The East London Mosque’s Islamophobia Gambit

If the BNP staged a conference about racism against white people, would it be taken seriously? Of course not.

Something comparable will happen at the East London Mosque’s London Muslim Centre in May:

Enough Coalition Against Islamophobia > European Conference 2011: Confronting Anti-Muslim Hatred in Britain and Europe.

Community figures, campaigners, academics, experts and victims of Islamophobia from across Europe discuss the effects of anti-Muslim hatred in Britain and across the world and how to campaign against it.

The speakers are a sorry procession of Islamists and their left wing allies:

Speakers include: Professor John Esposito – George Town University, USA | Tony Benn – Veteran anti-war campaigner | Mehdi Hassan – New Statesman | Dr Robert Lambert – European Muslim Research Centre | Hiba Aburwein – European Forum on Muslim Women, Belgium | Peter Oborne – Daily Telegraph | Azad Ali – Islamic Forum of Europe | Liz Fekete – Institute of Race Relations | Seumas Milne – The Guardian | Salma Yaqoub – Respect | Dr. Sabine Schiffer – Germany | Dr Kamal el-Helbawy – Former Muslim Brotherhood spokesman | Dr Laura McDonald – Birmingham University | Marwan Muhammad – Collective Against Islamophobia in France | Muhammad Habibur-Rahman – London Muslim Centre | Dr AbdoolKarim Vakil – Muslim Council of Britain | Lindsey German – Stop the War Coalition | Dr Daud Abdullah – British Muslim Initiative | Nabeel Ahmed – Federation of Students Islamic Societies | Jon Rees – author, Imperialism and Resistance | Lez Levidow – Campaign Against Criminalising Communities | Mohammed Ali – Islam Channel | Sabby Dhalu – One Society Many Cultures | Rizwan Hussain – TV presenter

A dedicated website for the conference has been set up by Shamiul Joarder of Friends of al Aqsa, the Israel hatred operation of Ismail Patel. The designated contacts for the event are stopper Chris Nineham and Mohammed Shakir, the mosque’s media officer.

Turning back to the speakers, let’s start with Robert Lambert of the University of Exeter’s European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC).

The EMRC is an Islamist promotion project that will be familiar to readers of this blog. It is funded and backed by Islamist activist Anas al-Tikriti and fugitive Hamas commander Mohammed Sawalha. Its advisors include al-Tikriti, former Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Bashir Nafi, who has been indicted (pdf) in the United States for racketeering on behalf of the terrorist group, and Muhammad Abdul Bari, the chairman of the East London Mosque.

One of the EMRC’s main missions is smearing of critics of extremists. Even the university has noticed this by now, as you will see here:

Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies
21st February 2011

The first version of this report published on 29 November 2010 contained a section ‘Barbarians at the Gates of the City’ that has now been removed from the report and the University of Exeter has issued this apology:

“The University has become aware that a third party account in the chapter entitled ‘Barbarians at the Gates of the City’ contained in an earlier version of the academic report ‘Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies’ contained serious errors of fact which may lead a reader to misconstrue the conduct, actions and the intentions of Councillors Helal Abbas, Denise Jones, Ken Clark, Joshua Peck, Rachael Saunders, Michael Keith and Jim Fitzpatrick MP.

Whilst the purpose of publishing the third party account within the report was to reflect the views and opinions of an individual Muslim citizen, the University has received information and comments from the above individuals, and wishes to make it clear that it is not the position or finding of the University that the actions and intentions of those individuals were Islamophobic or racist in any way. Those individuals have passionately stressed to the University that they have worked throughout their careers to fight racism, discrimination and inequality in East London. The University have therefore removed the section from the report, and apologises unreservedly.”

Robert Lambert has no credibility in the field of “Islamophobia”.

Nor does the mosque have any credibility on the subject of hatred, apart from its promotion. It continues to host extremists in conference after conference.

Let’s look at another aspect of this conference alone. Three of the speakers have supported attacks on British troops.

Daud Abdullah is the man who runs Middle East Monitor, a pro-Hamas propaganda operation. He is of course a signatory of the Istanbul declaration (pdf). As The Observer reported in 2009:

The most contentious obligation instructs Muslims to attack foreign navies. In January, Gordon Brown offered Royal Navy resources to help monitor events in Gaza and to stop weapons being smuggled into the territory.

But, according to the Istanbul declaration, there is an obligation for “the Islamic Nation to regard the sending of foreign warships into Muslim waters, claiming to control the borders and prevent the smuggling of arms to Gaza, as a declaration of war, a new occupation, sinful aggression, and a clear violation of the sovereignty of the Nation”. It continues: “This must be rejected and fought by all means and ways.”

Azad Ali is the civil servant who said this about al-Qaeda preacher and recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki on the Islamic Forum of Europe’s blog: “I really do love him for the sake of Allah, he has an uncanny way of explaining things to people which is endearing.” That post and others on the blog got him in trouble and brought on media scrutiny. So he resorted to lawfare. He lost. Justice Eady noted:

“I would hold that the claimant was indeed, in November, 2008, and for so long as the blog remained available, taking the position that the killing of American and British troops in Iraq would be justified by his middle or ‘balanced’ interpretation of jihad.

“Moreover, since it is a matter of construing plain language in its overall context, I believe it would be perverse to take a contrary view.

“In other words, it would not be a rational interpretation of the blog to understand the claimant as saying either that the Allied troops were not ‘occupiers’ in Iraq or that they ceased to be ‘occupiers’ in 2005.

“In those circumstances, the claim can be categorised legitimately as ‘bound to fail’ and as having about it an ‘absence of reality’.

Kamal el-Helbawy is a veteran of the Muslim Brotherhood. The BBC has reported his view on attacking British troops:

One such man is Kamal Helbawy, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood, now based in London, who is quite candid about his support for jihad in what he regards as “occupied countries”, including Afghanistan – where both the US and UK have troops.

Helbawy doesn’t have much time for “western” human rights. Here he is at a conference in Iran in February:

The democracy and human rights promoted by the Western countries are false slogans and the perfect version of the human rights can be found in the Islamic principles, he added.

For Helbawy, Khomeini is a better guide than the dastardly west:

He also said that Imam Khomeini’s views have played a key role in the political changes currently taking place in the region, because he taught people to rise up against the oppressors.

Here he is heaping praise on Ahmadinejad and the brutal Tehran regime.

Does the mosque really expect such a man to be seen as a worthy member of a campaign against hatred?

In February David Cameron expanded on his Munich speech with these words:

“We don’t tolerate racism in our society carried out by white people, we shouldn’t tolerate extremism carried out by other people. It certainly means changing the practice, changing the groups you fund, the people you engage, the platforms you share with people, the people you let into the country. I think it needs a whole new way of thinking.”

The East London Mosque has been given millions of pounds by the public sector over the years.

What do David Cameron and senior Tories make of that record? I think we should be told.

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