Liberal Muslims are unhappy about all this. See this Huffington Post article for several views. This one is from Tehmina Kazi:
“The Left and Right should vociferously challenge anti-gay, anti-women, and anti-minority sentiments – even (and I would say especially) if these happen to come from minority groups themselves.
“It is crucial to have dialogue with a wide range of groups, but sentiments like these should not go unchallenged, especially when sharing public platforms.
“I would also encourage the leaders and thinkers across the UK to strengthen their partnerships with progressive and liberal Muslim stakeholders.”
In fact, MEND spends much of its time denigrating the wrong sort of Muslim. Tell Mama, for example, is slurred this way by MEND CEO Sufyan Ismail:
We don’t want the government to fob us off with some phoney thing called Tell Mama, yeah, which has got a pro-Zionist pretty much heading it or in a very senior capacity.
The Quilliam Foundation too is some sort of Jew plot for Sufyan Ismail:
We’re not Quilliam Foundation, yeah, where we get government money and pro-Israeli lobby funding and things like this.
Pretty bad, right? But never mind, Julie Ward is having none of it. This is one of the most pathetic justifications for working with extremists I have ever seen:
What about the Huffington Post article? A supremely stupid dismissal will do:
MEND CEO Sufyan Ismail shows his true colours
Labour front bencher Shabana Mahmood is another MEND backer