Following accusations of antisemitic social media posts by a contestant on the BBC version of the reality show “The Apprentice,” the broadcaster arranged a diversity and inclusion training for Asif Munaf, a physician.
“I apologize for any offense caused by my online content/social media. It was not my intention to offend anyone, and I am of course open to all views,” stated Munaf, a former contestant on “Dragons’ Den,” which resembles the “Shark Tank” U.S. reality show. “The beliefs I hold and have shared are based on the values that I was brought up with.”
On Oct. 17, Munaf, who is now a wellness entrepreneur, wrote that “Zionists are extremely strong. They have strong media, miliary [sic] and banking. They are godless, satanic cult believing in kabalistic rituals and obscure eschatology. They are preparing the world very nicely for the trial on the antichrist. The issue is, most people don’t read.”
Two days later, he added—in another social media post that remains live despite his apparent apology—“My sons have been alive during a once-in-a-century pandemic and an apocalyptic genocide during their first five years on earth. I pray they are strong enough physically, spiritually and psychologically to overcome the trial of the Zionist antichrist. Hard times create strong men.”
A spokesperson for “The Apprentice,” whose new series begins airing this Thursday, told the Telegraph that the show took immediate action after discovering Munaf’s posts after filming concluded. The show claims that Munaf would not have been included in the show had staff known about the posts before filming.
If Munaf’s posts in the past two days are any indication, he doesn’t appear to be particularly repentant.
“In the immediate aftermath of the Zionist onslaught against Gazan civilians I used ill-judged and emotional language,” he wrote on Jan. 31.
He added in a separate post on Wednesday, “If you keep peddling a mistruths [sic] it doesn’t make them true over time. Slanderous allegations of antisemitism against me amount to libel. I will speak against a genocide that has orphaned 16,000 children. Its [sic] my duty as a doctor. Its [sic] my duty as a Muslim. It is my duty as a father.”
“The Zionist mask is falling and the world is waking up. How this tiny European neo-colonial settler project has shamelessly weaponised the horror of the Holocaust to push another fascist ideology based on racial supremacy is disturbing,” he posted on Jan. 30. “This itself is a form of antisemitism.”
Also on Tuesday, Munaf wrote, “Ya Allah grant Palestine freedom from the clutches of neo-colonial European Zionists. Ameen.”
Lord Alan Sugar, the British-Jewish business mogul who is responsible for choosing the show’s winner, to whom he offers a £250,000 investment (more than $315,000), has yet to comment on the controversy. He has posted about other things on social media since widespread reporting has focused on Munaf’s posts.