The media and the Quilliam Foundation

A certain anomaly

A search using the Nexis database with The Quilliam Foundation as a search term returns results from the national press as follow: The Guardian (London) (20), News International Newspapers Information Services Ltd. (9), The Times (London) (9), The Observer (7), The Independent (London) (5), The Express (4), The Sunday Times (London) (4), Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday (3), The Daily Telegraph (London) (2), The Express Newspapers (2), The Sunday Telegraph (London) (2), Independent on Sunday (1).

A certain anomaly can be said to appear in these results if they are compared to those set out in the Centre for Social Cohesion and the Media and Civitas and the Media sections, which is a legitimate comparision given the relationships between the organisations. They seem inverted, in that, in these other sections it tends to be Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The Times and The Sunday Times which have provided the most results, and the greater focus of attention on the think tanks. This is particularly unusual given the Daily Mail’s proclivities and the nature of the Quilliam Foundation as an organisation. Given that Quilliam is run by two self-confessed ex-extremists and heavily funded by the Labour government, it is reasonable to expect that the Daily Mail would provide a series of stories expressing alarm, if not hysterical panic, along the lines of those it provides when prisoners gain compensation and so on; or that the Mail would continue with its negative portrayals of Islam and Moslems provided by Steve Doughty and others. For the Mail, Quilliam is perceived of and presented as part of the government’s counter terrorism operations, and any questioning and skepticism of its role (evident to some degree in other newspapers) is non-existent.

Guardian ‘clients and stooges’

The Guardian contains a range of material on the Quilliam Foundation (QF) including supportive letters from QF members, but also assertions that the Preventing Violent Extremismprogramme, known as ‘Prevent’, is being used to gather intelligence about people who are not suspected of involvement in terrorism, and that Prevent is essentially a surveillance operatation involving the QF. Arun Kundnani, the author of ‘Spooked: How Not to Prevent Violent Extremism’, published by the Institute of Race Relations argued along these lines in the Guardian, October, 2009:

While the government denies the programme has a surveillance element, this is contradicted by its adviser Ed Husain of the Quilliam Foundation, who says intelligence gathering is a part of Prevent. He also believes it morally right that professionals such as teachers should alert the authorities to those who hold views considered extremist. Indeed, through its Radicalisation Awareness Programme, the foundation is receiving significant public funds to advise local authorities on how extremist views among Muslims can be identified by public service workers.[1]

Although Kundnani does not seem to view the QF as part of the government’s covert work, he does believe that ‘professional distinctions’ are being confused and that ‘policing itself is being widened to include the surveillance of radical opinion,’ although this is nothing new. The article responded to Vikram Dodd’s earlier Guardian report[2]which argued that the £140m Prevent programme was a cover for spying on Muslims in Britain, based on ‘sources directly involved in running Prevent,’ who were being asked to gather intelligence about the thoughts and beliefs of Muslims who are not involved in criminal activity. It also quoted Ed Husain, of the QF, together with noting his previous position advising both Labour and the Conservatives on extremism, and that QF receives £700,000 in Prevent funding, and views itself as part of a ‘morally right’ attempt to give ‘law enforcement agencies the best chance of stopping terrorists before they strike.’ This report also noted that:

Prevent is run by the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, part of the Home Office. It is widely regarded in Whitehall as being an intelligence agency.[3]

Indeed, Ed Jagger of the QF not only has a background in the military, but his biography at QF states:

He was deployed operationally to the Middle East several times experiencing and observing the effects of Al Qaeda terror cells first hand whilst conducting counter terrorist operations. These experiences drive him in his role at Quilliam.[4]

It is of course notoriously difficult to establish the true nature of covert projects, which are by definition secret and tend to be deniable or indeed designed to deliberately confusing and opaque: but the job of the intelligence services is to know. In the Guardian, Husain has been quoted as stating that “Prevent was created to increase the security services’ knowledge of extremism in Britain”.[5]

Previous to these revelations the Guardian has used the work of Husain and others in its Leader column.[6]It has also offered its pages as a forum to Maajid Nawaz, the director of the QF.[7]It (like many of the other newspapers described below) also drew upon an un-named “QF spokesman from the UK counter-terrorism thinktank” to sum up its observations on potential terrorist organisations posing as charities.[8]

Vikram Dodd drew on Ed Husain to assess the draft of the government’s counterterrorism strategy, ‘Contest 2’, wherein Husain is quoted as stating that “the root causes of terrorism were extremist views, even if those advocating the views did not call for violence”; a somewhat abstract intellectual essentialism. Indeed Husain’s views are used to support the extension of the definition of who qualifies for monitoring in the context of a separate (leaked) secret Whitehall counterterrorism report advocating the widening of the definition of who is considered an extremist.[9]

One (more or less lone) exception to this ‘inclusive’ trend that the Guardian (and other newspapers) exhibit towards the QF, is Seumas Milne’s observation that a group of neoconservative-leaning think tanks including Policy Exchange, the Centre for Social Cohesion and the Quilliam Foundation, have had a disproportionate influence of government policy largely because the government “ends up talking to its own creations and attempting to use cash to buy political docility.” Milne’s focus was also on the government’s 175-page “Contest 2” document and its failure to realise that “people’s right to defend themselves against invasion and occupation,” and the willingness to “sympathise with the Palestinian cause,” have become deeply problematic, not least, in terms of establishing an accurate definition of who is or is not likely to carry out a terrorist offence.[10]

Milne had earlier called the role of the QF into question when he argued in 2008, that the ‘trigger’ for the government’s abandonment of a chance to engage with thousands of British Muslims at a large Islamic cultural and political event:

…seems to have been an article by the increasingly extreme anti-Islamist campaigner, Ed Husain, comparing the event to a British National party rally. His case for such a patently absurd claim was that some of the organisers had had links with Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, though the details are contested. But it was enough for Hazel Blears, whose communities department has been taking an ever-harder line against the most politically active sections of the Muslim community, to insist on a boycott.[11]

Milne states that a ministerial edict went out to boycott the IslamExpo event and an attack on Shahid Malik, Britain’s first Muslim minister, was staged by Dean Godson, research director of Policy Exchange together with a smear leaked by a “Whitehall source”. For Milne the intrigue here amounts to a game of ‘clients and stooges’ played by the government.

One other voice questioning the QF’s role was the playwright David Edgar’s (2008) analysis that also aimed to contextualise the thinking behind the attitudes of the nexus of rightwing think tanks Milne outlined:

The dominant story is of a second generation who grew up in the Paki-bashing 80s and suffered a profound identity crisis on reaching adulthood. Torn between the culturally based Islam of their families and the pressures of contemporary society, these Muslims proved easy prey for radicalisation by exiled clerics from hardline groups, who presented a narrative of historical oppression going back to the Crusades. With variants, that model is put forward by rightwing thinktanks, Conservative ideologues, former Hizb ut-Tahrir activists and erstwhile leftwingers. At its core is the idea that even non-violent organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain and those connected with groups like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood are on what the former left commentator Nick Cohen calls “a continuum whose terminus is pathological hatred”. Or, as Newsnight’s Richard Watson puts it: “Today’s suicide bombers are yesterday’s Islamists.”[12]

Edgar also noted that Ziauddin Sardar outlined that the problem with the QF:

…is not that it is anti-fundamentalist or anti-segregationist, but that it is anti-political; it wants Muslims to keep quiet. In fact, as Kundnani argues, a whole generation of British Muslims has rejected “the folkoric religio-cultural practices of their parents” in search of new ways of being Muslim, in public, in contemporary Europe. What could be more welcome?

