Stand for Peace
Stand for Peace's Hasan Afzal on Sky News discussing the Toulouse shootings
Stand for Peace is a British organisation engaged in what it calls 'exposing and fighting extremism'. It says it 'provides a platform for rational discussion of the Middle East' and 'challenges the extremism that additionally manifests right here in Britain, especially in our universities.'
Although co-founder Sam Westrop has expressed opposition to interfaith organisations and described them as a manifestation of 'European sickness', he and Hasan Afzal established Stand for Peace, which calls itself 'a Jewish-Muslim interfaith organisation' in 2011.
In February 2011, Westrop wrote in a Jerusalem Post blog:
- StandforPeace is a new project - designed by students, policy makers and political activists – to bring moral clarity to the discussion of human rights, in particular with regards to the Middle East. We also exist to fight extremism in our universities, whether it is perpetuated by Islamist ideologues, the far right, the Palestinian Solidarity Movement or any of the delegitimisation network.
It claims to consist of 'students and young professionals' and says it aims to 'prevent both violent and nonviolent forms of extremism through education and awareness raising'.
Incorporated on 10 June 2011, Stand for Peace is a private limited company.
Stand for Peace's website features a selection of what it calls 'extremist photos', including students, activists and Muslim preachers and listing left-wingers alonsgide English Defence League leader Stephen Lennon.
Opposing 'extremists', garnering far-right support
In June 2012 Stand for Peace and the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy - another organisation co-founded by Sam Westrop - were among the groups involved in pressuring the Grand Connaught Rooms in London to cancel a Ramadan conference organised by the Al-Muntada Trust since they claimed it featured 'extremist' speakers. Stand for Peace director Hasan Afzal claimed victory when the conference was cancelled but acknowledged that far-right groups had also joined the campaign.
The English Defence League, Casuals United and British National Party all lent their support to the campaign, the latter republishing a Stand for Peace briefing approvingly. It is not clear whether the venue's safety concerns which prompted it to cancel the conference on the advice of the police were connected to the scheduled speakers or in fact to the possibility of opposition from these far-right groups.
Stand for Peace was also instrumental in the banning of several speakers from a Palestine Forum in Britain event in Manchester.
- Interfaith Apostate, The Propagandist, accessed 16 July 2012
- Islamism in British Universities, Jerusalem Post, accessed 17 July 2012
- About Us, Stand for Peace, accessed 16 July 2012
- Stand for Peace, Bizzy.co.uk, accessed 17 July 2012
- Islamism in British universities, Jerusalem Post, accessed 16 July 2012
- Grand Connaught Rooms Jihadist Conference Event Cancelled, Harry's Place, accessed 16 July 2012
- Harry's Place inspires racists thugs to threaten Muslim conference, Islamophobia Watch, accessed 16 July 2012
- BNP repost Stand for Peace Screenshot, accessed 16 July 2012
- Church Bans Extremist Speakers After Campaign, The Jewish Chronicle, accessed 16 July 2012
- STAND FOR PEACE LIMITED 07666073, Company Check, accessed 17 July 2012