The last blog I wrote was originally an introduction to this piece. It was meant to provide the context so that one could fully comprehend the gravity of what is to be outlined here. Please do take a read of that first (see here).
I had noted that the model of promoting “moderate Islam” – i.e. an Islam reduced to rituals and subservient to Western interests – was to be promoted using mainly Sufi scholars to give legitimacy to draconian policies. Previously, I have brought to the fact that this model had become resurgent and highlighted Imams Online, which was using traditional/Sufi scholars in a similar fashion to Radical Middle Way: to project a particular narrative of events in the context of Muslims. It was also promoting “scholars” associated with deformation of Islam, such as Khola Hasan, Usama Hasan and Manwar Ali.
Since then, the model has gained further momentum, particularly so with Shaykh Tahir-ul-Qadri’s theatrics in Westminster. Before discussing the event it is worth looking at Shaykh Qadri and his previous endeavours.
“A Cosmetic touch of Islamic Education”
According to an Al-Arabiya report, Shaykh Qadri was born on February 19, 1951 in Jhang, 200 kilometres east of Lahore, Pakistan. After studying law and pursuing a masters in Islamic Studies he founded Minhaj-ul-Qur’an and a “system of secular schools with a cosmetic touch of Islamic education across the country”.
Those familiar with Shaykh Qadri and his status in Pakistan are aware of the controversy surrounding him. One particular incident from the early 90s suggests that Qadri had staged his own assassination. From the bullet wounds to the questionable chemical make-up of the blood, Qadri’s account was riddled with contradictions. For instance, citing expert witnesses the tribunal heard that the trail of blood was such that,
“The blood stains, which went as far as two to three houses, were so long that it was not possible for an injured person to leave behind… and there is a further question as to why such an injured person would rub his right side against the wall while jumping.”
The tribunal had held that the stated assassination attempt was not a reality. This has been strongly disputed by Shaykh Qadri himself. His contention is that the judgment was handed down by a tribunal which was reconstituted and which he did not accept. The original case, handled by Justice Fazal Kareem, had, according to Shaykh Qadri, investigations leading to the door of the culprit but that tribunal was disbanded.
The dubiousness of Shaykh Qadri’s claims, though, can be more clearly seen in a relatively recent example. Shaykh Qadri, before his Pakistani audience had clearly stated that he was the key architect of blasphemy law in Pakistan (see at 4 minutes, here). This bold claim was subsequently about-turned through semantic obfuscation before Western audiences.
After failed successive attempts at forging a political career, Shaykh Qadri in 2010, launched his “fatwa” (edict) against terrorism and suicide bombing under the neocon auspices of the Quilliam Foundation – the organisation ardently pursuing and encouraging policies of persecution targeting the Muslim minority, and which has a guiding hand in the global counter-extremism industry primed by neocons and Zionists. It should be noted that a fatwa can only be issued by a qualified Mufti or a judge (Qadhi). Shaykh Qadri is neither. In fact, in the infamous court case investigating his allegedly fake assassination attempt, a Sufi scholar had made particular note of his scholastic capabilities:
“Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Qadri said in his statement that Mr Qadri mistranslates verses of the Qur’an… he said that he also mistranslates Hadith.”
This early foray into the minefield of counter-extremism failed, due to his and Quilliam’s known excessive sectarianism. Quilliam, launching the “fatwa”, stated in their press release that,
“This fatwa has the potential to be a highly significant step towards eradicating Islamist terrorism. Fatwas by Wahhabi-influenced clerics and Islamist ideologues initiated modern terrorism against civilians.”
Shaykh Qadri was quoted in the Evening Standard as saying,
“Every Salafi and Deobandi is not a terrorist but I have no hesitation in saying that everyone is a well-wisher of terrorists and this has not been appreciated by the Western governments,”
The fact that Quilliam and even the neocon hate-preacher Douglas Murray, lent their approval to Shaykh Qadri’s endeavours were sufficient reasons to place question marks over his head and establish the fact that in the broader agenda, Qadri and his initiative were merely chess pieces in a geopolitical game which still seeks to create zombie Muslims amenable to Western intervention, who are comfortable with democracy-spreading bombs, and drone attacks, and being carefully monitored under the watchful eye of Mossad.
It was no surprise to Muslims, even in 2010, when the Times commented that,
“…its agenda is comparable to the official Prevent strategy, under which community organisations are encouraged to work together to counter extremism.”
Five years later we have the Shaykh being a little more astute. I watched the event streamed at Minhaj.tv and noted that Shaykh Qadri despite his familiar finger-pointing, page-flicking and table slamming, was keen not to paint it a “Wahhabi” or a Saudi Arabian issue, clarifying that he is “not of this opinion”. However, only last year, in a Wall Street Journal article, Shaykh Qadri “blasted” Saudi Arabia as “the biggest problem of the Muslim world” for exporting its “conservative strain of Islam”. He also expressed his desire to “eliminate Islamic academies known as madrassas by replacing them with schools that teach secular subjects” – music to the ears of neocons no doubt and a disturbing articulation for Muslims.
His method of tackling radicalisation is less informed however, contradicting an increasing body of evidence which refutes the conveyor-belt theory of radicalisation. Like the “peace” movements outlined in the leaked Mossad document, which pleasingly notes that Al-Azhar sends “scholars” on indoctrinating missions to promote propaganda which effectively fits the Zionist agenda, Qadri’s initiative also involves training scholars and activists to indoctrinate against “extremist” tendencies.
