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Mo Ansar and Living Islam

This is a Cross Post by Shaykh Zubair

Yesterday was not a good day for Mo Ansar who has managed to lie his way into the media over recent years. A number of high profile pieces were written about him that finally exposed his fraudulent rise to fame.

Nick Cohen started the morning off with an excellent article in The Spectator that is worth reading called

“The Curious case of Mo Ansar”

He goes on to say

“If a curious stranger asked you to name a British Muslim commentator, I guess you would name Mo Ansar. So omnipresent has he become, he seems at times to be Britain’s only Muslim commentator.”


‘Mo Ansar: Open for business,’ read his first tweet on 8 August 2011, and business has been rolling in ever since. Ansar understands better than most that if you want to exploit the media you must always be available to harassed researchers on rolling news programmes. ‘He invented himself as a rent-a-quote commentator,’ says the LBC broadcaster Iain Dale. ‘We know he’ll always say “yes”. And when you’re setting up a topic, that’s worth its weight in gold.’ A producer recalled marvelling as Ansar bombarded him with ideas for films. ‘This man wants to be on television more than anything else in the world,’ he thought.

Until recently programme makers were happy to oblige. Broadcasters made him the voice of British Islam, even though no electorate had voted for him, and no organisation had appointed him its spokesperson. Ansar was not an Islamic scholar. He had not published a book or led a movement. He was a planning manager at Lloyds-TSB in Winchester until 2006, and has had no visible means of support except appearance fees and state benefits for years.”


“He looked the part, I’ll give him that. He dressed in a prayer hat and flowing robes, but spoke with a slight London accent: a mixture of the exotic and the familiar broadcasters appreciated. More tellingly, he was among the first to understand that Twitter could turn you into a minor celebrity. Ansar has issued tens of thousands of Tweets: picking fights, issuing proclamations, and seeking endorsements. Alongside the official Mo Ansar account, there is a Twitter alias – a ‘sockpuppet’ account in the jargon – called @The_TruthTeller, which denigrates Ansar’s enemies. It was originally called @MoAnsar2, and is written either by Ansar, who was unavailable for comment, or by a besotted fan determined to fight his every battle.”

The article is required reading for anyone who has an interest in this field and exposes the immoderate side to Ansar as well as his bullying antics and vindictiveness with regards to anyone that upsets his quest for fame or drops him from their shows and can be read here.

We were then treated to a wonderfully amusing informal discussion between Douglas Murray and Haras Rafiq on a Podcast for the same newspaper and if you have 10 minutes to spare, click here.


The broadcaster and columnist, Milo Yiannopoulos waded in with a headline that called Ansar

“THE BOGUS THEOLOGIAN WHO DEFENDS SLAVERY AND SAYS MUSLIMS DIDCOVERED AMERICA IN AD 1000… WHILE CLAIMING BENEFITS AND APPEARING ON THE BBC”

The article is the culmination of several weeks of forensic investigation that (apparently) was commissioned by a national newspaper but Nick Cohen got there first.

Milo goes on to say


“Author’s Note: For cost and scheduling reasons the newspaper this report was originally destined for has declined to publish it. (In short, that bugger Nick Cohen got his story out first!) I thought it a shame to waste several weeks’ work, so I have consulted a lawyer at my own expense and, minus a few expurgations, this is what we currently know about Mo Ansar. I have assembled a dossier of dated, documentary evidence for every claim in this report, which is available to other journalists upon request.”

• ‘Community activist’ Mo Ansar is a regular guest on the BBC who presents himself as the face of moderate Islam

• Yet Ansar is a fantasist and Walter Mitty character who supports slavery and has promoted extremist organisations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir on social media

• Claims he is an ‘educationalist’, ‘theologian’, ‘lawyer’ and ‘visiting lecturer’ but has no qualifications and has never worked at a school, university or law firm

• The self-styled ‘expert commentator’ is also under fire for undeclared income from media appearances while costing taxpayers a fortune in unnecessary police protection, benefits and a spurious employment tribunal appeal”

“I have been looking into Ansar for the past three weeks, and my investigation has revealed that Ansar has fabricated an extraordinary number of jobs, lied about professional qualifications and invented work experience, causing distress and harm to many, misleading the public and most likely breaking the law. He has bullied ordinary members of the public, filed nonsense police reports and failed to declare taxable income.”

