Zafar Bangash

Zafar Bangash (Urdu: ظÙ?ر بÙگش) is a noted Islamic Movement commentator and analyst. He is also a community leader in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), and president of the Islamic Society of York Region in Ontario, Canada. He is imam at the Islamic Society of York region's mosque and community centre in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He is a former editor of the Crescent International newsmagazine, and a Trustee and formerly assistant director of the Muslim Institute, London, where he worked with Dr Kalim Siddiqui (1931-1996), the founder of the Muslim Institute and Leader of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain.

Zafar Bangash is best known for his strident analyses of current affairs while editor of Crescent International, and as a columnist and contributor to Crescent since he moved on to become Director of the ICIT. Although he is a Sunni Muslim of Pakistani origins, he (and the bodies that he is associated with) are known for their support for the Islamic Revolution in Iran. For example, he has suggested that there is greater intellectual freedom there than in the United States, having told an Iranian news agency that "I have been in the Islamic Republic of Iran many times and I get a lot of information that is being circulated and there is open discussions, people express their views openly, discussions taking place all the times. All kinds of issues are discussed. There is no comparable level of discussion taking place in the US ..." Bangash routinely promotes the view that Islamic fundamentalist revolutions (like that which occurred in Iran in 1979) should be promoted throughout the Islamic world.

He is also particularly known for his commentaries on Pakistani affairs, his support for Palestinians, and his opposition to the United States. He has also written on Islamic history and political thought. He is currently engaged in research on the political aspects of the Seerah (life) of Muhammad.

Controversial Statements

While editor of Crescent International, it ran an article stating that that several countries, including Canada are "fully paid-up members of the Anglo-Saxon mafia which is responsible for most of the recorded genocides in the world."

November 2007 Article

Bangash wrote in the November 2007 issue of Crescent International that:

"Since Israel is the new temple and zionism the new religion of the West, any mention of eliminating zionism or the zionist regime in Palestine is immediately branded as anti-Semitism and a threat to world peace."

Call for End of Israel

In an article written in January of 2001, Bangash wrote:

"There can be no compromise on the question that the entire area of Palestine belongs to the Palestinian people."

"Zionist thugs will have to vacate every inch of Palestine if there is to be justice (and therefore peace) in that tortured land. Talks about border-adjustments or returning only to the 1967 borders are non-starters."

"...there can be only one state — a Palestinian Islamic State — in the land called Palestine. There is no room for two states there..."

"In fact, it is a safe assumption that once an Islamic State is established in Palestine, the zionists will wish to leave, as they will no longer be permitted to steal others’ property or terrorise people. These gangsters and criminals will feel much more at home in America."

"They should not be allowed an easy way out. The only exit for them is from all of Palestine, back to where they came from: the US, Canada, Europe, Russia, whoever is willing to take them in."

Use of the term "Kuffar"

In his writings in Crescent International, Bangash has repeated used the term "Kuffar" which is a derogatory term used to refer to non-Muslims.

"The choice is clear: we either commit ourselves utterly to Allah and prepare ourselves to make the kinds of sacrifice that were required of Ibrahim (sacrificing his son) ... or we rely solely on material resources and sink to the level of the kuffar."

"It is tempting to blame the kuffar for the disintegration of the Ummah, but the fact is that the Muslims' own weaknesses enabled others to subjugate them, and then to impose alien systems on them." ... "Today the cries of Muslim women, in Kashmir, Chechnya, Iraq, Bosnia and Palestine, go unanswered because Muslims are divided and our rulers are subservient to the kuffar." ... "For Muslims unity is not a choice; it is a necessity. The kuffar have long understood its importance."

"The situation is further complicated by the fact that today Muslim societies are not only ruled by alien ideologies but also deeply penetrated, and in some cases controlled, by the kuffar. Whenever and wherever the Islamic movement embarks on the process of restoring Islamic values in society, the real opposition will come from the kuffar."

Other Controversial Remarks

"Muslims must strive to overthrow the oppressive systems in their societies through Islamic revolutions, and not by participating in fraudulent elections organized by the elites operating through various political parties that actually divide the people"... " must keep well away from the US, the greediest, most exploitative, most manipulative, most hypocritical and most ruthless power that the world has ever known."

"For Muslims, there is no defeat: if we survive the war, we are victorious; if we die, we get the reward of shahada (martyrdom) insha’Allah: the highest honour in life and in death."

"it is the US$4 billion in annual American handouts to Israel and its protection from international censure that enable the zionists to continue their campaign of blatant racism and genocide."

Criticism by Tarek Fatah

Tarek Fatah, founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, has stated that Bangash is the "unofficial spokesperson for the Iranian regime in Canada."
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