The Huffington Post UK has hired Mehdi Hasan, a controversial Islamist and former senior editor of the leftist outlet The New Statesman, the Guardian reports.
It's a step-down, writes the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo, perhaps due to Hasan's extremism and pro-Iran perspectives.
Kredo accuses Hasan of defending Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and of functioning as a mouthpiece for the Iranian regime. Hasan has also proposed a one-state solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict – one which would lead to a Jewish minority and blamed Israeli influence for the war in Iraq.
He also harbors extremist religious views. In an undated sermon posted to YouTube in 2009, Hasan states that Muslims must "keep the moral high-ground" over disbelievers. Otherwise, "we are no different from the rest of the non-Muslims; from the rest of those human beings who live their lives as animals, bending any rule to fulfill any desire." In a separate recording, he praises the notion of "disbelief [in Islam] as an infirmity, as an illness, as a disease of the human mind."
"There is the ongoing speculation around Westminster as to whether he was dropped due to the sheer scale of negative attention he brought to the New Statesman magazine," Raheem Kassam, editor of the conservative The Commentator, told the Free Beacon.
"Everyone knew that the status quo couldn't continue with Hasan," he added. "It was only a matter of time until he was rightly held to account for what became increasingly nonsensical journalism and a repeated refusal to comment on his extreme views as highlighted by the videos."