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Militant Islam Monitor > Articles > Muslim Council of Britain justifies their ties to terrorism and condones suicide bombings in BBC interview on London attacks

Muslim Council of Britain justifies their ties to terrorism and condones suicide bombings in BBC interview on London attacks

July 18, 2005

MIM: Dr.Daniel Pipes highlighted the change in attitude toward Muslim organisations in the UK which notes had previousl gotten a 'free pass' from the media regarding publication of their statements without challenging their stance . Most notably the interviewer points out that the Muslim Council of Britain is affiliated with Azzam Tamimi and the interviewer asks MCB spokesman Inayat Bungawala why they cannot simply break off their connection to them. Unfortunately the interviewer did not ask about MCB secretary general Iqbal Sacranie's ties to Al Qaeda or that of the MCB finance chairman Iqbal Asaria who is also working with Saad Al Fagih who was a terrorist by both the US and the UN. http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/465

July 14, 2005 update: With the rarest of exceptions, the MCB has for years enjoyed a free pass in the media. In a stunning change, BBC Radio 4's Today programme interviewed John Ware, a critic of the organization, and then put tough questions to MCB spokesman Inayat Bunglawala. Interestingly, the main topic of the interviews was the MCB's positive attitude toward suicide bombing in Israel.


Transcript: John Ware on Muslim Council of Britain

All but a tiny fringe of Muslim organisations in the UK have condemned the London suicide bombings. But are those organisations condemning in London what they are failing to condemn abroad? Panorama reporter John Ware is examining the role of the country's main Muslim organisation, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).

Here is a transcript of an interview with Mr Ware on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, followed by a response from the Muslim Council of Britain:

Carolyn Quinn: John first, the Muslim Council of Britain's Secretary General is Sir Iqbal Sacranie. He has condemned the London suicide bombings in forthright terms, hasn't he?

John Ware: Yes he has. He says that 'Islam can never justify evil actions of bombers' and he has urged everyone to 'look to our shared values and common humanity,' as he puts it.

Quinn: Two years ago, there were two British suicide bombers, like the London bombers both of Pakistani origin. They went to Tel Aviv to blow up Mike's Bar. Three people were killed. What did Sir Iqbal say then?

Ware: Well, on this occasion, he said that the loss of civilian life, and he mentioned both Palestinian and Israelis, couldn't be condoned. The Islamist group Hamas claimed the bombing. Their founder Sheikh Yassin was later assassinated by the Israelis. Now, what happened then was that, a year or so later, several Muslim organisations here in London held a memorial service for Sheik Yassin at the Central Mosque in Regents Park, and Sir Iqbal chose to attend the service and organisation, the MCB described Sheikh Yassin as "the renowned Islamic scholar."

Quinn: But doesn't Hamas have a political wing?

Ware: It does, although the Israeli government would say that Hamas's political and military agenda was set by Sheikh Yassin. Certainly he was the chief ideologist of an organisation whose charter seeks the destruction of Israel. And Hamas has conducted a fair number of the 160 or so suicide bombing attacks since the second intifada, which have killed over 500 people in total - again many of them civilians just as in London.

Quinn: One senior theologian whose Fatwas have been used to provide justification for suicide bombings directed at Israeli civilians is Dr Yusuf Qaradawi - the man who the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, welcomed to City Hall last year and described as "moderate".

Ware: Well, although Dr Qaradawi has condemned the London suicide bombings unequivocally here when it comes to Israel he says - and I'm quoting here an interview he gave: "We must all realise that the Israeli society is a military society - men and women. We cannot describe the society as civilian...they are not civilians or innocent".

He's also supported the use of child suicide bombers. During a TV debate in the Gulf - according to BBC monitoring - he said: "The Israelis might have nuclear bombs but we have the children bomb and these human bombs must continue until liberation".

Quinn: What's the Muslim Council of Britain had to say about Dr Qaradawi?

Ware: Like the Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin, the Muslim Council of Britain has also described Dr Qaradawi in fairly flattering terms. They've said he's " a distinguished Muslim scholar...a voice of reason and understanding."

Quinn: What's his position been on Iraq?

Ware: Dr Qaradawi's position on Iraq has supported the resistance which he has described as " valiant". I'm quoting here from the Lebanese National News agency website, where he is reported to have said "We call for material, military and human support ...the Muslims want the scholars to show the Arab and Muslim person's duty is towards this cause." So this, I guess, would imply support for attacks on British soldiers as well as American obviously.

Quinn: One of the Muslim Council's main affiliates is the Muslim Association of Britain which also claims to speak for Muslims here. What have they said about suicide bombings in Israel and Iraq?

Ware: A senior member of the MAB, the Muslim Association of Britain, Dr Azzam Tamimi, has said he supports suicide bombings in Israel. I should stress Dr Tamimi has condemned unequivocally the London bombings but he says that if he got the chance in Israel "I would sacrifice myself it's the straight way to pleasing my God".

