Let’s take a look at some of the MCB’s ‘Elected CWC members‘:
Muhammad Abdul Bari – Secretary General & Chair, Media Committee
According to a 2006 BBC profile:
As chairman of the East London mosque, Dr Bari was considered instrumental in helping controversial MP George Galloway secure his parliamentary seat in the last general election by telling Muslims they had a duty to vote.
‘Controversial’ is an understatement, given Galloway’s long history of support for terrorists such as Hamas and Hezbollah.
Bari has twice attempted to compare the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany with the treatment of Muslims in contemporary Britain. In 2006, he asked: ‘What is the degree of xenophobia that tipped Germany in the 1930s towards a murderous ethnic and cultural racism?’ He also bizarrely objected to the idea that the Government should ask Muslims to ‘inform on our children’, even though this ‘informing’ actually means providing information to authorities about suspected radicalisation among British Muslim youth as part of the strategy to combat extremism and terrorism.
In 2007, Bari stated: ‘Every society has to be really careful so the situation doesn’t lead us to a time when people’s minds can be poisoned as they were in the 1930s.’
After Bari’s 2006 ’1930s’ statement, Jon Benjamin, the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, rightly responded: ‘To try to recast modern Britain as equivalent to Nazi Germany is equally offensive and disingenuous, but also dangerous in that it will fuel alienation and anger, particularly at a time when conciliation is vital’.
In 2007, Inayat Bunglawala of the MCB defended and reiterated Bari’s ’1930s’ comments on BBC Radio 4, and Melanie Phillips correctly noted that these analogies are ‘obscene’, for:
The Jewish community in Germany in the 1930s was not simply ‘collectively vilified’. It was singled out for genocide. The collective vilification was part of that process of mass murder and ethnic obliteration.
When asked in 2007 if he condemned stoning, instead of clearly stating that he did, Bari said that ‘[i]t depends what sort of stoning and what circumstances’.
In January 2009, Bari gave an interview to Press TV, the international media outlet of Ahmadinejad’s Islamist regime. Far from moderate, Press TV welcomes extremists onto its programmes and continues to host Holocaust denial material on its website.
Daud Abdullah – Deputy Secretary General & Chair, Europe & International Affairs Committee
In 2009, Abdullah signed the Istanbul Declaration, a document that hails Hamas and its ‘integrity’ in ‘maintaining the Resistance against the Jewish Zionist occupation’. The Palestinian Authority, the Declaration stated, ‘is not eligible to represent the Palestinian people’, as it has ‘given up the choice of jihad in the way of Allah Almighty’. The document also notoriously affirmed:
The obligation of the Islamic Nation to regard the sending of foreign warships into Muslim waters, claiming to control the borders and prevent the smuggling of arms to Gaza, as a declaration of war, a new occupation, sinful aggression, and a clear violation of the sovereignty of the Nation. This must be rejected and fought by all means and ways.
This statement was clearly referring to Gordon Brown’s offer of British naval resources to stop Hamas weapons smuggling.
Despite all the talk of the MCB promoting integration, in 2004 Alam told the BBC he wanted to see taxpayer funded segregated education:
We need a separate Muslim school system. We need to cater for the Muslim spiritual, social and moral needs. We need state funding. There are 300,000 Muslim kids and only 5 state funded Muslim schools.
Ali has been at the centre of considerable controversy, due to comments he has made on his Islamic Forum Europe hosted blog. Ali feels that it is wrong to oppose the notion that there is a ‘need for a Caliphate’ (which is, he claims, ‘a necessity’) and believes that those who reject this idea, such as the Quilliam Foundation, should be ‘ignored and marginalised, since their premise is not a call back to Islam but away from it, with the tools of shaytan’.
He describes the State of Israel as ‘the Zionist terrorist state’ and claims that the terrorist organisation Hamas ‘stands for Freedom’. And what is this freedom? Ali affirms: ‘Free, free Palestine, from the river to the sea!’ Ali writes of the ‘strength and courage’ of Hamas and claims that ‘foreign policy’ is a block to the success of the Government’s anti-terrorist PREVENT strategy, stating: ‘talk to the hand, cos the head aint listening!’
