The Islamic Forum Europe is a pressure group that was founded by Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, who has been accused in a Channel 4 documentary, and in an article in the Guardian, of involvement in genocide in Bangladesh. It is aligned with Jamaat-e-Islami, a nearly-defunct Islamist party in Bangladesh, whose Al Badr militia abducted and murdered prominent Bangladeshi intellectuals during the War of Liberation.
The controversies in which the Islamic Forum Europe have been involved are too many to mention. However, let us not forget that it was the Islamic Forum Europe who hosted the Al Qaeda aligned preacher Anwar Al Awlaki in 2003, who appeared at the associated East London Mosque where he told the faithful:
A Muslim is a brother of a Muslim, he does not oppress him and he does not hand him over. You don’t hand over a Muslim to the enemies of Allah.
A couple of days ago, we reprinted an email that was circulated to Newham Councillors, explaining why this nasty and extreme organisation’ s attempt to book Stratford Town Hall was refused. This is what it said:
· The Islamic Forum for Europe in September made a request for a room booking at Old Stratford Town Hall for a public event. Initially the booking was made in the name of TELCO but OTHS staff were suspicious as the address and contact details were not TELCO.
· At the time this was declined on the basis of failing to meet the room book requirements (in terms of providing incorrect information regarding the booking organisation) and because in line with the Council’s public room hire policy there were concerns about activity and statements that had been made by individuals who were associated with the organisation or previous events it had organised.
These concerns relate to our duty to promote equality and maintain community cohesion.
Andrew Gilligan, at the Telegraph, has reported on this press release. His article states:
One disturbing feature of this story, however, is that the IFE did not book the Town Hall under its own name, but in the name of a body called TELCO, the East London chapter of the community organising group London Citizens (though the IFE didn’t use TELCO’s address, which is what triggered the council’s suspicions in the first place.)
Now, a comment has appeared on that original article from a man called “Amin”:
This statement is either a forgery – or someone at the council is telling porkies. Whatever the case, the outlook doesn’t look good for the officer/s concerned… wonder what Council’s sanctions are for misinformation for malicious purposes?
As for Harry’s Place – nothing new but IFE has clear documentary evidence that this isn’t true: http://www.islamicforumeurope.com/live/ife.php?doc=articleitem&itemId=485
I’m going to enjoy this story playing out – especially as I’m virtually certain of the result: HP 0, Muslims 1
The “Muslims” who “Amin” is talking about are limited to the cadre and supporters of the Islamic Forum Europe. I’m sure that the families of those Muslims who were murdered by Jamaat-e-Islami’s Badr death squad won’t be cheering on the Islamic Forum Europe.
The IFE itself has put out the following press release:
Islamic Forum of Europe categorically denies the Telegraph’s report that it hired a Newham Council venue “in the name of a body called TELCO, the East London chapter of the community organising group London Citizens”.
This is a completely fabricated claim made by its London Editor, the infamous Andrew Gilligan, on his Telegraph blog (17/01/2011). Mr Gilligan’s unjustifiable laziness in relying on the notorious blog Harry’s Place, instead of proper journalism, has once again resulted in a claim which is completely baseless. Had he bothered to check, either through a Freedom of Information request to Newham Council, or asked IFE for comment, he would have discovered the true facts.
We shall be publishing the evidence in due course. Mr Gilligan needs to explain how it is ever justifiable to publish claims, without verifying the facts first. The Telegraph also needs to decide how much longer it will offer patronage to a pseudo-journalist who has a history of making false claims.
Due to the serious nature of this false allegation, and the distress caused to the organiser (IFE member) who has effectively been accused of fraudulent misrepresentation – we are exploring the options available and will be issuing a further statement soon.
If the IFE do indeed sue Gilligan, I imagine that he’ll be in a good position to counter-sue.
Also, let us not forget an important fact. The Islamic Forum Europe has been barred for hiring council premises in Newham. Newham is quite clear that its decision was a response not only to the TELCO/address issue, but because of the nature of the Islamic Forum Europe itself. Against that backdrop, I would have thought that the IFE’s beef was with Newham, who have sussed them out, rather than with Harry’s Place or Newham for reporting this fact.
Indeed, were I the IFE, I’d be keeping a very low profile at the moment.
This sort of intimidatory Lawfare action is how Islamist organisations work. Their politics are disgusting, the events they organise promote hatred, and they are associated with extreme and dangerous individuals. This means that, when you report on these organisations and what they’re up to, they’re able to claim that they’ve been horridly defamed.
The law of defamation is structured in a manner which makes it very easy for claimants to bring cases, often backed by insurance and lawyers working on a “no win no fee basis”. Because the cost of fighting a case to trial is so expensive, Islamists and their lawyers know that small magazines faced with libel claims will always have to settle, because the costs of the trial will otherwise ruin them. Large newspapers will often not want to bother fighting cases either.
The problem is even greater where the Islamists bringing the case are accused of horrific acts, a long time ago, and outside the United Kingdom. For example, the IFE’s Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin has managed (with the help of Carter Ruck) to silence those Bangladeshis who say that they saw him abduct their friends and family, never to return. That is because it would cost an absolute fortune to bring over witnesses from Bangladesh, some of whom are now very old, to tell a court what happened to them. Accordingly, it takes a very brave journalist and a very rich and bold newspaper, to face these creeps down.
However, when these cases come to trial, the Islamists lose. Let us not forget IFE activist, Azad Ali, who recently lost a libel action in which he objected to a newspaper pointing out his support for attacks on British troops. People like Azad Ali don’t really mind losing cases and being branded a supporter of the killing of British soldiers. In the circles in which he operates, that sort of reputation is a badge of pride.
As a result of Lawfare, however, many newspapers simply fail to report on the extremely nasty politics which British Islamist political parties promote. It is too much bother and too expensive. And that’s why Islamists bring or threaten Lawfare.
You should note, however, that the IFE are not challenging the fact that they were banned from Newham because of “concerns about activity and statements that had been made by individuals who were associated with the organisation or previous events it had organised”. How could they? Instead, expect the IFE to launch a letter writing and lobbying campaign, in which councillors will be threatened with loss of Muslim votes, and full on defamation as “Islamophobes”. That’s their other technique.
Unfortunately for the Islamic Forum Europe, none of this is working any more. Their goose is cooked. With the exception of Ken Livingstone, the Labour Party regards the IFE as their political opponent. With the exception of Andrew Boff, the Tories have sussed them out too. Newham puts them into the same category as the British National Party. We’re entering the end game.
Let’s return, in conclusion, to the issue which so exercised the Islamic Forum Europe: the question of their involvement with London Citizens. As you can see, the Islamic Forum Europe is a constituent member of this body. It shouldn’t be.
Let’s see what we can do to remove them from decent society.