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  • Policy Exchange’s report on mosques

    by Sunny
    2nd November, 2007 at 3:01 pm    

    I have an article on comment is free today about the think-tank Policy Exchange’s recent report on hate literature within mosques.

                  Post to del.icio.us

    Filed in: British Identity,Muslim,Organisations

    44 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs
    1. Best Wedding Ideas

      Best Wedding Ideas…

      I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting…

    1. Sofia — on 2nd November, 2007 at 4:16 pm  

      Sunny, although I agree with most of your points, I don’t agree with what you say about the MCB and social cohesion. You may have met many of the “leading” figures who happen to hog the limelight, such as Bunglawala or Sacranie, but I have definitely met ppl who do the grassroots work that is never mentioned. I do agree that the MCB is not representative etc etc, but do think you often ignore the individual projects or people behind them, who are interested in social cohesion and integration and are struggling long and hard to make this a reality.

    2. Sofia — on 2nd November, 2007 at 4:24 pm  

      As for the issue of “extremist” literature, there was a debate in the book world a while ago about “mein kampf” and whether this should be sold in bookstores…similar issues etc…I think this goes back to Muslims taking ownership of their religious learning..not being spoon fed fatwas and relgious opinions without thinking or questioning.

    3. Natty — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:18 pm  

      How can you be soooooo sure that the literature or some of it wasn’t quoted out of context?

      Yes action needs to be taken but I am sick and tired of these right wing think tanks and their so called expose’s of literature in mosques. A lot of their reports such as Memri are clearly distorted as has been exposed for a bigger agenda. Yet with so many of these reports people now accept them as fact when in cases they are far from that.

      Anyone can walk into a mosque and leave literature there which is discovered by people. So how long was it there? Whose literature was it?

      Do we have evidence that the literature remained or wasn’t removed?

      Ok so someone from say Al-Garuba walks into a mosque and leaves literature there. Right Wing Policy Thinks tank then says a Saudi funded mosque is distributing hate literature and CiF writers have a field day. But the facts are the literature was left and is not being produced by the mosque.

      Many of the mosques discussed are huge public places with excellent community reputations. So this is a smear.

      Right Wing think tanks issue these reports and bang CiF writers are telling Muslims what they should and shouldn’t do. You accept what is said without recourse to further investigation.

      By all means this should be reported but I’d like to see the context. As I said to you before we’ve had the Evening Standard submit a report on hate literature near Regents Park Mosque and that turned out to be fabricated.

      At the end of the day communities will regard different literature as hate so if right wing think tanks are going to do these expose’s then lets do them for all the others. Is Evangelical calls that Islam is a evil religion hate literature and why no expose, why no CiF saying this affects community cohension?

      There appears an unfair and biased move against Muslims and how fairly is the literature being quoted.

      I refer you to the claim that the King Fahd Academy calls Jews and Chrisitians pigs and monkeys. Well this is now quoted in the media but as pointed out on Newsnight the verses quoted were out of context - in fact they referred to a historical story where God punished a small group of people who disobeyed and affected the rest of their community. So please tell me is this the same as saying all Jews and Christians? No it isn’t but that is what is spread and continues to be. Yet on Newsnight this was explained clearly and still what is actually lies are being peddled by right wing think tanks.

      Isn’t it about time we stood up to right wing think tank hate material and distorted research as well??

    4. Morgoth — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:32 pm  

      How can you be soooooo sure that the literature or some of it wasn’t quoted out of context?

      Sigh. Always with the conspiracy theories, eh?

    5. Natty — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:36 pm  

      Sigh - always accepting of right wing think tanks.

      Surely context of how things happen are important. I am not saying that hate literature shouldn’t be reported but public places are difficult to police and people can easily put things out.

      And it isn’t conspiricay theory - I have actually read some of the quotes they list as hate and they are out of context.

      You just accept blindly so you can bash away.

    6. Natty — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:45 pm  

      Right from the Policy Exchange Website:

      “Although some of the hate literature is in English, a proportion is written in Arabic. The translations commissioned by Policy Exchange have been independently verified.”

      Who is the independant verifier - they don’t say? It isn’t a hard thing to do so why not say?

      The reports saysd;
      “We recognise, of course, that hate and
      separatist literature is not the exclusive preserve
      of Muslims. On the contrary, offensive
      and troubling material is generated
      under the banner of most faiths.”

      So where are the reports on others????

      Some of the passages and things quoted are clearly out of context.

      Read the report there is precious little factual evidence and truial by innuendo.

