Living Islam Festival tainted by Islamist speakers
The Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) is busy promoting the Living Islam Festival, which will take place on the 31st July – 3rd August. Although – according to the former Muslim Brotherhood spokesman in the West, Kamal el-Helbawy – the Islamic Society of Britain was originally established by the Muslim Brotherhood, the ISB’s present officials claim they are working to rid the group of its Islamist heritage.
Stand for Peace is disappointed, then, that the announced Living Islam Festival includes such problematic speakers, and questions why an event aimed at Muslim families should serve to promote such a politically divisive message.
Faraz Rabbani is an Islamic scholar and founder of the SunniPath (now called Qibla) and SeekersGuidance websites. Prior to his graduation from the University of Toronto in 1997, he was “active with the Muslim Students Association at a local and national level … [and] helped develop MSA National’s MSA Starter’s Guide and founded and ran The Muslim Voice, MSA University of Toronto’s magazine.” The MSA is an organisation founded by Muslim Brotherhood activists which “promotes the Islamist ideology inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood.” It is now part of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), found by a US federal judge to have “associations … with Hamas” and described by the US Justice Department as having an “intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Dilwar Hussain is an “independent consultant”, President of the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB, see above) and a Research Fellow at the Lokahi Foundation. The Lokahi Foundation is an organisation which previously associated itself with such Muslim Brotherhood outfits as the Cordoba Foundation and IslamExpo, and whose advisory board includes Islamist academic Tariq Ramadan. Between 2007 and 2013, Hussain was Head of the Policy Research Centre at the Islamic Foundation (see below).
Batool al-Toma is an Irish convert to Islam and a member of the Islamic Foundation’s Senior Management Team. The Islamic Foundation is Britain’s leading publisher of Islamist tracts written by Jamaat-e-Islami founder Abul Ala Mawdudi, and its current Chairman, Khurshid Ahmad, is also the Vice Chairman of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. The Foundation’s former Deputy Chairman is Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, who has been convicted for the murder of 18 people during Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Independence, and two of its trustees were found by the Times of London in 2003 to be named on the UN sanctions list of people associated with the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Ahtsham Ali & Sughra Ahmed
Ahtsham Ali is a former President of the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB, see above), and Sughra Ahmed is the current President. Ahmed is also a Research Fellow of the Policy Research Centre at the Islamic Foundation (see above). Ali was once the editor of Q News, an Islamist youth magazine which promoted Jamaat-e-Islami ideology.
Salma Yaqoob is a British politician who believes in the right of Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq to murder British soldiers. She formerly served as the spokeswoman of former Birmingham Central Mosque chairman Mohammad Naseem, a conspiracy theorist who was filmed by the BBC distributing copies of the DVD “7/7 Ripple Effect”, which alleges that Israel was behind the 7/7 bombings. Yaqoob famously described the 7/7 bombings as “reprisal attacks”.
John Esposito is an American academic and founding Director of Georgetown University’s Saudi-financed Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He is an outspoken supporter of such Islamist movements as the Turkish AKP and the Tunisian Ennahda Party, and has worked with Hamas’ special envoy Azzam Tamimi and Ibrahim Kalin, a political advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He has also described confessed and convicted terrorist Sami Al-Arian as “a man of conscience with a strong commitment to peace and social justice.”
Sarah Javaid is the Executive Director of MADE in Europe. MADE’s board members and staff are overwhelmingly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Jamaat-e-Islami and other extremist groups, including Hamas.
Ajmal Masroor is a British politician who resigned as a parliamentary candidate in 2005 when it was discovered that he had been posting on the forum of the anti-Semitic Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK. Masroor peddles a number of conspiracy theories, such as claiming that the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which killed 164 people, were secretly orchestrated by American intelligence agencies. He is a presenter on the Islam Channel, a television station that has been censured by Ofcom for advocating marital rape and whose CEO is a convicted terrorist. Masroor is also a spokesman for the Harrow Central Mosque, whose website promotes a plethora of Jamaat-e-Islami and Muslim Brotherhood groups.
Lubaaba al-Azami is a member of Youth Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The MCB is a Jamaat-e-Islami/Muslim Brotherhood organisation whose former Deputy Secretary-General signed the Istanbul Declaration, which called for terrorist attacks on British troops and Jewish communities around the world. The MCB has boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day on many occasions.
Akram Nadwi is an Islamic scholar endorsed by anti-Semitic suicide-bombing enthusiast Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Merryl Wyn Davies
Merryl Wyn Davies is a Welsh convert to Islam and Director of the Muslim Institute. The Muslim Institute is a formerly Saudi-funded, but now pro-Iranian, organisation which supported Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie and once sought to establish a “non-territorial Islamic state” in Britain. The Muslim Institute’s official magazine, Crescent International, has published Holocaust-denying articles. Davies also worked for several years as an advisor and speechwriter for former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and notorious anti-Semite Anwar Ibrahim.