Kamran Bokhari's response to MIM press release
by Kamran Bokhari
MIM Note: The true faces of Kamran Bokhari's group Al -Muhajroun :
Left inset: Anjem Choudary, head of Al Muhajiroun and Secretary General of the "Society for Muslim Lawyers", one of AM's many front groups.
Above : Omar Bakri Mohammed "spiritual" leader of Al Muhajiroun
Right: Kamran Bokhari spokesman for Al Muhajiroun in North America at Southwest Missouri State University in 1999.
In 2000 Bokhari invited Choudary to be a speaker at an SMSU Public Affairs symposium on "Islam and Democracy". Choudary was billed as "Chairman of the Society for Muslim Lawyers in the U. K."
Here is what Omar Bakri Mohammed said in 1996 after his group was banned from college campuses in Great Britain for inciting violence, recruiting for Jihad, and assaulting students .This directly contradicts Kamran Bokhari's main claim that "he didn't know that "Al Muhajiroun would become" "much worse then Hizb ut Tahrir". In fact, both groups under Bakri were one and the same . MIM http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/bmms/1996/08August96.html#Hizb%20ut-Tahrir%20campus%20threat
"Omar Bakri Mohammed, former leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir ,and now leader of Al-Muhajiroun, in an interview with the Guardian (23.08.96), said that his group intends to organise on university campuses under different names and through existing student societies. He said: "They will not be able to ban peace and human societies. If they do, it will only backfire...We will use other people"".
Bakri reveals the MO which Bokhari used when he invited the leader of Al Muhajiroun, Anjem Choudary to speak under the guise of being "Chairman of the Muslim Lawyers Association UK", on the subject of "Islam and Democracy", together with another speaker who spoke on the theme of "Universal Human Rights". In 1998 and the years prior to his appearence at the event organised by Bokhari at for the MSA at SMSU, Choudary had issued press releases in Britain urging Muslims to attack western targets and non Muslims ,entitled:"U.S. Agression and Terrorism Against Muslims", and "U.S.A. You Must Pay -The International Islamic Front Pledges to Struggle Against the Enemies of Islam". http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/672306/posts
Here is the exact text of the even featuring Choudary which was organised by Kamran Bokhari at SMSU.
1999-2000 Public Affairs Grants Awarded http://cicero.smsu.edu/how/pagrant/PAexamples.html
Kamran Bokhari, Muslim Students Association, $800. Symposium on "Islam and the West." Speeches by Anjem Choudary, Chairman of the Society of Muslin Lawyers in the United Kingdom, on "Islam and Democracy" and Faiza Noor, Muslim activist, on "Universal Human Rights," April 12, 2000.
This is the result of an Al Muhajiroun press release urging attacks on Jews:
"Security experts in the Jewish community are convinced the knifing - which followed a spate of attacks on synagogues throughout Britain - is linked to the violent rhetoric of Islamic extremists at demonstrations since the upsurge in Middle East tensions.
Placards and flyers at the demonstrations carry the message, "The final hour will not come until the Moslems kill the Jews." http://www.jpost.com/Editions/2000/10/18/JewishWorld/JewishWorld.13929.html
MIM note:One of the reasons AM was banned from British campuses was due to the aforementioned anti semitic flyer which was posted in universities all over Britain which is believed to have played a role in inciting this savage attack by a Muslim who tried to kill a Jewish student in a London bus.
"David Myers, 20, was attacked in Stamford Hill, north London, the heart of the Jewish community, while travelling on the top deck of a 253 bus on Monday morning "http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_88271.html?nav_src=newsIndexHeadline
"he remains in serious but stable condition at a London hospital after suffering more than 20 stab wounds to his chest, face, arms, and legs." http://www.obv.org.uk/reports/2000/rpt20001018a.htm
Half a year later "Islam and Democracy" speaker Anjem Choudary went on to issue this press release dated 17th October 2000.