      The report itself acknowledges that similar issues exist in other faiths and yet no mention is made of the recommendatiosn to tackle the issues there.

      So the bias is clear.

    7. Morgoth — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:46 pm  

      Natty, as I recall from previous threads, any time the subject of Wahabbism/Salafism comes up at all, you blindly start to lash out with mad conspiracy theories about Jews this, and right-wing that. Have you missed the fact that there have been dozens of similar reports recenty by leftists and people with impeccible liberal credentials making the exact same point? Or how the MCB and other prominent organisations are filled to the brim with holocaust deniers/supports of suicide bombers and other medievalist throwbacks, a large number of which the authors here have written about?

      The reality is that petro-dollar funded Wahabbism is a pernicious, vicious and hateful theology utterly incompatible with modern life and secular democracy. Abdullah and his cronies should have been met at gunpoint at the airport and told never to darken these shores again.

      Fuck me, you’ll making me start to have some sympathy with Sofia and Sonia.

    8. Natty — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:48 pm  

      “The Jews and the Christians are the enemies of the Muslim, and they will never be pleased
      with the Muslims …”

      And the rest of the hadith makes it clear in what circumstance they are the enemies and wil not be pleased but they missed that bit out because it narrows down the detail to specifics and the report doesn’t need that.

      hence the use of the 3 dots to say there is more but hey we don’t want to let you know the rest cause it goes against out fucking argument.

      This is distortion.

    9. Morgoth — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:48 pm  

      The report itself acknowledges that similar issues exist in other faiths and yet no mention is made of the recommendatiosn to tackle the issues there.

      The report was dealing with MOSQUES, Natty. How many other faiths exist in MOSQUES?

      You’re engaged in what you always do when this subject comes up - special pleading, weasling and plain old bullshitting.

    10. Natty — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:51 pm  

      You’re engaged in what you always do when this subject comes up - special pleading, weasling and plain old bullshitting.

      Ditto for you. You just like to accept everything the right says blindly.

      Yes the report was dealing with mosques, but if you got your head out of the sand you’d realise they said similar issues exist elsewhere so pray right whinger tell me when the right is going to tackle those?

      So essentially this is actually a wider problem but hey lets narrow it down and keep it there.

    11. Natty — on 2nd November, 2007 at 5:55 pm  

      If the ptero-dollar funds this Morgoth the don’t buy their oil. Simple isn’t it.

      As I said they acknoiwledged briefly that similar problems exist elsewhere so then there needs to be a wider scope to resolve problems in all communities.

      You are the one who blindly lashes out with little evidence offered.

      Many of the quotes which are listed if you bothered to do your research - but hey that wouldn’t be out of character - do not apply when Muslims live abroad.

      So your understanding is clearly lacking.

    12. Morgoth — on 2nd November, 2007 at 6:01 pm  

      As I said they acknoiwledged briefly that similar problems exist elsewhere so then there needs to be a wider scope to resolve problems in all communities.

      There is only one community blowing up skyscrapers and detonating themselves on the tube, Natty. Here is a hint - its not Welsh Anglicans.

      Many of the quotes which are listed if you bothered to do your research do not apply when Muslims live abroad.

      is the excuse you’re making? You’re so mealy-mouthed you could open an oat factory in your gob.

    13. Natty — on 2nd November, 2007 at 6:11 pm  

      Morgoth - as you so lack understanding of these issues, then you would know that the ideology to which you refer is actually Qutubi and not Wahabi/Salafi.

      The Wahabi and Salafi position is made clear here if you bothered to do your research and understood the terms you throw out from your right wing rags that you read.



      There is one community who lob massive multi-tonned bombs, who strafe wedding parties and then lie about this. Hint it is your community.

      Either way in both cases innocent people die. Get it so get off your high horse.

      Those American Pilots who kill people going to weddings are good American Christians fighting in the name of God.

      Also if this is a Wahabi ideology as you claim the expalin this:

      Iraqi Sufis Join the Fight Against Coalition Forces

      So clearly we see it is a strain within Islam, but in other contexes this exists in other faiths.

      Blowing up a building and killing people or dropping a bomb achieves one thing - that is innocent people die.

      Your weasel words to think you have a moral high ground shows how ridiculous your case is.

      In case you forget Bush said that he was guided by his Christian God to go to war in which innocent people die. But hey they are Muslim so we shouldn’t give a fuckj about them.

    14. Sunny — on 2nd November, 2007 at 6:12 pm  

      You two are boring me.

      Natty - if you want to question the methodology, please look at the report. I has its own agenda, as does the MCB.

