This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at

Terrorists terrify terrorism supporters in UK : Al Muhajiroun - 'Saviour' Sect disrupts Muslim Council of Britain press conference

Muslim Council of Britain head Iqbal Sacranie who called Bin Laden a Muslim scholar is assaulted by Al Muhajiroun supporters
April 19, 2005

Iqbal Sacranie appeals for calm

The Al Qaeda Frankenstein of Al Muhajiroun turns on their 'creators' the trustees of Al Qaeda funding 'charity' Muslim Aid, MCB director Iqbal Sacranie and his lackey Inayat Bungawala.

MIM: In 1996 Iqbal Sacranie threatened the Board of Jewish Deputies of British Jews in Britain who were protested a planned Al Muhajiroun "Rally for Revival" featuring Osama Bin Laden and other known terrorists from Hamas and Hizbollah. Sacranie, who was then spokesman for the "UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs" referred to Bin Laden and the other terrorists as "scholars" and issued a thinly veiled threat to the Jewish leaders;

"The Board of Deputies of British Jews should seriously consider what action they take on this matter because of the detrimental effect on community relations which could result" .Taking a hostile view towards scholars who wish to come to this country to present their points of view at a conference will not serve good community relations..."

MIM: In 1989 Iqbal Sacranie had this to say about the death sentence issue against UK writer Salman Rushdie: "death perhaps, is too easy for him...his mind must be tormented for the rest of his life unless he asks forgiveness from the Almighty Allah." Guardian 1989

MIM: For his part Inayat Bungawala condemned Al Muhajiroun's 2003 celebration of the 9/11 attacks not because he disagreed with their goals or ideology. His only concern was that "they could spark anti-Muslim violence..."

Further proof that the Muslim Council of Britain's religious agenda is as fundamentalist as Al Muhajiroun can be see in the fact that Bungawala expressed understanding for Abdullah Yonus, a Muslim who slashed his daughter to death and left her to bleed to death in a bathtub, because she was dating a Christian.

"MCB spokesman Inayat Bungawala said that many Muslims would understand Yones being upset by his daughter's apparent rejection of his faith ..."

MIM :The Muslim Council of Britain shares the radical Islamist agenda of Al Muhajiroun, namely that the UK should be Islamised with the rest of the world, but have learned that it is not politically expedient to shout "Jihad' in a crowded movie theater.

The upcoming election is one way to help Muslims acheive the goal of a Khalifate by gaining political power, and to this end fatwas urging Muslims to vote in what is regarded as an 'infidel/kuffar' society have been issued by many leading clerics worldwide.

Al Muhajiroun is an embarressment to the Muslim Council of Britain because they are open are their Jihadist agenda and rejection of Western values and wear traditional Muslim clothing. The suit and tie Islamists \at the MCB are the 'gentlemanly' incarnation of Al Muhajrioun . The only reason the MCB makes a show of supporting 'Western values is that they believe that voting and acheiving political and financial power will enable them to Islamise Britain ,while Al Muhajiroun favors direct confrontation..."

"...On the stairwell, a demonstrator slapped a leaflet on to the forehead of Mr Sacranie.

His colleague followed that up with an open-handed and aggressive shove in the MCB chief's face.

The blow forced Sacranie's head onto the wall as he absorbed the blow. He later said: "Every community you have these fringe elements. It does not reflect the Muslim community..." (see article below).

MIM: Al Muhajiroun leader Omar Bakri Mohamed announced that his group was disbanding several months ago, but surfaced under a false name at at a Muslim event ast month and called upon supporters via radio to join with Al Qaeda to wage Jihad. Now AM has literally 'come out swinging' and got more then 15 minutes of fame by manhandling The Head of the Muslim Council of Britain Iqbal Sacranie, who was speaking at the Regent's Park Mosque together with parliamentary candidates trying win over Muslim voters.

The MCB has cynically denounced Al Muhajiroun as extremist in order to falsely present themselves as the moderate voice of Muslims in Britain.

The MCB's links to Hamas and Al Qaeda are underscored by the fact that their economics and finance chairman, Asaria Iqbal, is known as a webmaster of Al Qaeda and most members of the MCB including Sacranie are trustess of the 'charity' known as Muslim Aid which was founded by Yusuf Islam and linked by the Spanish police to Al Qaeda

. The MCB press conference was held at the Regent's Park Mosque who had hosted Saudi cleric Abdur Rahman Al Sudais as a keynote speaker, at their recent opening .( Al Sudais is known for having gone on Saudi state television and urged Muslims to" kill Jews and American worshippers of the cross").