“He has repeatedly and falsely claimed on Twitter to be a lawyer, which is an offence in England and Wales, before admitting earlier this week to Financial Times legal journalist David Allen Green that he was not in fact a qualified legal professional and he “regretted” any “impressions” to the contrary. But Ansar’s publicly made claims speak for themselves:

Milo also discusses his wild claims and sexed up CV

“According to court documents, Ansar’s failure to honour a debt to Lloyds TSB – a staff loan – appears to be what kicked off a 36-day employment tribunal and launched him into a career of dishonesty and special pleading in the early 2000s.

He did not repay the money he owed, and when his manager launched a compliance investigation he accused that manager of “racial discrimination,” “victimisation” and “harassment.” He later accused the bank of “tampering” with data files, a claim rejected outright by the judge.
Many appeals later, after numerous failed allegations of bias against the chair of the Tribunal from Ansar, the case was thrown out by the Supreme Court before three Lord Justices, including Leveson, at massive cost to the taxpayer.
In an earlier appeals judgment, the judge noted that Ansar found it difficult to take instruction from female superiors, had undertaken “sloppy” work for the bank and had lied in a letter pertinent to the case.

“There was also evidence of “deliberate falsification of assets” by Ansar, said the judge, who noted that Ansar was “a forceful personality” who “manipulated circumstances for his own benefit.”

Furthermore

“By 2012, Ansar was calling himself the “Muslim Bishop of Southampton” on Twitter, and claiming that he had been offered an Archdeaconship if he converted to Christianity. (He has also claimed that he was invited to become a trustee of a transgender charity, for which there is also no evidence, about which he refuses to answer questions.)”

“The jobs board

Here are the jobs Ansar claims he has held down in the last fifteen years, many of them simultaneously.

• Lawyer
• Lecturer
• Banker
• Imam
• Marriage counsellor
• Visiting lecturer
• Political and social commentator
• Legal advocate
• Educator
• Educationalist
• Speaker
• Grass roots activist
• Civil rights activist
• Social justice activist
• Peace activist
• “Interfaither”
• Theologian
• School governor
• Girls’ cricket team coach
• England and Wales Cricket Board coach
• Equality specialist (“15 years”)
• Equality practitioner “in Parliament”
• Communication specialist
• Child protection expert
• Prison chaplain
• College chaplain
• Professional logician
• Professional Association of Diving Instructors-qualified scuba diver
• “The Muslim Bishop of Southampton”
• Community organiser
• Diversity consultant
• Religious Education practitioner
• School governor
• LGBT activist (“almost a decade”, “15 years”)”

For further elaboration on some of the jobs that Ansar may have done (in jest) – check out #mocv

Other revelations can also be viewed on

THE TRUTH ABOUT MO ANSAR – Iain Dale reveals how and why he was reported to the Police by Ansar

THE DANGEROUS MR ANSAR – The author Jeremy Dunns discusses the fraudulent behaviour undertaken by Ansar and his “sock puppet” accounts.

This leads me onto the annual Living Islam Festival organised by The Islamic Society of Britain. This is an event that has been ongoing for a number of years and is organised by Dr Khalid Anis who is a genuine moderate guy with great integrity. Furthermore a number of the senior management team of

The Islamic Society of Britain have been working very hard over recent years to reform the organisation into a genuine middle of the ground space. Having been critical of them in the past, I am hopeful that they will complete their journey and take the organisation with them.

They have invited some presenters that I would not consider Liberal but then again there are others that I would certainly respect and admire. Notwithstanding this, I would certainly expect them in light of the above evidence to boot out fraudulent charlatans such as Mo Ansar who is invited to speak to their audience. It would not surprise me if he attends as most people would cover themselves up with a blanket and not leave their room out of shame but narcissistic fame seekers do not behave like most people.

Dr Khalid Anis – Are you going to allow these types of people to sully the event? I genuinely hope not

Ps – All is not lost for Ansar as perennial victims / Islamophobia merchants  Myriam Francois Cerrah  and the CEO of the non-existent Ramadhan Foundation are prepared to ignore the facts and stick up for him. Remember to stay happy and keep dancing.