Duncan Campbell had previously (July, 2008) written sympathetically about the difficulties faced by Maajid Nawaz due to his association with the group Hizb ut-Tahrir. At this point the QF was described as “an anti-extremist Muslim thinktank”.[13]Earlier still, also in July (2008), the Guardian had published (in its Leader page) a letter from a small group expressing doubt about the QF:

We represent a cross section of the Muslim community, and reject the simplistic narrative about the dangers of Islamism espoused by the Quilliam Foundation (Response, April 25). We believe this is just another establishment-backed attempt to divert attention from the main cause of radicalisation and extremism in Britain: the UK’s disastrous foreign policy in the Muslim world, including its occupation of Muslim lands and its support for pro-western Muslim dictators. The foundation has no proven grassroots support within the Muslim community, although it does seem to have the ear of the powers that be, probably because it is telling them what they want to hear.[14]

The letter was published alongside two others: one praising Ed Husain’s book ‘The Islamist’, and the other arguing that “the real root causes of Islamism and jihadism: Islamic theology itself.”

Previous to this (again in the Leader page) Maajid Nawaz argued the case against the Guardian’s portrayal of the QF at its launch and stated that the QF was not ‘established by two former members of Hizb ut-Tahrir’ but :

It is amazing that the foundation, which includes advisers such as Paddy AshdownSheikh BaBikr Ahmed BaBikr, the Rev Giles Fraser, Catherine Fieschi and ProfessorTimothy Garton Ash, can be reduced to “neocon ex-extremists”. Sardar goes even further: Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Bukhari, a great man of peace who spoke at our launch, is described as a “neocon Sufi” despite his dedication to campaigning for cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis and his anti-war message. I wonder whether Sardar would describe his friend Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, another adviser, as a neocon? [15]

The problem with this line of argument (which also asserted that the coverage was ‘ill-informed’) is that most of the names mentioned are have been involved in the game of ‘clients and stooges’ Milne outlined above: they are essentially a coterie. Ashdown worked for MI6 since the 1970s[16]Timothy Garton Ash was part of the government’s Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), the UK’s leading ‘democracy-building foundation’, was described by its a founding governor Michael Pinto-Duschinsky as engaging in a process whereby:

The WFD was intended as an instrument that would permit the British Government to fund political activities within foreign countries, thereby promoting democracy and British influence. Such interference in the political affairs of foreign nations had previously been covert and had caused problems when secret financial assistance had leaked into the public domain (as occurred in the United States in the 1960s concerning certain political projects of the Central Intelligence Agency of the US).[17]

The WFD was based on the US National Endowment for Democracy and according to Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, in 1991: ‘A lot of what we [NED] do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.’[18]And much the same could be said of the other ‘establishment’ figures cited to back up the claim that the QF is misrepresented:Catherine Fieschi was part of the think tank Demos which operated in the Foreign Office’s Wilton Park in much the same manner as the WFD and is now the Director of Counterpoint, the British Council’s think-tank; David Goodhart is the editor of Prospect magazine which aspired to become the new ‘Encounter’ (i.e. a magazine subvented by the secret state) Fieschi is also a contributing editor to Prospect; David Green is the founder of the rightwing thinktank Civitas who shared a space with Demos and similarly grew out of the Institute for Economic Affairs and latterly have created the Centre for Social Cohesion.

Nawaz’s response was based on Ziauddin Sardar’s complaint about the lionisation and feting of ‘former extremists’ together with ‘neocon luminaries’ at the expense of those who have worked to “foster inclusion by constructive community activity.” This argued that:

I am troubled by the fact that former extremists are seen as the only people who know how to deal with extremism. Just because you have been an inmate of a mental hospital does not mean you are an expert in clinical psychology. But former extremists are being lionised because they confirm the basic tabloid prejudice that violence is a natural part of being a Muslim. So whose ignorance is being vindicated? Certainly the potential of an open, unapologetic belief in Islam as a valuable part of British society is not on the agenda.[19]

A day earlier the Guardian’s Religious affairs correspondent, Riazat Butt had summed up the QF’s proposals:

The foundation’s inaugural policy document suggests identifying potential terrorists, with support from family members and visitors to mosques, and exposing them – “hopefully voluntarily” – to genuine religiosity through mainstream imams. Another tactic is to encourage students to wear clothing suitable for mainstream society and not “Pakistani ethnic attire suitable for a different climate”.[20]

Together with Owen Bowcott, Butt had reviewed the QF’s launch and quoted Nawaz who:

insists the foundation is independent. “(The money has come) mainly from Middle Eastern businessmen and Muslims who are concerned about how Islam is being abused.”[21]

The Nexis results only reveal fairly recent articles and more recently the Guardian has been critical of the QF. The author of ‘Neoconservatism: Why We Need It’ Douglas Murray‘s October 2009 article noted the contradictions between Maajid Nawaz and Ed Husain, the co-directors of QF, which he describes as a ‘strange double-speak’, noting:

Nawaz has clearly decided that the best way to deal with the authoritarian pronouncements of his co-director is to divert attention under the belief that contradiction is better than retraction. The importance of this episode is that it highlights something that has become increasingly clear: that QF has become part of the problem rather than the solution.[22]

Although largely bitching in tone — Murray’s criticisms are interesting because they cast some light into the relationships between the ‘clients and stooges,’ and the ruffled feathers of the pecking order: who is recruiting and handling who?

I know very well how these people work because I used to employ some of them. Around the time Ed Husain came to public notice, I recruited him to work with me (throughCivitas, the organisation that originally hosted the Centre for Social Cohesion). He liked my views and I had great hopes for him to become a source for real reform. This gave him the time and financial freedom to set up QF. But the increasing oddness of his opinions (particularly relating to my own freedom of speech) meant that eventually we parted ways. What is scandalous is that QF – set up to counter extremists such as their former colleagues in Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) – has done nothing substantial to challenge HT in the UK or radicalisation on UK campuses, the things it was actually set up for.[23]

Murray makes criticisms of the government’s Contest agenda[24] and Prevent strategy arguing that it is not about spying, or rather it is about spying by “social workers, youth-offending teams and other such bodies.” But the thrust of the article is an attack on QF: “the toxic juncture at which intense personal ambition and government propaganda meet”.

The Sun, “Brit Muslims”

News International Newspapers’ coverage of the QF is really only 4 stories in the Sun that put across the QF’s ‘Brit Moslems’ stereotype, one of the articles was written by Ed Husain, that somewhat glides over the problem of British foreign policy by arguing that Muslim leaders in the UK and the culture they create are the heart of the problem:

WE have tens of thousands of Muslims who live in Britain physically but psychologically are connected to Pakistan or other Muslim societies.

