Another adherent to radical Islam welcomed by the Guardian

Riazatt Butt, CiF’s Religious Affairs correspondent, pens a weekly column called “Divine Dispatches”  in the Belief Section of CiF, which represents a round-up of sorts on religious news in the UK and around the world.  

While the latest edition of the column, on Oct. 6th, curiously omitted any mention that the following day would be Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, even more worth noting is the fact that filling in for Butt this week was  of iEngage.

Who is iEngage?

Well, they claim to help empower and encourage British Muslims within local communities to be more actively involved in British media and politics. 

However, iEngage’s idea of politically empowering Muslims has a very narrow and decidedly illiberal focus. Indeed, the group puts a significant amount of energy into opposing moderate and liberal Muslims , while defending radical Islamist organisations.

Per Harry’s Place:

“The nature of iEngage is demonstrated by its support for the East London Mosque, London Muslim Centre and Islamic Forum Europe: three bodies with a worrying history of extreme politics, which have repeatedly hosted hate preachers and supporters of terrorism.”

“ENGAGE has repeatedly attacked, as Islamophobes, any journalist or Muslim who criticises the East London Mosque, the London Muslim Centre or the Islamic Forum Europe.”

“The Department of Communities and Local Government has identified the links between the South Asian Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami, and the East London Mosque.”

“The East London Mosque twice hosted the Al Qaeda-aligned preacher at the East London Mosque/London Muslim Centre. Awlaki has been identified by the 9/11 Commission as the spiritual adviser of two of the 9/11 hijackers. He has been active in recruiting Muslims to fight military jihad since the mid 1990s, and now has been connected to various further terrorist acts, including those of Major Nidal Hasan, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and the attack by Roshonara Choudhry on Stephen Timms.”

Added Lucy Lips at HP:

“This was the problem with iEngage all along. It is an organisation which is very closely tied to specific Islamist political parties, which both defends those political parties and associated hate preachers, while attacking Muslim liberals in the most personal terms. Indeed, iEngage operates from an office within the Islam Channel: a tv station which has beencensured by OFCOM [ for advocating marital rape, violence against women, and promoting violent extremist views], and whose CEO Mohammed Ali Harrath is both a Trustee of iEngage, and aveteran of the Tunisian Islamist extremist scene.”

In 2010, iEngage was appointed as the secretariat to a new UK All-Party Parliamentary Group on Islamophobia.  As The Telegraph’s Andrew Gilligan noted at the time:

 “Islamist sympathisers yesterday established a key bridgehead in Parliament….

iEngage is an organisation of Islamist sympathisers which has consistently defended fundamentalist organisations such as the East London Mosque and the Islamic Forum of Europe. It routinely attacks all criticism of them as “Islamophobic.”

It attacked the BBC’s recent Panorama documentary on racist Muslim schools – showing that some children are being taught anti-Semitism and Sharia punishments – as a “witch-hunt.” 

As Standpoint reported:

“Two of IEngage’s directors are men with a long background in Islamist politics.

Iqbal Sacranie was General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) until June 2006 after which time Mohammed Abdul-Bari took over — he is, of course, also the current chairman of the East London Mosque.

The MCB’s commitment to reactionary politics is well-known. Under Sacranie’s stewardship the group also boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day regularly and opposed the ‘glorification of terrorism’ clause in the Terrorism Act 2006.”

In July, 2011, after UK MPs voted overwhelmingly to drop iEngage as the secretariat for the all-party parliamentary group on Islamophobia, Inayat Bunglawala complained bitterly in a post at his personal blog, titled, “Israel lobby gloats over removal of ENGAGE from APPG on Islamophobia”, and dismissed evidence of iEngage’s support for militant Islam.

Bunglawala helped create iEngage, has acted as their CEO, and is an Advisor on Policy and Research for the group.

Of course, Inayat Bunglawala is also an Islamist who believes that the the BBC and the rest of the media are “Zionist controlled.” 

Bunglawala is also a frequent contributor to Comments is Free.

As Israelinurse wrote on these pages back in March about Bunglawala and the problem of Islamism in the UK:

“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.”

As with CiF’s licensing of Bunglawala, the decision by the Guardian to hand over a non-sectarian column devoted to reporting fairly on all religious happenings in the UK to  iEngage’s  demonstrates again how proponents for militant Islam continue, under the veneer of human rights and tolerance, to avoid being held responsible for their reactionary, racist, and violent political agenda. 

24 replies »

  1. There is nothing more to say. It’s almost as if the G endorses the opinion of these organisations.

  2. It does, Itsik and, more alarmingly, appears not to believe there’s anything wrong in doing so.

    “Bunglawala helped create iEngage, has acted as their CEO, and is an Advisor on Policy and Research for the group.” That explains why it so often reads like a cross between hysteria and paranoia.

    Mohamed Abdul-Bari is on record as wanting Brits to adopt more Muslim ways but not Muslims British ways.

    iEngage is a typical bleating, belligerently self-pitying pro-Islamist blog, and Bunglawala is very good at complaining bitterly – indeed he deserves an Academy award for it and it’s all he is good at, and the phrase quoted above is typical of his own paranoia.

