Hamas-supporting Muslim Council of Britain chair advises UK authorities on hate crimes policy

An advisor on the Crown Prosecution Services (CPS) "scrutiny panel" on hate crimes and chairman for the Finsbury Park mosque in London, Mohammed Kozbar, recently praised the founder of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, as "the master of the martyrs of the resistance." 

According to The Telegraph, Kozbar is also the deputy secretary-general for the Muslim Council of Britain, an organization which Whitehall has had a "zero engagement" policy with since 2009. 

One government source told the outlet, that "The Muslim Council of Britain’s leadership are not advocates for the wider Muslim community and represent a hardline sect hellbent on dividing our country." They added, "They should not be consulted on matters of hate crime – it’s as dangerous as it is farcical.”

The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) does however have a working relationship with the organization to help imams join the armed forces as chaplains. "I can confirm that the MoD does have an arrangement to consult with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) in the appointment of imams to the armed services," the MoD confirmed when the arrangement was made in 2021. 

Kozbar's involvement in the CPS was brought to light as concerns over hate crime laws not being enforced during pro-Hamas protests happening in the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel. During a debate on Israel and Gaza Lord Godson explained why the "zero engagement" policy was implemented. 

"The previous Labour government under Gordon Brown rightly cut contact with the Muslim Council of Britain in 2009, after its then deputy secretary-general [a predecessor of Mr Kozbar] signed the Istanbul declaration, calling for attacks on Royal Navy vessels enforcing a UN weapons blockade on Hamas-run Gaza."

Regarding their involvement, a CPS spokesman told the outlet, "We continually review the make-up of our hate crime scrutiny panels to ensure they are reflective of the communities we serve." They added, "Members hold informal advisory roles that have no direct influence over our prosecutor’s decision-making."

"Engaging with all members of the public on their needs and concerns is a vital part of our duty as the CPS," the spokesman concluded. 

Kozbar was elected to the MCB National Council in January. According to the Jewish Chronicle, in a 2011 speech, he said he looked forward "to the end of Israel, inshallah [God Willing]."

Image: Title: Kozbar