      You may have met many of the “leading” figures who happen to hog the limelight, such as Bunglawala or Sacranie, but I have definitely met ppl who do the grassroots work that is never mentioned.

      Sofia - I agree. But it’s like people who worked for the government who were anti-war… they are all well-meaning people after all. But it doesn’t mean we cannot criticise the govt right?

    15. Natty — on 2nd November, 2007 at 6:22 pm  

      Sunny - For the record I don’t like the MCB, Bunglawala or Sacranie. I am simply saying that we need to understand context of the report.

      I refer you to Yahya Birt who you may know and whose response is on The City Circle website:

      “1. A lot of Saudi funding was pretty benign: it went into infrastructural projects. They rarely looked to control mosques they funded of part-funded. They funded the mosques of preferred sectarian allies. They also funded the mosques of sectarian rivals too, including Sufi mosques in the UK. After 9/11 a lot of this funding has dried up due to internal and external political pressures.”

      The Saudi’s fund the building but rarely have control. East London Mosque which is an example was given funding but is controlled by the local community and not the Saudi’s so the links being made are pretty tenious at best and non-existant in many cases.

      In order to address this situation it doesn’t need terms such as Wahabi, Salafi etc. hurled round liek candy - we need to understand the situation and work to address it.

      Talking to Muslims even getting Qur’ans out of Saudi Arabia is now difficult so hence we need to understand what this literature says and how best to address the situation. That is all I am saying.

    16. Sunny — on 2nd November, 2007 at 7:08 pm  

      Natty - I’ve not thrown around words like Wahhabi, Sufi etc in this case… nor have I insinuated Saudi funding is out of control and all very nasty. We just want more transparency… right?

      So I’m happy to take Yahya’s word for it and I still can’t tell what your disagreement with the article is.

    17. Derius — on 2nd November, 2007 at 8:16 pm  

      If anybody is interested in reading the Policy Exchange report, then here is the link:



      It is my understanding that the quote you refer to was not taken from a Hadith, but instead was a statement in an Islamic school textbook made by the author.

      If by coincidence, it is also a verse from a Hadith, then can you please supply the reference so I can verify it.

      Thanks for your time.

    18. Muhamad [p.b.u.m.] — on 2nd November, 2007 at 8:30 pm  

      Being a recipient of an European education, I’d like to remind people of J. S. Mills’ critical emphasis on openness.

      Central to this is censorship. Must we censor the way we think? E.g., the scientist James Watson? I’d rather they be allowed to express their views so that we can scrutinise it all, and provide a critique.

      I’d also like to remind us of the R.C.’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum, which, apparently, does not include the insidious and invidious inanition known as “Mein Kampf”.

    19. Natty — on 3rd November, 2007 at 9:52 am  

      Sunny - I didn’t mean you were throwing around those words, I meant Morgoth and right wing think tanks do this.

      In fact funding as Yahya said is now very difficult to obtain. That said however yes more transparancy is needed and I doubt the Saudi’s would have a problem with that as they are under such intense scrutiny and pressure.

      I am not disagreeing with your article I am disagreeing with the way that right wing think tanks keep coming out with these reports. This one admitted that there were similar issues with other faiths so what I am saying is that we need to look at this as a wider issue.

      As I have said before and you agreed as well, we need more engagement between the communities to break down barriers, encourage understanding and also crucially to work towards more integration.

      The major problem as I see it is that Muslims and to a lesser degree other religions apart from Christianity are quite poor at reaching out. I think they are learning the lessons and what you’ll find is that there is a certain bond developing between Muslims, Jews, Sikhs and Hindus in working towards outreach.

      To my mind it isn’t juts the transparancey of funding I’d like to see Mosques open up more and become part of the community which would help that community to integrate better into the community.

    20. chrisc — on 3rd November, 2007 at 12:52 pm  

      Sunny - one of your best articles so far.

      Natty - a rather pathetic “denial” - someone could have just left it there unauthorised and no-one noticed - yeah, right.
      We know from the C4 documentary and *many* other sources that there is a problem; a big problem.
      And Bungle and the MCB’s attitude is hardly helping.
      Or only helping to discredit the MCB even further.

    21. Bert Preast — on 3rd November, 2007 at 1:17 pm  

      I saw the government is funding muslimyouth.net as part of the drive to keep young muslims out of the clutches of extremists, and thought I’d toddle over to have a shufti. Front page is an article on how great MPAC is, not the best of starts. Then in the forum there’s a rather crap poem to commemorate 9/11. Here’s the last few lines:

      “So what will you do
      The American public?
      Follow blindly
      the leader who fails to inspire
      or elect another to continue this butchery?

