Ahmad Thomson

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Hajj Ahmad Thomson
Born Martin Thomson
Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia
Nationality British
Ethnicity White African
Education Ruzawi School, Peterhouse Group of Boarding Schools, Eastbourne College, University of Exeter: LL.B.(Hons.), City University London: GDL, Inns of Court School of Law: BVC
Occupation Barrister, Author
Religion Sunni Muslim
Website
http://wynnechambers.co.uk

Ahmad Thomson is a British barrister and writer and a member of the Murabitun movement.[1]

Career[edit]

He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1979. He was a co-founder of the Association of Muslim Lawyers in 1993.[2] He has been the head of Wynne Chambers since 1994.[3] He is the author of several books, including The Difficult Journey and The Way Back (1994); The Next World Order (1994); the revised editions of Jesus, Prophet of Islam and Blood on the Cross (in two volumes, For Christ's Sake and Islam in Andalus) with Muhammad Ata Ur-Rahim (1996); the revised edition of Dajjal: the AntiChrist (1997); Making History (1997); The Last Prophet (2000) [4] and Golden Days on the Open Road (2005)[1] and is co-author of The Islamic Will with Hajj Abdalhaqq and Aisha Bewley (1995).[5] He has been described by some in the press as having acted as an informal advisor to 10 Downing Street on matters related to Muslims,[6] although he has never set foot inside No. 10 or met any Prime Minister except Kenneth Kaunda, in Zambia, in 1965. He made both written and oral representations to the House of Lords Select Committee on Religious Offences in 2002, arguing that different religious groups including Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs should have equal rights and equal protection under English law.[7][8][9][10][11][12] He has given regular talks about Islam throughout the United Kingdom, including the annual Gateway to Divine Mercy event.[13] He has been a regular contributor to the annual interfaith conferences held at the Regents Park Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre[14] and also contributed to the College of Law LNTV Programme 1378 which is concerned with Islamic Family Law and its interaction with English Family Law.[15] He has recommended that Muslim personal law should be recognised and accommodated by English civil law – and that the personal law of other minority faith communities should receive similar recognition and accommodation by English civil law if they too desire this confirmation of their ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) Article 9 rights, as enshrined and guaranteed by the Human Rights Act 1998.[16]

Background[edit]

He was born as Martin Thomson[13] in Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, and educated in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and England. Most of his early years were spent in remote locations in the African bush where there was no electricity, gas or piped water. After being awarded an LLB (Hons) in 1972 at Exeter University, England, he worked as a bus conductor in Exeter, Devon, for a year before moving to London where he worked firstly as a labourer building the Piccadilly Line extension to Heathrow and then as an accountant at Luzac & Co, Oriental Booksellers. He embraced Islam at the hand of the Raja of Mahmudabad, the first director of the Regent's Park Mosque in London, alayhi rahma, on 13 August 1973.[1][17] After going on Hajj (the pilgrimage to Makka) overland in 1977,[18] Ahmad Thomson completed his training as a lawyer and was called to the Bar of England & Wales on 26 July 1979.[17]

British Media and The Next World Order[edit]

Thomson first came to public attention in 2001 when he featured in an award winning documentary My Name is Ahmed broadcast on BBC2 on 14 August 2001 and in Prince Naseem's Guide to Islam broadcast on BBC2 on 15 August 2001. He subsequently appeared in the first two Shariah TV series[19] broadcast on Channel 4 on 18 May 2004[20] and 25 May 2004[21] and in April 2005.[22] He also participated in The Muslim Jesus[23] and Celebrity Lives Sharia Style.[24] He has been an occasional guest on the Hassan & Habibah show, Legal Corner, Legal Forum, Weekly Review, Politics & Media and the Hayaat show[25] broadcast on Islam Channel.

Following his support of Dar Al-Taqwa's successful complaint to the Press Complaints Commission[26] concerning a deliberately misleading and inflammatory attack by the Evening Standard in July 2005,[27][28] a group of British journalists (including Toby Helm, David Cesarani and Daniel Kahtan) who had never met or interviewed Mr Thomson, retaliated by alleging that Thomson's 1994 book, The Next World Order (which had, by then, been out of print for several years), contained allegations that Freemasons and Jews control the governments of Europe and America, and that it was a "big lie" that six million Jews died in the Holocaust.[6][29]

In fact Thomson had simply stated that it is a "big lie" to assert that those whom Arthur Koestler has described as "the thirteenth tribe" are descended from the Tribe of Israel (Jacob the son of Isaac) when in fact they are not descended from Shem, the son of Noah, but from Yapheth, the son of Noah and are accordingly Turkic. It is the Arab Palestinians who are descended from Shem and accordingly 'semitic', this adjective being derived from the word 'shem'. Thomson had allegedly written that Jews have no right to live in what he called "the Holy Land," because they are not a "pure race," and are therefore not biblical Israelites. In fact he had simply pointed out that the homeland of the descendants of the Khazars is between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, not Palestine.[30][31]

