I don’t usually enjoy feuding with Sunny, because it is pointless and silly. Sunny has been odd for a bit, and I’m not wholly sure why. It doesn’t help to stoke the flames.
But I have to say, I enjoyed this from Gilligan (The rest of the post is worth reading too):
Almost two years ago, incidentally, one progressive blogger alerted us to the way in which SREIslamic were extremists “putting on a moderate face” and “jumping on a polarising and emotive issue to build their own base and support.” That blogger was none other than Sunny Hundal – the very gentleman who last weekend was denouncing me for making exactly the same point, and cranking out desperate excuses for the East London Mosque. I can only conclude that in this case Mr Hundal’s evident dislike of me, or the “right-wing media,” or something, has entirely undermined his judgment and intellectual integrity.
And indeed, he’s right.
Sunny in 2009 – Shock! Horror! Hizb ut Tahrir! Think of the Children!
Activists from the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir are covertly trying to influence the government’s consultation on sex education. Furthermore – they are being aided by Islam Channel, which has given them plenty of free airtime without revealing their affiliations.
Here’s the background. The government is holding a consultation on Sex & Relationship Education (SRE). In response, two Hizub ut-Tahrir activists have set up SRE Islamic – more on their blog here – which specifically aims to “educate” Muslim parents about the consultation and encourage them to protest.
Democratically, there’s nothing wrong with what HuT are doing. And yet one of the main organisers of SRE Islamic is brother to Jallaludin Patel – a former head of the UK chapter of Pizza HuT. They are also very similar to the BNP in their ideology (religious supremacism instead of racial supremacism) and tactics (putting on a moderate face).
HuT are also a deeply homophobic and anti-semitic organisation and their members have been convicted in other countries for distributing racist literature. In the UK they have tried a lot in recent years to scrub out their racism, albeit unsuccessfully.
Unsurprisingly, and given their unpopularity amongst Muslims, their literature so far has pointedly avoided mentioning any links to HuT, though it’s plain to see on their blog. What HuT actually want is separation:
We believe Muslim children need sex education, but this has to be age appropriate and based on an Islamic framework.
Sources tell me that SRE Islamic, spearheaded by Yusuf Patel (brother of Jalal Patel) have held over 30-40 events, many around the Rochdale area. This is classic HuT tactic – jumping on a polarising and emotive issue to build their own base and support.
What’s even worse is that they’ve been interviewed on Islam Channel (see here) and yet the interviewer completely avoided mentioning their HuT affiliations. This is the sort of journalism Islam Channel like to do eh?
Well said Sunny!
Flash forward to Sunny in 2011. Oh dear.
Andrew Gilligan’s smears at East London Mosque fall apart
Last week Andrew Gilligan at the Telegraph blogs claimed: ‘East London Mosque breaks its promise on homophobic speakers after just eight days’.
East London Mosque has now released a statement hitting back, which shows how disingenuous Gilligan actually is. Here is part of their statement
Sunny then goes on to reproduce the statement, as if it was a proper answer to the serious points made by Gilligan, which of course draw on the equally serious points about the same organisation in 2009, made by Sunny himself.
There’s no real answer to this. You might try to argue, as the East London Mosque do, that Patel is ‘ok’ because he’s recently ex-Hizb ut Tahrir. But now he’s an acolyte of Haitham al Haddad: which if anything, is worse.
(hat tip: Sarah AB)