Perturbingly, Qadri thoroughly gives credence to David Cameron’s misplaced, neocon crusade. In fact his statements after the event are unequivocally dangerous and amount to a contribution in the marginalisation and discrimination of the Muslim minority. Overcooking his servitude to the counter-extremism agenda in an interview with the BBC, he blatantly agreed with Cameron that “some Muslim communities were silently condoning terrorism”. Going even further he promulgated a super version of the conveyor-belt theory. He said,
“The government have been dividing extremism into two different categories; violent extremism and non-violent extremism. By defining extremism into two different categories they have allowed extremism to grow into terrorism. Extremism is extremism, so non-violent extremism will become violent ultimately because it will convert into terrorism.”
Contrary to claims of promoting equality and democracy, Qadri then pursued to outline measures which discriminately target the Muslim minority:
“De-radicalisation and counter-terrorism studies should be taught as subjects. It should be made compulsory for Muslim children and optional for non-Muslim children”.
It chillingly provides for a tacit approval of the profiling of Muslim children which has already been happening.
What places the final nail in the coffin of Qadri’s sectarian, pseudo counter-extremism effort is the endorsement from Quilliam Foundation (again). In fact, Quilliam explicitly cited Qadri’s dangerous allusion to the fact mainstream Islamic beliefs and practices (characterised by neocons as “extremist” only the Muslim context) can lead to terrorism:
“Dr Qadri also explains how “conservatism leads to extremism and extremism to terrorism.””
It can be easily argued that Quilliam have in their pursuit of co-opting a “renowned Islamic scholar” to their cause of verifying the decrepit conveyor-belt theory have inadvertently labelled themselves supporters of “extremists”.
Firstly, there are Shaykh Qadri’s claims on the Pakistani blasphemy law, which is Maajid Nawaz’s pet peeve.
Secondly, the Shaykh Qadri who is being abused by Quilliam aired his offence to Maajid Nawaz’s Tweeting of images depicting Prophets (peace be upon them) and called on him to apologise.
Thirdly, in his book published in 2006 by Minhaj-ul-Qur’an titled, The Islamic State, Qadri attempted to reconcile democracy and nation states with the Islamic conception of the Khilafa. However, he clearly writes that,
“…in Western Democracy, the Western democratic parliament is supreme and there is no other authority or power beyond it. Under Khilafah, however, the authority vested in any parliament, government or state is qualified by – and conditional upon – the Qur’an and Sunnah. Thus, in an Islamic state, any law which is passed against the Shari‘ah will be challenged and nullified, and will have no legal effect.”
Maajid Nawaz has repeatedly defined “extremism” and “Islamism” as the imposition of one’s interpretation upon another through law. Shaykh Qadri, according to the definition of both PREVENT and Nawaz is an “extremist”.
Moreover, by Shaykh Qadri calling for the mandatory assertion of his interpretation of Islam found in his counter-terror syllabus, Shaykh Qadri provides a further reason for Nawaz to label him an “extremist”.
Instead, paradoxically we find that Quilliam’s Haras Rafiq is issuing welcome notes for Shaykh Qadri’s efforts.
And then they Came for Me
It is for Shaykh Qadri and others to understand the long term aim of Quilliam, which is in perfect synchrony with, and docile to, neocon goals to reform, or rather, deform Islam.
In a panel discussion on anti-Semitism held at the London Central Synagogue on the 19th of February, Maajid Nawaz hypocritically shared a platform with neocon hate-preacher Douglas Murray and clearly stated that after “Islamist extremism” had been defeated,
“we’ve got a serious, serious problem with medievalists that also needs to be addressed head-on”.
Note that he equates “medievalists” to “traditionalists” and “regressives” and presents the example of Al-Azhar University (yes, even despite their “indoctrination missions”). He further adds that,
“there does need to be a reform of the way Muslims look at their scripture, even among non-Muslims”.
In other words, his declarations are in-line with the infamous neoconservative RAND Corporation policy document Democratising Islam. And how does the neocon Murray react? Thoroughly enjoying Nawaz’s proposed deconstruction of Islam, he delightfully endorses:
“What you’ve just heard is the future, that is the answer”.
Shaykh Qadri, Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah, Imam Hamza Yusuf, and all other scholars working to spread peace and prevent “extremism”, thus inadvertently fitting in-line with the counter-extremism industry, would do well to take note here. They are next.
Shaykh Qadri’s plans are more dangerous than what is perceived at first glance. Though it is thrust forth in a manner which represents the first version of PREVENT, with its focus on engagement with Muslims, in reality, it has provided further fodder for Cameron, the neocons and their mentally colonised Muslims to fuel their false fantasies and destructive designs against Islam and Muslims.
 News item in Roznama Khabrain, Lahore, as reproduced in Urdu book, M.R. Hadoti, The Story of the Founder of Minhajul Qur’an, Dr. Tahirul Qadri, p.104. See further details in English here: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-19712-What-a-high-court-commission-wrote-about-Dr-Qadri and http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/profiles/2014/07/27/Pakistan-s-Tahirul-Qadri-The-rise-and-fall-of-a-revolutionary-man.html
 At 4 minutes he says, “I want to bring on record, that with who’s efforts was this (blasphemy law) made? It was me who got it made.” At 5 minutes, he says, “on the making of this law, protection of the names of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and “gustakh-e-rasool” (disrespecting the Prophet peace be upon) and the death penalty (for this) and non acceptance of repentance, on this subject I spent 18 hours giving proofs.”
 See Fn.1 p.99
 Qadri, T., Islamic State, Minhaj-ul-Quran Publications, 2006, p.1