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Gateway to terror: a new report from Hope not Hate

Today Hope not Hate is launching a new report exposing the terrorist connections of al-Muhajiroun, the group led by Anjem Choudary.

Gateway to Terror reveals that at least 70 people who have been convicted of terrorism or terror-related offences, or who have actually participated in suicide attacks, have been linked to the group. We reveal that the man who narrated a recent 58-minute al-Shabaab video, threatening a number of moderate British Muslims, is from Tower Hamlets and has also been linked to the group (al-Shabaab is the militant Islamist group fighting for control of Somalia). We expose the growing connections between Choudary and the northern Iraqi Ansar al-Islam group, an affiliate of al-Qaeda, and name its British leader. We chart Choudary’s growing network of contacts across Europe and reveal that between 200-300 supporters from these groups have gone to fight in Syria.

This report nails the misguided view that we should tolerate Choudary’s outlandish antics. Behind his media-grabbing and provocative stunts lies a group that is a gateway to terrorism, at home and abroad.

Nick Lowles expresses concern that people may not approve of this new report as it represents a departure from their more usual targets: the traditional far right.  I think this is a slightly misplaced anxiety. Hope not Hate supporters (i.e. those who sign up for its mailings) were polled some time ago about this issue, and the overwhelming majority – I think it was about 90% – supported campaigns against Muslim extremist groups, and would thus certainly endorse Nick’s words here:

Al-Mujahiroun is a hate group, pure and simple, and as such deserves our attention. Constantly feted by media yet treated as ‘clowns’ by many, it is by ignoring their threat that we let down the vast majority of Muslims who want nothing to do with Choudary.

The truth is the actions of this tiny minority of extremists leads to the stigmatisation of the entire Muslim community and the shameful idea of collective responsibility. The primary victim of al-Muhajiroun’s extremism is actually the wider Muslim community.

I completely agree with these points:

A more fundamental reason for opposing al-Muhajiroun is that we abhor their politics of hate. Al-Muhajiroun have a worldview that we do not share. They want to impose a system that is totally at odds with one that respects human rights, diversity and equality.

Its members have been known to engage in Holocaust denial and sell copies of the infamous antisemitic forgery the Protocols of Zion, as well as Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Some of their preachers celebrate 9/11 while others blame it on a Jewish conspiracy. They describe gay relationships as “perverted acts”, comparable to “rape and murder”, call for homosexuals to be put to death and have produced and disseminated leaflets called: “Gay Today, Paedophile Tomorrow?”

In addition, their sexist views call for the subjugation of and discrimination against women. Choudary has called for women to be forced to wear the veil and stated that women who commit adultery should be stoned to death.

Fundamentally, they seek to impose a system that is intolerant of difference, does not accept anyone or anything that fails to conform and that is totally opposed to democracy and free will.

Yet the poll results I mentioned earlier surely gave Hope not Hate a mandate for pursuing the issue of Muslim extremist groups and organisations a little further.  Some of the views which Nick rightly describes as deplorable are clearly shared by some who probably have no hesitation in condemning al-Muhajiroun.

However this sounds like a very interesting report (I’ve ordered a copy) and it’s welcome that Hope not Hate is continuing with its two-pronged approach against extremism. I wholeheartedly agree with the post’s conclusion:

By not speaking out against extremism across the board we are not only inconsistent in our actions but we leave the ground open to our opponents.