British Islamist imam Ajmal Masroor, was quick to boast on April 8 that the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had attended his Friday sermon at the Palmers Green Mosque in North London.
A preacher at several London mosques, Masroor, however, has a long history of apologism for terrorist groups and anti-Jewish sentiments.
Writing in 2012, Masroor praised the leader of the designated terrorist organization Hamas as a "true and honest leader" who is apparently "loved by his people naturally."
Masroor has also served as a regular speaker at fundraising events for terror-tied Islamist charities, such as Children in Deen, a (now-defunct) British nonprofit that supported Hamas proxies, and which was used by Islamists in the early years of the Syrian civil war to smuggle jihadists and cash.
In 2010, Masroor reportedly withdrew his candidacy for a parliamentary seat, after being linked to a hardline Islamist group, the Muslim Public Affairs Committee.
In addition, Masroor is a fervent conspiracy theorist, accusing the CIA of masterminding the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. He is also an open supporter of leaders of violent organizations, such as Bangladesh's Jamaat-e-Islami, which carried out acts of genocide during the 1971 Liberation War.
Masroor's views have not softened over time.
Masroor's views have not softened over the past decade. He publishes obsessive screeds against the "Israeli government" and "Jewish settlers" regularly on his social media pages.
In May 2021, he uploaded a video alleging violence against "defenseless worshippers" in Jerusalem, produced by the Quds News Network, which Associated Press reports "has a reputation for being affiliated with Islamic Jihad," another designated terrorist organization.
Though not himself an Islamist, Khan has made poor decisions about the company he keeps.
While there is a little to suggest Mayor Sadiq Khan himself is an Islamist, there is plenty to indicate he has made a few too many poor decisions about the company he keeps.
In fact, in 2005 and 2006, British police reportedly bugged conversations between Khan and the jihadist Babar Ahmad. Ahmad was a prominent Islamist who later pled guilty in an American court to terrorism charges, after working to recruit jihadi fighters and send money to terrorists in Chechnya and Afghanistan.
Khan, who at the time served as a Member of Parliament, had visited Ahmad in jail "not as an MP, but as a friend."
Sam Westrop is director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.