ADVICE -&- WARNING TO ALL JEWS -&- MUSLIMS IN THE UK
"...Following the stabbing of a Jew in Stamford Hill we issue this press release as a warning to all Jews and Muslims in the UK and elsewhere so that they can be aware of the consequences of the conflict taking place in Palestine... (MIM note: Stamford Hill is a Jewish neighborhood in London and Jew was stabbed by a Muslim as a result of AM incitement). http://www.ict.org.il/articles/articledet.cfm?articleid=131
...We would like to make it abundantly clear that it is an Islamic obligation upon Muslims everywhere to support the Jihad against those who fight Muslims anywhere in the world or who occupy Muslim land and that this support must be financial, physical, military or verbal...
"...We urge Jews in the UK and elsewhere not to show any support for the Israeli regime whether verbal, financial or physical or they may allow themselves to become targets for Muslims everywhere. ..
Issued by Mr. Anjem Choudary
THE KHILAFAH MOVEMENT
Tel: 0208 880 4628 Mobile: 0956 92 0006 or 0956 600 569
When Bokhari joined Al Muhajiroun in 1996 they had invited Osama Bin Laden to speak at their UK rally.
According to Bokhari in paragraph 7 of his response , "Another thing that needs to be understood is that the ALM of today is very different than the group it began as in 1996. It started off as a group seeking to bridge the differences amongst the many Islamic movements worldwide. It also called for healthy dialogue amongst people of different faiths".'Little did any of us know that Al Muhajiroun would become much worse then Hizb ut Tahrir".In mid-1998, however, and to the shock of those of us here in the <st1:country-region>
Bokhari brazenly lies and attempts to mislead the readers into believing that when he joined Al Muhajiroun in 1996 it was akin to an interfaith scouting troop . As one can see from entries above ,the group was banned from British universities due to it's violent incitement and hate filled rhetoric in 1996 . Sheik Bakri founded the AM,partially to circumvent bans which had been placed on Hizb ut Tahrir's activities.The group's violent rhetoric led to the stabbing and attempted murder of a Jewish student in Stamford Hill in 2000, six months after Choudary had spoken at Southwest Missouri State University at an event organised by Kamran Bokhari.
Here is an example taken from a Muslim newsletter in the U.K. in 1998 showing how members of Al Muhajiroun disrupted a UK campus interfaith meeting claiming : "We dont believe in this type of dialouge, or any co-operation with the Jews". AM leader Omar Bakri stated that: banning us means nothing ...we are active under different names and in societies all over the country".
Islam on Campus 1998
Participants in the launch of an interfaith initiative by Jewish and Muslim students were denounced by members of Al-Muhajiroun (See BMMS for January, August and September 1998). The Calamus Maimonides student forum was launched at University College London but the event was disrupted by 25 members of Al-Muhajiroun, one of whom said: "We don't believe in this type of dialogue, or any co-operation with the Jews." Omar Bakri Mohammed is reported to have said that his group were going to defy the National Union of Students policy of denying it a campus platform. He has stated: "Banning us means nothing. We are active under different names in societies all over the country. We have infiltrated Islamic societies at LSE, SOAS, Queen Mary's and Westfield, UCL and Imperial College in London, as well as Cambridge and Durham. Oxford is very important and I hope we can get them too." The group is believed to be behind leaflets distributed at Manchester University calling the NUS a "tool of gays and Israelis". NUS president, Andrew Pakes, commenting on the leaflet said: "There are many different groups involved in NUS, some of which are gay and some Israeli, but we welcome any group that adds to positive student life. Al-Muhajiroun does not contribute to campus life or respect the rights of many students. Student unions must re-examine their equal opportunities policies because many societies don't take Al-Muhajiroun seriously enough as a threat" (Jewish Chronicle, 30.10.98). [BMMS October 1998 Vol. VI, No. 10, p. 7]
Even more outrageous is Bokhari's claim that Al Muhajiroun started off as a group calling for "healthy dialouge between different faiths". As can be seen below the group's planned "Rally for Revival" ,featured Osama Bin Laden who was billed as "a wealthy Saudi national".
Besides proof as to who was funding his group, and of their close link to Al Qaeda, the list of invitees reads like a "who's who of international terrorism". Bakri could never have garnered this support or a visit from Bin Laden, if he was just a "lunatic fringe group" as Kamran Bokhari and the Muslim Council of Britain are trying to fool the British government, media, and public, into believing . This can be seen in the most recent news articles about the arrests of AM members and their links to planned terror attacks in the UK and abroad.
