With the mainstream media overjoyed at the appointment of Humza Yousaf as the First Minister of Scotland after winning the leadership contest of the Scottish National Party (SNP) on Monday, troubling facts about the country’s first Muslim national leader are coming out.
While The Los Angeles Times ran the headline declaring: “Muslim leader for Scotland a sign of U.K. political diversity,” other news outlets questioned Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf’s alleged links to the Gaza-based Islamic terrorist group Hamas and his hostile stance towards Israel.
Yousaf “has a history of meeting with Hamas and has called for an arms embargo against the State of Israel,” the Jewish News Syndicate reported March 29.
In 2008, Yousaf met senior Hamas operative Mohammad Sawalha, recent media reports reveal. Sawalha is a known Hamas operative, who was formerly the West Bank military chief for the Islamic terrorist group and was on Israel’s wanted list.
Sawalha also held a leadership position at London’s jihad-linked Finsbury Park Mosque. Sawalha was “one of Finsbury Park Mosque’s six trustees,” the UK newspaper Independent reported on November 7, 2017.
“Scottish First Minister hopeful Humza Yousaf met former Hamas chief,” by David Rose, Jewish Chronicle, March 2, 2023:
Humza Yousaf, a contender to replace Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s First Minister, met Holyrood officials with a former senior Hamas commander, the JC can reveal.
Yousaf, 37, now the Scottish Health Secretary, attended the high-level meeting with Hamas leader Mohammad Sawalha, also known by nom de guerre Abu Obada.
Despite Sawalha’s history — he had been named by BBC Panorama in 2006 as having “masterminded much of Hamas’ political and military strategy” — a meeting was secured with a SNP cabinet minister and government officials at the Scottish Parliament.
The meeting took place in 2008, when Yousaf was 22 and working as a parliamentary assistant for the late-Bashir Ahmad, Scotland’s first Muslim MSP.
Sawalha had been Hamas’ West Bank military chief and was then appointed to its political leadership. He reportedly had fled in 1990 after being placed on a wanted list by Israel. Hamas had at the time been proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the US, but the UK did not follow suit until 2021.
Scottish parliamentary questions reveal that Sawalha attended the meeting at Holyrood as a representative of Islam Expo, which was funded by a £2 million grant from Qatar and held in London in 2006 and 2008. (…)
The JC asked Yousaf about the meeting and if he was aware of Sawalha’s background. Yousaf did not respond on those points but said he himself had a “strong track record of standing up against every form of hatred, including antisemitism”.
Lord Carlile, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, said: “Yousaf must address the circumstances in which he judged it appropriate to have close contact with Hamas supporters. He has to face these questions head on were he to become First Minister.”