The Islamists’ Last Throw Of The Dice: Lambert and Githens-Mazer’s New Report

In May 2008, we reported that a group of individuals with a long history of involvement in Islamist politics was planning to create an “Islamophobia Media Monitoring and Response Agency”. Those who were initially involved in the project were:

  • Carl Arrindell, until recently a disqualified director
  • Mohammed Ali Harrath, the CEO of the Islam Channel, whose channel has recently been censured by OFCOM “for advocating marital rape, violence against women and describing women who wore perfume outside of the home as “prostitutes”.”
  • Bob Lambert is a retired police officer
  • Asghar Bukhari, who famously offered to fundraise for the neo Nazi Holocaust denier, David Irving
  • Inayat Bunglawala

Later that year, the Agency was established. It is called iEngage or Engage, and has just been appointed the Secretariat of the new All Party Parliamentary Group of Islamophobia. One of its directors is, indeed, Mohammed Ali Harrath. The choice of Engage has already proved highly controversial, and is likely to prove disasterous for the APPG: which is a pity, as there is a good argument for a think tank that looks at anti-Muslim incitement and hate crimes, quite possibly in association with political extremism and sectarianism more generally.

This article does not consider the role of Engage and the APPG further. I would recommend you read Paul Goodman’s piece at Conservative Home, however.

The other part of the proposal was the  suggestion by Carl Arrindell that tame academics will be recruited to give the project credibility:

“Whilst a long term goal should be to establish a Muslim friendly think tank, in the short term it would be advisable to source a team of credible and authoritative commentators/academics who will be prepared to provide written response/analysis to key events on a regular basis – this may have to be budgeted for. It will be the provision of this regular credible information that will be the justification for journalists to engage with us. “

Roll forward to December 2008, and internal documents from iEngage indicate that Bob Lambert is now working for them.  By 2010, Lambert had moved to his very own “European Muslim Research Centre” (“EMRC”) at Exeter University, funded by Islam Expo and the Cordoba Foundation. The directors of IslamExpo include fugitive Hamas commander and Istanbul declaration signatory Mohammed Sawalha. The Cordoba Foundation is run by the Muslim Brotherhood activist, Anas Altikriti, who has called the murder of coalition troops in Iraq “legitimate“. The EMRC Board includes Bashir Nafi, who a decade ago was a senior operative of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group, indicted in the United States. They have now added Al Jazeera to their list of funders: a television station which stages birthday parties for child murderers.

It should be clear by now that the function of the EMRC is not, in fact, to combat hatred against Muslims. Rather, it is to provide political cover – dressed up as academic research – for extremist Islamist political organisations.

Yesterday, the EMRC published a lengthy work: Islamophobia and Anti Muslim Hate Crime on the website of the Cordoba Foundation. Although it does contain some descriptions of very nasty attacks on Muslims and their property, its emphasis is not on the specifics of those crimes. Rather, the report seeks to place Islamophobia in an ideological context. In those circumstances, the villains par excellence are the “neocons”, who deliberately whip up anti Muslim hatred in order to justify imperialism.

Accordingly, the main villains of the piece are the Quilliam Foundation, various other Muslim campaigners against specific named Islamist political parties, and newspapers which report on those political parties. They are accused, time and time again,  of encouraging attacks on Muslims by highlighting the activities of Islamist groups, and of providing the British National Party and the English Defence League with their arguments.

By contrast, the Islamist political organisations are utterly blameless and credible community organisations, fully committed to common civic values, which just happen to keep getting caught up in scandals involving hate preaching and terrorism. So we are told, it is actually the fault of the “Neocons” that people react badly to these revelations, which shouldn’t really be reported at all.

This is a desperate argument. Vilifying Muslim liberals, while promoting organisations with very clear links to extremist and sometimes terrorist politics? Funded by the very institutions with links to the Islamist political parties that are being defended?  I really don’t think many will buy that.

This is the Islamists’ last throw of the dice.

Over the next few days, we will be publishing some of the more jaw-dropping passages from Lambert and Githens Mazer’s report. You will be astounded by what you read.