A firebrand Islamic academic, who has said he is prepared to be a suicide bomber, yesterday told a Muslim rally that dying for your beliefs was "just".
Dr Azzam Tamimi told the 8,000-strong crowd in Manchester that standing up for your beliefs was the " greatest act of martyrdom".
The self-styled Hamas sympathiser and adviser said Tony Blair and George Bush were not pursuing a path which was "just and fair". He said the Government was attempting to make the war on terrorism a war on Islam.
Dr Tamimi, 51, was speaking at the ExpoIslamia convention at the Manchester Evening News Arena.
The Palestinian, who now lives in London, denied Hamas was a terrorist group, despite it being banned in the UK.
He said: "The greatest act of martyrdom is standing up for what is true and just.
"Martyrs are those who stand up and stand up in defiance of George Bush and Tony Blair.
"You stand up to them and you say desist. Stop this injustice. Stop this oppression.
"We are Muslims in Europe, not European Muslims.
"Being fair and just means finding the middle path.
"The middle path is not rubbing shoulders with Tony Blair and George Bush.
"They say we are in difficult times. I tell you, we are in the best of times. We must just have confidence in ourselves.
"Just stand up and defend what is right."
The crowd erupted with cheering and applause when he said that Israel had been defeated by Hezbollah.
He added: "Hamas is making sacrifices for you.
"We tell this government Hamas is not a terrorist group. It is elected by the people of Palestine.
"We are not terrorists.
We are defenders of the truth.
"Fighting those who invade Muslims is a just cause.
"The Government is trying to turn the war on terror into the war on Islam."
Dr Tamimi had previously said, during the course of a BBC interview, that he was prepared to be a suicide bomber if the opportunity arose.
Yesterday's day-long convention featured a number of high-profile Muslim speakers, including the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, and former Sunday Express journalist Yvonne Ridley, a Muslim convert who recently upset Jewish groups with her comments on Israel. This is the fifth time the ExpoIslamia convention has been held in the UK.