There is a huge radicalisation problem in the prison service – there are 10,000 Muslims in jail sharing space with terrorism convicts. Our foreign policy might be an issue but there are four million Muslims in America and it is “at war in Afghanistan and in occupation in Iraq”. Yet they don’t have that kind of radicalisation. Why? My answer is there is a greater sense of belonging, integration and shared participation between Muslims in America and we don’t have that here yet. Muslim leaders are in denial about the nature of the problem and would rather blame foreign policy and the government than admit that we have got an infrastructural, institutional, ideological problem.[25]

The second, earlier story is a profile of Maajid Nawaz by the Sun’s Oliver Harvey (Chief Features Writer[26]), which is surprisingly sympathetic and yet establishes the narrative of the ‘reformed militant’ who:

…travelled to terrorist haven Pakistan, aiming to spark a military coup and establish an Islamic superstate […] has drastically changed his views since those days […] It was during the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and I felt increasingly that my society was institutionally letting me down. […] he was a prime target for being recruited into Hizb ut-Tahrir, or HT – then led by hate preacher Omar Bakri. […] Quilliam Foundation – which is Government funded […] “Now I’m proud of being British, proud of my country and proud of being a Muslim. I don’t see any contradiction.”[27]

The third Sun story, from the month before, simply quotes the QF’s survey findings that “a staggering 97 per cent of Muslim preachers in Britain are foreign […] It is claimed this makes it difficult for young British-born Muslims to get guidance from their local mosque.” [28]The fourth Sun story, also from the previous month, quotes the QF as offering direction to ‘moderate groups’ as to how they can parrot the government’s line on foreign policy:

THE Gaza conflict could spark a violent Islamic backlash in Britain, Muslim advisers warned the PM yesterday. […] Maajid Nawaz, of counter-extremism think-tank the Quilliam Foundation, said moderate groups needed to be able to explain the Government’s stance to British Muslims. This would help them counter the view put by hate-mongers that it was not doing enough or did not care about Palestinian deaths.[29]

This establishes the QF as ‘Brit Muslims’. Taken as a whole the Sun presents a very positive image of the QF: giving it space to write, drawing on its research, and quoting it as an authority. It ignores the questions raised about the QF in the Guardian and elsewhere and taken together present a picture of the QF as playing a role indicative of a psychological warfare campaign.

The Times: “…but Quilliam says”

After initially noting the launch of the QF in April (2008) as part of its ‘Faith News’, [30]the Times then later expressed interest that:

Almost £1 million of public money is being given to a think-tank run by two former Islamic extremists, despite reservations being expressed by members of the Government and the Opposition.[31]

Here Husain and Nawaz were also respectively described as “a bestselling author, and […] a former political prisoner in Egypt, and the QF is described as:

…working to tackle the extreme Islamist ideology coming out of mosques, universities and madrassas in countries such as Syria and Pakistan. It also advises police and security agencies on counter-extremism methods and is to release its findings next month on an inquiry into British mosques, followed by the publication of an investigation into Islamic radicalisation in prisons.

It also noted that some opinion held that this advisory role had a component whereby: “the Government knows that if you want a Muslim to say pro-government things, then Quilliam is the answer.” This report also observed that the QF has an ambiguous stance on Zionism.

Alongside, although it responded to the concerns on the orientation and purpose of the QF in Richard Kerbaj’s report, the Times published the thoughts of Andy Hayman who “used to be Britain’s most senior anti-terrorist officer”. Hayman emerged from the shadows to question the Times’ investigation into the QF and argued for the organisation on the basis that:

If the foundation is accepted it may help Muslims to dispute extremist ideas so that those intent on trying to radicalise will have no voice. Sadly, there do not appear to be many alternatives. Other less costly ideas have failed. So the choice is to either persist with plans you know are not working, or to bite the bullet and invest heavily in building organisations that can bridge the gap. To do nothing would be irresponsible, as violent extremism will flourish.[32]

Why the backing of Hayman would encourage this type of trust in the QF is not explained. A similar recommendation was offered three days later in a letter by Professor Anthony Glees, Director of the Buckingham University Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies.[33]Glees argued that Patrick Mercer, the Tory MP who heads the House of Commons counter-terrorism sub-committee, who was quoted by Richard Kerbaj’s report into QF as expressing very mild doubts about the QF, had somehow discredited himself on the basis that: “Anyone who has worked with Maajid Nawaz and Ed Husain will know their intentions are honest and hugely helpful in combating Islamist extremism in the UK”.

In 2009 the Times did run a story on how the reputation of the Home Office’s ‘Prevent strategy’, which claimed that “enhanced arrangements” were in place for gathering intelligence on extremist prisoners was failing, and provided the example of jailed extremist [Abu Qatada]’s ability to communicate beyond his prison cell, here the QF were quoted (although their relationship to the Prevent strategy was not disclosed):

Evan Kohlman, a counter-terrorism consultant who found the letter on al- Qaeda-supporting websites, said: “Abu Qatada has a huge following, especially in the Middle East, and this letter has become a hot topic for discussion.” James Brandon, of the Quilliam Foundation, blamed the situation on failings in the Prison Service. “It is terrifying that Abu Qatada has been allowed to distribute pro-jihadist texts from within British prisons,” he said. “The very reason that Abu Qatada has been detained is because he has threatened public safety by inciting terrorism and violence. Yet the Prison Service appears powerless to prevent him from continuing to incite violence and hatred from behind bars.” The Prison Service said that tough security measures were in place at Long Lartin for Abu Qatada.[34]

Presumably our first expert is Evan Kohlmann a semi-professional expert who’s credentials would suggest that he is amenable to reinforcing a particular line on counter-terrorism.[35]Along with Tuft’s University Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy it has a close relationship with several US agencies (alumni include George Tenet the former US CIA director, notable faculty members include former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith, former U.S. United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and former Spanish President José María Aznar.</ref>But what do we know of “The very reason that Abu Qatada has been detained”. Victoria Brittain in the Guardian (2 December 2008) noted along with many other contributors in the Guardian[36]that with Abu Qatada (also known as Muhammad Othman)

Mr Justice Mitting, Othman’s special advocate Angus McCollough, and his barristers Edward Fitzgerald and Danny Freedman, all played their part in a complex legal procedure in which the state’s secret evidence can never be effectively challenged.

Brittain notes the role of the authorities in leaking to the press:

The only clues, if they were indeed clues, and which came as the result of a leak from the British authorities privy to the secret evidence, came in an article in the Sun, which claimed that Othman was planning to break his bail and flee from Britain to Lebanon.[37]

In this vacuum the opinions of certain pundits expands. Kohlmann (employed on much the same basis as Quilliam) and the QF are the main sources for the story that Qatada can communicate from Jail, as the BBC reported it two days later.[38]But this is couched in terms such as “according to […] said to be” and adds that “the Prison Service says Quilliam’s claims that it has been incompetent are “completely unfounded”.” According to the BBC:

…statements have been appearing online under his name, circulating on both English and Arabic language websites. In the statements, the writer using the name Qatada congratulates al-Qaeda fighters, claims that the British government opposes Islam and says Muslims should never join the police or army in a non-Muslim country.

What is simpler to achieve: smuggling writing out of a jail or simply typing in a name on a key board? The BBC report adds that:

There is no direct proof that the statements were issued by Abu Qatada – but Quilliam says evidence links the posts to Islamist associates of Abu Qatada. The content of the messages is also consistent with Abu Qatada’s previous statements.

The QF are quoted as saying “Time will tell how it’s done” not providing evidence as to how its done. The BBC’s report achieves the opposite effect of the uncritical Times story and quotes Justice Minister Shahid Malik as stating:

“Their so-called research doesn’t actually have any evidence, there’s no basis for these comments.

“The fact is this is alarmist, there’s no evidence that’s been given to us, the research seems pretty lame at best, and I’ve got to say this is good for the Quilliam Foundation because they’re all about publicity, they’ve generated a lot of that.

So we can note that for Sean O’Neill and Richard Ford’s report in the Times it is a fact that “The extremist cleric Abu Qatada has issued a 6,000-word rallying cry to his followers from inside one of Britain’s most secure prison units,” not an unsubstantiated assertion. The basis for their assertion is that “security experts say”. Kohlman (sic), is stated to have ‘found the letter.’