In 2004, Mueenuddin was an organiser of a Metropolitan Police sponsored event called ‘Our Children Our Future‘, at which Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi was invited to speak. Mueenuddin invited Quaradawi despite his well known extremist views:
Qaradawi preaches a right-wing agenda of misogyny, anti-Semitism and homophobia. He does not respect human rights. In defiance of the Geneva Conventions and every humanitarian instinct, he has justified the taking of civilian hostages and the suicide bombing of innocent civilians. Displaying the worst kind of anti-semitism, he urges: “Destroy the usurper Jews.” He does not say destroy Jewish settlers and soldiers oppressing Palestinians, but destroy the Jews – all of them.
Qaradawi also sanctions domestic violence against disobedient wives, blames rape victims who do not dress with sufficient modesty, and supports the barbaric practice of female genital mutilation.
In 2005, Sacranie was awarded a knighthood for his ‘services to the Muslim community, to charities and to community relations’, and he led the MCB until June 2006.
In 1989, Sacranie, in his capacity as spokesman for the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs, commented on Ayatollah Khomeini’s calls for the death of Salman Rushdie as follows: ‘Death, perhaps, is a bit too easy for him; his mind must be tormented for the rest of his life unless he asks for forgiveness to Almighty Allah’.
In 1996, the Jihadist group Al-Muhajiroun planned an event called ‘Rally For Revival’ which was condemned by Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel, and British Jewish organisations. Sacranie, again as spokesman for the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs, however, told the Muslim News:
The Board of Deputies of British Jews should seriously consider what action they take on this matter because of the detrimental effect on community relations which could result. Taking a hostile view towards scholars who wish to come to this country to present their points of view at a conference will not serve good community relations.
In 2005, following the death of Sheikh Yassin, the ‘spiritual leader’ of Hamas, Sacranie attended a memorial at the Central Mosque in London. Here are his extraordinary attempts at justifying this on a BBC Panorama programme:
John Ware: It’s one thing supporting the Palestinians and it’s another, isn’t it, supporting the theological justification which Sheikh Yassin gave to the murder of civilians.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: He may have given that…
John Ware: Well there’s no may about it, he did, he was the spiritual leader and the ideological leader of a terrorist movement.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: In your terms, if it means fighting occupation is a terrorist movement, that is not a view that is being shared by many people. Those who fight oppression, those who fight occupation, cannot be termed as terrorist, they are freedom fighters, in the same way as Nelson Mandela fought against apartheid, in the say way as Ghandi and many others fought the British rule in India. There are people in different parts of the world who today, in terms of historical side of it, those who fought oppression are now the real leaders of the world.
John Ware: Do you think targeting Israeli civilians is terrorism?
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: Targeting any innocent people in any part of the world, any part, is an act of terror, whether it’s carried out by individuals, whether this is carried out by groups or whether it’s carried out by states, all fits in the definition of terrorism.
John Ware: So if Hamas is targeting civilians in Israel, that’s terrorism, is it?
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: Well, I’ve explained to you…
John Ware: No, no…
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: Hold on, whether it is Hamas, whether it is Israel, whether it’s anybody else, any part of the world, we have no distinction. Why are you making it such a difficult question? In simple answer to it, loss of innocent civilian life, we make no distinction between the life of a Palestinian or the life of a Jew. They are all part of human race and life is there is a sacred a sanctity in terms of life.
John Ware: So you say. In which case, why did you pay homage to a man who promoted the targeting of Israeli civilians? It’s a very simple question.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: I’ve given you a very simple straight answer earlier on. You just need to refer to my answer. Someone who fought against occupation, fought against subjugation.
John Ware: Using terrorism by your definition, using terrorism.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: If anybody.. if there are.. if they are aiming at civilians in terms of loss of life, then we don’t accept that.