    My one comfort is that Bunglawala is hardly the best ambassador for any sort of Islam, benighted idiot that he is. He couldn’t carry an argument in a bucket. However, that doesn’t make one iota of difference to the knuckle draggers above and below the line on CiF and elsewhere at the Guardian. Spend too long online there and you begin to lose any grasp you have on reality and honesty particularly if Bunglawala is in evidence.

    We need to be much better informed about the Muslim lobby in the UK and the effects of its tendency to want to play kiss-ass with the more intellectually challenged in various government departments.

  3. While the latest edition of the column, on Oct. 6th, curiously omitted any mention that the following day would be Yom Kippur

    Why is that curious? The column is a “religion news roundup.” And last year, for example, there was no mention of Diwali in the relevant month.

    That said, Nadiya Takolia’s tone was markedly different to that of Riazat. Plus – as I pointed out on the thread – she linked to Islamophobia Watch, who e.g. have called Peter Tatchell “pro Nazi”! They are clearly very dodgy indeed.

    • The problem with the Guardian Pretzelberg in this regard, is that one only expects it to say bad things about anything to do with Israel, and almost nothing good to say about Jews. Wishing Jewish people a happy new year is so simple, kind and non-political, yet it has failed the smallest test to treat the Jewish citizens of the UK with any respect. It is not as if the Guardian has slipped thinking about Jews. It thinks about them almost daily, in one form or another.

      Yes Diwali, may have missed the Guardian’s attention, but it has not happened yet. However the Indian community does not get the same treatment as Jews. I go further. No minority gets the kind of treatment the Jews get from the Guardian.

      • Yes I find its negative coverage of Israel excessive – but “almost nothing good to say about Jews”? That is ridiculous. Firstly because it implies that the G. posts anti-Semitic articles.
        What about the Sounds Jewish podcast? And does it generally have anything good to say about Christians?

        No minority gets the kind of treatment the Jews get from the Guardian.

        Minority? So you can presumably point out some series of articles targetting Jewish Brits?

        You’re making it up.

        • “So you can presumably point out some series of articles targetting Jewish Brits?”

          In that the vast majority of British Jews are Zionists and the Guardian has dedicated itself to the deligitimisation and destruction of the Jewish state, there are innumerable articles that have targeted the Jews of Britain in the very worst possible way.

          Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism.

          “You’re making it up.”

          Spoken like a true Brit:

          “News reports could only be carried if, in the view of the BBC and the Foreign Office, they were well-sourced. If the sources were Jewish, they tended not to be believed.

          The Foreign Office was, with hindsight, astonishingly sceptical about atrocities. As late as 27 August 1944, Victor Cavendish Bentinck, assistant under-secretary, was still doubting the existence of gas chambers. ‘I think we weaken our case against the Germans by publicly giving credence to atrocity stories for which we have no evidence.

          ‘These mass executions in gas chambers remind me of the story of the employment of human corpses during the last (1914-18) war for the manufacture of fat, which was a grotesque lie and led to the true stories of German enormities being brushed aside as being mere propaganda.’

          Another Foreign Office official, Roger Allen, notes: ‘It is true that there have been references to the use of gas chambers in other reports; but these references have usually, if not always, been equally vague, and since they have concerned the extermination of Jews, have usually emanated from Jewish sources.’

          He goes on: ‘Personally I have never really understood the advantage of the gas chamber over the simpler machine-gun, or the equally simple starvation method.’

          The attitude at the top of the BBC at the start of the war is illustrated by a recollection in the Document programme from Harman Grisewood, assistant to the BBC’s head of European broadcasting in 1939. He visited Germany just before the outbreak of war and saw the segregation and oppression of Jews. On his return he went to see the director-general of the BBC, Frederick Ogilvie (who died in 1942).

          Mr Grisewood recalls: ‘What he said was terrifying; I can still remember it word for word. He said: ‘You know the Germans are very sentimental people.’ I said, ‘Yes it’s often explained to one that this is so.’ He then said: ‘Well, what we’re going to do is broadcast the nightingale to the Germans. The cellist Beatrice Harrison will go into the woods near Oxford and play her cello. The nightingale will sing and we’ll broadcast that to the Germans.’ I felt there was no point really in going on with the conversation.’ ”

        • @Pretzelberg

          You say: “No minority gets the kind of treatment the Jews get from the Guardian.

          Minority? So you can presumably point out some series of articles targetting Jewish Brits?”

          Hoi Polloi has established both recent examples and some earlier credentials that make the point clear that there are pockets of virulent forms of antisemitism that one should not forget existed and exist today in the UK. A lot of those sentiments finds sympathy in many ways in the columns of the Guardian. Whilst Hoi Polloi takes often a stark and sometimes alarmist view of that newspaper’s reporting, I accept the general message he or she is making. The Guardian is not only NOT the Jew’s friend, it is its clear enemy and an enemy of a truly liberal society in general.

