Friday, 6 August 2010

Our dangerous dalliance with radical Islam

[...] There are, in Whitehall, a number of senior officials and paid ministerial advisers who are sympathisers of Islamism. One of them, Mohammed Abdul Aziz, is an honorary trustee of one of Britain's most important Islamist-controlled institutions, the East London Mosque.

Mr Aziz wrote a paper – leaked to this newspaper – saying that the new administration should build closer ties with the East London Mosque. He recommended that ministers should consider appearing in public with Islamist organisations which promote "a message of divisiveness, expressing intolerance towards other communities in the UK". He said that officials should even deal privately with some organisations which may support "violent extremism in Britain".

Another leaked paper claimed that extreme Islamist groups such as al-Muhajiroun were not gateways to terrorism, but a "safety valve" for potential terrorists. Last week, a Home Office civil servant, Sabin Khan, was suspended after allegedly criticising the Home Secretary, Theresa May, for her "huge error of judgment" in banning an Islamist preacher, Zakir Naik. Miss Khan's boss, Charles Farr, was allegedly "gutted and mortified" by the ban, too.

There is no suggestion that these officials are themselves revolutionaries, or that they support violence or terrorism. They believe that reaching out to non-violent Islamists reduces the security threat, and promotes broader community cohesion. This belief is fundamentally naïve and wrong. Read more

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