Abdur Raheem Green: Imperious Islam

Abdur Raheem Green, a British convert to Islam, is one of the founders of the “Islamic Education & Research Academy” (iERA). As reported here, iERA hopes to host extremists Bilal Philips and Hussein Ye in a UK dawah (Islamic propagation) tour running from June 23 to 29.

Green’s father was a colonial administrator in Africa. According to Green, he took pride in the Empire. His father in turn was a high court judge in Bombay. Well, here is Green himself admonishing Pakistan for not being Islamic enough:

Naturally Israel too must be scourged. This is from an Islamic Voice magazine interview in 1997:

The West’s capacity to brainwash its people became plain to me when I discussed the Palestine issue with Egyptians and Palestinians. Several myths-historical, political, economic – were fabricated by the Zionists and propagated unchallenged by the Western media. How could a land vacated by Jews 2000 years earlier be their homeland? I also came to know that existing Jewish people were actually Slavs, not Semites and that Palestinian land was always a green orchard. Israel fabricated the myth of “magical transformation of desert into greenland.”

I realised that popular opinion in the West was totally hostage to the Zionist-controlled media. The question of Palestine was one among these. My conversation with Palestinians revealed as to how the West had believed in myths about Israel. First among them was that the Jews had the right to return to their original homeland in Israel. Secondly they conveniently described themselves Semitic while the fact was that most Jews of the world were Slavs who had later converted to Judaism. Thirdly Israel’s economic miracle was theorised to create the economic and scientific myth.

Ahh, illumination. No wonder Green recommends Gilad Atzmon.

Now Green has claimed he no longer holds certain radical views. This is what he told BBC Panorama earlier this year:

“I surely have said some pretty radical things and maybe even written some radical things in the past,” he tells Panorama. “But one thing I have been very consistent on is terrorism, participating in terrorist activities, violent revolution – is not something that I have ever thought was part of the religion of Islam.”

Well, in that case, why invite two supporters of terrorism, Bilal Philips and Hussein Ye, to a dawah tour?

Or call, on your own website, for Ali al Timimi, “a treasure of this ummah, but a treasure purposely buried by the opposer’s [sic] of divine guidance”, to be freed? Timimi has been convicted of terrorism offences in the United States and sentenced to life in prison. This tape will give you a taste of Timimi’s jihadi hatred, preached in this case in the name of wrecking any Arab peace process with Israel.

Or how about standing up in court for Yassin Nassari, another man convicted of terrorism offences?

Or using this kind of threatening separatist language in an ode to a Chechen fighter of the 19th century, when so many young men today are tempted by jihad and do indeed go on to become terrorists?

There is no avoiding the fact that one of the greatest reasons for physical strength and toughness is for jihad. It at this juncture I am forced by the reality of the state of confusion prevalent in these times to reiterate that we as Muslims do not seek confrontation or desire to initiate hostilities. Despite the many virtues of jihad we should not imagine that this means we seek physical conflict, or that in desperation we can resort to means like terrorism that is so far removed from the nobility of this religion. We want and should desire to live a peaceful life and coexistence, but we have the right, and no one can take this away from us, to defend ourselves individually and collectively against attack and aggression. We also have the right and duty to prepare ourselves against such attack. The Quran teaches this and international law affirms that also. Jihad is not something we should be embarrassed about, or made to feel embarrassed about, but it is a noble principle that no reasonable person could disagree with.

Since terrorism does place extremists such as Green on the backfoot, toying with denial is always handy. Here he is on 9/11, 7/7 and Madrid and the UK airliner bomb plot, where the police even secured “martyrdom” videos, as reported not long after the arrests.

No wonder Green appears to have found an ally in Sakandar Madani, an imam in Norway who both supports terrorists and engages in 9/11 revisionism. The first video below is from a Norwegian documentary. The second is an advertisement for Green’s visit to Norway in March 2009.

Secular democracy is easier ground to negotiate in public. Green opposes it as “antithetical” to Islam, except where it can advance the interests of Muslims, and not just British Muslims:

It has long been my position that any type of participation in democracy is a type of approval of that system. I have no doubt that democracy is antithetical to Islam. However, having read and listened to the sayings of many scholars on this issue, and being faced with the reality of a growing Muslim population here in the UK, who for all intents and purposes consider this their home, it has become clear to me that we must participate in every aspect of society as much as possible to ensure our rights and continued existence and well being in this society. This participation most certainly includes voting for whichever party or candidate best serves the needs and interests of the UK and indeed world wide Muslim population. This does not mean approval or acceptance of the ideal of secular democracy, but the intention is to use the means and avenues available to benefit Muslims and the communities we reside in.

The same goes for other Islamic questions for Green, such as stoning adulterers and gays. Vicious punishments are only good social policy:

There is another direction from which the wisdom of such a punishment can be understood, and that is the death of two criminals can prevent the death and agony of many innocents. There is no doubt that adultery has caused many a jilted partner to kill not only the partner but in some instances the children as well. This is the harm that we can measure and see. It is more than likely that the psychological effects on the jilted partner, the children and their families is extensive, and can lead to behavioural problems that ultimately effect the well being of the whole society! The “harm” of the punishment for adultery is offset by the need of the “benefit” and protects the wider society. All of this also goes some way to help understand way acts of homosexuality are simlarily treated so harshly.

Australia has had enough of Mr Green. In 2005 he was refused entry to the country, where he had allegedly engaged in hate speech in 2003.

Britain has no such luxury with this son of its very own empire.

The East London Mosque and the Didsbury Mosque, however, do have options. If they go ahead with plans to host Mr Green’s dawah tour later this month, the rest of us will see just where they stand today.