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Moderate by Rochdale standards

Three days ago the Muslim media outlet 5Pillars expressed doubts about the Labour candidate for the forthcoming by-election in Rochdale: “The troubling backstory of Labour Rochdale candidate Azhar Ali”

What was it about Mr Ali that troubled them? The fact that he advised the government on counter-terrorism during the premiership of the hated Tony Blair. The fact that he has been involved with the government’s “PREVENT” strategy. Perhaps the fact that he is a Sufi Muslim did not go down too well with other sorts of Muslim. Above all, the writers at 5Pillars think Azhar Ali is… I was going to say “too pro-Israel”, then I corrected it to “pro-Israel”, then to “not as vehemently anti-Israel as they think he ought to be.”

They are not the only Muslims who think this. Four days ago Mr Ali was aggressively accosted in a local restaurant by people shouting “Free, free Palestine” and “Fuck Labour”.

However 5Pillars and the people in the restaurant may have softened towards Mr Ali since last night, when the Mail published this story:

“Outrage after Labour candidate claims Israel deliberately allowed 1,400 of its citizens to be massacred on October 7 in order to give it the ‘green light’ to invade Gaza”.

Israel deliberately allowed 1,400 of its citizens to be massacred on October 7 in order to give it the ‘green light’ to invade Gaza, a Labour by-election candidate has claimed.

Azhar Ali, who is defending a Labour majority of more than 9,000 in Rochdale on February 29, also claimed that Sir Keir Starmer had ‘lost the confidence’ of his MPs over his stance on the conflict.

The bombshell remarks – contained in a secret recording obtained by The Mail on Sunday – will intensify the row within the Labour Party over Sir Keir’s refusal to condemn Israel’s right to besiege Gaza in the wake of the attacks.

I must stress that I strongly support Mr Ali’s right to believe and propagate whatever theories he wants. However, a Labour candidate with these views (which were clearly only recanted under pressure) tarnishes Labour’s reputation, so in normal circumstances I would have expected Labour to deselect him and look for a more moderate candidate – probably another Muslim, given the demographics of the seat. Unfortunately for Labour, nominations have closed. And unfortunately for all of us, Mr Azhar Ali OBE – adviser to governments, director of the Sufi Muslim Council, champion of the “Preventing Extremism Together” programme – almost certainly is the most moderate Muslim candidate they can find in Rochdale.

UPDATE, 19:50 12/02/24. The Sun‘s political correspondent, Noa Hoffman, tweets that “Following new information about further comments made by Azhar Ali coming to light today, the Labour party has withdrawn its support for Azhar Ali as our candidate in the Rochdale by-election.”

That could mean George Galloway gets back into Parliament.

17 comments to Moderate by Rochdale standards

  • John

    However, a Labour candidate with these views (which were clearly only recanted under pressure) tarnishes Labour’s reputation.

    As “soon to be” Baroness Chakrabahti made abundantly clear in her independent report Labour is not infiltrated with long-standing and serious antisemitism. How unfortunate that this clean bill of health has now been tarnished.

  • Jussi

    Obviously he saw his popularity diminish with his core voters and rectified that with his 7th Oct comment, probably all OK’ed by Keir, hence the apology being suffcient, no further action.

  • john in cheshire

    I’ve said several times in comments sections that the Labour party should rename itself as the Islamic Labour party.
    But the way things seem to be developing, they won’t need to as muslims leave it to join their own political party. Then they’ll possibly do a Prince and call themselves “The party formerly known as the Labour party”.

  • Kirk

    You can’t be a faithful Muslim and a member of a political party. The faith provides all; to pretend otherwise is part of taqiya, and a duty of every Muslim.

    This is why Islam has been so successful with their colonization efforts, along with their appeal to the sociopathic. If you can be a “good Muslim” and own sex slaves, while oppressing women? Why, think of the appeal to the average deracinated Western male, who has been made the scapegoat for everything wrong in women’s lives for generations, now.

    Don’t be too surprised at what happens in the next few years. The appeal is there; the effects will be demonstrated. You don’t demonize half your population without repercussion.

