In the book Husain describes his associations with the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) and in particular, one of its members, with whom he attended weekly meetings.
“Inayat introduced me to the murabbi, or instructor, a middle-aged, clean-shaven Palestinian called Abu Luqman….
…..Abu Luqman told us that, during his youth, he had been a student of the firebrand Palestinian cleric Shaikh Ahmed Yasin. One of the reasons these gatherings were so valued was because we believed Abu Luqman was a true Palestinian, trained by Shaikh Yasin and a member of Hamas. Abu Luqman’s deep and powerful hatred of Israelis and Jews was unmistakable. Many time he promised destruction of the state of Israel and the return of Muslim control of the Holy Land. I sat there and accepted this. The Palestinian hatred of the Jews, as occupiers of Palestine, that I had detected in Nabhani was equally strong in Abu Luqman. Neither Inayat nor myself questioned any of this. Jew bashing was an acceptable part of the Islamist curriculum though not necessarily accepted throughout the ISB…
….Among Islamists I was a ‘brother’. I was not to dispute our unquestioned perceptions: hatred of Jews, Hindus, Americans, gays, the subordination of women…..
…every Wednesday night Inayat would pick me up and drop me off after a session of Koran recitation, religious discussion, anti-Semitism, and good food.”
Ed Husain may have moved on since those days in the latter half of the 1990s, but Inayat Bunglawala remains one of many who have embraced that peculiarly British form of Islamism which has evolved – due in no small part to the naivety and negligence of the British government and society – over the past few decades.
British Islamism is able to function and grow largely unfettered within broader society in part because of the fact that many of its proponents are British born, educated, eloquent people who understand the system and know how to use it to their advantage. Without such attributes, they would have been unable to achieve the level of entryism into government-funded think-tanks and commissions, universities, community organisations, political bodies, media and other mainstream institutions which is all too evident today.
But alongside their ability to play the system like a virtuoso with a violin, British Islamists continue by definition to remain loyal to an ideology which rejects many of the basic values of the society in which they function.
Inayat Bunglawala is a prime example of this phenomenon. Despite his values being revealed as anything but liberal once one scratches the surface, he is provided with a platform to spread his views by the Guardian and other British newspapers because he makes the ‘right’ noises on specific subjects such as democracy. As media secretary for the Muslim Council of Britain – a self-appointed body which has been the recipient of considerable amounts of public money – Bunglawala is part of an organisation which tells the British public what it wants to hear on subjects such as the 7/7 terror attacks, but at the same time objects to Holocaust Memorial Day, campaigned against the law on the glorification of terrorism on the grounds that it was “unfairly targeting Muslims and stifling legitimate debate” and opposed the publication of the ‘Danish cartoons’.
The legacy of Bunglawala’s days with the ISB is all the more evident when one examines some of his own writings. In fact, one could almost feel sorry for a man who is so obviously consumed by an obsession with Jews, Zionists and ‘Jewish power’ that he appears to see them behind every tree. Nowhere is this pathology more apparent than in Bunglawala’s virulent opposition of many years’ standing to one journalist and writer to whom he appears to relate as though she were some kind of evil arch-enemy from a Bond movie.
Here is Bunglawala writing about Melanie Phillips’ review of Ed Husain’s book:
“Upon the book’s official launch, there appeared a number of very positive reviews of Husain’s book from the likes of Melanie Phillips, David Cohen of the London Evening Standard and David Aaronovitch of The Times.
Melanie Phillips, in particular, was especially fulsome in her praise:
“Muslims like Husain need our support, encouragement and protection… ‘The Islamist’ should be sent to every politician at Westminster, put on the desk of every counter-intelligence officer and thrust under the supercilious nose of every journalist who maunders on about ‘Islamophobia'”
Phillips is, of course, renowned for her pro-Israel tirades, her anti-Muslim bigotry and her loopy belief that Iraq really did have WMD’s except that they managed to spirit them away to Syria just in time so that the Americans could not find them. Now what would cause such a staunch Zionist like her to display strong support for Husain’s book?”
Oh dear! All those Jewish names approving of Husain’s book: very suspicious in the weird world inhabited by Inayat Bunglawala.
“Still, it will no doubt be welcomed by the warmongering sections of the present government and perhaps even help explain how the book came to receive such generous plaudits from Melanie Phillips and Co.”
