On Christmas Day 2009, three days after his 23rd birthday, Nigerian graduate Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was arrested. He had apparently attempted to blow himself up on a Detroit-bound plane, Northwest Airlines Flight 253, 20 minutes before it was due to land. Abdulmutallab was accused of attempting to detonate a package of PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) which was sewn into his underwear.
PETN is the same material that was hidden inside the shoe of Richard Reid, the British terrorist who had flown on American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami on December 22, 2001. Reid had tried to ignite his shoe-bomb using a naked flame and a fuse attached to his footwear. Abdulmutallab, sitting in a window seat (19A) with his left leg next to the plane's fuselage, had apparently used a syringe of acid to attempt to ignite the material. The PETN burned but did not detonate.
Abdulmutallab is known to have studied Engineering with Business Finance at University College London from September 2005 until his graduation in June 2008. UCL has 2,200 students, who are selected on academic merit only, irrespective of political beliefs. It was disclosed by a UCL spokesperson that Abdulmuttallab was a president of the university's Islamic Society (ISOC) between 2006 and 2007.
Within days of his arrest, newspapers were speculating about whether Abdulmutallab had been radicalized while attending University College London (UCL) or if he was already radical in his outlook when he joined. These arguments persist, but it is plain that while he was president of the UCL ISOC it hosted events attended by extremists.
According to the UCL Islamic Society's constitution, officers on its committee serve from August 1st until July 31st of the following year. On May 11, 2007, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was its president, the UCL Islamic society advertised an "Al Fitrah event" which was to be held in July and August 2007 at the university's premises in Gower Street.
Al Fitrah (moral responsibility) is an organization in Harrow, West London, that has "da'wa" (missionary Islam) as its aim (nb: apparently unrelated to the Canadian women's group of the same name). The group held talks and events at various London locations at that time. The events at UCL (entitled Acts of Worship) were co-sponsored by Jamattimes. The lectures were given by Abu Abdullah Yunus ibn Mahmood who has frequently given lectures on the British-based free-to-air satellite TV station, Islam Channel. Mahmood was a student of the Madinah University in Saudi Arabia.
The main character behind both Al Fitrah and Jamattimes is called Jalal ibn Sa'eed Mohabbat, though he usually drops the last name. Raised in Houston, Texas, Jalal ibn Sa'eed was a key founder of both groups. According to a notice from Queen Mary ISOC, he arrived in Britain in the late 1990s. He has made frequent appearances at colleges and universities.
His Al Fitrah group has been one of the participants at an annual conference called the "Global Peace and Unity Event." This is organized by the Islam Channel. There is traditionally at the Global Peace and Unity Event (GPU) a stall set aside for the British-based charity called Islamic Relief. British researcher Nafeez Mossadeq Ahmed wrote in his book The War on Truth (p. 99) that the Islamic Relief charity is "a welfare organization linked to the Moslem Brotherhood." Ahmed's source came from an article from March 16, 2000 on Intelligence Online. I have not been able to find other sources that corroborate or dispel this claim. In 2007 the ISOC at University College promoted the work of this charity.
The GPU is the largest Islamic conference event held in Europe. It was initiated in 2005. A newsletter was distributed by Al Fitrah at the 2006 GPU conference. It can be downloaded here (PDF format). This Al Fitrah newsletter promotes division from the customs of British society. For example, it declares that men and women should not mix freely: "The meeting together, mixing, and intermingling of men and women in one place, the crowding of them together, and the revealing and exposure of women to men are prohibited by the Law of Islam (Shari'ah).” Additionally, music is not allowed: "It is forbidden and is not permissible to play musical instruments or listen to songs and tunes. The majority of scholars say that it is haraam, including the four imams of fiqh: Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i and Ahmad (may Allaah have mercy on them all)".
Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab had invited one controversial speaker to University College London. Abdur Raheem Green had also been on lectures connected with Al Fitrah and Jalal ibn Sa'eed. Born as "Anthony" Green in 1964, he was educated at prestigious Ampleforth College and became Muslim in 1988. In August 2005, Green had been banned from entering Australia, even though he had visited the country previously and was described by some Australian Muslims as a "moderate."