Quinn: What has the government said about suicide bombings in Israel?

Ware: The government's position is clear cut: targeting civilians wherever they are is terrorism and Mr Blair has said so in terms. "We want nothing to do with people who support suicide bombers in Palestine or anywhere elsewhere" he has said.

Here is the response from Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Inayat Bunglawala.

Carolyn Quinn: Do you have any thoughts about the rather serious charges John Ware is making, alleging the Muslim Council of Britain never expressly condemns all suicide bombings.

Inayat Bunglawala: Well let me make clear then, once and for all, we condemn the killing of all innocent people, wherever they are. Human lives everywhere are of equal value, whether they are British, American, Iraqi or Palestinian. Jewish lives are not worth more than Palestinian lives. All are worth equal and it's been quite nauseating over the past week to see how Israel and its highly-placed supporters in the media have been trying to make political capital out of last week's atrocities against Londoners. It is shameful on them and shameful on those who are trying to help Israel improve its PR image after the brutalities it commits against the Palestinian people.

Quinn: This is now your chance to answer those charges, whether you failed to condemn in the Middle East what you have now condemned in London.

Bunglawala: We always condemn the taking of innocent life anywhere. But can I just make it clear here, it's quite misleading to compare the situation here in the UK with that in Israel. The 1.6 million Muslims in the UK live in peace. They are free to practice their faith and they are free to go about their daily lives without let or hindrance. The Palestinians, by contrast, live under a very brutal occupation, a very repressive Israeli military occupation, seeing their land every day being gobbled up by illegal Jewish settlements.

Quinn: But that still can't be justification for suicide bombing.

Bunglawala: No it cannot. But many of our own columnists, even members of parliament, have said that if they were Palestinians, if they were living under those conditions, if they were seeing their children humiliated in the way the Israelis humiliate their children, if they saw their children being blown to pieces, they would consider doing what the Palestinians do. Our own parliamentarians have said that. If they can say that, then of course Muslims will feel a greater affinity for the Palestinians.

Quinn: But you are now saying you must not, you should not, do that. That the Koran does not say that that's an acceptable practice.

Bunglawala: Absolutely. The Koran says you cannot take innocent life. But, again, to explain is not to justify. When we try and explain why the Palestinians are being driven to what they are doing it is not to justify it. It's trying to explain why they are doing what they are doing. Even our own parliamentarians have tried to do the same.

Quinn: Ok. Two other very brief points. Sheikh Yassin, the support that Sir Iqbal Sacranie has mentioned for him, as John Ware was saying, was that misguided?

Bunglawala: No it was not. Sheikh Ahmed Yassin is an Islamic scholar, was an Islamic scholar, was renowned throughout the Muslim world as an Islamic scholar and the Israelis assassinated him. Let's remember that. The Israelis broke international law. He was a quadriplegic man, a disabled man. He was coming out of the morning prayers and the Israelis sent F-16 fighter planes and they blew him up.

Quinn: He was the chief ideas man behind an organisation whose charter seeks the destruction of Israel.

Bunglawala: Well, just wait, if Israel claims to be a democracy, which it does at every opportunity, then it should bring people to justice by the courts of law, not blow them up by missiles.

Quinn: Ok, and the other person mentioned, a senior member of the Muslim Association of Britain, Dr Azzam Tamimi, whose said he supports suicide bombings in Israel. Now that group is one of your main affiliates.

Bunglawala: Well, the Muslim Council of Britain has over 400 affiliates.

Quinn (interrupting): So what do you say to them?

Bunglawala: There is a whole range of Muslim organisations. If he makes that comment he should answer for that.

Quinn: Well can't you cut him off?

Bunglawala: Well, Dr Azzam himself is a Palestinian. I can understand why he feels such pain for the Palestinians and why he can understand why others are driven to what they are doing. Dr Azzam Tamimi again, is respected. If our own parliamentarians can say they can understand why Palestinians are doing this, of course other Palestinians themselves will express similar feelings.

Quinn: But if your message now is one of solidarity here in Britain and that you are condemning suicide bombings across the world, then wouldn't a strong message be to cut off affiliation with people like that, to say you no longer can be regarded as one of us.

Bunglawala: No, then we would have to throw out our own members of parliament. I think what Dr Azzam is doing is trying to explain...

Quinn (interrupting): What do you mean? They've all been...are you talking about the members of parliament here?

Bunglawala: Yes, they've said they could understand. I mean, we have had Jenny Tonge, a senior member of the Liberal Democrats, Cherie Blair, the prime minister's wife, explaining why she could understand why the Palestinians are doing what they are doing. So this is not to justify...

Quinn: It is not condoning...

Bunglawala: It is not condoning. No, it's not condoning. It's trying to explain why they do what they do.