Admittedly, the prospect of delving into Bunglawala’s mind in order to try to understand just what gets him going about Melanie Phillips is not an attractive one, but the background provided by Ed Husain perhaps provides some clues.
Ms. Phillips is, of course, anything but the personification of a subordinated woman. She is highly intelligent, articulate and even delightfully feisty. One may agree or disagree with her ideas, but one cannot deny that she knows how to communicate them and is not afraid to do so. She is also a proud Jewish Zionist. Not only does she decline to conform to the prevailing politically correct social mores and the English way of ‘not rocking the boat’, but (horror of horrors!) she refuses to be ashamed of her beliefs, her identity and her opinions. In addition, Ms. Phillips is also a very well-known and highly successful journalist, writer and broadcaster.
For Inayat Bunglawala she must be the living proof of the fiction of ‘Jewish control of the media’ with which he was indoctrinated in his youth.
However, it would take nothing to persuade Bunglawala of that even if Melanie Phillips did not exist. In an article well worth a re-read written in 2007, Christopher Hitchens described Bunglawala as follows.
“…Blair’s government has appeased leading Muslim apologists by inviting them to join “commissions” to investigate the 7/7 attacks, and thus awarding them credibility well beyond their deserts. A preposterous and sinister individual named Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain and a man with a public record of support for Osama bin Laden, was made a convener of Blair’s task force on extremism despite his stated belief that the BBC and the rest of the media are “Zionist controlled.”
By this, Hitchens is referring to Bunglawala’s infamous ‘Tribe of Judah’ remark in which he stated that:
“The chairman of Carlton Communications is Michael Green of the Tribe of Judah. He has joined an elite club whose members include fellow Jews Michael Grade and Alan Yentob…[They are] close friends… so that’s what they mean by a ‘free media’.”
Such a ridiculous – if not downright medieval – statement is infinitely less incongruous in 21st century Britain if one considers the figures by whom people such as Inayat Bunglawala and those of his ilk are influenced – their role models.
According to The JC, quoting the Telegraph:
“In January 1993, Mr Bunglawala wrote a letter to Private Eye, the satirical magazine, in which he called the blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman “courageous” – just a month before he bombed the World Trade Center in New York. After Rahman’s arrest in July that year, Mr Bunglawala said that it was probably only because of his “calling on Muslims to fulfil their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere”.
“Five months before 9/11, Mr Bunglawala also circulated writings of Osama bin Laden, who he regarded as a “freedom fighter”, to hundreds of Muslims in Britain.”
And here is Bunglawala employing his regular Guardian slot to chastise the British Home Office for excluding Islamist hate preachers from the UK- all in the name of ‘freedom of expression’.
Of course the type of preachers whom Bunglawala so earnestly champions are precisely the sort of people who lay down the racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynistic ideologies so prevalent among Islamists, but his professed enthusiasm for freedom of expression appears to come to an abrupt end when it is employed by a female, Jewish, Zionist, British journalist to describe the murderers of three Israeli children in a particular manner.
Then – and only then – Bunglawala feigns dismay and offence and promptly trots off to the Press Complaints Commission and the Bedfordshire police to lodge complaints against Melanie Phillips, with the Guardian in tow.
I am quite confident that Melanie Phillips is perfectly capable of looking after herself on this and other issues. I am also hopeful that the Press Complaints Commission and the police will view Inayat Bunglawala’s complaint with the necessary gravity it demands. As for Bunglawala himself, whilst he (like many who share his ideologies) is undoubtedly a product of a combination of British inertia and apathy mixed with unrestricted Islamist indoctrination, one cannot but stand in awe of this latest display of his remarkable ability to deftly exploit the system his ideology seeks to destroy.
What is disturbing about this incident is the Guardian’s continuing role in accommodating Islamists such as Bunglawala who do nothing to hide their disdain for the liberal values which are the footings of British society. That Bunglawala and his colleagues at the MCB identify with racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynistic role models such as Qaradawi or Zakir Naik should no longer come as a surprise to anyone in the UK. That the ‘world’s leading liberal voice’ should continue to provide such people with a platform which consolidates their claims to mainstream legitimacy should.
However, as Ms. Phillips herself has observed, we appear to live in a ‘world turned upside down’.