The QF can be seen in a more politically active role and aided by Times who quote the QF’s accusations concerning Osama Saeed‘s, adoption as the SNP’s candidate in Glasgow Central, “unless he changes his views”:

The foundation claims that Mr Saeed, a former spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain and who has set up the Scottish Islamic Foundation (SIF), has written in support of a global Caliphate that would see the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims united in a superpower under one leader – a position, says the foundation, that is also espoused by al-Qaeda.[39]

The report does offer the SNP’s view that this was a “disgraceful smear” and “utterly disreputable”. The QF are also unhappy with the Saeed’s Scottish Islamic Foundation’s Islamic festival being given £215,000 by the Scottish government.

Sean O’Neill, one of the authors of the credulous Kohlmann/Quilliam story, also warned of other dangers:

A mosque frequented by the leader of the airline plot terrorist cell has been a recruiting ground for extremists for more than 20 years. The Queen’s Road mosque in Walthamstow, northeast London, where Abdulla Ahmed Ali met his associates, is controlled by the ultraorthodox Tablighi Jamaat. Intelligence services around the world believe that Tablighi’s fundamentalism makes some of its followers easy prey for terrorist recruiters.[40]

The report draws on ‘security sources’ although the only one is identified:

Ed Husain, of the Quilliam Foundation, an anti-extremist think-tank, said the first contact with radicals for many young Muslims was at British colleges and universities. “In the 1990s it was Arab political refugees, not Pakistanis, that helped radicalise many British Muslims,” he said. “Pakistani militants provide training for wouldbe violent Islamists. But they go out radicalised and willing – it is folly to think that visits to Pakistan are points of first contact with extremism.”

Although O’Niell does draw on his own experienceI remembering that 20 years ago he “attended one of those meetings as a reporter in August 1989 and heard young men decry the evils of drink, discos and “free intermingling of the sexes”.” The point of the story is to argue that:

Islamist extremism is deeply rooted in elements of the large Muslim population.

The Observer

Ed Husain of the QF was the first to write of the QF in the Observer with an (2008) article titled “It’s Arabs who are showing us how to tackle extremism” which says almost nothing about tackling extremism.[41]

The following month it provided a sympathetic report on the death threats the QF stated it was receiving:

Websites set up by opponents have carried photographs of its director engaged in what they deem to be ‘un-Islamic’ behaviour. Particular vitriol is reserved for Jemima Khan – the former wife of the Pakistan politician and former cricketer Imran Khan – who will be attending the launch.[42]

Jamie Doward, the Observer’s Home Affairs Editor, used QF’s Ed Husain and international director of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism Irfan al-Alawi‘s testimony to argue that Dr Daud Abdullah, deputy director-general of the Muslim Council of Britain and the Islam Expo should be vilified. The story appeared in three different forms.[43]

The only other story on the QF in the Observer was written by Maajid Nawaz filling in for Nick Cohen.[44]

So none of the debate present in the Guardian by Milne is evident in the Observer.

The Independent

Apart from an e-mail exchange which applauded the QF for trying to debate with the QF are mentioned in connection to and enquiry as to whether British Muslims were involved in the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The QF are quoted amongst security officials and an unnamed “senior source”:

Ed Husain, director of the Quilliam Foundation, a think-tank that campaigns against extremism, said of the reports of British involvement in the attacks: “British Muslim leaders need to take their heads out of the sand and begin systematically dismantling the warped theology that has inspired these and other attacks. Unless our government is bolder in identifying Islamism as the root cause of extremism, we will only be responding to and not preventing terrorism. Extremist Islamist groups continue to hold events in England and recruit new followers. Radical Islamism has no place in our country.”[45]

Some months later Ed Husain’s article ‘Where is the Muslim anger over Darfur?’ appeared, which questioned anger directed towards the West:

When the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Sudanese leader, President Bashir, in March, Muslim politicians from Senegal to Malaysia rallied behind him. The same people who demand international justice for war crimes in Lebanon and Gaza abruptly changed their tune. Instead of denouncing Bashir as the architect of ethnic cleansing, they congratulated him for defying the “conspiracy” to undermine Sudan’s sovereignty so the West can take its oil. The Iranian Parliamentary Speaker, Ali Larijani, said the ICC warrant was “an insult to the Muslim world”.[46]

This was then generalised to ” I have lived in Arab countries and seen first hand the racism and bigotry that commands the minds of the Arab political class.”

Husain draws on ‘academic’ sources here including the neoconservative Salim Mansur (and Wole Soyinka). Mansur is with the neoconservative Center for Security Policy, and he has often written in praise of the Israeli State:

Any decent human being, including Muslims, should ask the simple question what is the basis of Arab claim to historic Palestine with Jerusalem as its political and spiritual centre? The answer is transparently simple. Arab rights to historic Palestine rest on the force of arms and military conquest. But what is garnered by sword may also be taken away by sword.[47]

In a (lengthy) diatribe Daniel Pipes notes[48]Mansur’s involvement with the Center on Islamic Pluralism, run by recent convert Stephen Suleyman Schwartz which resembles the QF to a certain extent. Schwartz was also with the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

Husain’s use of Mekuria Bulcha then enables him to put forward the opinions that: “Blacks are viewed by Arabs as racially inferior, and Arab violence against blacks has a long, turbulent record […] Arabs and Islam are guilty of the cultural and spiritual savaging of the Continent”; and that “Any attempt to confront persistent Arab racism is shouted down by appeals to Arab/African solidarity against the neo-colonialist West, a sentiment that seldom moves beyond slogans.” Quotes such as “Slavery is part of Islam. Slavery is part of jihad and jihad will remain as long as there is Islam. It has not been abolished,” drawn from “Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan, a member of the senior council of Wahhabi clerics responsible for writing Saudi school text books”. In some respects Husain’s comments mirror those of Caroline Cox‘s work on Darfur, only with more extreme language.

For Husain all that the Arab League summit’s deliberations on Darfur amounted to was “the usual denunciations of Israel and America.” He closes by noting that:

Muslims’ amnesia about Darfur is also symptomatic of the malaise affecting the public face of a faith that lacks the confidence to engage in constructive debate or renewal. Until Muslims can be self-critical without being condemned as heretics, there will be atrophy where there should be vibrancy, and polarisation and extremism where there should be tolerance and inclusiveness. Darfur’s tragedy is fast becoming an indelible stain on the collective name of Islam and Muslims.

The purpose of the article was to try to encourage Muslims to turn their anger away from Gaza and the Lebanon to join in Western condemnation of Sudanese leader, President Bashir.

The Express

The Express’ earliest mention of the QF included a flattering appreciation of Jemima Khan, which noticed that she had become:

…the target of death threats from Islamist fundamentalists when she pledged her allegiance to a new organisation set up to fight against just the kind of religious hatred she is now experiencing.[49]

The report (the threats are unspecified) which coincided with the launch of the QF argued that it was set up to “fight against just the kind of religious hatred she is now experiencing,” and that she was no stranger to such dangers:

In a recent newspaper column, she recalled the 2004 election campaign when she mentioned studying a Salman Rushdie novel for her university thesis. “A mob of crazed and politicised mullahs allied to the party created by [Pakistan President] Pervez Musharraf insisted that this admission was tantamount to apostasy, that my citizenship be revoked and that I be thrown out of the country, ” she wrote. “They took out full-page newspaper ads inciting people to riot outside our home. Bearded fundos took to the streets with placards bearing my name and the word ‘infidel’.” The incident was far from isolated.[50]

The article conflates this type of ‘hate campaign’ with criticisms of her role as a patron of the Quilliam Foundation, particularly with mention of a website called ‘Quilliam Exposed’ and possibly tarnished Khan’s reputation further by mentioning that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown supports her.

Indeed one of the many unexplained aspects of the instigation of the QF was how its patrons and advisory board was put together and for what purpose.