MIM: This announcement for a Muslim youth conference shows the Muslim Council of Britain as a sponsor and was supposed to take place on the day of the bombings. The Muslim Council of Britain is one of the sponsors and the particpants include Sirraj Wahhaj and Yvonne Ridley who is a 'friend and supporter' of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, and the jailed Abu Hamza Al Masri . Besides her open support for terrorists Ridley has voiced support for suicide bombings and joked about recruiting for Al Qaeda from her Soho apartment. Ridley was in the US last year on a speaking tour for CAIR and spoke at Sami Al Arian's alma mater, the University of Southern Florida. It is a travesty on the war on terror that she was permitted entry into the United States and one can only hope that she will be banned next time from entering.

These are from events posted on the Muslim professionals website which begs the question if the bombers had told their familiies they planned to go to them when they said they were going to be spending some time in London?

MIM:Comment from the poster of this advert.

The event below looks kind of good me thinks.


Abu Haq

Annual Youth Convention (AYC)- HEROES OF ISLAM

Date: Saturday 9th July 2005
Time: 10.30 am - 7.00 pm
Venue: London Muslim Centre, 60-80 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1JX

The Annual Youth Convention (AYC) 2005 is set to be one of the largest
brothers only gatherings of Muslim youth this summer to share with one
another the beauty of Islam and brotherhood. The convention is expected
to be a holistic display of the deen of al-Islam in all its glories,
and shall attempt to dispel the myths to the youth that Islam is
'boring', 'crazy' or just for 'old people'.

Guest speakers include:
Imam Mustafidh Ghani
Imam Abdul Qayyum
Shaykh Haytham al-Haddad
Br. Abul Khayer Ali
Ustadh Dr. Kamal el-Helbawy
and many others.

Every nation has its own heroes, of which some are real whilst
others are mythical. Muslims have no need to look for fictitious
or imaginary heroes. Our history is full of heroes - both men and
women - who changed the face of the earth. It was their faith,
their attitude to life and outlook towards the world, which made
them the heroes that they were and still remain. For all the
heroes of Islam share two very special traits: full conviction
and dedication to their faith, and the constant attempt to seek
the pleasure of their Creator, Allah, alone.

The event will also be featuring:
Martial Arts Display
Nasheed and Drama
Video Presentation
Bazaar and Dinner
plus much more besides.

Learn and take from these heroes and let them be role models in
your lives. Come and learn the exalted position of the youth in
Islam and find out the true role of Muslim youth.

A brothers only event. Tickets are 3.
For tickets, information, stalls, or other enquiries contact:
Tel: 07946 333 340
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.ymouk.com

:: Muslim Unity Convention



Anyone else heard of this event. Imam Siraj Wahaj is a pretty big
speaker but I thought he had problems in coming out of the USA?



Muslim Unity Convention
Sun 27 Mar 2005
The Ramadhan Foundation was set up in December 2004 by some very
worried and concerned brothers and sisters. They were concerned at the
progress towards having the educational needs of our future generations met
through an Islamic school. To this aim we have organised the Convention
to launch the foundation and also start our journey towards our
ultimate goals. Please pray for us and join in this worthy cause, you will
receive blessings in this world and the hereafter.

We are living through a difficult and challenging time for the Muslims
in the UK and we look to the future with great hope and determination.
It is time that the Muslims and our organisations came together to
discuss how we could tackle some of the institutional barriers to Muslim
unity. To further this objective, the Board of the Ramadhan Foundation
has organised an international Muslim unity convention to be held on
Easter Sunday 27th March 2005 in the magnificent Bridgewater Hall in
Manchester, UK. We will be welcoming to the UK some of the worlds most
renowned Muslim Scholars, Politicians, Community leaders and guests to
discuss in detail how we can strategically go forward in making this great
intention a reality. Join us in Manchester for a once in a lifetime
experience of making history, the day when Muslims can truly unite.

Date: Easter Sunday (27th March) 2005
Time: 10am till 6pm (Doors open at 9am)
Venue: The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

Imam Siraj Wahhaj - New York, USA
Shaykh Muhammad Yahya - Aleppo, Syria
Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad - Cambridge, UK
Yvonne Ridley - London, UK
Shaykh Muhammad Umar alBudally - Rochdale, UK
Nasheeds by Khaleel Muhammad,
SABI from Morocco,
Hamza Thabet from Libya

Special Guest Appearance by: Prince Naseem Hamid

TICKETS: 10 each,
Call Box Office on +44 (0161 907 9000) or
Book online at www.ramadhanfoundation.com
Unity Convention officially sponsored by: Bridges TV

Convention supported by:
Muslim Council of Britain, Young Muslims UK, Islamic
Society of Britain, Young Muslims Organisation UK,
Islamic Foundation, Islamic Commision for Human
Rights, Muslim Association of Britain, Q-News,
Islamic Propagation Organisation, FOSIS,
Islamicworker.com, ISL4M.com

An Event not to be missed.

Tel: 08700 660 868
Fax: 08700 660 869
Mob: 07814 835 912
Ramadhan Foundation,
17 Derby Street, Rochdale,
OL11 1JZ, UK

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