Mehdi Hasan (L) wrote the piece after Labour peer Lord Ahmed was suspended for making anti-Semitic remarks (Twitter/Reuters)
Mehdi Hasan (L) wrote the piece after Labour peer Lord Ahmed was suspended for making anti-Semitic remarks (Twitter/Reuters)

Anti-Semitism in Britain's Muslim community is so frequent it has become "routine and commonplace", according to a leading Muslim journalist.

Mehdi Hasan, political editor of the Huffington Post UK, described how anti-Jewish sentiment in Muslim society is now seen in both young and old and is no longer a "hallmark of first-generation immigrants".

"Growing up, I always assumed that this obsession with "the Jews" was a hallmark of the "first-generation" immigrants from the subcontinent. In recent years, I've been depressed to discover that there are plenty of "second-generation" Muslim youths, born and bred in multiracial Britain, who have drunk the anti-Semitic Kool-Aid. I'm often attacked by them for working in the 'Jewish owned media'".

Writing in the New Statesman, Hasan used the example of former Labour peer Lord Ahmed, who was recently suspended from the party for saying Jews "who own newspapers and TV channels" were responsible for his conviction and jail sentence after he was involved in a fatal car crash.

Ahmed reportedly made the comments in Pakistan during an Urdu-language broadcast, claimed the Sunday Times.

He was recorded as saying: "My case became more critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who own newspapers and TV channels opposed this."

Hasan wrote that Ahmed was the latest in the line of "mild-mannered and well-integrated British Muslims who nevertheless harbour deeply anti-Semitic views".

He added: "It pains me to have to admit this but anti-Semitism isn't just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it's routine and commonplace. Any Muslims reading this article - if they are honest with themselves - will know instantly what I am referring to. It's our dirty little secret. You could call it the banality of Muslim anti-Semitism.

"The truth is that the virus of anti-Semitism has infected members of the British Muslim community, both young and old.

"It is sheer hypocrisy for Muslims to complain of Islamophobia in every nook and cranny of British public life, to denounce the newspapers for running Muslim-baiting headlines, and yet ignore the rampant anti-Semitism in our own backyard. We cannot credibly fight Islamophobia while making excuses for Judaeophobia."

Hasan added that he did not write the article to "assist the English Defence League in its relentless campaign to demonise all Muslims" but felt it was time for a Muslim to say "we do have a 'Jewish problem'."

"There is no point pretending otherwise," he concluded.