Almost a year later the express picked up on a ‘new report’ to state:

A number of Muslim schools in England and Wales are promoting Islamic extremism and encouraging pupils to grow up despising Britain. Youngsters are discouraged from playing cricket and board games, listening to western music and even reading Shakespeare or Harry Potter by fanatics targeting classrooms, the research says. Some children are even being told to shun “the evil system of western culture” and encouraged to live in “ghettos”. The vile diktats appear on school websites or on other sites linked directly to school sites. Moderate Muslim groups welcomed the findings and called for the attempts by extremists to target children to be stamped out. The propaganda comes in a report called Music, Chess and Other Sins from the Westminster-based think tank Civitas.[51]

The last line is slightly confusing (or indeed something of a clarification) and was presumably intended to mean that Civitas reported on propaganda rather than provide it. Maajid Nawaz, although mentioned as “director of the Quilliam Foundation set up to counter extremism”, is quoted as saying: “If this is what’s written on websites, I dread to think what’s going on in classrooms.” But Civitas’ and the QF’s relationship is unexplored. Much the same story was run under the byline of Macer Hall the Express’ Political Editor. Here the propaganda line was changed to say:

The propaganda is highlighted in a report called Music, Chess and Other Sins from the Westminsterbased think tank Civitas.[52]

The Civitas report was written by Denis MacEoin who has a PhD degree from King’s College, Cambridge and may be remembered from the (December 2007) BBC Newsnight programme which argued that evidence on which MacEoin’s report on radical Islam for Policy Exchange, had been forged.[53][54]MacEoin was appointed as editor of The Middle East Forum‘s neocon propaganda outlet the Middle East Quarterly.[55]MacEoin is also part of the Centre for Social Cohesion.

The other article in the Express which mentions the QF stated that: “It’s claimed”, but it does not say by who, “that up to 4,000 young Muslims, from many areas of the UK, have turned their backs on their homeland. Bitter and resentful, they appear willing to travel to any part of the world to fight against “invading” forces from the West.”[56]

The story seems to emanate from the military as it notes:

In the past few months they have reported eavesdropping on accents from the West Midlands, Yorkshire and East London. These areas are said to be hotbeds for recruitment by extremist Muslim groups, which are targeting mosques, colleges and prisons in an increasingly dirty war against the West.

Other sources as MI5 and Ed Husain of the QF is offered as an example, with his testimony reinforced by James Brandon.

There is no criticism or explanation of the activities of the QF offered in the Express.

The Sunday Times

The Sunday Times’ first story on the QF, in April 2008, offered Jemima Khan‘s support of the QF as its focus with its title ‘Jemima Khan backs reformed jihadists’. Its introduction posed the dilemma that the government faces which it framed in the question: “how far should it use draconian legal measures to combat terrorism and how much should it trust moderate Muslims and reformed jihadists to win over extremists.”<ref<Jemima Khan backs reformed jihadists, The Sunday Times, April 20, 2008, Richard Woods and Abul Taher.</ref>

As such it presents organisations such as QF as a viable government strategy and as a way to escape from being a ‘former jihadist’; here it uses the example of Hassan Butt, who is quoted as saying he attended a meeting at the Home Office in 2007 where he set out his plans for “deradicalising” extremists to Tony McNulty, and was offered funding:

“I told him [McNulty] everything [about my radical past]. I told him I understand the [radical] mindset perfectly… at the end of it we were offered money. I said no to the money. I’ve made this problem myself. I can deal with it myself. I just want you guys to support me.”[57]

After casting some doubt on Butt’s loyalties[58], the Sunday Times article states that the QF “has not received any government funding”, and is engaged in the process of “promoting the view that mainstream Islam does not condone violence or jihad.” Ed Husain, is quoted as saying:

“For the first time in western Muslim history, a Muslim group is challenging extremists using a scriptural and theological paradigm. There has not been a categorical refutation of Islamism by any Muslim groups, we are the first to do it.”

It also quotes Majid Nawaz, as stating (somewhat confusingly and reminiscent of Mrs Thatcher):

“Extremist groups should be starved of the oxygen and tackled in debates. It will be a long struggle, but it’s something we need to do.”

Husain’s claim of originality led to a letter by Taj Hargey claiming that his organisation, the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, had “waged a campaign for Muslim theological self empowerment by exposing the fallacy of traditional scriptural readings,” and that it had started is own think tank: the Oxford Centre for British Islam.[59]

The Sunday Times other story is an uncritical enthusiastic appreciation of the QF and notes that it will have a “deradicalisation” unit to “penetrate cells and schools and the poor, excluded areas where extremism breeds”, it adds:

Peter Neumann, director of the Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence, says of Quilliam: “These guys are uniquely positioned to take on the arguments. They have credibility. This is definitely a step in the right direction.”[60]

The article also offers an extension of its argument into a wide generalisation influenced by abstract qualities:

But, however insulted the majority may feel (and if the blogs are anything to go by, feelings are running high), the Quilliam Foundation has reminded Muslims that although they may be blameless individually, the community has not yet lived up to its moral obligation to confront the dark side, the lunatic, fanatic fringes of its own.[61]

The fourth Sunday Times story reproduces a short version of James Brandon‘s allegations that Abu Qatada “smuggled three rallying cries to potential terrorists out of prison”[62]

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail’s coverage of the QF began with a focus on Jemima Khan and gives undue attention to the threats made to the QF, noting in April 2008, that the source of the information on the death threats seems vauge:

ISLAMIC fundamentalists have threatened Jemima Khan with death for supporting a Muslim think-tank which preaches religious tolerance. Mrs Khan is a patron of the Quilliam Foundation, recently set up by two reformed members of the outlawed extremist organisation Hizb ut Tahrir. The organisation has received death threats by phone and email for all involved – one has even referred to Mrs Khan by name, it is believed.[63]

After quoting from ‘fundamentalist websites’ who criticise her lifestyle, it quotes Khan as saying:

‘I can’t claim to speak for Muslims. I am certainly very far from most people’s image of what a good Muslim is and that makes me an easy target for those who don’t want Quilliam to succeed. ‘Someone has to stand up and tell the truth that there is no conflict between being British and being Muslim. Someone has to give moderate Muslims aoice and I believe that Quilliam is that organisation.’

It also tells us that was Ed Husain “threatened two weeks ago by disgruntled members of Hizb ut Tahrir,” but there is no actual detail on what the QF does or intends to do, or why Khan was involved or who else is in the organisation.

The Daily Mail also ran a February 2009 story by Stephen Glover, broadly supporting Geert Wilders that presented him as staying within certain bounds and bemoaning:

“Why, then, should Mr Wilders have been banned from coming here? […] an age-old and cherished principle — that of free speech — has been torn up and thrown away.”[64]

Glover contrasts this treatment with a lengthy list of counter-examples relating to Muslims and eventually a paedophile:

Yet our Government has indulged and protected a number of extreme imams who have gone far further than Mr Wilders in preaching hate. For example, the radical cleric Abu Hamza was allowed to rail against homosexuals and women in bikinis for years before he was finally sentenced for soliciting murder. As Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone embraced a Muslim cleric called Yusuf al-Qaradawi when he visited City Hall in 2005 with the full permission of HM Government. Al-Qaradawi had been criticised for condoning suicide bombings and for having anti-Semitic and homophobic views. Last November, the same Jacqui Smith, who now raises the drawbridge against Mr Wilders, granted a radical propagandist called Ibrahim Moussawi a six-month visa so that he could speak at a conference in London on Islam. Moussawi once allegedly described Jews as ‘a lesion on the forehead of history’. There are endless examples of the Government turning a blind eye to extreme Islamists so that they are allowed to say whatever they want in this country. Nor is it above accepting people who have been sentenced for serious non-religious offences, including a 61-year-old convicted paedophile who had lived in Australia for 56 years. Many people would judge him a much greater threat than Mr Wilders.[65]

It contrasts the view of the Home Secretary with that of the QF, who, it argues support Wilders’ right to speak. No detail on the QF is provided apart from that it exists to: “to promote moderate Islam.” Stephen Glover’s article also expresses outrage that the Church of England’s General Synod voted in favour of banning priests from belonging to the British National Party, which he assures us “is a legal organisation.” The article concludes by asserting that the Home Secretary is “is guilty of further corrupting our precious values,” and maintains:

In the banning of Mr Wilders there is a collision of two traditions — you could say a clash of cultures. One, which is partly associated with the more extreme forms of Islam, opposes open debate and seeks to ban its opponents, or otherwise, to shut them up. The other, which is in the spirit of Western Enlightenment, accepts differences. Voltaire famously said that he might not agree with his opponent’s beliefs, but he would fight to the death for his right to express them.

