February 19, 2004. Much is also taken from the article "British Islamist Dr. 'Azzam Al-Tamimi: 'Harm Is Brought Upon Muslims Only by Their Own,' published by MEMRI on September 7, 2005.