by Steven Emerson
1st part of 2
looking across the Atlantic at our closest friend and ally, the
A brilliant expose on Channel 4's "Dispatches" and the pages of the Telegraph, reveals that the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) - which has chapters across Europe - has infiltrated the British Labour Party in London, holds sway over local government spending, and tries to manipulate electoral politics. The
However, that is not how Jim Fitzpatrick, the UK Environment Minister, views it. He told Telegraph
"They are acting almost as an entryist organisation, placing people within the political parties, recruiting members to those political parties, trying to get those individuals selected and elected so they can exercise political influence and power, whether it's at local government level or at national level."
The program featured a recording of a speaker at an
"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, hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law], and jihad. This will lead to social change and iqamatud-Deen."
The parallels with Maududi's revolutionary thought, contained in his pamphlets, Process of Islamic Revolution and Moral Foundations of the Islamic Government, are striking. Central to Maududi's argument is that an Islamic revolution must be manned by cadres immersed in the tenets and ideology of Islam who create a "system of education to train and mould the masses in the Islamic pattern of life." This system would
"produce Muslim scientists, Muslim philosophers, Muslim historians, Muslim economists and financial experts, Muslim jurists and politicians; in short in every branch of knowledge there should be men who have imbibed the Islamic ideology…men who have the ability to build a complete system of thought and of practical life based on Islamic principles and who have strength enough to challenge effectively intellectual leadership of the present Godless thinkers and scientists."
These men would engage in a struggle of word and deed to proclaim the Islamic system to the world. This will attract a segment of society, bringing about a "revolution…in the mentality of the masses…" It will then "become impossible…for any other system of life to maintain its existence." Due to the patient efforts of the Islamist educational system, once this occurs, there will be cadres at every level and in every field ready to seize the reins of power.
Shared Means and Ideology in the
There is also an obvious parallel with an internal U.S. Muslim Brotherhood strategy memo, written in the early 1990s and released as evidence in the terrorism financing trial against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development. That memo reads:
"The process of settlement is a 'Civilization-Jihadist Process' with all the word means [sic]. The Ikhwan must understand their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and 'sabotaging' its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."
In 1987, the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council stated in another internal memo that its goal is:
"[The] Enablement of Islam in North America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim Brotherhood which adopts Muslims' causes domestically and globally, and which works to expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims' efforts, presents Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is."
A dawah manual produced by the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) - a
The ICNA manual continues:
"As a result of the Da'wah process, we will be able to reach Muslims conscious of their obligations and willing to strive in the way of Islam. They are to be organized under the banner of the Islamic Circle. As a part of this Movement, they will be involved in intensive Islamic education and training. This is to prepare for Jihad - the struggle to establish Allah's Din Islam on the earth…"
As noted by Rashad Ali, a former Hizb ut Tahrir activist interviewed by "Dispatches," Maududi's script is being followed closely by the
Members are also given a reading list, which includes works by Maududi, including Let Us Be Muslims. One passage in this text reads:
"[A] sacred duty devolves upon you: wherever you are, in whichever country you live, you must strive to change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to rule and make laws from those who do not fear God."
The best example of
Local activist leaders have noticed that millions of pounds in funding have increasingly gone to IFE-linked groups at the expense of other community groups that had received funding previously. "All the resources is [sic] going to Islamic and fundamentalist group [sic]," complained one Tower Hamlets Muslim resident and activist. Most of the residents interviewed by "Dispatches" who have complained about the situation and even protested publicly against
Rashad Ali explains that the
Labour officials quickly became concerned and suspended the rights of the Tower Hamlets branch to select its own candidates. "We're concerned about people joining for the right reasons and are trying to prevent organisations filtering in who may try taking over the party by signing up and ousting existing members," a Labour spokesman said.
These concerns seem well-founded. "Dispatches" obtained Tower Hamlets Labour membership lists between 2006 and 2008 and discovered that, while Labour party membership has been in decline everywhere else, it had more than doubled in Tower Hamlets. In 2006, the ethnic makeup of the Tower Hamlets Labour members was 50% South Asian and 50% non-South Asian. This statistic roughly reflected the ethnic make-up of the borough. Yet 90% of the new members since 2006 have been South Asian.
"If you don't believe in democracy or in mainstream pluralistic political parties, if you have a disdain towards them, the idea of taking them over and subverting them…is quite an appealing thing," said Paul Richards, former advisor to the UK Department of Communities and Local Government.
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