Elsewhere it was alleged that Thomson has said that Saddam Hussein was used as an excuse for U.S. troops, "including thousands of Jews," to occupy Saudi Arabia[6] and that the invasion of Iraq was "part of a Zionist plan, "[32] to realise the publicly declared Zionist aim of establishing the Greater Eretz between the Nile and the Euphrates.[33][34]

By using each other as their sources, these journalists created the impression that their articles were thoroughly researched and were therefore eligible to be regarded as "reliable sources" by newspapers and internet bloggers alike.

Asked about Thomson's role as an informal advisor to the government, a government spokesperson told the Daily Telegraph: "We talk to a lot of people, including many whose views we do not necessarily agree with,"[6] – and some whose views are deliberately distorted by the media in order to encourage involuntary disagreement with them from the outset, just in case they might possibly have something worthwhile to say.

Thomson responded to the reports by saying that the story was "grossly distorted." He said that he had not denied the Holocaust and that: "I have always said that one unjust death is one too many."[32] At present only the slaughter of Muslim civilians requires independent verification. He also wrote, “To be anti-Zionism is not to be racist or anti-Jewish”, and, “To be anti-Zionism is not to be anti-Semitic”, and, “To be anti-Zionism is not to be a conspiracy theorist.” [35]

Since then, in partial confirmation of some of the allegations made by Toby Helm about Mr Thomson, former Prime Minister Tony Blair was appointed UN advisor to the government of Israel[36][37] and became a grateful beneficiary of lucrative oil contracts in Iraq.[38][39]

Views on Islam[edit]

Thomson has written that "radical Islam" is a contradiction in terms. "It is not possible to be a true Muslim and simultaneously a violent terrorist."[40] He has also written unequivocally against any form of military-industrial-complex dictated, bank authorized, state sponsored, indiscriminate laser precision bombing (whether this involves the collective punishment of civilians or their decimation or their genocide) or suicide bombing.[41]

Thomson has also been quoted as saying: “Islam is not just a matter of words. As the Prophet said, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, ‘The Shahada is easy on the tongue, but much flows from it.’ Ever since I said Shahada, I have lived every moment of my life finding out what it entails. It is a process that never ends.” [42] The Shahada is to bear witness that there is no god other than Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

When describing his first pilgrimage to Makka, Thomson wrote: “When I had first embraced Islam some four years earlier, I had known next to nothing about it, other than the fact that the community of Muslims whom I had joined were more knowledgeable and radiant and better behaved than any other human beings that I had ever met during my life up until then. I had embraced Islam in the hope of acquiring that knowledge and radiance and courteous behaviour, and as time passed my hopes were gradually fulfilled, as, little by little I learned about and tried to embody the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, may the Blessings and Peace of Allah be on him.[43]

In a personal face-to-face FiveBooks interview with Tom Dannet in 2010, Thomson said, "We’re 14 centuries-plus from the time of the Prophet now, and if you look at the history of Islam there have been high points and low points. As within any religion, you find people of wisdom and also people of great ignorance who use Islam for political expediency, who distort it knowingly or unknowingly. And so, for anyone who wants to follow in the dust of the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad, blessings and peace be on him, you have to get to the point before there are any schools of jurisprudence, before Sunni and Shia – and if you go to that point there's no argument, just knowledge … As they say, the nearer you get to the source, the purer the drink. If you go to the source of the Thames it doesn’t taste the same as where it reaches the sea."[44]

In 2009 Thomson gave a talk at Cambridge University entitled Shariah Law: A Stairway to Heaven.[45][46] In 2011 he participated in an interfaith event hosted at the House of Lords honouring Mary, the mother of Jesus.[47]

Views on Islamic Finance[edit]

Thomson advocates a return to the use of gold and silver as means of exchange which possess intrinsic value.[48][49][50] He has consistently pointed out that before any financial product can be described as Sharia compliant, the means of exchange must be Sharia compliant – and that the Sharia of Islam prohibits the use of an unredeemable IOU (paper money) either as a means of exchange (unless it is backed by gold or silver) or in order to pay the annual zakat on wealth (which must be paid in gold or silver).[51] Thomson has accordingly recommended that the interest-generated portion of the national debt be written off, institutionalised usury be proscribed and Islamic gold dinars and silver dirhams be minted by the Royal Mint, utilising the weights and measures for these coins originally established by sayyedina Umar ibn Al-Khattab (the second Muslim Khalif),[52] if London is to become a global centre for Islamic Finance as advocated by the former Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown.[53]

