Haitham al-Haddad

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Haitham al-Haddad is a British scholar and television presenter[1] of Palestinian origin.[2][3][4] Al-Haddad sits on the boards of advisors for Islamic organisations in the United Kingdom, including the Islamic Sharia Council. He is the chair and operations advisor, and a trustee, for the Muslim Research and Development Foundation.[5] Some of his views have been considered as controversial.[4][6][7][8]

Educational qualifications[edit]

Haitham al-Haddad gained a PhD at SOAS, University of London[9] and is a Saudi trained Imam.[10]

Controversial remarks[edit]

In 2001, Haitham al-Haddad allegedly said "I will tell you the truth about the fight between us and Jews who are the enemies of God and the descendants of apes and pigs".[7] He later said that "this is the translation of what has been attributed to me" and that it had been incorrectly translated from Arabic to English.[7]

A journalist for Radio Netherlands Worldwide wrote, "Strikingly, the cleric omits the definite article "the" before "Jews." In the Arabic language, this omission could be taken to mean he was not speaking about Jews in general but only about those Jews who are enemies of God and descendants of apes and pigs.[7]

Haddad controversially praised Usama bin Laden in 2011 following his death.[11][12][13]

In a homophobic article called ‘Standing up against Homosexuality and LGBTs’, Haddad wrote of “the scourge of homosexuality”, which he calls a “criminal act”.[14] On women, he declared that “a man should not be questioned why he hit his wife, because this is something between them”.[15] In addition to this he has also claimed that “the most honourable and worthy role for a woman is striving to be a fine wife...this role does not only secure the best for a woman in the hereafter, but also fits perfectly with her natural disposition”[16]

He has claimed that there is a "proper" way of performing FGM,[9] further saying "it is consensus of all the scholars that female circumcision is sunnah [proper]".[17]

Controversial events[edit]

2012 Netherlands visit[edit]

In February 2012, the Dutch parliament majority tried to prevent Haddad speaking at VU University in Amsterdam. The university subsequently cancelled the event. Haddad blamed the opposition to him on a Jewish lobby.[4][18]

London "mega-mosque" project[edit]

Main article: Abbey Mills Mosque

Haddad called[19] for a 15,000-people march to put pressure on Newham council to permit building of a large mosque in West Ham, London Borough of Newham, which would have been three times the size of St Paul's Cathedral.[20][21]

"Halal Fun Day"[edit]

In February 2014, al-Haddad's leadership of the MRDF caused controversy after the organisation booked Legoland Windsor for a private event, which it called a "Halal Fun Day". A local UKIP councillor claimed that residents were "up in arms", and called for a demonstration, while nationalist groups Casuals United and the English Defence League also stated that they would protest.[22] Later that month, due to backlash and threats from those nationalist groups, Legoland cancelled the planned event.[23]


  1. ^ "Islamic Network TV - Now Broadcasting Live Every Day". www.islaam.net. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "Haitham Al Haddad". Huda (TV). Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Our Speakers. Peace TV". Peace TV. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Radical cleric determined to debate in Amsterdam | Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Rnw.nl (2012-02-16). Retrieved on 2012-05-10.
  5. ^ Muslim Research & Development Foundation – Welcome to the MRDF website. Mrdf.co.uk. Retrieved on 2012-05-10.
  6. ^ Hasan Afzal: Is FOSIS Training the Violent Extremists of Tomorrow?. Huffingtonpost.co.uk (2012-02-03). Retrieved on 2012-05-10.
  7. ^ a b c d Cleric did say “Jews are descendants of apes and pigs” | Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Rnw.nl (2012-02-17). Retrieved on 2012-05-10.
  8. ^ Muslim Council: women cannot debate wearing veil. Telegraph (2011-04-16). Retrieved on 2012-05-10.
  9. ^ a b http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/anger-as-preacher-who-supports-fgm-speaks-at-soas-campus-debate-9137997.html
  10. ^ James Brandon, Salam Hafez, Crimes of the Community: Honour-Based Violence in the UK, p 91. ISBN 1903386640
  11. ^ http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/uk-plans-silence-hate-preachers-asbos-video-1430012
  12. ^ http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/faith/article3763189.ece
  13. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2970443/Jihadi-John-s-old-university-hotbed-radicalism-students-celebrated-9-11-claims-ex-pupil-hate-preacher-speak-TONIGHT.html
  14. ^ http://www.islam21c.com/politics/4670-standing-up-against-homosexuality-and-lgbts/
  15. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn0meVQiOuU
  16. ^ http://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/4608-a-vision-for-muslim-women-in-the-west/
  17. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/02/19/haitham-al-haddad-supports-fgm-soas-university_n_4814166.html?utm_hp_ref=tw
  18. ^ Lipshiz, Cnaan (2012-02-22). "UK-based Palestinian extremist speaks at... JPost - International". Jpost.com. Retrieved 2012-05-15. 
  19. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37aOxsJoI0w
  20. ^ http://www.london24.com/news/crime/socalled_mega_mosque_fuels_protest_fears_ahead_of_newham_council_meeting_1_1730944
  21. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9725631/Plans-for-new-east-London-mega-mosque-rejected-by-local-council.html
  22. ^ Jeory, Ted (16 February 2014). "Far Right targets LEGOLAND after park hired by Muslim cleric for kids' HALAL fun day". Daily Express. Retrieved 27 February 2014. 
  23. ^ Rahman, Khaleda (26 February 2014). "Family day out at Legoland for Muslims cancelled after far-right group threatens safety of staff and children". Daily Mail. Retrieved 27 February 2014.