Muslim leader Sacranie, lauded by UK dhimmis for his 'moderation', defended the use of suicide bombings saying that ;" When Palestinians become suicide bombers, "who am I to either condemn or condone it?"

For his part Bungawala upset the Board of Deputies (of British Jews) ,with a letter to the Jewish Chronicle in April, in which he called the creation of Israel a "terrible mistake"


Muslim leader assualted by radicals

THE LEADER OF the Muslim Council of Britain was assualted by followers of a radical Muslim group.

Iqbal Sacranie attack
Iqbal Sacranie is assualted in a stairwell at Regents Park Mosque

Iqbal Sacranie was punched and shoved by supporters of Al Muhajiroun as he launched a Muslim manifesto for the general election.

Protestors disrupted the event, in full glare of the media, to denounce Britain's principal umbrella group for Muslims.

A dozen chanting men, some of whom were masked, stormed the Regent's Park mosque chanting that it was a sin for Muslims to vote.

Chairs were scattered as the group forced their way through to the press conference in the mosque's library.

Fists punched the air to an Islamic chant and cameras shifted their focus from the suit-wearing MCB to the protestors. Sacranie shoved and slapped in the face on a stairwell.


One demonstrator shouted: "We are here to condemn you for apostasy! Those Muslims who vote are Kafir [unbelievers]. Vote today and become Kafir tomorrow!"

Iqbal Sacranie appeals for calm
Iqbal Sacranie appeals for calm

The MCB's chief press man, Inayat Bunglawala, tried to restore order.

When his colleague Sher Khan intervened one man shouted: "You are the mouthpiece of the British government! You are Kafir - go to hell fire!"

Sacranie denounced the protesters, saying any decent Muslim would engage in proper debate rather than in headline-grabbing tactics.


He added that the demonstrators had proved that their own self-defeatist agenda would do nothing but damage British Muslims.

An al-Muhajiroun protestor today
An al-Muhajiroun protestor today
"These people are a minute group with the loudest voice I asked these people one question: is it part of Islam to behave in such a way? They did not answer me."

Prospective parliamentary candidates from the three main parties who attended the event denounced the demonstrators.

MCB members said it was the civic duty of Muslims to vote and make their voice heard. The organisation announced a series of regional hustings to hopefully culminate with the prime minister himself appearing before Muslim voters.


The election document handed out to the media before the launch talked of 10 key concerns for British Muslims - poverty, education, Iraq, terrorism, and discrimination.

Al Muhajiroun protestors
Al Muhajiroun protestors

On the stairwell, a demonstrator slapped a leaflet on to the forehead of Mr Sacranie.

His colleague followed that up with an open-handed and aggressive shove in the MCB chief's face.

The blow forced Sacranie's head onto the wall as he absorbed the blow. He later said: "Every community you have these fringe elements. It does not reflect the Muslim community."

Ali Miraj, Conservative candidate for Watford, said: "Muslims in this country have to recognise that there is a growing cancer among young, vocal and disenchanted Muslims who do not want to engage."


Radicals break up Muslim Council meeting
Tuesday, 19th April 2005

An extremist Islamic group threw punches and broke up the moderate Muslim Council of Britain press conference, it was revealed today.

Violence erupted when the masked fundamentalists, believed to be linked to radical cleric Omar Bakri's now defunct al Muhajiroun group, burst into the press conference at the Central London Mosque in Regents Park this morning.

The extremists shouted slogans and attempted to punch secretary general of the Muslim Council Iqbal Sacranie.

One man was arrested by police for causing criminal damage.

Describing the events a spokesman for the MCB, Inayat Bunglawala, said: "About 15 of these thugs from the Saviour Sect, which we believe to be an off shoot of Omar Bakri's defunct al Muhajiroun, forced their way in shouting slogans.

"This extremist group behaved in a manner that was clearly more in line with hooliganism. One of them threw a punch at our secretary general Iqbal Sacranie which was captured by film crew.

"We will be talking to police and looking at bringing a prosecution."

During the chaotic scene one of the members of the militant group shouted: "The MCB are a mouthpiece of the British Government and George Bush".