          My point to you is simple. In defining antisemitism, the EUMC have adopted a set of principles to try to define what it is, as a guidance. It is not a complete definition. Anti-zionists do not like it, because, they say it is a means to curb free speech. Their free speech, that is, when of course there’s nothing to stop them. You know as well as I do, for the sake of maintaining decency, that is not a good reason to break virtually every boundary the guide defines and as many of these columns in Cif watch show, the Guardian is quite content to do so in many ways.

          The Christians are not subjected to the daily onslaught that Jews receive. Christians are entitled for their views to be respected as any religion if carried out in a peaceful manner including moderate forms of Islam. While I believe it is right to be critical of Islam because of aspects of its practise raise serious concerns about its ability to adapt in a society that allows for a peaceful coexistence, I do also accept that many Muslims would share that concern and we must support them to raise those concerns as part of their right to do so. No other minority gets knocked about as jews do. I have said it before why that might be. There is no apparent cost to do so.

          But you Pretzelberg, or anyone must not be fooled by a few token gestures by the Guardian , that by allowing a Jewish podcast that this absolves it for all the rot it writes and the details that it uncannily refuses to report . The clear cumulative effect is to portray Jewish people in a very very negative light. When that happens , and people have swallowed the narrative (brainwashed is the word for it) and when you or I can no longer show that what is said is wrong and to convince, that my friend, is antisemitism.

          When toast drops on the floor at breakfast one might treat it as an accident. But if that accident repeats itself nearly every morning, and the toast mostly lands buttered side down, can we view this as an accident or something more deliberate?Or Pretzelberg, in your argument are you suggesting that the toast has been buttered on the wrong side?

    • “and last year, for example, there was no mention of Diwali in the relevant month.”

      Butt managed something in the comments about Diwali:

      And plenty of other stuff about Diwali at Der Guardian:

      Leicester’s top 10 budget eats for Diwali

      No Diwali celebration is complete without platefuls of barfi, besan laddoo and halwa – and homemade sweets are the best

      Diwali still works, far from home

      Southall celebrates Diwali

  4. Pretzelberg, it gives substance to the fact that Muslims believe that only Islam matters, doesn’t it?

  5. I particularly liked this from the inestimable Nadiya Takolia:

    Quote But let’s keep in mind that this is a democracy – freedom of speech and all that malarkey endquote

    I wonder what she has to say about her radical soul mates in Cairo busy massacring Christians?

  6. Thank you for this brilliant idea to found CiF Watch; who had always censored ny comments! The Left like the ever-smug Socialists behind the Guardian are not mere fools but evil as well. Do we think all the Atheist Socialists Mao, Hitler, Khmer Rouge and Stalin (Yes, these were Leftists alright!) mass murdered innocent human beings especially Buddhists, Christians and Jews, because they’re ‘misguided’? No – out of pure fascist evil!

    Besides, the Left, fundamentally, loves Islam, because Islam and Socialism both promotes ABSOLUTE fascist power, by an elite few, over the (mostly ignorant) ‘people’. These elite few represented themselves falsely as the absolute vanguard of people’s ‘social welfare’ – but in reality, as vanguard towards establishing their most absolute ideological ideals for that evil fascist absolute power over the majority people and State, just as Islam-loving Socialist Hitler did. And the reason, that the Left loves ‘multiculturalism’ but a false ‘multiculturalism’ as domianted by Muslim migrants, is not because they’re being goody-goody but for their own most selfish interest, to get the votes on their side because they know, Muslim migrants who have large families including from barbaric polygamy (one father for example will father twenty children from four wives – where’re the feminists against this exploitation of women/children, including for the Muslim men to gain as much welfare as they can) will usually vote for them if they champion for Islam!

    • Yes Adrian those insane Christians in Pakistan using the occasion called the Day of Love for Jesus are massacring each other even today. Complete insanity…

    • It is very strange for someone who claims to be an apostate to disclose her “Muslim name” publicly. In my past encounters with apostates (especially Malay apostates), they will do their utmost to conceal their identity.

      Why? Maybe because your colleagues have an intereting habit to slaughter those “apostates”?
      At least until their cover gets blown.
      And getting their heads chopped…

      To make a long story short Adrian the majority of the posters here are living in the XXI. century. If you want to spit your medieval crap please visit your preacher in Malaysia – certainly he’ll agree with you.

      • Hey Islam-lover peterhungarianwhatever, is that your real name by the way? Well, you think a CONVERT from Islam like me, should be scared of Islamic jihadist cowards and perverts to hide my real name? So, you have extra info on me, are you threatening me? My Lord Jesus Christ will win over any evilness at the end! You should go back to your Taleban cave!

      • Peterthehungarian, so sorry, I got it wrong I thought you were attacking me for being a convert from Islam ! Please forgive me for my misunderstanding.

  7. I mean to say that it was the the fascist Guardian CiF which always censored my comments when criticizing Islam most truthfully!