    Here in the US, they’re trying to figure out where the “white male” military recruit went. Simple answer: They don’t see a point in sacrificing to defend a system that demonizes them, so they’re just not showing up. They’ll likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future, even if they change the messaging. Why? Because you don’t undo this sort of cultural jamming overnight. They’ll be dealing with the results of all this for generations to come…

  • Ed Snider

    He was making himself kosher with the halal crowd. His way of saying, “Beat the Jews, and save Russia.” Two thousand years of this, and the shit shows no sign of stopping, only getting worse.

  • Roué le Jour

    Agreed. If the Muslims are smart and play up the family values, no perverts in schools, the dangers of women doing as they please, they will pick up support from non Muslims.

    That being said, “smart” is not something one normally associates with Muslims.

  • Kirk

    I don’t think they’re going to play up “family values”. They’re going to emphasize the fact that Western men have all been turned into “Sitzpinklers”, and the appeal to them is going to be a.) unfettered sexual domination, b.) power over women, and c.) being able to have multiple wives and sex slaves.

    It will work, too. They’ll get the sociopaths and disaffected “incel” types, the men that Western woman with their hypergamy have effectively “disenfranchised” from participation in the traditional male/female monogamy game.

    I always said that the women of the feminist movement would not like where they wound up, with all their little “changes” to society. Their status is almost certainly going to be a lot worse than it was in even the most “patriarchal” Western society of yore, given the way things are going. Muslim-majority nations almost certainly mean that, and it’ll either be Muslim or some variety of confident and resurgent Christianity. Secular culture ain’t going to survive; the birth rates are too low, and the rate of conversion is likely to be too high.

    Hell, if I were 18 and looking at the world? I’d sure as hell not be “playing the game” on this seriously out of balance playing field. I would be very likely to listen to the blandishments of the various other options out there, and I sure as hell wouldn’t be signing on to defend this BS we’ve got going now. If you told me at 18 in 1981 that I’d be defending a system that demonized me because I was white, male, and not deranged? If I had believed you, I’d have told “the system” to go screw itself, and found something else to do with my life besides defend that system. I know why the recruits aren’t showing up… They can read, they can do the math, and there’s no damn point to being a “white male” white knight defending the maiden pure. She’s a traitorous bitch, and not worth the effort.

  • Roué le Jour

    The message will probably vary from place to place, but no more drag queen storytime is going to pull in parents.

    Two thousand years ago one of the big selling points of Christianity was monogamy, every man gets a wife. It would ironic if Christianity’s replacement was sold on every man gets a sex slave.

    What happens over the next century interests me greatly and I am disappointed more writers aren’t interested in the subject. Islam does best in places where you can sleep outside year round, so what happens to Sweden? Muslims can’t survive there without dhimmis to keep the power on so will they loot and leave? If Muslims stay in Europe, will some westernized form of Islam arise? Can Muslims run a modern industrial country? What happens if they can’t? Is anyone pondering these questions?

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The next few years are going to be challenging in the UK.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Roué le Jour,

    Two thousand years ago one of the big selling points of Christianity was monogamy, every man gets a wife. It would ironic if Christianity’s replacement was sold on every man gets a sex slave.

    Not “every man”, Roué, every dominant man. Polygamy reduces the supply of women. If one man supports four wives, that means three men who have no chance of finding a wife.

    No wonder Christianity was popular among slaves – and among women, of course.

  • Paul Marks

    There is a contradiction between Islam and the Frankfurt School Marxism of the left (for example, the “Equality Act” of 2010 – which all but six members of the House of Commons voted for, because they did not know what was in it and were terrified of being called “racists” and-so-on) – on feminism, homosexuality, “trans rights” for children, and so on.

    It must be difficult for, for example, the Chief Minister of Scotland – who has to try and please both groups at the same time. It is said that he tries to “square the circle” by privately arguing that “Woke” (i.e. Frankfurt School Marxist) policies are for infidels, as a way of weakening them, and will not be imposed upon Muslims. But it still must be hard for him.

    State Attorney General Keith Ellison and others are in a similar position in the United States – whilst the alliance between Frankfurt School Marxism (“Woke” doctrine – the “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” agenda) and Islam is powerful, the two world views are in fundamental contradiction.

