Bangladeshi authorities are continuing investigations of the personnel running the Green Crescent Madrassa, after a raid last week uncovered a small arms and explosives factory fronting as an orphanage. Four militant Islamists have been held for interrogation. The police have released reports that these charity workers were, in addition to providing food and shelter to these orphans under their care,Â actively indoctrinating the children with religious instruction and “lessons of jihad”.
Maulana Mohammad Russell of Green Crescent Madrasa used to motivate his students to take part in jihad, which investigators believe he did to raise them as militants in the future.
“Our huzur [teacher] Russell often told us that Allah has created us to establish the Almighty’s rule through jihad,” one of three madrasa students told investigators who visited their homes yesterday.
“The sermon was given after Asr prayers,” an investigator of the discovery of a mini arms factory at the madrasa told reporters.
Wishing anonymity, the investigator said the students aged between seven and eight were given such preaching to turn them religiously blind and involve them in militant activities.
The Green Crescent operated as one of Bangladesh’s many thousands of grassroots NGOs offering education and primary health services. This was certainly the area that Green Crescent charity positioned itself in. Faisal Mostafa of Stockport, named the director of the UK charity, was arrested in Dhaka in connection with the raid. But there are other individuals right here in Britain who could shed some light on the relationship between an explosives factory, an orphanage and what jihadi indoctrination has got to do with the principles of Islamic charity.
The first is Andreas Tzortzis (aka Hamza Tzortzis):
Andreas Tzortzis, a UK-based Islamist speaker and lecturer, is listed as a trustee of the Green Crescent charity on the Charity Commissionâ€™s website. Tzortzis has close links with Hizb ut-Tahrir and
regularly speaks at Islamist events across the UK. This evening, for example, he will be speaking at Birmingham University on the subject â€˜Sharia law: Barbaric or Misunderstoodâ€™. Tzortzis is also a regular guest on the Islam Channel, a number of whose regular presenters are members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Then there is Sadek Hamid, chair of the Green Crescent charity, who writes on the Guardian’s Comment is Free blog where he is described as a “community development worker in Manchester and a writer on Muslim youth issues”. This is his CIF profile:
Sadek Hamid currently works in community development in Manchester and has nearly 20 years of involvement in the Islamic voluntary sector. He has written
about Muslim youth issues and British Muslims in Q-News, the Muslim News, Impact International, the Guardian, Youth & Policy Journal and has authored a chapter in a forthcoming volume, Islamic Political Radicalism: A European Comparative (ed Tahir Abbas, Edinburgh University Press, 2006).
He is also is researching for a PhD on Islamic Youth Organisations in the UK at the University of Chester, is a director of the Peacemaker Youth Project, Oldham, chair of the Green Crescent charity and a regular guest on The Week Today programme on the DM satellite television channel.
This puts the Charity Commission under some pressure, as of course it should.
But I hope this does not stop the Guardian giving space to extremists to disseminate their ideology with op-eds on its pages. Of course, we all know it won’t.
Sunny adds: The guy wrote an article one several years ago, to talk about the Bradford Riots – it’s hardly example of the Guardian giving lots of space to Islamists.
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Filed in: Muslim,Organisations,Terrorism