My previous articles (here and here) on ISB and the deconstruction of Islam project highlighted the dangers of organisations like ISB which propagate a dumbed-down version of Islam suitably fitting a neocon narrative.
The ISB “luminaries” and others platformed by them who have an agenda to serve their neocon paymasters at the expense of the Muslim minority of Britain has led to an Islam re-engineering industry which seeks to undermine classical scholarship and Islamic orthodoxy through promotion of confusion, selective textual analyses and rendering of sources of Islamic law “weak” or “ambiguous”.
It was highlighted in the previous piece on ISB that perhaps it was the monochromatising of the Colour of Allah producing an insipid Islam tainted with post-modernist deconstructionism which prevented them from issuing a supportive position on the brutal massacre of Palestinians in Gaza. The articulation of usual excuses of “not in our remit” rhetoric by reformationists like Dilwar Hussain and others as their consciousness struggled to reconcile themselves with the catastrophe in Gaza, came forth. A simple position on Palestine and Gaza against the Zionist entity was tip-toed around and even a drafting of a statement was kicked about by ISB members.
It is perhaps the same “flavour” (to use ISB lingo) of British Islam which has now freely allowed ISB to take a formal stance on the admittedly insane, neocon policy-pretext-perfect ISIS. In a letter drafted by the continually devolving Usama Hasan, the dime-a-piece “scholar” at Quilliam Foundation, key individuals and organisations put their names to calls to ISIS leader for him to desist from his actions.
It seems as though the letter failed to gain any traction with most scholars as over half of the signatories are Quilliam’s neocon cronies, including the ISB representatives. A couple of names, including a Mufti, Abu Layth, have had their names omitted in the Sun reproduction of the letter. Perhaps it is out of naivety the Mufti initially put his name to a letter and fatwa, unbeknownst of the greater anti-Muslim, neocon agenda which comes with the organisations (like Quilliam) which are pushing them. The Mufti has previously contributed to a publication of the Henry Jackson Society as well, written by the neocon spin-doctor Rashad Ali (one of the founders of Quilliam Foundation). This increasing nexus with neocons is dangerous. The quicker the Mufti and other scholars recognise this the better – they are playing with fire, stoking it against the Muslim minority.
Taking the paper version of the letter, the names supporting the letter can be split into two categories, the abused and the abusers.
In this category we have the usual, neocon-sympathetic and reformationist individuals who have done much damage to the Muslims and Islam in Britain and abused the “abused” category of individuals to achieve this end.
Excluding the scholars who have been listed, we have 16 signatories including Usama of which 9 are directly or indirectly linked to the Quilliam school of stupidity. Those directly linked include “any interpretations”, Israel-supporting Maajid Nawaz, evolution-touting and “incomplete Qur’an”, scriptural text-twisting, Usama Hasan, the exaggerating and lying neocon Haras Rafiq who, to disguise the fact he is an official Quilliam spin-doctor, is listed as a “former executive director” of the defunct and discredited Sufi Muslim Council, and Khola Hasan, who although not Quilliam employed, is the unfortunate sister of Usama.
Those who are indirectly linked include neocon servant of Michael Gove and “advisor” to the Henry Jackson Society, Khalid Mahmood. He is linked through the anti-Muslim Michael Gove who was and possibly still is an advisor to Quilliam. It is Gove who also authorised the funding for Quilliam during his abuse of power at the Department for Education. The other individual is Fiyaz Mughal who believes only conservative Muslims regard homosexuality as a sin and whose circle of friends includes PREVENT advisor Azhar Ali and neocon Haras Rafiq. The close proximity between Fiyaz and Quilliam is demonstrated by the fact that Tell MAMA believes:
“Maajid Nawaz can hardly fit into the mould of someone who has a history of overt anti-Muslim prejudice and whether or not his Organisation (Quilliam), has been involved in labelling other groups as extremist, is not being anti-Muslim in nature.”
At the same time, Quilliam has hosted Tell MAMA’s work.
Sara Khan and Kalsoom Bashir are co-directors of Inspire, which is a PREVENT milking organisation, assuming the role of countering extremism through “Jihad against violence” which includes “violent extremism”. Listed amongst the UK ambassadors for this “Jihad” against violence is none other than Usama Hasan.