Abdur Raheem Green had earlier declared that "dying while fighting jihad is one of the surest ways to paradise and Allah's good pleasure." He had also maintained that war between Islam and West was "ordered in the Koran." The extent of Green's views was revealed in a videotape made in Australia in 2003 in which he stated that non-Muslims were "evil people" and demanded that Australian Muslims should criticize Christianity openly.
He stated: "You know very well what takes place in these [non-Muslim]schools... it is all about evolution, Christmas, Easter, St Valentine's Day – a barrage. And you expect your children to survive? You think you live in a sewer and you come up smelling of roses? Merely living in the company of evil people will inevitably begin to rub off on us and we will begin to acquire their characteristics."
Green announced in 2005 that he had revised his opinions, but in his recent lectures he declares that Islam is not compatible with, and is superior to democracy and democratic laws. Green will be lecturing at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, on March 3, 2010. His subject will be "The reality of life after death." One of the listed supporters of this event is the Al Maghrib Institute.
The Influence of Al Maghrib
The Al Maghrib Institute is based in Houston Texas, but has set up branches in Canada and most recently in Britain. In August 2008 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had gone to the Houston branch of the Al Maghrib Institute, where he attended some of the classes connected with the group's annual "IlmFest" conference event. Before going to Houston, Abdulmutallab had also attended two seminars run in London by the British branch of Al Maghrib.
The founder and head of Al Maghrib is Muhammad Alshareef, who instituted the organization in 2001. AlShareef, a graduate of the Al-Madinah University in Saudi Arabia, was born in Canada in 1975 and currently lives in Ottawa. He is sometimes called Muhammad Ash-Shareef.
The Al Maghrib Institute has seventeen listed instructors, including Alshareef. One of these instructors, Abdullah Hakim Quick, has generated controversy in the past for talking of the "filth of the Yahood [Jews]" and stating that homosexuals should be killed. He has currently ignited more controversy by appearing at King's College in London and also the University of East London and at City University. He was invited to King's by the Qabeelat Al Shams group, a student division of Al Maghrib.
Quick is described by Al Maghrib as "one of our greatest additions to the AlMaghrib Instructor lineup, an addition that has grabbed the attention of people worldwide."
While Quick was giving his recent lecture at City University (surrounded by banners of his promoters, the Al Maghrib Institute) a surprise visitor was Abu Ammaar Yasir Qadhi, who is an instructor for Al Maghrib and is the Institute's Dean of Academic Affairs.
Yasir Qadhi had taught the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, during the IlmFest event in August 2008. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Qadhi said of Abdulmutallab: "He was just very shy. I don’t recall him asking a single question. I would say he was really quiet, perhaps withdrawn. When I asked him where he was from, he told me he was studying in London but he didn’t tell me anything about his family and it seemed rude to press him."
Qadhi added: "Although many of us studied in Saudi Arabia, we don’t subscribe to a narrow-minded and intolerant way of dealing with the West. We don’t preach hatred of non-Muslims. We want our students to understand a modern orthodox approach to Islam that helps young people understand they do not have to choose between being British and being Muslim."
Qadhi told CNN: "It's ironic that he came to us. At some level, we did not convince him of the validity of our views and that is cause for regret. What AbdulMutallab probably doesn't realize is that by his actions he has hurt the very same people – Muslims – who he was purportedly trying to defend."
Yasir Qadhi, like Muhammad Alshareef and Abdullah Hakim Quick, is a graduate of the Islamic University of Madinah, Saudi Arabia. Other Al Maghrib instructors who attended this university are Yaser Birjas, Vietnamese-born AbdulBary Yahya, Shaykh Ahsan Hanif, Shpendim Nadzaku. Waleed Basyouni studied at another Saudi establishment, the Al-Imam Muhammad University.
