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Britain’s NHS: Not So Healthy

This is a guest post by Samuel Westrop, a Fellow of the Gatestone Institute.

Ramadan TV, a platform for Islamist hate-preachers, refers to NHS North East London & The City as one of its sponsors[1]. In response to a Freedom of Information request, it has emerged that the NHS funded the television channel to the tune of £3,200[2]. Contrary to the claims of the station, the NHS is quick to claim that it does “not sponsor Ramadan TV, but we work with them during this time to produce programmes with a health promotion message in an effective way to our target group”[3].

A very reasonable argument against Government grants is based on public bodies’ habit of funding extremist organizations that encourage bigotry and provide a platform for pro-terror views. The latest culprit is a local trust of Britain’s National Health Service [NHS], which this year sponsored a television channel with a penchant for hate preachers. The NHS has also previously accepted the services of Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin — a leading British Islamist wanted for acts of genocide in his native Bangladesh — as its “spiritual care” advisor. The consistent failure of public bodies to understand what taxpayers’ money actually subsidizes is a source of great concern to the general public, moderate Muslims, and all activists working hard to fight the political and religious extremism that is working to destroy Western freedoms.

Ramadan TV promotes and provides a platform to the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), a extreme pro-terror organization, the staff of which includes Islamist hate preachers such as Abdurraheem Green, Hamza Tzortzis and Yusuf Chambers[4]. The inclusion of these spiritual role models on the channel is widely advertised. Adnan Rashid, a senior researcher and lecturer from the iERA regularly publicizes that fact that Tzortzis and Green are speaking on Ramadan TV. Further, the iERA had previously set up on Facebook dedicated “event” webpages which have announced each time such speakers were to appear on the channel[5].

The iERA’s collusion with Ramadan TV is not a new development. It is certainly a alliance that the NHS should have found disturbing. An unlisted video link (meaning only those with the URL can watch the video) shows extremist preacher Abdurraheem Green speaking on Ramadan TV in 2011[6]. Green, a founding member and the current Chairman of the iERA[7] has a history of hate preaching. In the past, he has described non-Muslims as “evil people,” and non-Muslim Australian schools as “sewers”:

“If we leave [Muslims] in these [non-Muslim Australia] schools they will be destroyed … You know very well what takes place in these schools … it is all about evolution, Christmas, Easter, St Valentine’s Day — a barrage. And you expect your children to survive? You think you live in a sewer and you come up smelling of roses? Merely living in the company of evil people will inevitably begin to rub off on us and we will begin to acquire their characteristics.” [8]

Green has glorified the terrorist Ali al-Tamimi, stating:

Sheikh Ali Tamimi [...] is a teacher and upholder of the aqeeda of ahl Sunnah wal Jammah. Importantly, he is also someone who understands the religious sciences and secular knowledge, the deen of Islam and the reality of the life in the West. He is in fact a treasure of this ummah [nation of Islam], but a treasure purposely buried by the opposers [sic] of divine guidance. Sheikh Ali Tamimi is someone I have benefited so much from over the years.” [9]

Green has also blamed the 7/7 and 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad and the CIA:

“There is an obstinate reluctance that I still find in many Muslims to accept that any Muslim could have perpetrated such acts. It is strange however, that there is not such reluctance amongst many non-Muslims to accept the idea that in fact their own governments are somehow behind, or even directly responsible for what is going on. I must confess that such ideas did spring to my mind. After 911, I suspected that at least Mossad and the CIA had foreknowledge of what was going to happen, and perhaps helped it to happen.”[10]

Another Ramadan TV favorite is Hamza Andreas Tzortzis. Tzortzis has previously been associated with Hizb-ut-Tahrir, another extremist organisation that campaigns for a global Islamist caliphate and is viciously hateful of Jews.[11] Tzortzis chaired the launch event of the iERA. He is on record condemning democratic principles and advocating for a Sharia state:

We as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom. We see under the Khilafa (caliphate), when people used to engage in a positive way, this idea of freedom was redundant, it was unnecessary, because the society understood under the education system of the Khilafa state, and under the political framework of Islam, that people must engage with each other in a positive and productive way to produce results, as the Qur’an says, to get to know one another.

Yusuf Chambers, also a founding member of the iERA, is another regular guest on Ramadan TV[12]. In a recorded conversation conducted with Dr. Zakir Naik (who has been banned from entering Britain), Chambers specifically asks what the punishment for homosexuality should be (the answer is “Death”), and then asks Naik to refute suggestions that homosexuality has any natural or genetic origins[13]. In the same interview, Chambers agrees that adulterous women should be stoned to death.

