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It’s time to shut the Conservative Muslim Forum down

This is a guest post by Hasan Afzal

The Conservative Muslim Forum (CMF) was founded in 2005, as part of the Conservative Party’s ‘modernisation’ strategy, the group was formed “when the Conservative Party recognised that it needed to do more to appeal to Muslim voters”. The group uses an ‘@conservatives.com’ e-mail for all official correspondences.

The CMF could have played a progressive part in enticing Muslim voters towards the Conservative Party. That has not happened. Instead, the Conservative Muslim Forum appeases and bids for Islamists within the Conservative Party. Consider the following:

Here is Lord Sheikh, the group’s Chairman, publicly praising the Al Muntada Trust. The Al Muntada Trust is a hate group that masquerades as a charity. The organisation has a long history of hosting foreign and domestic hate preachers. The following hate preachers have been invited at the behest of Al-Muntada:

  • Ali al Timimi, a virulently antisemitic American preacher who was convicted of recruiting fighters for the Taliban in the United States after the September 11 attacks and sentenced to life in prison in 2005
  • Abu Zubair, AKA Saleem Beg, one of the founders of Islamic Awakening. It is a British internet forum where vicious extremism and jihad are regularly promoted. Earlier this year Zubair issued thinly veiled death threats to an imam who accepts and teaches evolution.
  • Khalid Yasin, an American preacher who teaches hatred of non-Muslims, calls for the death penalty for homosexuals, denies that Muslims carried out the September 11 attacks, and has been accused of serious fraud.

At the 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner for the trust, Lord Sheikh proclaimed: “I take my hat off …  to our host today for the amount of work they do” before giving a muddled speech about what a fun time religious minorities had when Muslims ‘conquered Jerusalem’ in the 12th century.

Consider what Lord Sheikh said at the East London Mosque’s centenary:

I would certainly commend the Mosque and Centre: not only do you provide a place of worship, but you provide a holistic service and more importantly the empowerment for women. Let us all work together to foster good relationships.

More empowerment for women? That’s why the mosque hosted, via video link, Mohammed Al-Arifi who publicly endorses wife beating? or why the mosque was prepared to host Abdul-Rahman Al-Barrak, a fanatical preacher who promotes gender apartheid? This is the same East London Mosque that hosted a family talk on how to ‘spot the fag’. The ELM and the Centre also acted as a fundraising venue for the radical Islamist group CagePrisoners.

In May 2010, Lord Sheikh was billed as a ‘keynote speaker’ at a charity dinner for Interpal. Interpal is another radical charity that Sheikh has endorsed. It has been under investigation by the charity commission after a Panorama documentary showed the organisation had spent donor money on spreading the Islamist extremism, courtesy of Hamas, in the West Bank.

To add to the dodgy connections, here is Lord Sheikh with the Middle East’s genocidal murderer of the moment:

This is what Lord Sheikh had to say about Mr Al-Asad:

Lord Sheikh found President Bashar Al-Asad to be an extremely well-informed, intelligent and articulate person who cares about the plight of the Palestinian refugees.

The Syria trip was organised by the Hamasniks of the Palestinian Return Centre and Lord Sheikh’s company included Jenny Tonge and Jeremy Corbyn.

Another individual at the Conservative Muslim Forum of note is Mohammed Amin. Mr Amin is a former accountant and one-time leadership contender of the Muslim Council of Britain. Mr Amin’s position at the Conservative Muslim Forum is Vice Chairman. In between retirement and opining pieces comparing British diplomatic relations with Israel to North Korea, his job at the CMF, it appears, is to undermine the Home Secretary’s position on campus extremism.

Mohammed Amin is a big fan of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS). FOSIS is a radical student organisation whose glittering alumni in their affiliated student societies includes a failed suicide bomber and quite a few successful ones too.

The Government has made its position on FOSIS very clear, and the Home Secretary has gone to impressive lengths in showing FOSIS that their tendency to occasionally turn students into genocidal terrorists means that they have an issue of credibility that rings through the corridors of Whitehall. As a result, Nabil Ahmed, a liar, who heads FOSIS has had to go jump through embarrassing hoops to garner a thread of trust in his organisation.

Mr Amin, however, is not consistent with this government’s policy. Mr Amin attended the FOSIS winter conference in 2011 to give a talk after the government stopped the Civil Service Fast Stream from giving a talk to the group. FOSIS used his appearance to undermine the Home Secretary and Mr Amin legitimised FOSIS in a way that is not helpful to stopping campus extremism.

At this year’s FOSIS Annual Conference, I can reveal the Conservative Muslim Forum will be ‘representing’ the Conservative Party, as they did last year alongside the far-left extremists of Labour Friends of Palestine and Middle East.

And this is Amin’s view on Interpal:

This relief charity operates mainly in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Wikipedia article on Interpal recounts the many times that it has wrongly been accused of funding terrorism. Despite my comments with regard to Islamic Relief and donating to only one large relief charity, I respond to the annual appeal I receive from Interpal primarily out of sympathy regarding this persecution.

The Conservative Muslim Forum is rotten. Far from bringing Muslims closer to the Conservative Party, it is a vanity-vehicle for a few at the price of genuine Muslim advocacy within the party. Key individuals in the organisation have compromised important cornerstones of this government’s integration strategy.

There is a place for Muslims in today’s Tory party – but why should it be such a disastrous front group? It’s time to shut it down.