Book Reviews[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Thomson, Ahmad. Golden Days on the Open Road
  2. ^ AML ~ About Us
  3. ^ Wynne Chambers ~ About
  4. ^ Books by Ahmad Thomson Ta-Ha Publishers'
  5. ^ Books by Ahmad Thomson Dar Al-Taqwa
  6. ^ a b c d Helm, Toby. Jews and Freemasons controlled war on Iraq, in The Telegraph, 12 September 2005
  7. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. 1st Memorandum from The Association of Muslim Lawyers written by Ahmad Thomson, published by the United Kingdom Parliament
  8. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. 2nd Memorandum from The Association of Muslim Lawyers written by Ahmad Thomson, published by the United Kingdom Parliament
  9. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Part 1, Examination of Ahmad Thomson by the House of Lords Select Committee on Religious Offences, published by the United Kingdom Parliament
  10. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Part 2, Examination of Ahmad Thomson by the House of Lords Select Committee on Religious Offences, published by the United Kingdom Parliament
  11. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Part 3, Examination of Ahmad Thomson by the House of Lords Select Committee on Religious Offences, published by the United Kingdom Parliament
  12. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Supplementary Memorandum from The Association of Muslim Lawyers written by Ahmad Thomson, published by the United Kingdom Parliament
  13. ^ a b Gateway to Divine Mercy ~ Hajj Ahmad Thomson
  14. ^ Shari'a: a way of life
  15. ^ Family: Islamic Family Law
  16. ^ Thomson, Ahmad, Shari'a and English Law, paper delivered at Interfaith Conference held at Regents Park Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre, 20 July 2008
  17. ^ a b Thomson, Ahmad – Author Information
  18. ^ The Difficult Journey
  19. ^ Shariah TV Shariah TV Leading Lights
  20. ^ Shariah TV Shariah TV Citizen Islam
  21. ^ Shariah TV Shariah TV Living Together
  22. ^ Shariah TV Shariah TV A Clash of Civilisations
  23. ^ ITV
  24. ^ BBC1
  25. ^ Islam Channel
  26. ^ Press Complaints Commission Adjudication: Dar Al-Taqwa –v- Evening Standard
  27. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Sweetness and Light in Melcombe Street, published in The Muslim Weekly, 19 August 2005
  28. ^ Muslim Lawyers(Europe) Lawyer Ahmad Thomson (London) defends Al Taqwa Bookshop
  29. ^ Cesarani, David. A way out of this dead end, in The Guardian, 16 September 2005
  30. ^ Khazaria
  31. ^ The Thirteenth Tribe, by Arthur Koestler
  32. ^ a b Kahtan, Daniel. "Government Urged To Sever Ties With Barrister", TotallyJewish, 14 September 2005
  33. ^ Oded Yinon's Strategy
  34. ^ Yinon, Oded. A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties, translated by Israel Shahak
  35. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Where Angels Fear to Tread, published in Islam Magazine, February 2006
  36. ^ Tony Blair: A true friend of Israel
  37. ^ Tony Blair 'biased' towards Israel, in The Telegraph, 26 January 2011
  38. ^ Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq, in The Independent, 19 April 2011
  39. ^ Tony Blair's £1m-a-year paymaster seeks giant Iraqi deal, in The Times, 3 January 2010
  40. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Radical Islam? – No Such Thing, published in The Muslim Weekly, February 2005
  41. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Shahid or Suicide – Martyr or Murderer?, published in Q-News Magazine, May 2004
  42. ^ Hajj Ahmad Thomson – Profile
  43. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Intention excerpts from The Difficult Journey by Ahmad Thomson, published in Meeting Point March 2000
  44. ^ Dannet, Tom. Ahmad Thomson on the Essence of Islam, in The Browser, 3 June 2010
  45. ^ Shariah Law: A Stairway to Heaven, Talk given at Christ's College, Cambridge on 10 February 2009
  46. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Talk: Shariah Law: A Stairway to Heaven
  47. ^ Honouring Sayeditana Maryam in the Bible and in the Qur'an
  48. ^ Why are We All in Debt?
  49. ^ Press TV "The US Dollar, Is it Time for New Change?", The Agenda, 30 October 2009
  50. ^ Press TV "Reforming the Global Financial System: An Islamic Perspective", The Agenda, 11 February 2010
  51. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Essential Elements in Islamic Finance
  52. ^ Thomson, Ahmad. Thinking Outside the Box: The Shari'a of Islam
  53. ^ Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP Speech delivered at the Islamic Finance and Trade Conference, London, 12 June 2006

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]