Mr Bunglawala denounced the group's actions labelling their rantings "fanatical and ridiculous".

He said: "Their slogans make it clear that this group is about self-pity with an ideology of defeatism.

"They are nothing but propaganda. To believe that engaging in politics means we are working with George Bush is just ridiculous and fanatical.

"They do not believe Muslims should engage in politics. They believe any Muslim who does is impure and an unbeliever.

"This group is like a growing cancer. They are a minority in the Muslim community who are a danger, not just to wider society, but also to Muslims themselves.

"This is a problem that we intend to work on with police. Everyone can have an opinion but there is no room for violence and lawbreaking.

"This group has no conception of the parameters of society and the law."

The outburst was over in 20 minutes when, with police help, the group were ejected from the Mosque.

The MCB continued with their press conference where they were unveiling a list of ten questions for Muslim voters to ask parliamentary candidates.

Mr Bunglawala said the most important issues the MCB was pushing were a call for legislation that would outlaw religious discrimination and a call for the Government to set a timetable for the withdrawal of British troops in Iraq.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "Police were called at about 11.40am today to reports of about 15 to 20 people who had gained access to the Central London Mosque in Regent's Park.

"One man was identified to officers as having committed an act of criminal damage.

"A 25 year-old man was arrested and is being held in custody."


Militants storm meeting

Militants disrupted a Muslim Council of Britain press conference today, condemning the organisation as "a mouthpiece" of Tony Blair and George Bush.

There were chaotic scenes as a group of around 15 men, two of them masked, burst into the meeting at Central London Mosque in Regents Park, where the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) was unveiling a list of 10 questions for Muslim voters to ask parliamentary candidates.

One of the men said they represented the Saviour Sect.

MCB secretary general Iqbal Sacranie suspended the press conference as one man shouted: "We are here to question the MCB and their alliance to the British Government.

The man said that voting in the General Election was "an act of apostasy". As the group streamed into the meeting, one of the masked men shouted: "Kaffirs. MCB are dirty kaffirs."

Another man yelled: "The MCB are a mouthpiece of the British Government of Tony Blair and George Bush.

"They don't represent Islam. They don't represent British Muslims."

"We are here to condemn you and your organisation."

The men left the MCB meeting after 15 to 20 minutes. As they walked off mosque property, they were not challenged by around 10 police officers standing outside.

Inside the meeting the Saviour Sect handed out a leaflet reading: "Vote today... become Kaafir tomorrow!"

It bore photographs of Mr Blair, Tory leader Michael Howard, the Liberal Democrats' Charles Kennedy and George Galloway of Respect.

"The above are all shayaateen (devils), crooks, criminals and false gods.

"Voting for any political party which has a policy of legislating a law is Kufr Akbar (a major apostasy) and will take you outside the fold of Islam.

"It will also nullify all your good deeds and guarantee your seat in hellfire for ever."


Protesters disrupt Muslim event A dozen chanting men have stormed a London mosque to denounce Britain's principal umbrella group for Muslims.

The protesters at Regent's Park mosque said voting was against Islam and that Tony Blair "should go to hell".

Leaders of the Muslim Council of Britain tried to restore order but were drowned out by the demonstrators.

The group, believed to be former members of extreme group Al Muhajiroun, said Muslims who voted would commit a crime against their own faith.

The council had been attempting to launch its manifesto for the general election.

The document does not back any particular party but seeks to set out the most important issues facing British Muslims.

However, within minutes of the launch starting the protesters barged into the mosque library, being used for the launch, and denounced the event.

A lead speaker, who did not give his name, said: "The MCB is the mouthpiece for Tony Blair.

"The MCB can go to hell. Anyone who votes is kafir (an unbeliever)."

Council secretary general Iqbal Sacranie denounced the protesters, saying any decent Muslim would engage in proper debate rather than in headline-grabbing tactics.

One protester threw a punch at Mr Sacranie, but he was unhurt.

Other members of the MCB sat resigned, saying the demonstration would cause damage to the community.

Organisers of the event managed to restore order by using security guards to hustle the protesters out of the event.

Seeking to restore order Mr Sacranie said the demonstrators had proved that their own self-defeatist agenda would do nothing but damage British Muslims.

"These people are a minute group with the loudest voice.

'Growing cancer'

"The responsibility is on us all to demonstrate what really concerns British Muslims. We must be aware of freak elements who have these views," Mr Sacranie said.