      Whose policies will bring the chicken’s home to roost?
      Or select a third brave option
      Isolation and non- interference in Muslims affairs

      Make your choice wisely
      Because the enemy is prepared to fight and die bravely
      But you already saw that on 9/11 2001″

      And they lap it up: http://www.muslimyouth.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3727

      How is it all these moderate forums the government keeps shovelling money into always go the same way?

    22. Rumbold — on 4th November, 2007 at 1:33 pm  

      It is worth reading the comments under that poem as well. Most of them talk misty-eyed about the Taliban being the only true Islamic government, while one pops up with a reference to the Protocols of Zion.

    23. j0nz — on 4th November, 2007 at 2:28 pm  

      If British Muslims are supposed to follow instructions to kill apostates who leave Islam, they are doing a mighty bad job of it.

      They would of course be charged with murder, under UK law. Bit of a deterrent there. Further more, Islamic scholars say that Muslims should abide by the law of the state that they live in.

      All five major schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that a sane male apostate must be executed

    24. Jagdeep — on 4th November, 2007 at 3:53 pm  

      Taking that further, is it not arguing that by reading texts such as Lolita, one is legitimising child abuse?

      Oh Sunny, sometimes you let yourself done so badly, so embarassingly.

    25. Jagdeep — on 4th November, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

      On a simlar theme, remeber the West Midlands police and OFCOM and the Channel 4 documentary? Here’s a Newsnight investigation into the whole affair, one to watch if you argues against me at the time, for sure:


      OFCOM report is going to released into the situation soon. Look forward to debating it here on PP.

    26. Jagdeep — on 4th November, 2007 at 4:00 pm  

      My spelling is bad today, ‘done’ for ‘down’, ‘argues’ for ‘argued’, I’m cracking up.

    27. Sunny — on 4th November, 2007 at 4:59 pm  

      The author of the Policy Exchange report has written a reply underneath my article on CIF in reply. And misses the point completely… waxing on about how we went to some leftist rally. These people annoy me.

    28. Natty — on 4th November, 2007 at 5:25 pm  

      Natty - a rather pathetic “denial” - someone could have just left it there unauthorised and no-one noticed - yeah, right.

      ChrisC - So you are telling me that major public worship places such as Regents Park Mosque where thousands of people go everyday it is not possible to leave literature?

      Any major public worship place is openly accessible and people can easily leave anything.

      I think your understanding of large public worship places is rather poor.

      Many of the mosques mentioned are large institutions and as such attarct thousands of people per day, so for someone to leave material lying around is simple.

      It is the same for a Cathedral.

      I’ve read reports in the media of Students fairs where different groups leave around material and those are smaller locations.

      I am not denying anything, I am saying this can happen.

      The solution is to either:

      a) Not provide a public notice facility


      b) more staff to ensure it doesn’t happen.

      We need to be practical as some of these sites range from 1/4 to 1/2 acre in size.

    29. j0nz — on 4th November, 2007 at 5:29 pm  

      Shouldn’t much of this literature be illegal under existing legislation? Calling for death for jews etc?

      I cant imagine the law allowing BNP to set up shop in every town selling literature calling for the death of other groups.

      Yup it should be banned since it crosses the line from free speech into inciting murder. All for free speech, but it’s not without bounds. It would be illegal to call for the death of blacks. And, rightly too, I believe.

    30. j0nz — on 4th November, 2007 at 5:32 pm  

      By saying it’s lawful to have such hatred literature, the state is giving the tacit message that it’s ok. The law is there to protect us. How does protecting literature inciting murder protect us?

    31. Sunny — on 4th November, 2007 at 5:37 pm  

      j0nz - which bit of inciting violence literature are you referring to exactly? We allow the BNP to make up stuff about Muslims so they can incite hatred. That’s free speech for you pal. :)

    32. j0nz — on 4th November, 2007 at 6:02 pm  

      Sunny you missed my point. I don’t think ‘hate’ speech should be banned. I think anything inciting MURDER should be banned ;)

      Freedom of speech, freedom to hate, to incite hatred even, but I draw the lines at inciting murder.

    33. Jagdeep — on 4th November, 2007 at 6:06 pm  

      Sunny, DenisMac’s response to you on the CiF thread is substantial and strong.

    34. j0nz — on 4th November, 2007 at 6:06 pm  

      Sunny, do you think it should be legal to incite others to murder?

