Amir Khan calls London’s Queen Mary University ‘genocide enablers’ after they cancelled his Palestine fundraiser where he was appearing with preacher who it is claimed signed statement accusing Israel of ‘apartheid’
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Amir Khan has accused Queen Mary University of being ‘genocide enablers’ after the institution cancelled a fundraising event which would have featured the British ex-boxer as one of the event’s hosts.
The former unified light-welterweight champion was one of the keynote speakers at the proposed event, titled ‘An Evening with Amir Khan: Fighting for Palestine’, which aimed to raise money for aid for Palestine amid roiling conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
But as per the Jewish Chronicle, the Russell Group university has reneged on plans to host the event following enquiries made by the newspaper which alerted them to the fact that the event would also feature Redbridge Islamic Centre preacher’s Imam Asim Khan.
According to the outlet, Imam Khan – who is not related to the former boxer – signed a statement two days after Hamas’ October 7 attacks in Israel which dubbed Israel a ‘settler colonial state’, accused the state of ‘the crime of apartheid’ and ‘ethnic cleansing’, and rejected ‘the use of the word “terrorism” to describe Palestinian acts of resistance’.
The Bolton-born fighter, who is a long-time vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause, took to social media to deride the university – ranked 135th in 2024’s World University standings – for their withdrawal in an impassioned post.
Amir Khan has called Queen Mary’s University ‘genocide enablers’ after the institution pulled out of hosting a fundraiser featuring the former boxer
Khan was the headliner on an evening ‘Fighting for Palestine’ which aimed to raise money for aid in the region
‘Shame on you Queen Mary university, London, cancelling a FUNDRAISER, when thousands of innocent children need our help,’ the former fighter wrote.
On X (formerly Twitter) Khan also shared an email sent to Imam Khan by the Jewish Chronicle before the article’s publication giving him the option to comment on its content, which he captioned: ‘The defaming begins.
‘We will continue to support innocent Palestinians in the face of genocide. They’re trying to get my event cancelled! #freepalestine’
Another of the event’s proposed speakers, Islamic scholar Sheikh Issa Hayajneh, is also believed to have expressed support for Hamas after he wrote a social media post in November which referenced ‘red triangles’ – a symbol that has been interpreted as either marker of Palestinian resistance or a show of solidarity with Hamas in the fight against Israel.
‘Hope is renewed for us, and the spirit sends us videos of glory and the red triangle, Allah bless the heroes’ arms,’ he wrote, as per the Jewish Chronicle.
The events of October 7 in southern Israel saw around 1,200 killed and hostages taken by Hamas militants, sparking a bloody conflict which has seen huge parts of Gaza levelled in Israel’s bid to eliminate the terrorist organisation.
The region is currently undergoing a four-day ceasefire as hostages are released by Hamas in exchange for Palestinians currently being held by Israel, which could yet be extended until Sunday morning.
Whilst the Platinum Promotions event is yet to be formally cancelled, it is not yet clear who will play host to the fundraiser, scheduled for December 16.
As per the event’s page, Khan’s involvement will see the Olympian ‘share his journey, his message of hope, and his commitment to making a positive impact on the world’.
Khan was set to be interviewed by boxing promoter Spencer Fearon, and music by Safe Adam was also set to feature on the night’s line-up.
As per the outlet, Imam Khan has denied supporting terrorism, and Khan was also approached for comment.
Hayajneh said: ‘Who are you? Are you serious?’ when contacted with details of the article by the Jewish Chronicle.
CAGE, the organisation whose statement on ‘Palestinian Rights to Resistance and Self Defence’ was signed by Imam Khan also asserted in response to their request for comment: ‘The statement is merely a restatement of the principles of international law including Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (1977), art. 1 (4), and numerous UN General Assembly resolutions.’
Khan previously said that people were ‘scared’ to show support for the Palestinian cause as the ongoing conflict has sent shockwaves across the international community, and reiterated his commitment for asserting that ‘Palestinian Lives Matter’.
Writing in October, Khan said: ‘I’ve never been scared to speak my mind and stand up for the down trodden. Recently when Ukraine was attacked by Russia, I personally flew to Poland to support the Ukrainian refugees who had been displaced by the effects of war.
Khan called out the university in the wake of the investigation by the Jewish Chronicle
Khan first shared an email apparently sent to Imam Asim Khan from the outlet on Tuesday
‘So many people spoke up about these atrocities but as the world watches what is unfolding in Palestine, I see so many of my peers, friends and colleagues who are remaining silent. Why?
It’s become apparent that people are scared to show their support for Palestine and what’s worse is that it’s my own people who are talking down to me for supporting the innocent lives being lost.’
‘Palestinian lives matter. The world will remember who spoke up and who didn’t. And God will remember who stayed silent while innocent Muslims blood was spilled.
‘If any one kills a person – it would be as if he killed the whole of humanity: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the whole of humanity.’ *Quran 5:32*’
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