The Daily Mail also ran a story on a charity worker, Dr Faisal Mostafa, “twice cleared of terror charges in this country” who was being hunted in Bangladesh after explosives were seized at an orphanage he founded. Mostafa was said to have ran Green Crescent, a charity that provided humanitarian aid to families in Bangladesh and Pakistan. A spokesman for “counterterrorism think-tank” the QF is quoted as saying:

‘If Green Crescent has been involved in militant activity, this will reflect very poorly on the Charity Commission, particularly given that Mostafa, the head of the charity, had previously been put on trial twice for terrorist offences. ‘Ineffectiveness by the Charity Commission in identifying and tackling extremist charities leads to the British taxpayer directly subsiding militancy.’[66]

The story was also picked up by the QF’s James Brandon and reproduced on The Jamestown Foundation‘s website.[67]

The Daily Telegraph

Two stories on the QF appear in the The Daily Telegraph: Charles Moore’s attack on Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in relation to Geert Wilders’ invitation to the House of Lords and his anti-Muslim film Fitna. This offers Moore’s thoughts on Wilders: who he believes set out that “Islam is irredeemably evil” which he does not comment on, and Moore’s view that Wilders’ belief that “Islam is not another leaf on the tree of religion but a totalitarian political ideology, which Moore believes is ‘wrong,’ on a technicality concerning monotheism (the totalitarian aspect remains unchallenged.[68] Although he sways between mockery, Moore asserts that the treatment of Wilders “contravenes a key democratic principle about the power of legislators to talk to one another”. Moore argues that Wilders has set out that “Islam is irredeemably evil,” for Moore then, Wilders is only half right, and he offers a correction:

The beliefs that Mr Wilders is talking about are better described as “Islamism – the version of Islam which seeks the political, sometimes violent imposition of an intolerant theocracy. Mr Wilders takes an important, dangerous aspect of Muslim thought and treats it as the whole.

Moore also compares Wilders film to ‘Billy Elliot’ and that the Home secretary “is saying much the same thing as Geert Wilders!” Notwithstanding this discovery, Moore then (paradoxically) asks:

The question then arises, are Jacqui Smith and Geert Wilders right? Is Islam so basically intolerant that you have only to be foul about it for its adherents to rise up and kill you? If so, we have an unpleasant choice. Act as Mr Wilders wants, and drive Muslims out. Or act as Jacqui Smith wants, and criminalise or exclude those who criticise them. One’s answer to whether they are right cannot be unequivocal. The unpleasant power of Fitna is that the atrocities it depicts and the preaching it shows are real and recent, and they were all carried out or uttered by Muslims acting, explicitly, in the name of their faith. You could not, in our age, compile any comparable clips of Jews or Christians. As a matter of plain fact, Islamic terrorism exists.

There is of course the image of the crucifixion, which would seem to satisfy his criteria on a number of levels. Moore indulges in an attack on Islam mentioning that within “current Muslim culture is the use of the angry demonstration […] …the bristling search for offence…[…] The manic Muslim mobs…”, here he means all Muslim culture; but in a seeming contradiction of that he brings in the QF in relation to Wilders’ film:

On Channel 4 News, the man from the moderate Muslim Quilliam Foundation said that the Home Secretary had curtailed his own freedom of speech – he wanted Mr Wilders to come here so that he could tell him why he was wrong.

Moore also makes negative commentary on Lord Ahmed, and argues that: ‘In reality, the public order consequences of a visit from Mr Wilders would have been perfectly containable’, and further observations along these lines. Although he does not seem to relate it the the QF, Moore is critical of the government’s Prevent project:

But there has been too much deference to the idea that extremists have more “cred with the potentially violent than anyone else. People who have links with Hamas or Hizbollah or praise suicide bombing in Israel or give platforms to anti-semites have been promoted. Now there is a hot debate within Government about whether the programme is backing the right people.

The other Telegraph article, by Duncan Gardham the Telegraph’s ‘Security Correspondent’ simply quotes from a QF report, and describes the QF as ‘an Islamic think tank’, which found that 97% of imams in Britain’s mosques are from “overseas, although the majority of Muslims in Britain were born in the UK”, adding:

The report said that by failing to reach out to young British Muslims, radical Islamists have the upper-hand. Britain’s young Muslims, without a voice in mosques, are looking elsewhere for religious guidance and will continue to be drawn in by young, articulate extremists. The study also found that 44 per cent of mosques do not hold their sermons at the main Friday prayers in English.[69]