Though Qadhi (originally named "Kazi") declared that "We don’t preach hatred of non-Muslims," his own speeches in the past have been decidedly hostile to non-Muslims and also expressed hostility towards Shia Muslims. In 2001, Qadhi declared: "Hitler never intended to mass-destroy the Jews. There are a number of books out on this written by Christians, you should read them. ‘The Hoax of the Holocaust,’ I advise you to read this book and write this down, ‘The Hoax of the Holocaust,’ a very good book. All of this is false propaganda and I know it sounds so far-fetched, but read it. The evidences [sic] are very strong. "
He added: "Why are Jews studying Islam? There is a reason, not that they want to help us, they want to destroy us [...] they want to bring about doubts, look at the doubts that exist, look at the divisions, the discord, look at the disunity, look at all these ideologies that are being spread. Know that the Yahood [Jews] and the Kuffar [Infidels] like this type of thing."
The full speech can be heard (in MP3 format) here. Seven years later, Qadhi claimed in 2008 that he had made a mistake, and blamed his youth. He claimed that a particular website (Institute for Historical Review) had influenced him, even though this site provided no source material to back up its blatant antisemitism. Qadhi was irked that Dominic Grieve, a Tory politician, had described him as "anti-Semitic."
Yasir Qadhi has said of Shia Muslims that: "With regard to the Shiites, really they are the most lying sect of Islam. In other words, it is a part of their religion… that they are allowed to lie…. They have an ascription to one of their Imams – 'Lying is nine tenths of this religion.'" This particular speech led lawyer and blogger David T to urge that Qadhi should be banned from Britain.
In 2008, Yasir Qadhi condemned the "witch-hunt" and trial of Dr. Ali al-Timimi of Fairfax Virginia, a "sheikh" whom Qadhi called an "intellectual theologian" who "played an instrumental role in shaping and directing me to take the path that has led me to where I am today." Al-Timimi had been convicted on April 26, 2005 of soliciting others to wage war against the U.S. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on July 13, 2005 in what has been known as the Virginia Jihad.
The U.S. government maintained that a month after 9/11, Timimi had stated that it "lawful" to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and later stated that "Whoever dies fighting Americans is a martyr." Timimi was charged with sending young Muslims to Pakistan for terror training. His indictment (in pdf format) can be found here. Eleven people were convicted. Among these were Randall "Ismail" Royer and Ibrahim Ahmed al-Hamdi who pleaded guilty. Royer was a former employee of CAIR.
Patrick Poole has stated that the courses that are offered by Al Maghrib are accredited by the American Open University, under the authority of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo. Al-Azhar is the largest Sunni university in the world. Credits earned on the weekend seminars offered by Al Maghrib can contribute towards gaining a Bachelors degree in Islamic Studies, offered by the AOU.
At Level One, textbooks required for course work included "Fundamentals of Tawheed", "Evolution of Fiqh" and "The Devil's Deception by Bilal Philips and "In the Shade of the Qur’an" by Sayyid Qutb.
In Level 1 section 112, students were required to read works by Yasir Qadhi and also the man jailed for his part in the "Virginia Jihad," Ali Tamimi (The Sciences of the Qur’an). In the current curriculum this module (EBA112) appears to have abandoned Ali Timimi's book, though it appears in a summary of courses. Sayyid Qutb's book remains on both newer lists. Qutb, ideologue of the Muslim Brotherhood, condemned Jews and Westerners and argued for armed jihad to impose Islamism
In Level 2 (224) students are required to read a book by Suhaib Hasan, who lives in Britain. He runs the Islamic Sharia Council and is a sharia spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain. He is an imam at the Masjid Tawhid, a mosque in Leyton northeast London. Hasan appeared in the acclaimed 2007 documentary "Undercover Mosque" (broadcast on Channel 4 on Jan 15, 2007).
Seventeen minutes into the film, Suhaib Hasan states: "Allah has decreed this thing that 'I am going to be dominant'. The dominance of course is a political dominance....The chopping of the hands off thieves, the flogging of adulterers, and flogging of the drunkard. Then, jihad against the non-Muslims, against those people who are the oppressors."
On the same documentary, Bilal Philips was recorded at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham, claiming that marrying a girl before puberty is permissible. He told worshippers: "The Prophet Mohammed practically outlined the rules regarding marriage prior to puberty, with his practice he clarified what is permissible and that is why we shouldn’t have any issues about an older man marrying a younger woman, which is looked down upon by this society today, but we know that Prophet Mohammed practised it, it wasn’t abuse or exploitation, it was marriage."