    35. sonia — on 4th November, 2007 at 6:17 pm  

      i thought that this was the sort of thing the religious hatred act is all about? seeing as its hatred against a group of persons defined by reference to religious belief or lack of religious belief. anyway, i dont know if that then means they nab the person stirring up religious hatred, but leave the literature? or perhaps the literature itself is not banned, but becomes ‘evidence’ relating to crime..?

      i suppose we’re waiting for that Statutory instrument before it can come into force?

      ( i suppose we need some lawyers here..)

      and then we’d have to be able to nab someone for it,

    36. sonia — on 4th November, 2007 at 6:22 pm  

      well if someone walks into the mosque and leaves such literature, it should be easy enough to ‘shame’ the mosque into feeling it needs to remove such shameful literature - if it wants to hold up its head as as ‘respectful’ member of society - you dont need to walk into a place and ‘seize’ anything. and the whole point would be to shame these people for allowing such silly things to be ‘connected’ to their religion - the onus is on them to show their religion isn’t disgraceful, and by leaving such things lying around, it simply confirms that they are not against such hateful literature, so is a dent in their image. its their own loss if they want to condone such unpleasant literature - given that everyone else has found out.

    37. j0nz — on 4th November, 2007 at 6:37 pm  

      Let’s face it - inner city Mosques and Islamic bookshops are a mecca (heh) for extremists. Extremists, are, after all, just very ‘islamic’, and want the government, and everyone else to be ‘islamic’.

      Yes Sonia, it confuses me where we stand with the legislation now. Even with legislation, I just cannot imagine white police officers raiding islamic book shops. Screams of racism etc abound. I think they will do pretty much what they do now, steer clear.

    38. j0nz — on 4th November, 2007 at 6:40 pm  

      More reassuring news:

      Hate on the State: How British libraries encourage Islamic extremism

      By James Brandon and Douglas Murray
      Hate on the State

      The first report published by the Centre for Social Cohesion examines how public libraries may be fuelling Islamic radicalism. The study finds that the libraries of Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest and Birmingham in particular have stocked a disproportionate number of pro-jihadist texts at the expense of more moderate authors.


      Big surprise. Not!

    39. Sunny — on 4th November, 2007 at 7:03 pm  

      j0nz - there’s all sorts of criticism about what encourages extremism etc. My question is - where’s the literature inciting murder? Please provide evidence for that.

      Otherwise, the ‘encouraging extremism’ argument is redundant and a waste of time simply because its covered by free speech. Otherwise I’d quite rightly ask for the Daily Express to be banned for encouraging racism :)

    40. sonia — on 4th November, 2007 at 7:24 pm  

      well i dont think anyone is suggesting they ban the Quran are they now? if anything was going to encourage extremism that would be one such document. thankfully most people have never read it, so there’s not too much to worry about.

    41. Muhamad — on 4th November, 2007 at 7:52 pm  

      I wish there was something in the air that could cause an expunction of all religious literature. :-)
      The tedium of Te Deum.

    42. Sofia — on 5th November, 2007 at 10:17 am  

      Sunny - going back to the issue of the MCB…everyone has the right to criticise..what i was questioning was your point about the organisation not interested in the cohesion debate. I think they are, but have gone about it the wrong way and in some way expected Muslim communities in their diversity to accept the MCB as some sort of representation.
      In the last 10 years or so I have probably come into contact with a lot of national muslim orgs, most of them have issues for want of a better phrase of “cults of personalities” which is an unfortunate by product of celebrity and media exposure. Most of these ppl you will probably have come across, and to tell you the truth, the ones that are actually doing the grass root hard slog with no thanks are those behind the scenes who have no interest in hogging the limelight or being spokespersons for “their” “communities”..so yes, as an org the MCB has its limitations and faults..but I just wish ppl could see past this and look at the positive works that ppl are doing at a local level…that’s all…

    43. sonia — on 5th November, 2007 at 2:07 pm  

      I read this person’s viewpoint on the Policy Exchange report:

      “The author of the recent report is a Dr. Denis MacEoin, Wikipedia article describes him as:

      a novelist and a former lecturer in Islamic studies. His academic specializations are Shi‘ism, Shaykhism, Bábism, and the Bahá’í Faith, on all of which he has written extensively. His novels are written under the pen names Daniel Easterman and Jonathan Aycliffe.

      The article also mentions:

      In recent years, he has become active in pro-Israel advocacy (hasbara), chiefly in his capacity as a writer. He continues to work on Islamic issues, particularly the development of radical Islam.

      I think reports such as these should serve as a wakeup call for the advocates of liberal democracy who are quick to address extremism elsewhere, when they have such dangerous form of extremism growing inside.”

      ahem!so what do people think about this angle?

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