"I asked these people one question: is it part of Islam to behave in such a way? They did not answer me."

Prospective parliamentary candidates from the three main parties who attended the event denounced the demonstrators.

Ali Miraj, the Conservative candidate for Watford, said the Muslim community must not put its head in the sand.

It had to recognise "the growing cancer" of disenchanted young Muslims, he said.


Protesters storm Muslim Council meeting Tue Apr 19 2005

Suspected Islamic militants have stormed a news conference being organised by the Muslim Council of Britain.

The conference had been called to unveil ten questions for Muslim voters to ask their candidates.

But a group of 15 men, two of them masked, broke into the mosque in Regent's Park and amid chaotic scenes condemned the Muslim Council as a "mouthpiece" for Prime Minister Tony Blair and US President George W Bush.

The men said they represented the Saviour Sect, believed to contain former members of the disbanded al-Muhajiroun group and be headed by firebrand cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed.

As they streamed into the meeting, one of the masked men shouted: "Kaffirs. MCB are dirty kaffirs."

Another man yelled: "The MCB are a mouthpiece of the British Government of Tony Blair and George Bush.

"They don't represent Islam. They don't represent British Muslims."

One protester threw a punch at MCB secretary general Iqbal Sacranie but only succeeded in knocking off his glasses.

When it became clear that the men were not going to leave soon, Mr Sacranie suspended the press conference. It resumed about 20 minutes later.

Sher Khan, chairman of the MCB's public affairs committee, dismissed the Saviour Sect as "bullies".


MIM: The Muslim Council of Britain's director Iqbal Sacranie engaged in bullying with veiled threats against the Lord Carey, when he made critical comments about moderate Muslims not condemning terrorism:

.From a FPM article by Val McQueen 2/6/04

"Lord Carey, ... had said in a speech in Rome that Islam is "authoritarian, inflexible and under-achieving". .. he drew attention to the "glaring absence" of democracy in most Muslim countries and suggested that they had "contributed little of major significance to world culture for centuries.... the former Archbishop denounced moderate Muslims for failing to unequivocally condemn the evil of suicide bombers. "Sadly, apart from a few courageous examples, very few Muslim leaders condemn clearly and unconditionally the evil of suicide bombers who kill innocent people".

""In the case of Islam, Mohammed, acknowledged by all in spite of his religious greatness to be an illiterate man, is said to have received God's word direct, word by word from angels, and scribes recorded them later. Thus believers are told, because they have come direct from Allah, they are not to be questioned or revised."

Here is Iqbal Sacranie'e response:

Dr. Iqbal Sacranie, the secretary-general of something called the Muslim Council of Britain, prefaced his comments with, "Frankly, one is dismayed by Lord Carey's comments." He then hurried on to issue a dark warning to Lord Carey for mentioning the Prophet, Allah and the Koran in the same breath. He didn't quite say what the consequences of this offense would be, but it didn't sound good for Lord Carey.


Islamists step up campaign to stop Muslims voting,15803,1466218,00.html

Audrey Gillan and Vikram Dodd
Friday April 22, 2005


The extreme Islamist group accused of threatening George Galloway and hijacking a meeting of moderate Muslims is planning to step up its direct action campaign to stop fellow believers from participating in the election.

The Guardian can reveal that the gang of youths who stormed two election meetings this week are members of al-Ghuraaba, an offshoot of the now disbanded radical organisation al-Muhajiroun.

The group's east London campaign is being run by Abdul Mueed, a student, who promised yesterday that al-Ghuraaba would continue to disrupt events and target candidates to get across its message to Muslims that they will go to hell if they vote on May 5.

"It is not the lifestyle of a Muslim to vote, and it is not from Islam," Mr Mueed, 22, said last night. "George Galloway and Oona King and the heads of all the political parties are fighting Muslims, they hate the lifestyle of the Taliban and the Muslims living in Iraq, that's why they are willing to carpet bomb them all."

A website run by al-Ghuraaba - meaning "the strangers" - features pictures of all Muslims standing as parliamentary candidates with the word "shame" underneath, followed by the text "they ALL have no excuse unless they repent to Allah and leave their KUFR" [sic]. Kuffur is all people who are non-believers. The organisation also uses a number of other names, including the Saviour sect.