In Level 2 (245) of the curriculum, dealing with Islamic finance, the work of another author is quoted, the Deobandi scholar Muhammad Taqi Usmani. This former sharia judge from Pakistan has written in a book entitled Islam and Modernism that "the question is whether aggressive battle is by itself commendable or not. If it is, why should the Muslims stop simply because territorial expansion in these days is regarded as bad? And if it is not commendable, but deplorable, why did Islam not stop it in the past? Even in those days . . . aggressive jihads were waged . . . because it was truly commendable for establishing the grandeur of the religion of Allah."
Yasir Qadhi and Muhammad Alshareef publish CDS of their work. These CDs can be found on the web at a site called Ilmquest. Until they were removed, the Ilmquest also sold Audio CDs of notorious Yemen-based Islamist Anwar al-Awlaki. In 2007, the site's home page featured 14 "hot specials." Five of these were CD collections by Awlaki. There were eighteen entries on Anwar al-Awlaki's homepage on the site.
Ilmquest currently sells a DVD by Khalid Yasin, a highly controversial figure, who has blamed Christians for deliberately introducing AIDS to Africa.
There is a strand that links Al Fitrah's founder, Jalal ibn Sa'eed Mohabbat with Bilal Philips, Suhaib Hasan, Yasir Qadhi and Muhammad Alshareef, the Al Maghrib Institute and the Global Unity Event. That strand is the Islam Channel.
Founded in 2004, the Islam Channel currently operates from various satellite bands. It can also be accessed online by internet streaming (Windows Media Player required) from various sites (here, here and here). There are mooted plans for Islam Channel to broadcast its service to the U.S. So far, this does not appear to have happened, and US regulators should be asking if this is desirable.
Islam Channel is headquartered in London and operates around the clock. It states in its "vision" that it wants "to present the Islamic viewpoint and values through its programming," to act "as an interface between Muslims & non-Muslims to remove the misconceptions people have about Islam." It declares that it presents "the Islamic perspective."
Unfortunately, this notion of an inclusive and accessible presentation of Islam is not always upheld when its schedule presents preachers who are known for their sectarian beliefs. Rarely are the peaceful perspectives of Sufi Muslims brought before its audience. Shias rarely feature, and the Ahmadiyyah sect of Islam which has many followers in the UK is virtually unrepresented. The Ahmadiyyah (Ahmadis) condemn violence and have a slogan of "Harm No One," but are regarded as heretical by hardliners, including Saudi Arabia's Wahhabi establishment. It should be noted that of the women presenters listed on the channel's website, every single one wears a headscarf (hijab).
According to the Quilliam Foundation, Islam Channel has given "an undue prominence to Islamist voices that represent only a small minority of British Muslims." Quilliam's "attack" on the Islam Channel led Mehdi Hasan (who is currently political editor of the New Statesman magazine, and who has described non-Muslims and atheists as "people of no intelligence," "cattle") to complain. Hasan (a Shia) did concede that Yasir Qadhi's condemnation of Shias amounted to "hate speech," and called him a "bigoted, intolerant and sectarian individual."
Yasir Qadhi and Muhammad Alshareef frequently feature on Islam Channel as presenters. During the last Ramadhan, Islam Channel viewers were advised by Muhammad Alshareef to write their own "Heartwheel Journal" (pdf), and Alshareef presented shows on this subject. The relationship between the Al Maghrib Institute and the Islam Channel is close. Writing on the Al Maghrib forum on November 11, 2007, Muhammad Alshareef announced the imminent foundation of a British division of the Al Maghrib Institute.
He wrote: "Bismillah. For those who heard me at the Global Peace and Unity event in London, UK, this past weekend ... you heard right. AlMaghrib Institute is OFFICIALLY poised to launch seminars in the UK early 2008, in sha Allah. AlMaghrib Institute, in its second international move (the first being Canada), will be an official project of IslamChannel, the UK's largest Muslim Sat. TV station. Will it be broadcasted [sic] on Islamchannel? In sha Allah, the seminars will be recorded and 'parts' of the seminar will be broadcasted, not the entire seminar. But when our instructors are in London, in sha Allah look out for programming being produced with the AlMaghrib instructors, such as Islamiqa's nightly program...."