Ramadan TV has also used Hussein Yee in its promotional material[14]. Yee has said that Jews are extremists, destined for hell, who enjoy killing above all else[15]. He also claims that Jews in America were ‘happy’ when the Twin Towers fell[16].

Other iERA speakers include Abdullah Hakim Quick, who has been condemned by New Zealand’s broadcasting authority for his anti-gay tirades, which state that homosexuals must be killed, that they are “sick” and “not natural”, and that “Muslims are going to have to take a stand [against homosexuals] and it’s not enough to call names.” He continues to hold this position: “They said ‘what is the Islamic position [on homosexuality]?’ And I told them. Put my name in the paper. The punishment is death. And I’m not going to change this religion.”[17]

Shady Suleiman, another iERA representative, has stated:

“Remember that if there is an Islamic state the punishment of zina [sex outside marriage], the punishment of those who commit zina, if they have never been married before, they will be lashed 100 lashes. If they are married while they committed zina, or previously been married and divorced, and they committed zina, then their punishment is stoning to death.”[18]

In the course of investigating these findings, the NHS has declined all requests for a statement. Further, it refuses to say that public money will no longer continue to fund Ramadan TV.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time the NHS has sought the services of extremists. Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin has been the Director of Muslim spiritual care provision in the NHS[19]. He is of Bangladeshi origin and is a trustee of Muslim Aid[20], a charity Spanish police have accused of having links with terror groups[21]. The Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS is managed by the Muslim Council of Britain, in line with the Department of Health’s initiative to “empower Muslim chaplains in the health service”[22].

Most alarmingly, Mueen-Uddin is wanted for war crimes in Bangladesh. The Law and Justice Minister in Bangladesh, Shafique Ahmed, has told The Daily Telegraph that Uddin was “an instrument of killing intellectuals. He will be charged, for sure.”

The curse of good-intentions is that they are so easily exploited. British Government grants are consistently entreated by organizations which work against the democratic values that we elect our Governments to uphold and protect. Social ‘cohesion’, interfaith and even anti-extremism grants offered by public bodies are all particularly susceptible to the solicitations of extremist groups. Government, seemingly, loves to be regarded as well intentioned, even if the results are far from beneficial. In public bodies’ haste to throw money at seemingly moral causes, too often the taxpayer ends up funding groups whose real aims are most destructive.

Government, and especially local authorities, need to be vastly more vigilant. One would hope Government already accepts that funding a platform for hate preachers is not a healthy use of taxpayers’ money. It is now long overdue, however, that organisations which seek the partnership of Government should become the subject of comprehensive investigation before taxpayers’ money is so inattentively allocated – no matter how innocent the recipient of the grant may appear. There will always be groups out there who wish to destroy us, but that does not mean we should be financially supporting their work.

References


[1] Ramadan.tv website (removed from front page but NHS logo still on website’s files within the ‘Sponsors’ folder) -http://www.ramadan.tv/images/sponsors/nhs.png

[2] Freedom of Information request, submitted by Sam Westrop to NHS North East London and the City on 28 August 2012

[3] ibid.

[4] https://www.facebook.com/events/348018571942665/

[5] https://www.facebook.com/events/195289573866917/

[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H75cksgAPxg&feature=youtu.be

[7] http://twitter.com/ – !/AbduraheemGreen/status/105284665518194688

[8] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/islamic-boys-told-of-evil-aussies/story-e6frg6nf-1111112646557

[9] Abdhur Raheem Green’s website - http://www.islamsgreen.org/islams_green/2006/10/free_ali_tamimm.html

[10] http://www.islamsgreen.org/islams_green/2006/02/reflections_ove.html

[11] www.socialcohesion.co.uk/files/1301651409_1.pdf

[12] http://www.iera.org.uk/speakers_yc.html

[13] Sam Westrop, It can’t just be on the students, Harry’s Place, June 2012 - http://hurryupharry.org/2012/06/11/it-cant-just-be-on-the-students-the-university-and-unions-must-act/

[14] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZBDe1959qvo&feature=plcp

[15] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmpCh_HBr_Y

[16] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF0ojK4SAy4&feature=fvwrel

[17] Abdul Hakim Quick Recording - http://www.hurryupharry.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/QuickDeath.mp3

[18] What Islam Says about Zina [Adultery], Video recording - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJuSwwsAVHo

[19] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/bangladesh/9204831/Leading-British-Muslim-leader-faces-war-crimes-charges-in-Bangladesh.html

[20] http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Showcharity/RegisterOfCharities/ContactAndTrustees.aspx?RegisteredCharityNumber=295224&SubsidiaryNumber=0&TID=2448422

[21] http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/12/08/spain.alqaeda/

[22] http://www.elht.nhs.uk/pdf/Uniform%20&%20wqorkwear.pdf