Some of us grew up with a trainspotterish interest in stamps, insects, or beermats. Others became similarly absorbed in the minutiae of the personal and doctrinal spats which resulted in the break up and reformation of tiny insignificant trotskyite and/or fascist groups.
Well, here’s a new subject matter for the slightly autistic: splits and feuds between islamist groups.
Now, I had assumed that that the group which issued death threats against the Gorgeous One and the Muslim Council of Britain meeting were ex Al Muhajiroun members rebranded as the Saviour Sect (or “Ahl ul-Sunnah wal Jammah”): Salafists, with a taste for declaring other muslims “munaafiqeen” (hypocrites) or “tafkiring” them as “kuffr” (unbelievers) who think that voting in an election is “shirk” (i.e. an unislamic innovation) and therefore forbidden.
I’d also assumed that Omar Bakri Mohammed, ex Hizb’ut Tahrir, and former guru of Al Muhajiroun was behind the Saviour Sect. An article in the Times on 17 January stated that OBM was:
“British head of the Ahl ul-Sunnah wal Jammah movement (known as the Saviour Sect) which controls a few small mosques across Britain”
However, according to the Guardian today, OBM denies any link to the self-proclaimed Saviour Sect which disrupted the MCB meeting earlier this week. Perhaps they are different, rival, Saviour Sects. Or perhaps they’ve chucked OBM out – an event akin in magnitude to the expulsion of Ted Grant from the Militant Tendency!
Neither, according to the Guardian, is OBM or the Saviour Sect linked to the group which threatened George Galloway with a hanging.
We already know that they are not Hizb’ ut Tahrir, because the Hizbies have threatened to sue George for saying that they were.
So, who are they?
Apparently they were al-Ghuraaba (“the strangers”), a split from Al Muhajiroun, run by a 22 year old student called Abdul Mueed. It has a mere 30 members. They seem very very confused about Respect’s policy positions, but hate them anyway.
Any information on any of these groups and their relationship with each other will be gratefully received by this trainspotter.
Oh, and Said on Yusuf’s blog points me to this denial of involvement from the Saviour Sect:
“Many people today claim to be followers of the Saviour Sect, including those who apparently “stormed” a meeting which was being held by MCB in the London Central Mosque on Tuesday the 19th of April 2005. However, it is not fair that their actions should be attributed to us. All our material is free, and therefore any person can download our articles, leaflets and booklets; copy, publish and distribute them the way they please. This is because there is no Copyright Law in Islam, and we encourage all Muslims to spread Islamic knowledge. These individuals must have downloaded our material and attributed it to themselves. They have the complete freedom to do this but to attribute their actions to us is completely unfair.”
They also indulge in a bit of “its not a party its a paper” rhetoric vis a vis Omar Bakri Mohammed’s involvement.
What’s the bet its all al-Ghuraaba …?