But the group had denied that it threatened to kill Mr Galloway after a group of 30 youths stormed into a tenants' meeting the former Labour MP was holding on Tuesday night in Bethnal Green and Bow, where he is standing as the Respect candidate.

Mr Galloway says he was forced to hide in his car after the men denounced him as a false prophet and threatened him with "the gallows".

In a video of the event men can be heard shouting at Mr Galloway "We are going to follow you" and "We know where you live". They then bellow: "George beware."

Mr Galloway can be seen standing behind a table and is clearly intimidated. He had previously said "Welcome, brothers and sisters" as they entered the room, but later tells them: "I am feeling very threatened by your behaviour."

Last night Mr Mueed said its 30 members did nothing wrong in attending the meeting and alleged that Mr Gal loway had exaggerated what had happened. The group has called a press conference for this afternoon at which, it says, "all exaggerations by the media and by Mr Galloway will be cleared up and the parties involved will be giving an official comment on the matter."

He added: "The Respect party is coming into mosques and calling us to join democracy and is calling us to join the British army."

When told that Respect is an anti-war party and is calling for British troops to be removed from Iraq, Mr Mueed changed tack and said it was the Muslim Council of Britain calling for Muslims to join the army.

Earlier this week, an MCB meeting was disrupted by a group which said they were from the Saviour sect. The group handed out a leaflet headlined "Vote today, become kaafir tomorrow", below pictures of Tony Blair, Michael Howard, Charles Kennedy and George Galloway, are the words: "The above are all shayaateen (devils) crooks, criminals and false gods."

The leaflet says voting for a political party is a "major apostasy and will take you outside the fold of Islam ... It will also nullify all your good deeds ... and guarantee your seat in Hellfire forever!"

Omar Bakri Mohammed, the preacher who founded al-Muhajiroun, denied any connection to the group, saying it's use of his fatwa against voting was nothing to do with him. "I heard about what happened to George Galloway and it's really sad."

Last night, Oona King and Mr Galloway met police in the constituency and agreed not to use inflammatory language for the rest of the campaign.


April 19, 2005

Q&A: the Muslim vote,,19809-1576188,00.html

The Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella group for Muslim organisations in the UK, is distributing a voter card listing ten questions which it says voters should pose to candidates.

But its meeting was disrupted my Islamic militants today, highlighting the broad range of political opinion within the community. Sean O'Neill explains what is at stake for the main parties.

Is there such a thing as a single Muslim vote?

The estimated 1.1 million Muslim voters, who are concentrated in the UK's large urban conurbations, have traditionally voted Labour. Their votes are being courted and analysed as never before in a general election.

Are British Muslims still pro-Labour?

Issues such as the Iraq war, the detention without trial of terrorist suspects and Islamophobia have inflamed Muslim opinion, especially among younger members of the community. Labour can no longer take the Muslim bloc vote for granted, but the other main parties will not automatically benefit from that disaffection unless they are seen to address the community's concerns.

Why not?

More prosperous Muslim businessmen have been happy to vote Conservative in the past, but the party's concentration immigration control is not well received. Voters who might have favoured the Liberal Democrats feel that their campaign has not made enough of issues such as the party's opposition to the invasion of Iraq.

In what seats could the Muslim vote play a part in the election?

The anti-war Respect Coalition, led by George Galloway, is seeking to win Muslim votes and is fielding ten Muslim candidates. Mr Galloway is standing in the East London seat of Bethnal Green & Bow, where Bangladeshi Muslims make up almost 50 per cent of the electorate. His consistent anti-war stance, and his record of opposition to abortion, is winning strong support from Muslim voters.

The Muslim Association of Britain, which campaigned against the Iraq war and invited the hardline cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi to the UK last year, believes Muslim voters can influence the results in 40 seats. It is distributing a leaflet telling Muslims they have "a national duty" to participate in the election.

The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, a recently formed lobby group, is running a deliberately negative campaign in six target seats where it is urging Muslims to vote against MPs who it says are pro-Israel or strong supporters of the Iraq war.

What have the other Muslim organisations been saying during the election?