    In the end one can not be a Muslim and a Frankfurt School Marxist (or any other sort of Marxist) at the same time. And privately saying “this stuff is just to weaken the infidels – destroy their society” does NOT really square circle – as Marxism also wishes to destroy Islamic civilisation.

    In the Middle East it is already understood that Marxism and Islam are NOT compatible.

    As for the fate of the United Kingdom under a possible Labour Party Government – what limited restraint that still exists on the “Woke” (Frankfurt School) agenda in the United Kingdom will be removed.

    It will, likely, be the end of this nation – this society.


  • Freddo

    ” tarnishes Labour’s reputation “. I would have phrased it ” views perfectly suitable for Labour, but which they prefer to de-emphasize in their public image”.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Natalie Solent (Essex)
    Not “every man”, Roué, every dominant man. Polygamy reduces the supply of women. If one man supports four wives, that means three men who have no chance of finding a wife.

    Unless you engage in constant warfare and idolize death. That’s a great way of clearing out surplus men. Plus if you are trying to win the population war polygamy can be a good strategy. Gals max out at approximately one child per year whereas we guys have potential for a lot more.

    Didn’t Genghis Khan famously sire 10% of the world’s population?

  • bobby b

    “Unless you engage in constant warfare and idolize death.”

    Funny, that’s exactly how I picture a life with multiple wives.

  • Paul Marks

    It should be pointed out that the leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, has now disowned Mr Ali (although Mr Ali remains the Labour Party candidate on the ballot papers – as it is too late to change them).

    The difficulty is that Mr Ali was expressing the mainstream view of his “community”.

    As the sacred texts say – the rocks and trees will (supposedly) cry out “oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me – come and kill him”, Mr Ali’s comments were actually more moderate (not more extreme) than this position.

    How can the Labour Party expect this community to vote for them whilst disowning the basic beliefs of this community?

    Nor is it “just” about Jews – Islam rejects the idea that Christians (let alone atheists) should have equal rights to followers of Islam (after all there is, in Islamic law, a tax on non Muslims, their places of worship may not be larger than Islamic places of worship, they may not have weapons, and-so-on).

    The great strength of Islam is that there is no authority (no Pope or Archbishop of Canterbury – or whatever) who can change the basic doctrines of the religion – every Muslim is encouraged to read the Koran and the Hadiths and to fight for these doctrines, if need be sacrificing their own lives – but NOT with the intention of suicide, the intention must be (according to Islamic doctrine) VICTORY – if not at once, then over time (even if it takes many years).

    The doctrines of the left (whether the “Critical Theory” Marxism of the Frankfurt School – or the NON Marxist left) are just not compatible with Islam – feminism, Gay Rights, and-on-and-on, Islam is not compatible with leftist doctrine.

    The contradiction is too blatant to be hidden any more. And, I repeat, the basic doctrines of Islam can-not-be-changed – Muhammed made it very clear what these doctrines in law (for Islam is a legal system and a civilisation) are – there can be no Pope Francis or Archbishop Welby type person “reinterpreting” Islam, indeed Muhammed called anyone who claimed to be a Muslim but tried to change its basic doctrines (refused to support them) a “hypocrite” – and laid down the legal penalty of death for such a person.

    I must stress that I have NOT stated my own opinions in any of the above – I have merely reported the situation.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Unless you engage in constant warfare and idolize death. That’s a great way of clearing out surplus men.

    I pointed out to my “moderate” Ahmadiyya Muslim friend who claimed that polygamy was virtuous as it supported the widows of those lost in battle, that those widows were not intended to be the ones on your side of the conflict, as any battle where you lose 75% of your forces is not a win.

  • JohnK


    Islam seems to do well when it is supported by vast oil wealth. The likes of MBS are trying to use this wealth to “modernize” countries such as Saudi Arabia, without detracting from islamic law. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

    The oil wealth enables the state to “employ” citizens, but expats who have worked there say the locals do very little. Westerners do the management work, and cheap labourers from the poor world do the grunt work. There is no evidence that an islamic society can also be a modern industrial society, without oil wealth and foreign workers

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