Last night an organisation called ‘Iman Worldwide’ hosted a dinner at Westminster which included a number of Tory MPs. Nothing wrong with that you might think, except that the head of Iman Worldwide, Ribal Assad, is the son of Rifaat al Assad, the butcher of Hama.
(Syria’s previous president, Hafez al Assad had a younger brother, Rifaat. He was his ‘enforcer’. It was troops under Rifaat’s command that slaughtered 20,000 men, women and children in the town of Hama. Rifaat eventually fell out with his brother and escaped to London along with many looted billions. He now lives in a £10 million pad in Mayfair.)
What is the butcher of Hama doing living the life of Riley in London, you may ask? Why hasn’t he been hoofed out? A Parliamentary question was tabled in July, but nothing seems to have come of it. Might it be that there’s been money changing hands? Could be, but what exactly is Iman Worldwide?
Iman Worldwide has a half finished website which proclaims that it’s an organisation ‘promoting dialogue, challenging extremism and bringing change’. William Hague appears on the home page beside Ribal Assad who is apparently thanking the UK government for ‘supporting pluralism in the Arab world’ – whatever that means.
Iman Worldwide is clearly an organisation that’s been set up specifically to paint Riffaat and the ‘British based Assads’, in a better light and to use ‘financial influence’ to get on the right side of the ruling party to see that their stay in Britain is not ‘disturbed’.
It’s done this by wining and dining Tory MPs (another dinner was held for seven Tory MPs in July), by paying for Tory MPs to go on all expenses paid trips (MPs Baker and Kamal have been to Cairo and Kawczynski and Rosindale have been to Lebanon), and by ‘donations’ to Conservative party organisations. (Rosindale’s constituency has been so favoured).
What is utterly mind-boggling is that William Hague – and his party – could have been so stupid as to get involved with Ribal Assad and his silly front organisation. Does he not have any advisors? Does he not ask the right questions?
As for the free-loading MPs, they’re a joke. Steven Baker went as far as to remark that, “I’m not prepared to obstruct progress because of a man’s family name.” Mr Baker’s trip was paid for by money looted from the Syrian people by a mass murderer.
Who knows what other ‘donations’ the Tories have received from Iman Worldwide? They would be wise to sever any further contacts with Iman Worldwide and demand that the Assads find some other bolt hole. Probably unlikely though, they find saying no to loot difficult.