The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body was a central plank of the anti-extremism strategy, and a key recommendation of the post 7/7 Home Office commissioned study into combatting extremism.
One of the four founding members of MINAB is the Muslim Association of Britain, which is the British franchise of Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood. More disturbingly, its steering group includes Ahmed Al-Rawi, the President of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe, and a member of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. Both of these groups are Muslim Brotherhood fronts, and fan-clubs for the banned pro-terrorism cleric, Yusuf Al Qaradawi.
Ahmed Al Rawi is an extremist, not simply because of his associations, but because of his personal politics.
Here is Al Rawi opposing Tariq Ramadan’s feeble “moratorium” on stoning those caught in adultery.
Here is Al Rawi signing a Declaration – co-ordinated by the Muslim Brotherhood – legitimating terrorism in Iraq calling for Muslims to “purify the land of Islam from the filth of occupation”:
“(The signatories) call on our Arab and Muslim peoples and all religious authorities and liberation forces everywhere to oppose the occupation and savage crimes in Iraq and Palestine, by providing all kinds of material and moral support to the honourable resistance … until God’s victory comes”
If you’re in any doubt as to what Al Rawi meant by “all kinds of material and moral support”, never fear. Questioned on his position by The Times in 2004, Al Rawi said:
If they (the British) attack, it’s the right of the civilians to resist the British. Any people who are occupied, they have the right to resist. I prefer it to be peaceful, but if they choose to resist by other means it’s their choice.
My opinion on the occupation is that it is illegal. I couldn’t call the resistance, even military resistance to the occupation, I couldn’t consider it criminal.”
So, there’s no doubt about it. A member of the board of MINAB supports attacks on British troops.
This week, the Government made it clear that it would have no contact with the Muslim Council of Britain, when it became clear that Daud Abdullah also supports attacks on British troops in “Muslim” territory.
The same rule should apply to MINAB.
And it isn’t only the Government that ought to take care.
Al Rawi has his fingers in a number of pies. He is Chair of FAIR: the Forum Against Islamophobia and Discrimination, whose patrons are Lord Amir Bhattia, Lord Patel of Blackburn, Sir Sigmund Sternberg, Sir Cyril Townsend and Baroness Pola Uddin. None of them seemed concerned enought that their Chair supports attacks on British troops, and is a Muslim Brotherhood activist, to ask him to step down.
Here’s the Charities Commission on its engagement with MINAB.
Our new Unit will focus initially on Muslim organisations: not only is Islam Britain’s second largest faith, but time and time again Muslim charities have asked us for help in strengthening their governance and tackling the lack of understanding and mistrust about their work within society. As the independent regulator of charities we have a duty to increase public trust and confidence in all charities operating in England and Wales.
Said Ferjani of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body (MINAB) said:
“We welcome the establishing of the Charity Commission’s new Faith and Social Cohesion Unit, and the important work it will be doing to promote the benefits to mosques of registering as a charity. We look forward to working closely with the Commission to support high standards of governance at mosques, with the wider community benefits that this will deliver.”
Lack of understanding? Strengthening governance? Mistrust? The mistrust, I’d suggest, is a product of the involvement in public bodies and charities of extremists like Al Rawi.
The only way to remedy the situation is to tackle extremists head on, not to pretend that they’re not there, or to make nice with them. Extremists look at the way that some politicians and public sector organisations operate, and see weakness. That weakness emboldens them.
What sort of “social cohesion” and “community benefits” do you think we’ll get from a MINAB that includes a supporter of terrorism against British troops?
The Times reports:
Government funding of Minab could also be at risk if Dr Abdullah is not removed from the Muslim Council of Britain and as a result the Minab steering committee.
The story comes from Ruth Gledhill, who says:
The Muslim Council, and specifically Dr Abdullah, is also a member of Minab, the body entrusted with drawing up measures including a code of practice to make sure extremism does not flourish in Britain’s mosques. Minab does receive government funding, and when I was speaking to the DCLG today clear signal was that if Dr Abdullah does not reject support for Hamas, which refuses to recognise the existence of Israel, or is not sacked as deputy director general of the MCB, then Minab’s funding will be in jeopardy.