Islamism,  PVE

British Islamism’s Black Knight Strikes Again

This piece by George Readings is cross-posted from The Spittoon

Further to his increasingly pathetic obsession with anybody who stands against Islamism in the UK, Inayat Bunglawala has launched (via his iEngage group) yet another attack on Quilliam. This time he is citing a report from the Redbridge Faith Forum.

The already microscopically minuscule credibility of the Quilliam Foundation has suffered yet another hugely embarrassing setback with the publication of a new report from the Redbridge Faith Forum.

The report produced by Redbridge Faith Forum (RFF) for Redbridge Safer Communities Partnership (RSCP), entitled, “Conversations with Muslim Community leaders in Redbridge about the Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) Agenda”, finds that contrary to the views articulated by the anti-Muslim brigade at Harry’s Place, the QF has no following whatsoever among British Muslims.

According to the RFF report:

‘…negative view[s] towards the Quilliam Foundation [were] held almost universally by all participants and corroborated by attending meetings including Understanding Redbridge Communities (URC) meeting.’

Although Quilliam claim to have no aspirations to being a representative body and gaining mass support, this would still seem to be quite a damning indictment. If they really have “no following whatsoever among British Muslims” then it would appear that their work over the last year and a bit has achieved very little; at least this is the point Bungles wants to make.

Unfortunately for him, the evidence does not support his assertions. He claims the report shows no British Muslim support for Quilliam – but have a look at page six.

Limitations of the study
We were only able to interview 9 Muslim leaders

Given that part of Quilliam’s thesis is that dealing with self-appointed “Muslim leaders”, far from being the solution to the problem of Islamist extremism in the UK, actually contributes to it, it’s not so surprising that these nine “Muslim leaders” are not Quilliam fans.

He also gets a pop in at the Sufi Muslim Council and cites very approvingly one respondent’s views on Bunglawala’s own Muslim Council of Britain.

The Quilliam Foundation is not the only organisation criticised by participants for being out of touch with British Muslims:

“Representative grassroots organisations should be at the forefront of all this (consultative work with the government). The MCB (Muslim Council of Britain) were isolated by the government and the Sufi Council was promoted in their place. But people don’t accept the Sufi Council. The MCB should be representing Muslims nationally. We accept MCB at our Mosque. MCB say Holocaust Day should be for everybody and renamed the International Genocide Day and was disliked for saying this. The MCB does not go against the grain of the community. We work to consensus.”

The identification of many Muslims with the MCB is strongly evinced in the views of respondents. For example:

“As Muslim community leaders, we have to be realistic. We can’t deny true feelings of Muslim community. There has to be a responsibility from central government. Their policy has an impact on the inhabitants. The MP follows the whip’s line. This is dangerous and causes resentment. People will be disenfranchised.”

Bunglawala omits to mention one crucial detail (p14).

[This] was the only specifically mentioned support for the MCB amongst the interview participants

Whoops.

There’s something else though. Bungles also fails to mention that his wife, Tahmina Saleem, works for Redbridge Council and is the secretary of ‘Redbridge Forum Against Extremism and Islamophobia.’ That’s to say, Bungles’s wife works for the very people who produced the report her husband is using to attack Quilliam. No mention is made of this in iEngage’s ‘Exclusive‘.

Double whoops. Did the dynamic duo think nobody would notice?

The flakiness of Bunglawala’s argument is extraordinary. Only he could consider nine one-hour long interviews with anonymous “Muslim leaders” representative of all British Muslims, even when the report itself makes clear that it should not be taken as representative of Redbridge’s Muslims (pp6-7), let alone all the other Muslims in this country.

The views contained in this report do not represent the views of Redbridge Faith Forum, nor the views of the Muslim Community as a whole in Redbridge, but are accurately based on the interviews that were carried out during February and March 2009.

How contemptuous Bungles must be of Britain’s two million Muslims (and how desperate he must be to discredit Quilliam) to draw such wide conclusions from such a limited report, especially against its author’s explicit guidance and without mentioning his wife’s work for Redbridge Council. And his attempt to bolster the MCB’s exceedingly precarious position through quoting a single unnamed individual smacks of desperation. Risible stuff.

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