- Mohammed Kozbar went to the event next to senior Met officers in July this year
Scotland Yard invited a mosque chairman who praised Hamas’ founder as ‘the master of the martyrs’ to a buffet dinner with Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley.
Mohammed Kozbar went to the event next to senior Met officers in July this year – five months after his praise of the Hamas founder was cited in an official counter-extremism review.
The evening event was planned by the London Muslim Communities Forum (LMCF), which is a Met ‘strategic advisory body’.
Scotland Yard said in a statement: ‘We can confirm that Mr Mohammed Kozbar is a member of the London Muslim Communities Forum.’
It was addressed by Attiq Malik, an activist who ran the LMCF until last month, when the Met cut its ties from the lawyer after he was filmed chanting ‘from the river to the sea’, The Telegraph reported. He was also seen railing against ‘global censorship by the Zionists’.
Mr Malik and Mr Kozbar were photographed in conversation with each other at the event on July 7.
Scotland Yard invited mosque chairman Mohammed Kozbar who praised Hamas’ founder as ‘the master of the martyrs’ to a buffet dinner
The revelations will put into question the Met’s ties to activists following criticism of the force’s approach to how they police protests in London after Hamas’ October 7 attacks on Israel.
An official review of Prevent, the government’s counter-extremism programme, brought up concerns in February that the London branch of the National Association of Muslim Police praised Mr Kozbar even though he ‘previously supported the founder […] of Hamas.’
The event was also attended by around 50 representatives of London’s Muslim community.
The objectives of the LMCF were to ‘inform and help shape police policy and procedure at a strategic level’.
The Met cut its ties with Mr Malik after concluding that some ‘past language and views’ were ‘contrary with our values’, according to The Telegraph.
Mr Kozbar posted a photo on Facebook in 2015 of himself attending the grave of Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel back in 2004.
Mr Kozbar wrote: ‘Allah’s generosity allowed me to visit the martyrs’ cemetery where the bodies of the master of the martyrs of the resistance, Majuhid Sheikh Ahmad Yasin, and his companions lie. It was an unforgettable prestigious visit to one of the nation’s greatest.’
The dinner was also attended by Met Police chief Sir Mark Rowley
Mr Kozbar claimed he was being subjected to ‘repeated attempts to smear me as I pursue work to foster better community relations’.
‘I condemn the targeting of all civilians, whoever they are. It is criminal to indiscriminately murder innocent men, women, and children,’ he said.
A Met spokesman said: ‘The Met works with a range of faith and community advisor groups.
‘This vital work helps us improve our response to the crime and antisocial behaviour issues faced by all communities across London.
‘The Met regularly hosts engagement events with these groups, as part of our commitment to building the trust and confidence of all Londoners.
‘The Commissioner and other senior officers attend dozens of such events each year. They are often delivered in collaboration with partner organisations, and in many cases attendees will be invited by them and not directly by the Met.
‘It would be inappropriate and illegal for us to conduct intelligence checks on the background of everyone invited to attend.
‘There will be occasions where attendees hold views that, as an organisation, we disagree with. Their presence at an event does not amount to our support for their views. We do not condone any views which encourage division.
‘We are currently reviewing how we work with our network of advisory groups to ensure that, like the Met, they are committed to building a better London that promotes mutual respect and inclusivity.’