A Big Tent For Racists

I understand that Quintan Wiktorowicz is the man behind the US ambassador to London’s visit to the East London Mosque in November last year. At the time Wiktorowicz was working at the US embassy.

It is a mosque that has long welcomed extremists who support the murderers of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, on top of all sorts of other “non-violent” extremist views.

Just last month it hosted Cageprisoners, the Taliban supporters and fans of al Qaeda preacher and recruiter Anwar al Awlaki.

This Saturday it will open its doors – not for the first time – to Zahir Mahmood. Here is his view on violent extremism in the shape of Hamas:

And the other thing is that we cannot allow the perverted narrative to remain the norm. Hamas are not terrorists. They’re freedom fighters, they’re defending their country.

The mosque’s own imam, Abdul Qayyum, is a signatory of the pro-Hamas Istanbul declaration. It was the issue of an assembly of extremists in February 2009 where Gaza was seen in a clear international context. As the BBC reported at the time:

In closed meetings after sessions delegates focussed on the creation of a “third Jihadist front” – the first two being Afghanistan and Iraq.

Yet the ambassador expressed “great admiration” for the mosque and invited its younger people to visit the US with State Department sponsorship.

For his services to idiocy the Obama administration has now promoted Wiktorowicz to the position of “senior director for global engagement at the National Security Council”.

This is one take on the man:

“Wiktorowicz’s approach has quite deliberately been: ‘I want the tent to be as broad as possible. … As long as they are opposed to extremism and terrorism, I want everyone to be part of the coalition.‘ ”

Let’s try that formulation this way:

“Wiktorowicz’s approach to racism has quite deliberately been: ‘I want the tent to be as broad as possible. … As long as racists are opposed to violent racism, I want everyone to be part of the coalition.’ “

Nick Griffin has claimed he opposes violence, right? Let’s get him into a “coalition” against the David Copelands of the world!