References

  1. The Guardian (Final Edition), October 19, 2009, Comment & Debate: Trust made meaningless: Excessive surveillance of Muslims undermines a central component of counter-terrorism work, Arun Kundnani.
  2. The Guardian (Final Edition), October 17, 2009, Front: Anti-terrorism strategy ‘spies on innocent Muslims’: Data on politics, sexual activity and religion gathered by government, Vikram Dodd.
  3. The Guardian (Final Edition), October 17, 2009, Front: Anti-terrorism strategy ‘spies on innocent Muslims’: Data on politics, sexual activity and religion gathered by government, Vikram Dodd.
  4. The Quilliam Foundation Website (2009) People, Ed Jagger. On Jagger’s activities see: November 12, 2009, Quilliam Foundation Lie and Cheat, Craig Murray.
  5. The Guardian (Final Edition), October 17, 2009, ‘National: Intelligence: Arguments for surveillance: Spying morally right, says thinktank chief, Vikram Dodd.
  6. The Guardian (Final Edition), June 30, 2009, Reply: Letters and emails: Horror of Bashir’s rule in Sudan, Rebecca Tinsley, Gerhart Baum, Giles Fraser, Ed Husain, Rabbi Maurice Michaels, Helen Baxendale, Stephen Mangan and six others, Pg. 29.
  7. The Guardian, June 21, 2009, Comment & Debate: A chilling return to the land where once I sowed hate: Ten years ago, I hoped to inspire an Islamist coup in Pakistan. Going back, I saw the tragic results, Maajid Nawaz.
  8. The Guardian, March 27, 2009, National: Briton arrested in Bangladesh after raid on alleged terror training camp: Weapons cache seized at orphanage, police say: Chemist was cleared twice of explosion plot charges, Helen Carter.
  9. The Guardian, February 17, 2009, National: Anti-terror code ‘would alienate most Muslims’: Draft strategy brands thousands as extremists: Ministers ponder plan to be unveiled next month, Vikram Dodd.
  10. The Guardian, March 26, 2009, Comment & Debate: This counter-terror plan is in ruins. Try one that works: Ministers want Muslims to accept shared values. Luckily they already do, including opposition to wars of aggression, Seumas Milne.
  11. The Guardian, July 17, 2008, Comment & Debate: Promotion of clients and stooges will get us nowhere: If the aim is to reduce the terror threat and boost integration, boycotts of mainstream Muslim events are no help at all, Seumas Milne.
  12. The Guardian, October 29, 2008, Comment & Debate: Preachers of pluralism: For all the state rhetoric, the path of politicised British Muslims is rarely extremist, but progressive, David Edgar
  13. The Guardian, July 7, 2008 Monday, Former member of Islamist group barred from becoming solicitor, Duncan Campbell.
  14. The Guardian, April 26, 2008, Saturday: Reply: Letters and emails: What turns some Islamists to terror, Anas al-Tikriti Cordoba Foundation, Yvonne Ridley Respect national council, Ihtisham Hibatullah British Muslim Initiative, Ismail Patel Friends of al-Aqsa, Roshan Muhammed Salih.
  15. The Guardian, April 25, 2008, Reply Letters and emails: Response: It is ludicrous to dismiss us as neocon former extremists: Our foundation works with all groups to stop Muslim minds being poisoned, says Maajid Nawaz, Maajid Nawaz.
  16. See: The view from the Bridge”, Lobster No. 47. 2004. In Lobster No. 9, (1985), Ashdown was named as having been in MI6 by Steve Dorril, see also: This much I know: Paddy Ashdown, politician and diplomat, 68, Tom Templeton, The Observer, 26 April 2009.
  17. Appendix C: A note by Dr Michael Pinto Duschinsky, p.16, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Working for a Freer World , WFD’s response to the River Path Associates Report, March 2005.
  18. Blum W. (2000) Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, Maine: Common Courage Press.
  19. The Guardian, April 24, 2008, Comment & Debate: To lionise former extremists feeds anti-Muslim prejudice: It is a mistake to fete these repentant members of Islamist cults. They are part of the problem, not the solution, Ziauddin Sardar.
  20. The Guardian, April 23, 2008, Muslim plan to tackle extremists, Riazat Butt.
  21. The Guardian, March 1, 2008, Ex-Islamists start moderate thinkthank, Owen Bowcott and Riazat Butt.
  22. Quilliam’s toxic take on liberty: The former Islamic fundamentalists of Quilliam are using public money to advocate a totalitarian approach to British society, Douglas Murray, 23 October 2009.
  23. Quilliam’s toxic take on liberty: The former Islamic fundamentalists of Quilliam are using public money to advocate a totalitarian approach to British society, Douglas Murray, 23 October 2009.
  24. Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, Counter-terrorism strategy, homeoffice.gov.uk, 2009.
  25. The Sun (England), September 9, 2009, WE have tens of thousands of […]; my view, Ed Husain.
  26. Harvey is more at home with articles such as British paedos should be castrated … like us, the Sun, 19 May 2009. His 9 November 2009, [Articles by Oliver Harvey Journalisted Articles by Oliver Harvey], by Media Standards Trust sets out a representative sample of his work, some of which are clearly war propaganda such as Taliban 0, Our Boys 1, the Sun, 19 November 2008.
  27. The Sun, March 14, 2009 Saturday, I loved Liverpool FC, badminton and pop…until Muslim radicals made me hate Britain; REFORMED MILITANT IN STARK WARNING OVER BRAINWASHING, Oliver Harvey. Note the use of the Lawrence inquiry as a vehicle for ‘radicalisation.’
  28. The Sun, February 24, 2009, Only 3% of imams are Brits, Graeme Wilson.
  29. The Sun, January 9, 2009, BRIT MUSLIMS: GAZA BACKLASH TO HIT UK; PROTESTS OVER MID EAST CRISIS Warning as cops braced for clashes, Martin Philips. This also mentions The Community Security Trust, which ‘advises Jews on security matters.’
  30. The Times, April 26, 2008, Faith news, Greg Watts
  31. The Times, January 20, 2009, Eur1m grant to think-tank run by ex-Islamic extremists attacked by MPs on both sides, Richard Kerbaj.
  32. The Times, January 20, 2009, Price we must pay to counter extremist ideas, Andy Hayman. Author of ‘Terrorist Hunters’, Hayman was involved in the aftermath of the tragic shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station. See: Evening Standard, June 25, Andy Hayman: I deeply regret not challenging Ian Blair on de Menezes, David Cohen, this adds that Hayman was “absolutely content that I did not intentionally mislead or misinform anyone” with the de Menezes shooting.
  33. The Times, January 23, 2009, Views must be heard; Letters to the Editor. Glees, according to his Buckingham University biography, had “a long-standing concern with security, secret intelligence and policy-making and also with political terrorism and subversion.” An interesting profile on Glees which touches on his relationship to the security services is provided by D. K. Renton at http://www.dkrenton.co.uk/glees_report.html . This quotes Stephen Dorril, author of ‘MI6’, as saying Glees “runs round with a little cabal of right-wingers in the intelligence study field who think the intelligence services do a marvelous job.” This also mentions the Community Security Trust, in connection with Glees.
  34. The Times, April 4, 2009, Hate cleric whips up jihad fervour from cell; Smuggled letter boasts of leaner, fitter Abu Qatada, Sean O’Neill; Richard Ford.
  35. Kohlmann has contributed to the Transnational Threats Project run by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, (see: Volume 3, Number 9, July 2005) which has long contributed to the US terrorism industry Evan Kohlmann; ‘the Doogie Howser of terrorism’? Tom Mills, 29 April 2008, SpinWatch. Kohlmann studied briefly at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, which boasts that “…Jesuit ideals of service are some of the hallmarks of a School of Foreign Service education”. Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (2009)About.
  36. See the Guardian’s 2009 profile and timeline on Abu Qatada.
  37. The Guardian, No justice in secrecy, 2 December 2008, Victoria Brittain.
  38. BBC, Abu Qatada ‘issues jail edicts’, 6 April 2009. This also includes a video of a Quilliam Foundation representative arguing that their evidence is that the letter is in a narrative voice.
  39. The Times, April 24, 2009, Counter-extremist foundation urges SNP to drop ‘sectarian and divisive’ Muslim candidate, Angus Macleod.
  40. The Times, September 9, 2009, Mosque that has a 20-year history of radical activity; Followers were easy prey for extremists seeking new recruits, Sean O’Neill reports, Sean O’Neill.
  41. Comment: It’s Arabs who are showing us how to tackle extremism, The Observer (England), March 9, 2008, OBSERVER COMMENT PAGES, Ed Husain.
  42. The Observer, April 20, 2008, National: Briefing: RELIGION: Muslim moderates ‘face hate campaign’, Ben Quinn.
  43. The Observer, March 8, 2009, National: British Islamic leader urged to quit: Muslim Council of Britain chief accused of advocating attacks on naval forces enforcing blockade of Gaza, Jamie Doward.
  44. The Observer, June 21, 2009, Comment & Debate: A chilling return to the land where once I sowed hate: Ten years ago, I hoped to inspire an Islamist coup in Pakistan. Going back, I saw the tragic results, Maajid Nawaz.
  45. The Independent, November 29, 2008, First Edition, Four Mumbai terrorists ‘had links with Britain’; Kashmiri separatists prime suspects for attacks Indians send information to UK security services, Andrew Buncombe and Kim Sengupta.
  46. The Independent, August 10, 2009, First Edition, Where is the Muslim anger over Darfur? Ed Husain.
  47. Comment, Salim Mansur, Shamelessness at the UN, 26th September 2009.
  48. When Conservatives Argue about Islam, Daniel Pipes, FrontPageMagazine.com, July 6, 2007.
  49. The Express, April 26, 2008, JEMIMA KHAN – They can threaten to kill me but it just proves I am right; The millionaire socialite remains defiant against Muslim extremists who have sent her death threats because of her Western lifestyle, Simon Edge.
  50. The Express, April 26, 2008, JEMIMA KHAN – They can threaten to kill me but it just proves I am right; The millionaire socialite remains defiant against Muslim extremists who have sent her death threats because of her Western lifestyle, Simon Edge.
  51. The Express, February 20, 2009, Scottish Edition, School web report finds extremist propaganda.
  52. The Express, February 20, 2009, U.K. 1st Edition, MUSLIM SCHOOLS BAN OUR CULTURE; Shakespeare, Harry Potter, cricket, music, Ludo, Monopoly and chess are all forbidden, Macer Hall Political Editor.
  53. Evidence of extremism in mosques ‘fabricated’, Martin Hodgson, The Guardian, 13 December 2007. Denis MacEoin’s report into sharia law in the UK was also published by Civitas on Monday 29 June 2009.
  54. An interesting account of MacEoin is at ‘Policy Exchange hijacks professional research’, October 31, 2007 by marranci.
  55. The Middle East Forum, Press Release, Denis MacEoin Appointed Middle East Quarterly Editor, January 15, 2009.
  56. The Express, February 28, 2009 Saturday, THE BRITONS KILLING OUR TROOPS; We report from the front line of a disturbing new British civil war being fought between our heroic soldiers and fanatical Muslims born and raised in this country and now dedicated to its destruction, Adrian Lee.
  57. Jemima Khan backs reformed jihadists, The Sunday Times, April 20, 2008, Richard Woods and Abul Taher.
  58. Butt has also been criticised by Inayat Bunglawala who argues he is a “professional liar”, see: The ‘Islamist’ who wasn’t, Inayat Bunglawala, the Guardian, 11 February 2009; this adds:
    Government ministers such as Tony McNulty sought an audience with him in order to listen to his learned thoughts on how to de-radicalise young Muslims. Nick Cohen praised him for steering British Muslims:
    … away from violence while teaching wider society that radical Islam is not a rational reaction to Western provocation, but a totalitarian ideology with a life of its own.
    Ed Husain, an admirer and also an “ex-Islamist” warned:
    In Manchester in April [2007], Hassan Butt, a one-time jihadist who is now opposed to extremism, was stabbed and beaten for speaking out against fanaticism. He now lives in hiding.
    There was only one problem with all this though – it was complete bullshit.

