Lord Nazir Ahmed 370.
(photo credit: Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah / Reuters)
LONDON – The British parliamentarian who complained of a Jewish conspiracy after
being jailed for his part in a fatal car crash has apologized for his
Nazir Ahmed, a member of the House of Lords, had said that a
prison sentence he served was a result of pressure applied on the court by Jews
“who own newspapers and television channels.”
The Labor party member, who
has been suspended by the party pending an investigation, told The Huffington
last week that he completely and unreservedly apologizes.
He said he
had the “greatest respect for the Jewish community and that his comments were
“completely wrong”, “unacceptable” and “the product of a twisted
He said he took full responsibility for the “bigoted and stupid”
The 55-year-old, who became one of the first Muslim peers in the
UK after former prime minister Tony Blair appointed him in 1998, was jailed in
2009 after he killed another motorist while sending a series of text messages
He also claimed that the judge in the case was appointed
after he helped a “Jewish colleague” of Blair during an important case, and that
Jewish-owned media organizations pressured the courts to charge him with a more
Ahmed maintained that the plot to stemmed from Jewish
disapproval of his support for the Palestinians in Gaza. The Times
originally reported on the comments last month, which Ahmed made during a
television interview in Pakistan last April.
“My case became more
critical because I went to Gaza to support Palestinians. My Jewish friends who
own newspapers and TV channels opposed this,” he allegedly said in the
Ahmed said last week that he is not anti-Semitic or an
Islamist stating that during his 15 years in parliament he had addressed many
Jewish audiences and had visited Israel.
“I have had the honor of
addressing the World Jewish Congress in 2000... working with the Maimonides
Foundation, One Voice, the Joseph Interfaith Foundation, going to Israel and
synagogues here in the UK,” he told The Huffington Post
Asked why he
made the comments, he said he could not honestly say why.
because of the terrible experience of the accident... I cannot honestly
say why... It must have been a twisted mind that said those things,” Ahmed
He also conceded that some Muslims cross the line between Israeli
government policies and Jewish policies maintaining that on several occasions he
had interrupted people and said: “This is not a Jewish issue. As far as I am
concerned, we [Muslims] don’t have any problem with the [Jewish]
Responding to the reference he made in the interview to “Yehudis”
[Jews], he said that there is not word for “Zionist” in Urdu.
regretted inviting the Swedish anti-Semite Israel Shamir to speak at the House
of Lords in 2005 saying it has resulted in a “big stain on my
The Community Security Trust – a charity that works with
police and government to stem anti-Semitism in the UK, and provides security for
the community – has questioned the sincerity of the apology.
communications director Mark Gardner said his apology had not been forthcoming
or made directly, questioning why it was made to journalist rather than being
“This apology by Lord Ahmed will be greeted with much
suspicion as it comes in response to a journalist rather than have been made
directly and voluntarily to those who were most offended by the remarks,”