And then we have ISB’s former President, Dilwar Hussain, who registered the Plain Islam website which continues to promote dangerous decontructionists including Usama Hasan, and the current President of ISB, Sughra Ahmed. All three have contributed together towards a reformationist symposium on secularism and Islam which culminated in a book published in 2011, (British Secularism and Religion, p.xxv). The rhetoric therein has percolated extensively into the “Islamist” discourse which is used in the PREVENT policy to castigate most of the Muslim community who do not follow the reformationist line of thinking. It has also allowed the current government to deflect foreign policy issues as a primary causal factor in “radicalisation”, and focus on Islam as an ideology being the sole reason. Usama Hasan praising Dilwar as someone who is going “further” in secularising, democratising and reforming Islam, writes,
“Figures like these [Tariq Ramadan and Rached Gannouchi], though, are not going far enough. Another important contributor to this debate – and someone who does go further – is Dilwar Hussain, former president of the Islamic Society of Britain. He has rigorously questioned some of the fundamental assumptions of the Islamist ideology, particularly in the context of the Arab Spring.”
As an incidental note, it is worth highlighting that Ahtsham Ali, the previous subject of my articles on ISB wrote regarding Dilwar:
“He is a balanced individual that brings a wealth of academic and strategic expertise in British Muslim communities at a time of significant change and anxiety”.
I believe “balanced” has also probably been deconstructed to mean “imbalanced” here.
There were four scholars who were listed as signatories. Perhaps they were coaxed into signing it by giving them the “wahaabi threat” rhetoric in addition to the ISIS brutality, as all four of them come from a “Sufi” background. This strategy of using and abusing Sufis to push an agenda is nothing new. Engineering an Islam to exact power and control was the strategy in the first iteration of PREVENT, which gave rise to monsters like Haras Rafiq’s Sufi Muslim Council and Radical Middleway, which is still currently operational and has little to do with Tasawwuf in its aims.
Perhaps these scholars should take note of the fact that Usama Hasan who wrote the fatwa continues to defend the theory of evolution, the implication of which is the denigration of the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, due to the logical consequence being that the perfection of the Prophet, peace be upon him, can be increased upon through evolution. They should also note that Usama Hasan has liaisons with anti-Muslim think-tank Henry Jackson Society, whose Douglas Murray is a known hater of Islam and has declared that the Prophet, peace be upon him, is a “bad man”.
Given Usama’s letter was reproduced in a trash newspaper, it is surprising that “sheikh” Usama didn’t request the approval of the “sheikhah” on page 3. Ironically, the Sun is the same paper which pulls no punches in smearing the Muslim minority, associating a crime with faith. ISB’s continued propping and supporting of dangerous deconstructionists who actively undermine Islam and the Muslim minority through such cooperation is a signal that ISB has no intent to back down on its deconstruction of Islam agenda. By placing their name on a fatwa written by a Quilliam member, ISB is seen to give credence to the completely discredited Quilliam.
It needs to be made clear that it is not the content so much which is under scrutiny here, but rather the liaisons with an individual who is in cahoots with known haters of Islam, and who has actively undermined the mainstream Islamic community. Indeed ISIS’ excesses and brutality is to be condemned, but so is the Zionist state which perpetrated shocking levels of carnage through state terrorism for 50 days, where the causalities were overwhelmingly women and children. Despite this, ISB couldn’t even establish a position on Gaza against Israel, nor could Usama send letters to Netanyahu telling him to stop his “vile crimes against humanity”.
Israel has allies in the British government, such as Zionist neocons Michael Gove, George Osborne as well neoconservative think-tanks like Policy Exchange and the Henry Jackson Society which these neocons are a part of. Neocon extremist ideologues such as Raheem Kassam and Douglas Murray are ardent supporters of Israeli policy.
Will the individuals listed as signatories to Usama’s farcical fatwa and opportunist letter also write a fatwa condemning Quilliam, Henry Jackson Society and other neocon organisations, prohibiting people from assisting and joining them?