1996 : Al Muhajiroun "Rally for Revival" billed speaker Osama Bin Laden as a "wealthy Saudi national"
A great many papers have carried news and comment on the Rally for Revival planned for 8 September [subsequently cancelled], organised by Al-Muhajiroun, the group led by Omar Bakri Mohammed, formerly of Hizb-ut-Tahrir (see British Muslims Monthly Survey for February 1996). The East London Advertiser (22.08.96) had an article expressing concern that the event was due to take place at the London Arena.
Well-known speakers who were invited included: Osama Bin Laden, a wealthy Saudi national who has funded one of the groups in the Afghanistan conflict; Sheikh Muhammad Fadhlallah, of the Lebanese Hizbullah; and the Saudi dissident, Dr Al-Mas'ari. Some speakers, who would have been unable to attend in person due to reasons beyond their control, would have sent films of their speeches. These included: Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, jailed for conspiracy to bomb the World Trade Centre in New York; Sheikh Obeid, who was abducted in 1989 from Lebanon and has been held since without trial in Israel; and imprisoned members of the FIS in Algeria (Q-News, 02.08.96, Sunday Times, 18.08.96). The Evening Standard (22.08.96) carries a full-page feature interview with Omar Bakri Mohammed at his London School of Shariah, where he teaches Islamic jurisprudence. Commenting on the speeches from prison, particularly that of Sheikh Obeid, he pointed out that: "When someone goes to prison he doesn't lose his right to speak out." http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/bmms/1996/08August96.html#Rally%20for%20Revival
Here is a press release from Al Muhajiroun dated from 1997 and once again proves that Kamran Bokhari is lying when he says that : Little did I know AM (which began in 1996) would become worse then Hizb ut Tahrir (it's precursor). In 1998 AM put out a press release claiming that Kamran Bokhari was the group's North American spokesman. Note that the press release is signed by Omar Bakri and Anjem Choudary and lists all the Muslim groups which are part of the Al Muhajrioun network.
MUSLIMS IN BRITAIN DECLARE WAR AGAINST THE US AND BRITISH GOVERNMENTS
Bokhari's response to Dr. Pipe's article "The USIP Stumbles " and MIM press release.
There are several serious problems with the allegations made by Dr. Daniel Pipes regarding my past association to al-Muhajiroun (ALM). These assertions, were first published March 19 in an article ‘Pipes Objects to Fox in the Henhouse' , have necessitated that I respond, in an effort to clarify my position. I apologize for the length of the message, but at the same time I feel it was unavoidable.
Contrary to Dr. Pipes' claims that I was ALM's spokesperson until last year, I would like to state, for the record, that I have not had any ties to this group for five years now. In fact, I have severely condemned al-Muhajiroun on multiple occasions. What's more is that my views on radical Islamism and jihadism are open for public scrutiny in my articles, most recent of which are ‘Is Democracy Kufr?' & ‘What is Moderate Islam & Who Are Moderate Muslims?', published in the December and March issues of Q-News, respectively. Moreover, the archives of the Political Islam Discussion List (PIDL), based out of The University of Texas server, which I founded in June 2000, and continue to moderate, are replete with my views for everyone to see whether I am a radical Islamist supporting al-Qaeda (as depicted by Dr. Pipes) or an aspiring Muslim scholar of political Islam.
What is really ironic is that Campus Watch, a project founded by Dr. Pipes expressed appreciation for a panel entitled ‘Rescuing Islamic Political Theory from the Jihadist Ideology', which I organized at last year's Middle East Studies Association (MESA) annual meeting in Anchorage, Alaska. I presented a paper ‘Jihad & Jihadism: A Rendition of
Anyway, my brief and limited affiliation with ALM was not in the capacity of the typical member or leader, as Dr. Pipes has inaccurately stated. Instead, as a Muslim individual, I was interested in the initial ideas of the group, at the time of its formation. ALM began as a forum for promoting debate and cooperation amongst various Islamic organizations, and fighting partisan politics among Muslims interested in the establishment of an Islamic polity via peaceful means. I have always strongly stood against the use of violence as a means to effecting political change. One of the reasons behind my interest in ALM was its advocacy of socio-political change through intellectual/ideological/political means. I disassociated myself from the group when it became clear to me that ALM had reduced itself to being a cheerleading club for jihadists. Also, I realized that my true calling was in the academic/scholarly study of Islam as opposed to activism. Then, over time, I also underwent an ideological shift, which is why I refer to myself as a post-Islamist.
