Here’s a snippet from a long and bleating letter from the Muslim Council of Britain to The JC:
Your report suggests that the Board of Deputies claim that the MCB is dominated by ‘Islamists‘ — an arbitrary term deployed for cynical ends. The MCB is a diverse body, and we are proud that our constitution requires the body to represent the rich and diverse British Muslim community. ‘Islamists‘, whatever that term means, are as much a part of the Muslim community as any other Muslim tradition or tendency. We are an inclusive body and all of our affiliates are committed to seeking the common good of all.
It is an interesting question, isn’t it – what does “Islamism” mean?
We don’t regard Islamism as monolithic. Therefore, Harry’s Place writers try to specify which Islamist group we’re talking about – be it Jamaat-e-Islami, Hizb ut Tahrir, the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Qaeda. It goes without saying that we object to any version of Islamist theory which seeks to enact scripture as law, particularly if it relies upon undemocratic councils of clerics with the power to strike down laws they transgress against religious principles.
However, an awful lot of people do use the term “Islamism“, and are pretty clear what they mean by it.
Here are a few examples:
– Dr Azzam “Kaboom” Tamimi: “He is the author of Rachid Ghannouchi, Democrat within Islamism“.
Here’s Ghannoushi pushing antisemitic lies about Jews.
– Here is the Islamist-friendly advocacy group: Conflicts Forum:
“Since the late 1980’s, Conflicts Forum’s directors, Alastair Crooke and Mark Perry, have been in dialogue with a wide range of leading Islamists. During this period, Islamism has emerged as the most significant indigenous political force in the region.”
Conflicts Forum’s Board of Advisors includes Kaboom Tamimi and a range of other leading supporters of genocidal terrorist groups, alongside a handful of starry-eyed and confused “liberals”.
And here is the Centre for the Study of Terrorism, founded by the Muslim Brotherhood/Muslim Association of Britain’s Dr Kamal el-Helbawy.
It publishes a magazine called “Islamism Digest“: which is probably a bit like Readers’ Digest, except without the prize draws. Its Trustees include a motley bunch of nutters and extremists, including the Muslim Council of Britain’s Daud Abdullah.
So, what did the JC article say?
In a joint submission with the Community Security Trust to the Commons’ Communities and Local Government Committee, the Board wrote: “Any future engagement with umbrella groups such as the Muslim Council of Britain must be contingent on them representing a greater range of views than those of the Islamists, and firmly rejecting violence in all circumstances, including in overseas conflicts.”
It noted that individuals from the MCB and some British mosques had signed the Istanbul Declaration earlier this year which “contained within it implicit threats of violence against the Royal Navy or warships of UK allies, against Israel and against British Jews in the UK,” the Board declared.
“There is no long-term value in building partnerships with those whose attitude towards violent jihad is contingent upon circumstance.”
That seems entirely fair to me.
Let us remind ourselves of the links between extremist Islamist groups and the Muslim Council of Britain:
– Muhammad Abdul Bari is the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
* He is also the Chair of the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre. Readers of this blog will know that the London Muslim Centre is the venue of choice for Islamist extremists. Earlier this year, it hosted – by video link – the Al Qaeda theorist, Awlaki.
Bari is also the past President of the Islamic Forum of Europe. The IFE was set up by Jamaat-e-Islami activist (and alleged war criminal) Mueen-Uddin.
– Daud Abdullah is the Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
* Daud Abdullah signed the Istanbul Declaration. Here is an English translation of the text of the Declaration.
7. The obligation of the Islamic Nation to regard everyone standing with the Zionist entity, whether countries, institutions or individuals, as providing a substantial contribution to the crimes and brutality of this entity; the position towards him is the same as towards this usurping entity.
8. The obligation of the Islamic Nation to regard the sending of foreign warships into Muslim waters, claiming to control the borders and prevent the smuggling of arms to Gaza, as a declaration of war, a new occupation, sinful aggression, and a clear violation of the sovereignty of the Nation. This must be rejected and fought by all means and ways.
The British Government had offered the Royal Navy to police the ceasefire after the Gaza conflict – the Declaration was a direct threat against the servicemen and women of this country. The Government, not unreasonably, also interpreted the threat against “everyone standing with the Zionist entity” as a very thinly veiled threat of terrorism.
To this list we could add a number of the MCB’s other committee members. For example, Bunglawala, who produced a magazine which came with “pull out and keep” Hamas poster, and who even now contributes to the Muslim Brotherhood website, Islam-Online. Azad Ali, who is a Awlaki fan.
So, that is what is meant, in this context, by the term “Islamist“.
We hope that this assists the MCB in its efforts to understand the criticisms levelled at it, and at its executives.