Presenters on Islam Channel have included those held in esteem by Al Maghrib such as Bilal Bhilips (who appears frequently). Less frequent appearances have been made by Suhaib Hasan (who has his own show called "Journey Through the Quran") and Jalal ibn Sa'eed Mohabbat. Abdur Raheem Green claims on Facebook that "Currently he is engaged in different activities including media work (Peace TV and Islam Channel)".
Islam Channel has not always treated its clients fairly. Yvonne Ridley had a popular daily show called "The Agenda," but in January 2007, this was cancelled. She was fired with no explanation. In April 2008, she won her claim for unfair dismissal.
In July 2007 the channel was fined £30,000 ($44,988) for numerous breaches of broadcasting codes. In May 2006, while she was a candidate for the political party "Respect," Yvonne Ridley was allowed to present shows. At the same time, another "Respect" member (Abdurahman Akhtar Jafar) was presenting shows and promoting his own cause while standing for a mayoral election. The regulatory body also criticized the pro-Palestinian bias of another of Islam Channel's shows.
Khalid Yasin is undoubtedly popular. He has 19,619 Facebook fans. An American, he has traveled widely. As pointed out by Patrick Poole, as well as espousing rather strange views, Yasin appears to have been involved in fraud. In August 2005 while in Australia, Yasin claimed that he had plans to set up a satellite TV channel (Islamic Broadcasting Corporation) that would promote Koranic teachings on 50 channels and with 5 radio stations. He said: "By October we will be broadcasting two to four hours a day, seven days a week. We are looking at satellite TV by January next year and we expect to be webcasting here from the 15th of September."
Yasin's company never materialized, but journalist Sarah Ferguson made an investigation for an Australian TV show called "Sunday"..A video of this can be viewed here and a full transcript can be read here. In connection with fraudulent claims made about Yasin's proposed TV company, Ferguson interviewed the director of Islam Channel, whose name was given as "Muhammad Ali". He sometimes spells his name as "Mohamed Ali", but neither is authentic. His full name is "Muhammad Ali Harrath" or "Mohamed Ali Harrath". He had arrived in Britain in 1995 and had successfully claimed "refugee" status.
What American readers will find hard to understand is how Muhammad Ali Harrath has been able to run a TV channel and business in Britain. What should have raised suspicions is that there has been an Interpol warrant against him since 1992. This warrant is a "red notice" – the highest possible.
Mohamed Ali Harrath is wanted in his native Tunisia for offenses of: "Counterfeiting/Forgery, Crimes involving the use of weapons/explosives, terrorism." In Britain since 1998, all legislation must be compliant with the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. As Article 3 states "No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment," many people wanted in their native countries on terrorism charges have been able to avoid deportation, claiming they would be tortured. This has also meant that some people wanted in the U.S. (like Haroon Rashid Aswat, Babar Ahmad fight extradition claiming fears of "torture."
It seems that this legislation has protected Mohamed Ali Harrath from being rendered to Tunisia under the Interpol warrant. However, it is one thing to avoid being deported to face charges of terrorism. It is a supreme irony of Britain's establishment that a person who is wanted on terrorism charges should also have been appointed as an adviser on anti-terrorism! In December 2008, the Times newspaper announced that Harrath, who was an adviser to Scotland Yard's Muslim Contact Unit (which was set up to help combat terrorism and extremism) had been sentenced in his native Tunisia to 56 years in jail.
In 1986, Mohamed Ali Harrath had helped to set up a group called the Tunisian Islamic Front (Front Islamique Tunisien or FIT). Harrath admitted this, even though it has been suggested that Rashid al-Ghannushi (al-Ghanouchi) who had founded the banned Muslim Brotherhood-related En-Nahdahad set up the FIT group himself. A US Department of Defense memo (pdf, p 6) suggested that FIT could be the "armed wing" of En-Nahda. In May 1995, this group had ordered all foreigners in Tunisia to leave or be killed, but they did not carry out the threats. However, they did claim to have killed four policemen.