The Muslim Council of Britain card raises the issues of laws on religious hatred and the anti-terrorist legislation and suggests asking candidates if they support the publication of a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

The card also encourages electors to raise the questions of state funding for Muslim schools, the tone of deabte on immigration policy and seeks to have a religious and moral input on issues such as euthanasia and abortion

The Imams and Mosques Council (UK) tells Muslims that they have an obligation to vote and urges support for candidates who want to improve education, make the streets safer, campaigns to alleviate poverty, respects cultural diversity and favours fair trade. Its guidelines add that Muslims should reject racist candidates

Omar Bakri Mohammed, the extremist cleric, claims to have disbanded his al-Muhajiroun organisation, but is touring the country addressing audiences of young Muslims and urging them to boycott the election.

Mr Bakri Mohammed, who told Muslims earlier this year that they were obliged to follow physical jihad, claims that voting in a western democracy is an act of apostasy. Websites associated with him tell Muslims that they vote they will be consigned to hellfire.


MIM: In 1996 Iqbal Sacranie, who was the head of the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs lobbied for the entry of Bin Laden and other known terrorists to Britain to attend an Al Muhajiroun 'Rally for Revival'. He accused the Board of Deputies of British Jews of damaging community relations by opposing the entry of what Sacranie termed "Muslim Scholars".

Rally for Revival

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. According to this local paper, the manager of the venue, Alec McCrinley, said: "If there is any transgression of the law this event will not take place" and Scotland Yard had issued a statement saying: "We are aware of the event. We are not prepared to discuss policing arrangements" (East London Advertiser, 22.08.96). Some MPs have made representations to the Home Office, asking Michael Howard to investigate. Conservative MP David Wilshire said: "If Mr Mohammed [Omar Bakri] does have the right to be here, I will ask whether what he is doing is a criminal offence, in which case, he should be charged. If it involves incitement to violence, the police should act." Another Conservative MP, Terry Dicks' view was that: "The government ought to stop it taking place. The local authority ought to say enough is enough" (Liverpool Daily Post, 23.08.96). The Jewish Chronicle (23.08.96) claimed that to promote the event, Hizb ut-Tahrir had distributed advertising material in London with the slogan "Peace with Israel is Haram". On the same day, the Evening Standard had an editorial headed "Test of tolerance", which outlined a variety of Omar Bakri Mohammed's more forceful statements, and concluded: "We should treat extravagant rhetoric about a ‘holy war' as simply that - rhetoric. But where there is clear evidence of active support for terrorism, or incitement to hatred, our tolerance comes to an abrupt halt".

By 27 August (USA Today, Aberdeen Press & Journal, Guardian, Shropshire Star), news started to appear about Egyptian governmental concern regarding the rally. The Egyptian foreign minister, Amre Moussa (Guardian, Shropshire Star, 27.08.96) said: "There is a question mark over this issue. We, and many other countries, don't understand this (Britain's) position. Egypt will contact the British government to find out the truth of the matter and to discuss the possible consequences of such an unfortunate step". By 29 August, President Mubarak had expressed his disapproval: "I am surprised that this conference, which includes many of the elements which support terrorism, will convene. This does not serve the fight against international terrorism" (Bolton Evening News). The Guardian (30.08.96) noted that, in addition to Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Israel and British Jewish organisations had all made formal representations to the British government against the rally. This paper quoted Malcolm Rifkind, the Foreign Secretary, speaking from Pakistan: "People who wish to hold conferences of course don't need to seek permission from the government in Britain".

The Daily Mail (29.08.96) was indignant that Omar Bakri Mohammed is in receipt of welfare benefits, and headed its article: "Militant ‘sheikh' gets £300 handout - Refugee on the dole, plotting revolution". Conservative MP William Powell, chair of the Gulf Region Parliamentary Group, said: "There should be an investigation as to whether benefits are being properly paid." Omar Bakri Mohammed replied to the Daily Mail's criticisms: "There's no contradiction at all. If I am living under a system Islam allows me to take the benefit that system offers. I am fully eligible - I am disabled, with no ankle joint on my left leg. And the negative publicity I get makes it very difficult for me to get a job. Most of the Islamic leadership is on benefit."

The Board of Deputies of British Jews asked the Home Secretary to deny entry to Britain for the rally to many of those invited, particularly speakers from Palestine and Lebanon and all members and suspected members of Hamas and Hizbullah.

The Board of Deputies called for their exclusion on the grounds that their presence would be "contrary to the public good" (Jewish Chronicle, 09.08.96, Time Out, 14.08.96). 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."