Put differently, I am a moderate Muslim committed to the goal of establishing democracies in the Muslim world in keeping with its Islamic ethos, an objective, which is also shared by the Bush White House. My interest in democratization and democratic consolidation led me to become a Fellow with the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy (CSID). Moreover, my thesis for my first Masters in Int'l Affairs & Administration (from
Going back to ALM, with the exception of myself, all of the other <st1:country-region>
Another thing that needs to be understood is that the ALM of today is very different than the group it began as in 1996. It started off as a group seeking to bridge the differences amongst the many Islamic movements worldwide. It also called for healthy dialogue amongst people of different faiths. Little did many of us know that ALM would turn into something much more worse than HT. In mid-1998, however, and to the shock of those of us here in the <st1:country-region>
Three years later, shortly after the horrendous attacks on
Looking back though, I regret my ignorance of the group's evolution and intellectual trajectory. Not being in close proximity to the group's core, however, prevented me from sensing the radical/militant direction in which the group was heading. At the time, I was an undergraduate, but upon entering grad school I realized that my interest was in academic scholarship and not in activism, which is perhaps another reason for my departure from the group.
My assuming of the role of ALM's spokesperson on this side of the
In any case, it is most unfortunate that a scholar of Dr. Pipes' stature would choose to cast me in such a negative light based on cursory and inaccurate information, and without even bothering to ascertain the precise nature of my limited association with ALM. Such reckless and misleading characterizations can ruin the lives of many innocent people. What I find really odd is why Dr. Pipes never wrote about me until now, i.e., many years after I left ALM. More importantly, why would someone calling for democracy be part of an organization that considers democracy to be antithetical to Islam? Anyway, Dr. Pipes' determination to protect people from dangerous individuals and organizations is both understandable and admirable, however, is the good doctor willing to live with the guilt that his irresponsible attitude caused unnecessary grief to individuals and their families? I sincerely hope and pray that this message will clear up any misconceptions with regards to my status on ALM.
Al Muhajiroun spokesman in the US, Kamran Bokhari, with David Ballard from the US State Department, and SMSU political science professor Mehrdad Hagayeghi, who organised the forum
Hagayeghi was Bokhari's instructor at SMSU at the time he invited the head of Al Muhajiroun in the UK, Anjem Choudary to speak at SMSU in 2000, and was the leader of the Muslim Student Organisation, and Islamic Center of Springfield,. The Islamic Center was closed in February 2004 by the US Department of Treasury after being linked to Al Qaeda funding.
Anti-Americanism and Terrorism Forum
During the month of April, Dr. Mehrdad Haghayeghi (PLS) organized a weekly series of presentations and forums to discuss the social, historical, and political context of the present war against terrorism and the conflict in Iraq (see the CHPA Calendar for these events). The initial program in the series featured a former SMSU student, Kamran Bokhari, and David Ballard,the Director - U.S. Department of State Office of Foreign Press. Bokhari is a geo-political analyst covering Middle East, South, and Central Asia with Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor.com). He is also a doctoral student in the Department of Political Science at Howard University, Washington D.C., and is serving as the General Secretary of the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), and as a Fellow with the Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy (CSID). Ballard manages the State Department's three Foreign Press Centers in Washington, DC, New York, and Los Angeles. Their joint presentation, attended by nearly 200 persons, was entitled "Root Causes of The Rising Tide of Anti-Americanism in the Muslim World." Bokhari concentrated his remarks on perceptions within the Muslim world about the United States that have contributed to anti-American attitudes. Ballard noted that the United States has become a "bigger target than ever" and he described the efforts of the State Department and other government agencies to lesson tensions and provide Arabic-language programming