    The Observer had previously published Butt’s opinions, see: My plea to fellow Muslims: you must renounce terror, Hassan Butt, The Observer, Sunday 1 July 2007.

  59. The Sunday Times, April 27, 2008, The historic fight to reclaim the radicals, Taj Hargey. On other media coverage of Hargey see: The Times, October 11, 2008, ‘Liberal Taj Hargey dares to challenge prohibitionist Islam’. Hargey is also a trustee of British Moslems for Secular Democracy, (BMSD) other members include Yasmin Alibhai-Brown the chair, Shaaz Mahboob part of the “Projecting British Islam” campaign, which was sponsored by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Mahboob has attended various FCO briefings; indeed his biography at BMSD states:
    He has attended HM Government Prevent 08 Conferences and is developing a network of likeminded Muslims in key positions within the political parties and other institutions.

    Other connections include the Al Manaar Foundation. Other BMSD trustees include Ghayassuddin Siddiqui of The Muslim Parliament of Great Britain and director of the Muslim think tank; ‘The Muslim Institute’ , and Andy Gregg chair of the Migrants Resource Centre and a Board member of Refugee Action who arranged funding for BMSD from the City Parochial Foundation. The BMSD has “other job title needed” under Gregg’s profile and notes he is a recent convert, see: http://www.bmsd.org.uk/trustees.asp . The BMSD is directed by Tehmina Kazi and speaks on the ‘Prevent agenda’ (see About Us) Other earlier related think tanks include Farhan Nizami‘s Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Nizami is Chair of the Wilton Park Advisory Council which co-ordinates the UK’s public diplomacy.

  60. The Sunday Times, April 27, 2008, Doting daddy and jihadi, Rachel Johnson. This would seem to be the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR). Peter R. Neumann is the director and also worked as Director of the Centre for Defence Studies (2005-2007) at King’s College London (which forms the basis of the ICSR), and Content Director of the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security (2004-2005) organized by the Club de Madrid (whom he advises). He is a senior lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London and teaches classes on terrorism, insurgency, radicalization, and intelligence. ICSR Trustees include: John Sacher, President of the Industry and Parliament Trust, Chairman of Westminster Forum and was founder of the Whitehall and Industry Group and The British Friends of the Hebrew University andHenry Sweetbaum, the disgraced chairman of Wickes and former director of Plessy. The ICSR was launched with a keynote speech from Home Secretary Jacqui Smith who outlined the Government’s policy on radicalisation in her first speech on the subject. It featured the former Prime Minister of Canada, Kim Campbell who joined the ICSR, Frank Gardner, Sir Richard Dearlove, former Head of MI6, former UK Security and Intelligence Co-Ordinator Sir David Omand. It is led by Sir Lawrence Freedman, Boaz Ganor, Interdisciplinary Centre, Herzliya, Israel, Yasar Qatarneh, Regional Center on Conflict Prevention, Harvey Rubin, University of Pennsylvania, see: Comment, Issue no 179 | February 2008. Formerly a a Research Assistant at the Center for Strategic and International Studies‘ Michael Horowitz is also an Associate Fellow. Neumann has made comparisons between Britain’s early experience in Northern Ireland and the American-led occupation of Iraq, see: Iraq: Lessons from Northern Ireland, Peter Neumann, Volume: 54 Issue: 2, History Today February 2004, page 26-27.
  61. The Sunday Times, April 27, 2008, Doting daddy and jihadi, Rachel Johnson.
  62. The Sunday Times, April 5, 2009, Support for jihad from prison.
  63. Daily Mail, April 23, 2008, Jemima is target of extremists’ death threat, Dan Newling.
  64. Daily Mail, February 12, 2009, WE WELCOME THOSE WHO PREACH TERROR AND DEATH. SO WHY BAN AN IDIOTIC DUTCH MP WITH NOXIOUS YET NON-VIOLENT VIEWS? Stephen Glover.
  65. Daily Mail, February 12, 2009, WE WELCOME THOSE WHO PREACH TERROR AND DEATH. SO WHY BAN AN IDIOTIC DUTCH MP WITH NOXIOUS YET NON-VIOLENT VIEWS? Stephen Glover.
  66. Daily Mail, March 26, 2009, HUNTED IN BANGLADESH . . . THE TERROR SUSPECT FREED TWICE BY COURTS IN BRITAIN, Fay Schlesinger. The web version of the story ran a slightly different headline: Police swoop on British man accused of running arms factory ‘orphanage’ as deadly weapons cache is revealed.
  67. UK Charity Funding Arms and Training for Bangladeshi Terrorists, Terrorism Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 9 April 10, 2009, James Brandon.
  68. The Daily Telegraph, February 14, 2009, Banning Wilders plays into the hands of our Islamist enemies, Charles Moore. ‘Totalitarianism’ as a concept has an interesting root itself, extended into the description of the Soviet system from an early appraisal of facism.
  69. The Daily Telegraph, February 25, 2009, Young Muslims ‘at mercy of extremists’, Duncan Gardham. Gardham has a [ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/duncan-gardham/Profile at the Telegraph’s website].

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