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Who is Muhammad Shafiq?

This is a guest post by Shaykh Boom Boom

This is the first in a series of blog pieces that dishes the dirt of a number of Muslim spokespersons that certain media organisations periodically wheel out. The aim of these pieces is to illustrate how many of these figures are bigoted, unrepresentative and self-promoting individuals who should not be presented as representative of British Muslims.

Muhammad Shafiq is a founding member of the Rochdale-based Ramadhan Foundation and head of News and Politics at the Ummah Channel. He also describes himself as a ‘Muslim commentator’ and, tragically, is a member of the Lib Dems. The Ramadhan Foundation has a history of making outlandish and delusional comments, including referring to Israel as ‘the new Hitler’ and, bizarrely, expressing sadness at not being invited to a meeting with Tony Blair, see here.

However, the organisation, of which Shafiq is the public face, is not just about expressing disappointment when it is ignored in Westminster. It also defends notorious hate preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi and describes him as ‘a man of moderation’ who is ‘widely respected through the world’.  As readers of this blog will know, Qaradawi is a vile anti-Semite who believes every Jew in the world in an enemy of Islam and can’t wait for the day when Muslims destroy world Jewry, see here.

In 2005, the Ramadhan Foundation organised an event entitled ‘The Muslim Unity Convention’ that was broadcast by the Islamist-run Islam Channel. This convention paraded some of Britain’s most notorious hate preachers, including: Hizb ut Tahrir members – Sajid Varda and Taji Mustafa, MPACUK Spokesperson and David Irwing fan – Asghar Bukhari, Supporter of the al-Qaeda-led ‘resistance’ in Iraq – Yvonne Ridley, CEO of the Islam Channel and convicted terrorist – Muhammad Ali Harrath. I’m not sure what kind of unity they were hoping to achieve with that line up.

The Ramadhan Foundation also has two hate notorious preachers on its advisory board, namely Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick and Dr. Jamal Badawi. Abdullah Quick has openly called for the death of homosexuals, see here, and referred to Jews as ‘filth’, see here.  Jamal Badawi is a leading member of numerous North America-based Islamist organisations, such as MAS and ISNA, who has cited the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Nazi sympathiser, Hassan al-Banna, as his key inspiration in life, see here.

The chairman of the Ramdhan Foundation, Muhammad Umar Budally, who is also Shafiq’s brother, has been accused of slandering a well-known Islamic scholar who booted him out of his classes, see here. This raises a further question; why is the Ramadhan Foundation harping on about Muslim unity when its chairman has a history of attacking prominent Muslim scholars and causing disunity? Furthermore, why does an organisation that seems to be run by two hapless brothers from Rochdale, describe one as ‘chairman’? Delusions of grandeur me thinks.

When Shafiq is not busy defending hate preachers and organising events for anti-Semites and homophobes, he is busy working for the Ummah channel. This channel was criticised by OFCOM in 2010 for broadcasting preachers who called for the killing of Ahmedi Muslims, see here. Luckily for the Ummah Channel, they were not prosecuted and, subsequently, OFCOM were criticised for taking the issue too lightly. The government’s counter-terrorism Task Force, set up in the wake of the killing of Lee Rigby, is looking into giving more powers to OFCOM so that it can take action against such organisations in future.

Extremist links aside, Shafiq’s background is shrouded in a cloak of mystery, as this blog post makes clear. It is not clear what qualifications he has, his work history sounds shady and it seems he is trying to climb the greasy pole of Lib Dem politics. What is also very clear is the fact that Shafiq is a shameless self-promoter who makes bold and unsubstantiated claims about himself and his organisation. Why media organisations wheel him out when broadcasting key developments remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.