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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Britain's 'Air Force Ayatollah' Is Holocaust Denier

The top academic at the Royal Air Force academy in Cranwell, UK, has become something of an embarrassment to RAF top brass. Dr. Joel Hayward is a new Zealand-born convert to Islam, and the dean of the college at Cranwell. (He's is actually employed by King’s College, London, which runs academic courses at Cranwell, and not the RAF.)

It seems that Hayward is a longtime Holocaust denier, along with writing a recent article in an Islamic magazine criticizing his own military's actions in Libya and Bosnia.

From the Daily Mail, Ayatollah of the RAF by Ian Gallagher:
Dr Hayward has previously expressed remorse after appearing to claim that far fewer Jews were killed by the Nazis than generally thought and that the gas chambers of the Holocaust were British propaganda.

In another article recently he likened Churchill to Mohammed.

The magazine article on Libya was published under the headline ‘The West runs the risks of its good intentions (and inconsistencies) leading to distrust’.

Dr Hayward wrote: ‘When western aircrafts began to destroy tanks and a downpour of missiles wrecked Libya’s air force and air defence system, various leaders congratulated themselves for preventing an “atrocity” or “slaughter” - evocative words which conjured up images of a Srebrenica-style massacre [the 1995 killing of Bosnian Muslims].

‘Yet we do not know that his army would have “slaughtered” civilians in a Srebrenica-style massacre.’

Dr Hayward also takes issue with the UN Security Council resolution authorising ‘all necessary measures’ to protect civilians from the dictator’s forces.

Describing the resolution as ‘elastic’, he says: ‘Strangely, that resolution condemned human rights abuses and torture to which the world (and the UN) had turned a blind eye for decades.’

His views and behaviour have caused disquiet among senior officers at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire, where he is the most senior academic and taught Prince William.

In a letter to The Mail on Sunday entitled The Air Force Ayatollah, one senior officer expressed concern that Dr Hayward was focusing more on ‘Islamist activities that are nothing to do with the RAF’.

He also accused him of giving Muslim cadets preferential treatment and making other students take a ‘softly, softly line when writing about Muslim terrorists/Islamist extremists’.

Another officer claimed cadets and lecturers ‘are in fear’ of expressing anything that might be construed as anti-Muslim sentiment. ‘Anyone who fails to follow the line that Islam is a peace-loving religion is hauled into his office for re-education,’ he said.

Last night Dr Hayward said he did not ‘recognise’ the allegations.

The Mail on Sunday understands that Dr Hayward’s views have embarrassed RAF chiefs, who feel that while he is entitled to his opinions, it was unwise for him to air them in a Muslim magazine.

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, former chairman of the Commons counter-terrorism sub-committee, said: ‘I am delighted that the dean is not restricted in what he can say, as he would be in Islamist societies.

‘However, I very much hope that his views don’t conflict with any of his professional duties when teaching Her Majesty’s officers.’

It is not the first time the New Zealand-born academic has attracted controversy. In 2000, he was accused of denying the Holocaust after the publication of a thesis he had written in 1993 questioning the number of Jews killed. He claimed the idea of gas chambers being used was propaganda invented by Britain, the US and Jewish lobbyists. He has since expressed remorse over the ‘mistakes I made as an inexperienced student’.

Dr Hayward has frequently challenged claims of Islamic aggressiveness. Most recently, he wrote on the subject for the Cordoba Foundation, described by David Cameron as a front for the Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. In that article, Dr Hayward likens the prophet Mohammed’s inspirational qualities to that of Sir Winston Churchill. He said Mohammed had to go to extra lengths – just as Churchill did in the Second World War - to exhort his people to believe in victory and fight for it.

Dr Hayward was appointed to RAF Cranwell in 2007, but was investigated the following year over complaints of ‘harassment and bullying’. It is not clear what became of the investigation.