Muslim News (30.08.96) saw the Jewish Board of Deputies' representations to the government demanding that it stop the rally as being part of a wider context of anti-Muslim actions. This article quotes Iqbal Sacranie, spokesman for the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs: "The Board of Deputies of British Jews should seriously consider what action they take on this matter because of the detrimental effect on community relations which could result. Taking a hostile view towards scholars who wish to come to this country to present their points of view at a conference will not serve good community relations..." The Jewish Chronicle (30.08.96) reported on the concern of some Middle Eastern governments that the rally would be allowed to take place, and the Home Office's refusal to ban it. An editorial in that paper called for vigilant policing of the rally. On this subject, the Daily Telegraph (31.08.96) says that: "Police could arrest anyone who calls for attacks on Jews, or shows a video that does so". The same paper also claims that: "The Board of Deputies of British Jews...has won a promise that no-one known to have links with terrorist organisations will be allowed into the country to attend".

Q-News (30.08.96) asserts that, in fact, eight delegates to the conference, amongst them two EU citizens, were banned from entry to Britain on the grounds that their presence was not conducive to the public good [The EU citizens were presumably banned at point of entry, since they would not need visas. This implies that the authorities would have had foreknowledge of their arrival. Ed.]. Makbool Javaid, for the Society of Muslim Lawyers, regarded this as an abuse of its powers by the Home Office: "There is nothing illegal about the conference. If there was anything untoward the government would have banned it by now. Thousands of British Muslims are going to participate. They, like their French counterparts, are also members of the European Community. If the Home Office wants to be consistent then it should also stop every other participant on the same grounds". A similar view was expressed by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants.

Muslim News (30.08.96) and the Church of England Newspaper (30.08.96) both see the reporting of the rally as likely to contribute to a deterioration in inter-faith relations. The Sunday Times (01.09.96), the Times (02.09.96), and the Independent (02.09.96), all review a small number of Middle Eastern papers which condemn the rally, principally Egypt's Akhbar Al-Yom. [BMMS August 1996 Vol. IV, No. 8, p. 1/2]


MIM: The MCB is the British equivalent of CAIR -Iqbal Sacranie is a featured speaker at the upcoming CAIR event entitled 'Islamophobia and anti Americanism'.


The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) cordially invites you to
attend its 2005 Annual Conference: "Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism Causes
and Remedies," Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15, at the Sheraton Premiere
Hotel in Vienna, Va.



* Aminah McCloud, DePaul University
* Anatol Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Int'l Peace
* Cherif Bassiouni, DePaul University
* Chip Pitts, Amnesty International
* Claude Salhani, United Press International
* David Cole, Georgetown University
* Hafiz Mirazi, Al-Jazeera
* Iqbal Sacranie, Muslim Council of Britain
* Jamal Badawi, St. Mary's University
* John Voll, Georgetown University
* Louay Safi, Islamic Society of North America
* Louis Cantori, Center for Study of Islam and Democracy
* Shanta Premawardhana, National Council of Churches
* Maher Hathout, Muslim Public Affairs Council
* Mary Rose Oakar, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
* Merve Kavaci, Former MP, Turkey
* Mumtaz Ahmad, Hampton University
* Muqtedar Khan, Brookings Institution
* Imam Mostafa Al Qazwini, Islamic Education Center of Orange County
* Muzammil Siddiqui, Islamic Society of North America
* Richard Cizik, National Association of Evangelicals
* Scott Alexander, Catholic Theological Union


MIM: CAIR's perversion of the truth can be a source of wry humor . In 2001 the Saudi funded front group for Hamas accused the Simon Wiesenthal Center of "contributing to "an atmosphere of intolerance and Islamophobia" after they posted a picture of Muslims celebrating the 9/11 attacks.

Council on American-Islamic Relations, Southern California. Added 9/25/01. On September 18, CAIR-LA issued an "action alert" claiming that the Simon Wiesenthal Center "promotes intolerance and hate." According to CAIR-LA, the SWC "displayed an incredible amount of insensitivity" by placing a wire photo of Palestinians celebrating the Sept. 11 attacks on its Web site. Rather than promoting tolerance and understanding, CAIR-LA claimed, the SWC is "unfortunately inciting a backlash against the American Muslim and Arab American communities." CAIR stated that because of the "increasingly violent hate incidents" that are taking place against the American Muslim community, religious and media institutions should make efforts to avoid contributing to "an atmosphere of intolerance and Islamophobia."

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