Harrath told the Times that "revolution is not [necessarily] a dirty word” and “there is nothing wrong or criminal in trying to establish an Islamic state." According to a 2008 research report from the University of Warwick (pdf, p 4), the head of the Tunisian Islamic Front is Alamin Belhaj. Dr Belhaj also heads the Muslim Brotherhood's "Libyan Islamic Group" in the UK. Belhaj was involved (PDF) with the Scottish Islamic Foundation, which is seen by some as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. In November 2009, Belhaj became head of the Muslim Association of Britain, which was founded by Kemal el-Helbawy, a leading Muslims Brotherhood member.
Tunisia's Justice Minister, Bechir Tekkari, claimed that Mohamed Ali Tarrath had met Osama bin Laden and had gained assistance from him. Tekkari also claimed that Tarrath had sent people to terror training camps in Pakistan, and that he had made plans for terror plots from London. The minister did not provide documentary proofs for these claims and Tarrath has denied them.
On January 26, 2010, the Times reported that Mohamed Ali Harrath had been arrested in South Africa. He had collapsed, apparently as a result of a cardiac condition, and was being held in a hospital in Pretoria. A few days later, he was freed. He said: "There’s just a feeling that injustice has been done. This was an issue from 20 years ago, a political matter that happened back in Tunisia. I was fighting for justice and I am proud of what I did."
Extremism on Campus
Al Maghrib Instiute is certainly promoting a strict and literal interpretation of Islam – one that has its roots in the Wahhabi doctrines promoted by the Islamic University of Madinah. This "Salafist" interpretation ties in closely with the strict views of Deobandi Islam, a belief system favored by many of the Taliban, and also the Islamist ambitions of the Muslim Brotherhood.
These groups officially condemn acts of terrorism (the Darul Uloom, Indian HQ of Deoband, made its first fatwa against terrorism in June 2008). Already, many mosques in Britain are being used to preach fundamentalist strains of Islam. In 2007 the Times stated that out of the 1,350 mosques in Britain, 600 of these were Deobandi. The source came from a police report.
With hardline fundamentalism being preached in so many mosques, Britain's government seems unwilling to condemn such preaching. Indeed, when the "Undercover Mosque" documentary was broadcast, where preachers were shown spewing hatred for Western liberal values, West Midlands Police issued a press release on August 8, 2007. This condemned the makers of the program, and contained a statement from Bethan David, a lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, who examined 56 hours of footage.
She claimed: "The splicing together of extracts from longer speeches appears to have completely distorted what the speakers were saying. The CPS has demonstrated that it will not hesitate to prosecute those responsible for criminal incitement. But in this case we have been dealing with a heavily edited television programme, apparently taking out of context aspects of speeches which in their totality could never provide a realistic prospect of any convictions."
West Midlands Police even asked the CPS to consider prosecuting the makers of the documentary, Hardcash Productions and when this request failed, they sent a complaint to Ofcom, the broadcasting regulatory authority. Ofcom rejected the claim, and ultimately West Midlands Police and the CPS apologized and paid the company thousands of pounds in libel damages.
The views promoted by extreme fundamentalists may not be considered by their followers to be supporting "terrorism." However, terrorists must firstly share this literalist ideology of fundamentalism before they can use theories of "jihad" to legitimize committing acts of terror. After Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (allegedly) tried to murder 250 people, questions were asked about his influences. His university and its Islamic Society came under attack in the media, blamed for creating a climate of intolerance of anything un-Islamic.
According to the Times, Abdulmutallab "is understood to have attended talks given by the extremist US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki at East London Mosque. Awlaki, who was later banned from Britain and is believed to be in hiding with al-Qaeda in Yemen, where Mr Abdulmutallab spent months."
There is growing evidence that Abdulmutallab met Awlaki in Yemen. Anwar al-Awlaki has been widely promoted by individuals and organizations in Britain. According to the Guardian, the Islam Channel "last year carried adverts for a box set of DVDs of Awlaki's sermons and for at least two events at which the cleric was due to be the star speaker via a video link."
A Centre for Social Cohesionreport (PDF) documents the links of Anwar al-Awlaki to UK Muslim groups, and the times he has appeared via video link. Awlaki was scheduled to appear via video link at City University Islamic Society's 2009 Annual Dinner, (poster here but after complaints he did not appear.
