UK Politics


Lord Ahmed was on Radio 4’s Today programme complaining that the Prime Minister has “hijacked” a Cambrige University conference on Islam by preventing what the BBC describes as “mainstream British Muslims” from taking part. Specifically, he complained that the Government had “deliberately chosen to exclude those Muslims who disagree with government policy”

The Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, which organised the Conference on Islam and Muslims in the World Today, denies this slur.

Indeed, if you look at the list of speakers, they include a large number of well respected scholars and other muslims, including:

– Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad
– Shaykh Hamza Yusuf Hanson
– His Eminence Shaykh Ali Gomaa
– Asim Siddiqui
– Professor Mona Siddiqui

The groups whose exclusion so aggrieves Lord Ahmed apparently includes “Jamaat”. I assume that he is refering to activists the extremist and racist Mawdudist fringe political party, Jamaat-e-Islami: the south Asian sibling of the Muslim Brotherhood. Jamaat’s key United Kingdom bases are the East London Mosque and the Islamic Foundation. Its politics are shared by key figures in the now-discredited Muslim Council of Britain.

Disappointingly, Lord Ahmed seems to be developing into something of a champion for extreme racists. A couple of years ago, he hosted a book launch at the House of Lords for the notorious jew baiter, “Israel Shamir”.

I wonder if Lord Ahmed would insist on the British National Party being invited to a conference on Britishness, and gripe if they were not included in the guest list?

The Prime Minister’s speech to the conference is here. He advocates, in line with the recommendations of the Siddiqui Report, training more Imams in the UK. Great care will need to be taken to ensure that groups like Jamaat, Hizb ut Tahrir, Al Muhjiroun, and other murderous extremists are kept out of the faculties training those imams:

The report will also suggest that a network of Muslim faith advisers should be created to give impressionable youngsters spiritual guidance – and stop them falling under the influence of radicals. The move comes amid growing fears that universities and colleges are being infiltrated by fanatics recruiting for jihad.

Sheikh Musa Admani, the Muslim chaplain at London Metropolitan University and an adviser to Bill Rammell, the higher education minister, said he was aware of at least four universities in which students had been “groomed” by extremists.

That will prove to be a difficult task, particularly as University lecturers will be spending so much time campaigning for the destruction of Israel that they’ll apparently have no time left to keep an eye on jihadists organising on their campuses.