East London Mosque bags itself a bishop

The East London Mosque - the extremists flagship
The East London Mosque - the extremists' flagship

The Islamists of East London, led by their flagship the East London Mosque, have been loudly condemning a proposed march by the English Defence League through Tower Hamlets on September 3. Actually, of course, they are thrilled.

The EDL is wrong in so many ways – look at this video for how one of its previous marches, in Leicester, ended – but not least because they hand their supposed enemies, Muslim radicals, the perfect way to build support and legitimacy. The Islamists’ attempts to blame the EDL for the Norway massacre are perhaps a bit of a stretch – but who could dispute that the EDL are a racist rabble? Who could possibly object to campaigning against them?

The mosque has duly placed itself at the head of a campaign to resist the march – called, with beautiful irony, “One Tower Hamlets – No Place for Hate.” I think they must mean “No Place for Hate – Apart From The East London Mosque.” The mosque, as we have frequently reported, has hosted literally dozens of racist, terrorist, homophobic, misogynistic, anti-Semitic and Islamic supremacist preachers, and continues to do so, despite its lies to the contrary. It is controlled by an Islamic supremacist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe. The East London Mosque, in short, is a far greater source of hate in Tower Hamlets than whatever handful of yobs the EDL manages to ship in for a few hours in September.

Most of the campaign’s supporters appear to be the usual suspects: the mosque, its front organisations and their fellow-travellers and useful idiots. There’s the IFE’s Azad Ali – the man whose contribution to the fight against hatred includes calling for British troops to be killed, and who stated (not realising he was being secretly filmed): “Democracy, if it means not implementing the sharia, of course no-one agrees with that.”

There’s Mohammed Rabbani, head of the IFE youth wing, whose belief in inter-community harmony is so deep that he teaches his young recruits: “Our goal is to create the True Believer, to then mobilize these believers into an organized force for change who will carry out da’wah [preaching], hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law] and jihad. This will lead to social change and iqamatud-deen [an Islamic social, economic and political order.]”

And there are those Ken Livingstone/ Lee Jasper creations, One Society Many Cultures and Unite Against Fascism (Jasper’s typically measured intervention in the Norway killings story yesterday was to compare Boris Johnson to Anders Behring Breivik.)

But amid this dreadful crew there are a couple of people from legitimate and untainted organisations, notably the Church. The new bishop of Stepney, Rt Rev Adrian Newman, will speak at a “No Place for Hate” pre-rally at the East London Mosque on Friday, his first public engagement since taking office.

The Bishop is the mosque’s most important recruit so far to what appears to be its new strategy of legitimisation. After they were thoroughly exposed by this newspaper and Channel 4, the mosque and IFE have realised that they can no longer simply rely on lies and empty threats of legal action to see off their critics.

They have therefore embarked on a policy of creating stand-alone campaigns which no-one can on the face of it object to, and involving non-extremists in those campaigns to lend themselves a sheen of respectability. Another such campaign, the IFE’s “My Neighbours Project,” aiming to foster neighbourliness, was launched last week and managed to snare Rushanara Ali MP. No doubt soon we will see IFE-sponsored groups to promote motherhood and the eating of apple pie.

I say the Church is untainted – but if it starts mixing with people like Azad Ali that won’t last long. There are plenty of far more representative Muslim groups to work with. By all means protest against racism, bishop. But don’t do it through the East London Mosque – you’re in danger of making yourself look ridiculous.

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