Awlaki is well-known after the links he had to Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood murderer. However, there are other preachers who disseminate radicalism on Britain's campuses. At City University's 2007 Annual Dinner, (poster here), speeches were given by Khalid Yasin and Jalaal bin Saeed, accompanied by Murtaza Khan.
Abu Hasnayn Murtaza Khan is an influential preacher, who teaches young children at the al-Noor school in Essex. He featured in the Undercover Mosque documentary (transcript here). On one audio CD, called "Time to Return to the Quran", he states: "Those whom the wrath of Allah is upon, is the Jews, is the Christians... We have become Jews in our clothing, Jews in our eating, Jews in everything that we do, and the other half is Christian in everything we do. Muslims are following one of these accursed nations. And people are still not waking up to understand the fact that these people are enemies towards us."
Another preacher whose appearance on the Undercover Mosque documentary shocked viewers was Abu Usamah. This American-born preacher (Abu Usamah at-Thahabi) is a preacher at the Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham. Here, he was heard saying "non-Muslims are liars … I don’t believe them because they are kuffaar and lying is part of their religion." He also stated: "No-one loves the kuffar (non-Muslims)..... we hate the kuffar."
Abu Usamah urged the throwing of homosexuals from mountains and suggested that apostates from Islam should be put to death: "If the imam wants to crucify him he should crucify him. The person is put up on the wood and he’s left there to bleed to death for three days."
On November 30, 2009 Abu Usamah was scheduled to appear at University College ISOC (the same one that had formerly been headed by the underwear bomber). After complaints from the public, the event was cancelled. The reasons given by the ISOC concerned "health and safety," not because of the viciousness of his views.
The University College ISOC had already featured an appearance by Abu Usamah and other radical preachers on September 6, 2009 (poster here). Murtaza Khan attended, as did Suhaib Hasan, and another radical called Haitham Al-Haddad, who supports the Muslim Brotherhood terror group Hamas. Al-Haddad has appeared at events connected with FOSIS, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies. FOSIS, founded in 1962, is linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the poster for the September event at University College London, where Haitham al-Haddad, Abu Usamah and Suhaib Hasan attended, two small logotypes appear among the list of sponsors. These belong to Al Maghrib and the Islam Channel. Perhaps this is not surprising. Abu Usamah is a preacher at the Green Lane Mosque (Masjid) in Birmingham. It should be noted that one of the seventeen instructors at the Al Maghrib Institute is Shaykh Ahsan Hanif. This individual is also "currently one of the Imams and Khateebs of Green Lane Masjid."
The preachings of extreme Salafists are hardly compatible with democratic liberalism. In Britain, £70 million ($105 million) of tax-payer's money was targeted to go to various Muslim groups. This was done to prevent radicalism, as part of its "Preventing Violent Extremism" agenda. Some of that money has gone to groups linked to extremism, with £48,000 ($71,980) going to one organization with close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is ironic that in the U.S., Yasir Qadhi of Al Maghrib, who has argued against Shia Muslims and has denied the Holocaust, was a "leading participant in the U.S. Counter-Radicalization Strategy conference organized by the National Counterterrorism Center in the summer of 2008."
The Al Maghrib Institute and the Islam Channel are active in encouraging young people to adhere to a strict Salafist interpretation of Islam. From the words uttered by some of the preachers that are linked to them, it is clear that many Salafists actively seek to divide themselves from non-Muslims, and they hold no value for Muslims who want to partake in Western democratic society. For some of their respected preachers, as in the case of Muhammad Taqi Usmani or Suhaib Hasan, the ultimate goal of their "faith" is to overthrow the man-made laws of the land and replace them with Sharia.
Organizations that promote such views betray the values of the majority of Muslims for whom faith is a private matter, Muslims who choose to support the laws of the land. At present, there is a well-oiled machinery in place at mosques and in universities, both in Britain, Canada and America. This promotes a Wahhabist or Islamist agenda, and drowns out the voices of genuine Muslim moderates. It should be discouraged.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Adrian Morgan is a British based writer and artist. He has previously contributed to various publications, including the Guardian and New Scientist and is a former Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Society. He is currently compiling a book on the demise of democracy and the growth of extremism in Britain.