The Guardian's latest Islamist press release

I appear to have written about The Guardian three days in a row – sorry about that – but the paper’s latest wretched press release for the forces of Islamism can’t go unmentioned.

The Guardian story consists of a number of Muslim groups complaining about being labelled “broadly sympathetic to Islamism” in a leaked list sent to the Home Office by Quilliam, the anti-extremist thinktank. This is, apparently, a “smear” and “like something straight out of a Stasi manual.”

One of the angry groups is the Muslim Safety Forum, a liaison body with the police, whose vice-chair, Fatima Khan, is quoted as saying: “[Quilliam’s] attack on the MSF is yet another example of their McCarthyism and desperation to ensure government funding. We deplore such tactics that seek to slander, divide and discredit genuine organisations.”

I wonder why the MSF chose its vice-chair to make this passionate denuniciation? Why didn’t it put up its newly-reappointed chair, Azad Ali? Perhaps it’s because Mr Ali is a self-proclaimed Islamist who describes al-Qaeda as a “myth” and who has stated, in undercover Channel 4 footage, that “democracy, if it means not implementing the sharia, of course nobody agrees with that.”

Perhaps it’s because Mr Ali is a senior official of the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe – which works, in its own words, to create an Islamic state under sharia law in Europe. The IFE and the MSF share the same offices.

Perhaps it’s because Mr Ali was described by a High Court judge as a man who believed that “the killing of American and British troops in Iraq would be justified.”

Perhaps it’s because, on his IFE blog, Mr Ali has praised a key mentor of Osama bin Laden, strongly supported Hamas, and disputed that the Mumbai attacks were “terrorism.” (These entries have now been removed – but we have the hard copies.)

The MSF – and many of the other organisations listed by Quilliam – is strongly influenced by Islamism, and it’s very far from “McCarthyite,” “Stasi-like” or a “smear” to say so.

The latest story is part, no doubt, of the leaking and briefing war going on now about the role of non-violent Islamists in government – the subject of my weekly column in tomorrow’s paper. Some influential civil servants hold the naïve view that this revolutionary creed can be tamed through “engagement.” In fact, it can only be strengthened. Representatives of what is a relatively small and extreme minority of British Muslims have been anointed by the state as authentic, legitimate voices.

Luckily, ministers appear to disagree with the “engagement” approach. Let’s hope the MSF and the rest of them spend a very long time out in the cold.

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