This is a guest post by Shiraz Maher
Less than a month after the government made a last minute u-turn over its support for IslamExpo, nothing has changed.
After both the Radical Middle Way (RMW) and the Quilliam Foundation’s Ed Husain were involved in a Foreign Office programme called ‘Projecting British Islam‘ in Egypt last month, a particularly po-faced Islamist called ‘Ibn Adam‘ sunk his teeth into the RMW and in particular into its representative Abdul-Rehman Malik, for participating in an event alongside Quilliam’s Ed Husain.
The RMW’s Abdul-Rehman Malik responded by distancing himself from the Quilliam Foundation. He explained:
“The Radical Middle Way have no link with the Quilliam Foundation… There was a number of individuals on the delegation and the fact that we were together certainly does not imply automatic support for each other’s positions.”
Now, I don’t have a problem with any of that. You don’t have to join the Quilliam Foundation to oppose Islamists.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
But then the RMW has also joined Hizb ut Tahrir’s ‘Stand for Islam’ group which declares:
“Our campaign will show the sublime values of Islam and the ability of the Islamic system to solve modern problems. The Muslim world is crying out for Islam, and Hizb ut-Tahrir works globally for the restoration of the Khilafah [Caliphate] in the Muslim world… It is also time to question the capitalist system and the liberal values they want to impose across the world.”
So the RMW is now openly backing HuT, a group Tony Blair wanted to ban after 7/7.
It gets worse. In his letter to Ibn Adam on ‘Traditional Islamism’ Abdul-Rehman Malik explains:
“RMW has been transparent about the fact that its funding comes from a variety of sources, but primarily it receives grants from the Global Opportunities Fund and Communities and Local Government.”
The Global Opportunities Fund (now the Strategic Programme Fund) is run by the Foreign Office.
The RMW admits to being ‘primarily funded’ by at least two separate government departments and is then supporting a group who would rather replace our liberal democracy with a puritanical Islamist theocracy? That doesn’t strike me as the most effective way to spend taxpayer’s money.
The Quilliam Foundation praised the RMW during their official launch in April this year. However, in their quest to build partners and local stakeholders within the community they will need to be equally vigilant in ensuring they do business with the right parties.
The Radical Middle Way has now removed the link to the Hizb ut Tahrir campaign. However, here is a screenshot.