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Archive for March, 2010

Below are the YouTube videos to Andrew Gilligan’s report on the influence of the Islamist group Islamic Forum Europe, “Britain’s Islamic Republic”, Dispatches, Channel 4, 1 March 2010.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Further reading

Andrew Gilligan’s accompanying article in The Sunday Telegraph:

The mosque calls the IFE a “social welfare organisation” and the IFE presents itself as committed to “community cohesion” and “tolerance”.

But the undercover reporters discovered that it was also a sophisticated political group with a structured rank system and hardline goals.

Prospective recruits must attend training.  One undercover reporter was told that she would have to take an exam and swear an oath of allegiance and ordered to keep her membership of the IFE a secret.

The reading list for the recruits’ training course consists of the key works of the revolutionary political creed known as Islamism, which advocates the overthrow of secular democratic government and its replacement by Islamic government.

The key text, Let Us Be Muslims, by Syed Mawdudi, a high priest of Islamism, instructs recruits: “The sacred duty of Muslims … wherever you are, in whichever country you live, you must strive to change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to rule and make laws from those who do not fear God.”

Douglas Murray:

Andrew Gilligan’s programme will be shocking even for those of you who, like me, thought they couldn’t be shocked by this sort of thing any more…

Though there has been a lot of press coverage of the documentary, there has been far too little outrage about the opening sequences showing the East London Mosque (yes, that one, favoured by Boris Johnson and Prince Charles) as the venue for events at which the most virulent anti-gay and anti-women perverts preach.

Harry’s Place:

Apologists will of course point out that both mainstream Christianity and Judaism have their fare share of homophobes.  This is indisputably true.  The Alpha Course started at Holy Trinity Brompton, for example, has come under heavy fire for its homophobic components.  But I doubt even they would be so crass as to play a game of “Spot The Fag”.

Gilligan again:

The IFE, based at the hardline East London mosque, claims to be an “open and tolerant” social welfare institution.  In fact, as undercover reporters for Channel 4’s Dispatches found, it is working, in its own words, to change the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed… from ignorance to Islam”.  It may not manage that – but it has already won significant political power over a multiracial community through democratic, secular parties whose values are diametrically opposed to its own.

For the sake of balance, here’s what Musleh Faradhi of the IFE had to say in response to the programme (IFE website / Guardian Comment is free):

The IFE, and indeed the Muslim community, do not seek special treatment.  Nor will we settle for mistreatment. We seek justice and equality for everyone, and reject artificial attempts to be pigeonholed or silenced.

The portrayal on Monday’s Dispatches and the related newspaper articles was a complete distortion of reality.  We have already refuted the allegations on our website, but we also recognise we are not perfect, and have room for improvement.  These bigoted and scurrilous reports will not change our aim to work for the common good, just as the message of extremists will never divert us.

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Further to my post on Hamza Tzortzis’ links with extremist Islamist group, Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, an anonymous Muslim blogger posted this comment on philosopher Stephen Law’s blog after I posted my piece on the thread advertising his forthcoming debate on the existence of God against Tzortzis at Kingston University on 5 March 2010.

In December 2009 Tzortzis replied to The Centre For Social Cohesion’s report with this statement (download PDF) that sets out his current associations with the group:

Within the last year certain extreme right wing commentators and neo conservative ‘think’ tanks have attempted to link myself and the work that I engage in to the Islamic political party Hizb ut Tahrir.  I would like to take this opportunity to clarify my associations and the nature of the work that I do.

I am not a member of Hizb ut Tahrir or any other political party, and I am not a ‘front’ for their work.  However I have been associated with the Hizb ut Tahrir in the past.  I formally left the party early this year for many reasons, some of which include theological, political and spiritual concerns.  These have been shared with some senior figures within the party.

(…)

As a concluding note, I would like to highlight that I will not hesitate to take any entity that publicly defames me and the work that I do via a legal process, as a means to formally clarify my position.

I am grateful to the anonymous Muslim commenter on Stephen Law’s blog for drawing my attention to Tzortzis’ statement.  Indeed, I look forward to meeting the man in the libel courts where I will uphold every word of my original post.

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