John Ware: Then why do you pay homage to him, why just.. you.. you did not have to go to that memorial service in the central mosque, did you, you could have chosen not to go.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: The point is as a person, and as a responsible person of an organisation, an umbrella body, that has affiliates across the country.
John Ware: Well let them go.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: Hold on, hold on. Whoever is organising that, we have a responsibility, we have a responsibility to steer through issues that are very important to the community, issues that are… we are facing day in day out from organisations…
John Ware: Alright but you’ve got a responsibility too, haven’t you, to lead.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: Indeed.
John Ware: And set by example.
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: Indeed.
John Ware: What signal does it send when the general secretary, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain goes and pays homage to someone who supports suicide bombings in Israel?
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: Well..
John Ware: Hang on, what kind of signal does that send to young Muslims in Britain?
Sir Iqbal Sacranie: If your whole question is based upon one aspect of that person’s belief in terms of supporting it, we look into the wider picture. The suicide bombing that you’re referring to is one aspect of the whole struggle.”
In 2006, Sacranie stated of gay civil partnerships: ‘This is harmful. It does not augur well in building the very foundations of society – stability, family relationships. And it is something we would certainly not, in any form, encourage the community to be involved in’.
And why is this?
‘Each of our faiths tells us that it is harmful and I think, if you look into the scientific evidence that has been available in terms of the forms of various other illnesses and diseases that are there, surely it points out that where homosexuality is practised there is a greater concern in that area’.
Sajid considers the Egyptian-born Australian Muslim leader Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali ‘a great scholar’ and leapt to his defence in 2006 after he delivered a sermon blaming rape victims for sex attacks. Al-Hilali stated:
If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?
The uncovered meat is the problem.
If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.
The Times reported:
Abduljalil Sajid, a senior figure in the Muslim Council of Britain, offered support for Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali’s views, saying that “loose women like prostitutes” encouraged men to be immoral. Dr Sajid, visiting Australia, said that Sheikh al-Hilali was attacking immodesty and loose dress, or “standing in the streets, inviting men to do these bad acts”.
Although the Australian cleric did not use the word prostitute, but appeared to be attacking women wearing revealing clothes, Dr Sajid said that the sermon had been taken out of context. Referring to the thrust of the Sheikh’s argument, he said: “So what is wrong in it? Who will object to that?” Dr Sajid, who is on a speaking tour, met the controversial Sheikh at his Sydney mosque yesterday.
After meeting him yesterday, Dr Sajid said: “As far as I am concerned he is a great scholar and he has a great knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence.” Dr Sajid added that he believed that the inflammatory excerpts from a speech, given last month, had been quoted out of context. “I respect his views. His intentions are noble in order to make morality and modesty part of our overall society,” the British cleric said.
Don’t be surprised if one day you hear the Muezzin calling for prayer and saying “Allah Akbar” from the top of the white house. September 11 is God’s work against oppressors. Some of the things that happen in the world cannot be explained; a civilian airplane whose secrets cannot be explained if we ask its pilot who reached his objective without error, who led your steps? Or if we ask the giant that fell, who humiliated you? Or if we ask the President, who made you cry? God is the answer.
Al-Karmi is chairman of the Palestinian Forum in Britain, and in that capacity has claimed that Israel has a ‘plan to ethnically cleanse Palestine’, which it is conducting through ‘Apartheid policies’ and the deliberate ‘starvation’ of 1.5 million Palestinians.
Maulana Islam Ali Shah
According to MEMRI, the January 18th 2008 London edition of the Urdu language Pakistani newspaper Roznama Jang featured a report on a ‘Martyrdom is Pious’ campaign, which included the following information:
In Wakefield, Maulana Islam Ali Shah and Mufti Tariq Shah said that the second Caliph Hazrat Umar and Imam Hazrat Hussain, by sacrificing life during Muharram, taught killing-dying for Islam’s sake to their followers, to be borne until the Day of Judgment.