Defend Azad Ali

For the last decade, Azad Ali has carved out a role as a bridge builder between the political establishment and the politics of the South Asian clerical fascist party, Jamaat-e-Islami.

Here is a description of his extensive dealings with various governmental bodies:

Azad Ali is married with 3 children and lives in East London; he has been a community activist for over 20 years. He is a presenter on Muslim Community Radio’s flagship show Easy Talk. Aziz is the former chair of the Muslim Safety Forum and currently leads on the Counter Terrorism work-team for the Forum, working with the Home Office, ACPO and Security Services. Azad is currently the President of the Civil Service Islamic Society and a Board Member of the London CrimeStoppers. He is also a Trustee of the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre. He chairs the Muslim Council of Britain’s Membership Committee and is a member of its Central Working Committee. He is also the Vice-Chair of Canon Barnet School Board of Governors and Chair of the Saturday Islamic School Board of Governors. He sits on the Strategic Stop & Search Committee and Police Use of Firearms Group with the Met. Azad is also a member of the IPCC’s Community Advisory Group and the Home Office’s Trust and Confidence Community Panel.

He has now been suspended.

A senior Muslim civil servant has launched an astonishing verbal onslaught against the Government over its response to Israel’s military strikes in Gaza – and has suggested that killing British troops in Iraq is justified.

Treasury official Azad Ali, president of the Civil Service Islamic Society, now faces the sack over the remarks.

Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell – who is the patron of the society – acted immediately after being alerted to the comments by The Mail on Sunday.

Last week Mr Ali wrote on the ‘Between the Lines’ site: ‘We are the Resistance. The Zionist terrorist state of Israel had only one aim, to destroy all semblance of resistance. We have yet to hear any condemnation from our government.’

He pours scorn on the British Government’s call for a ceasefire and mocks official representatives of moderate British ‘Muslims’ (his quotation marks) who support them.

He observes witheringly that he ‘can see the £ signs in their eyes!’ – an apparent suggestion that they believe their groups may get more public money as a result.

He lambasts Foreign Secretary David Miliband for condemning Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar for saying Jewish children are ‘legitimate targets’.

He added: ‘The [British] government is engaging with individuals who have no credibility in the community…a motley crew who are nothing but self-serving vultures, feeding on the dead flesh of the Palestinians.’

Mr Ali said people who blame the Palestinians or Hamas for the Gaza attacks ‘are like sick men or women who blame the woman who has been raped, saying she brought it upon herself’.

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, an adviser to Gordon Brown’s Security Minister Lord West, questioned how Mr Ali could continue as a civil servant.

‘I can’t see how this man can ever be viewed as objective again,’ said Mr Mercer. ‘It is extraordinary to me that a civil servant who is meant to be politically neutral should be making these sorts of comments about the Government.

‘It would seem that Mr Ali is not trying to conceal the fact that he is a civil servant, nor suggesting these statements are purely made in a personal capacity. I believe he has compromised himself seriously with these comments.’

The civil service code restricts political activities ‘which impinge wholly or mainly on party politics’ including ‘speaking in public on matters of national political controversy; expressing views on such matters in letters to the Press, or in books, articles or leaflets’.

Officials who want to engage in this kind of activity need permission from their Whitehall bosses.

Until his internet outburst, Mr Ali was regarded as a moderate Muslim who could help tackle Islamic fanaticism in Britain.

Don’t get me wrong. Azad Ali’s politics are disgusting.

However, he has made absolutely no secret of them, at any point. Quite the opposite. The Islamist groups with which he has been involved proudly proclaim their support for jihad, in pursuit of the creation of a nightmarish theocratic state.

Nevertheless, despite his politics he has become the civil service’s “go to” Muslim representative of choice. I would like to believe that Gus O’Donnell was shocked – shocked! – to find that the man with whom he and his civil service and the police force have been turning for strategic advice on “Muslim policy” is a vicious extremist. If nobody in the civil service and the police force realised what this man’s politics were, then they must have been blind and utter fools.

I believe that the opposite is true. I think that Azad Ali was engaged with, precisely because of the nature of his affiliations, and his connections with organisations like the East London Mosque, which is a base for Jamaat-e-Islami. Now that his activities have been exposed in the Mail on Sunday, they have cut him loose.

Azad Ali was emboldened by the confidence that the civil service, and the Metropolitan Police showed in him. He must have thought it was acceptable to call for violent jihad, and to express extreme views. After all, Sadiq Khan, MP, and Peter Lewis, head of the Crown Prosecution Service attended his Civil Service Islamic Society dinner, at which money was raised for Interpal.

Patrick Mercer thinks that Azad Ali should be sacked. I do not. I cannot believe that there is no job in the civil service in which a man who dreams of jihad can be safely employed.

If there is to be an enquiry on anything, it should be into the manner in which a man whose politics are as great a threat to our democratic, liberal and pluralist system as any white fascist or far left extremist became a privileged interlocutor with the state


Sid is very switched on here.