“The Islamic Forum Europe has been criticised for ‘taking over’ a London council. But the case against it doesn’t stand up”
Analysis of readers comments on the above Guardian Cif post by Inayat Bunglawala 3 March 2010 – See full post here
Mr Bunglawala (deliberately?) misses the point. Nobody is complaining about Muslims taking part in politics. What people object to is the IFE (The Islamic Forum of Europe) not saying what it really stands for and vote fiddling.
The Andrew Gilligan and Dispatches programme produced ample evidence that the IFE is an Islamist party and stands for the imposition of Islamic ideas and the overthrow of secular democracy.
An analysis of the recommendations (votes) given to first 50 comments made on Mr Bunglawala’s post is given below.
|Analysis of first 50 comments|
|Type of comment||Votes For||%|
|Highly critical of Mr Bunglawala||1360||94|
|Supportive of Mr Bunglawala||66||4|
There are 83 comments in total and the extracts below give a representative picture of the criticisms of what Mr Bunglawala had to say about the Dispatches programme.
A number of people pointed out that Dispatches has a very good reputation for objective investigation, and has produced programmes widely praised by Muslims, amongst others.
Jonu – 45 votes
…. there are 2 areas of real concern here:
1. Elected representatives not being honest about their real idealogical objectives when standing for office
2. The use of corrupt methods to achieve these aims when in office
I have close up experience of the situation in Tower Hamlets and I am sad to say that in my view these both apply
venerablejohn – 90 votes
[Inayat Bunglawala said][Ahmed argued that the IFE were intent on “imposing a medieval interpretation of Islamic law” on the rest of us. Gilligan appeared to accept this nonsense uncritically, but what actual evidence had he uncovered in support of this claim? Gilligan went to Tower Hamlets council and found – take a deep breath now – that there were prayer breaks held during some council meetings. …. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. The impertinence of these Muslims]
I watched the documentary, most of the criticisms came from fellow Muslims. Such as the lady who setup a Muslim dating agency and was clearly threatened by leading member of the IFE to pack in her activities because they were agains the will of God or else face the consequences.
The petition to get a locally elected Mayor was clearly an attempt to get an IFE man into a position of power in Tower Hamlets – pages of signitures were obviously forged and the undercover reporter caught that guy from the IFE who openly admitted they were going to get one of “their” brothers in as Mayor.
Why are you denying these things Inayat?
MoveAnyMountain – 75 votes
[IB said][The IFE must take some responsibility for events that are held in their flaghship centre and tell those who engage in such incendiary talk that they will no longer be welcome to hire their premises and should buzz off.]
Some responsibility? Really? I suspect that if the IFE invites hate preachers into their premises to give hate-filled speeches they are entirely responsible. Did they do so? Well, yes, it seems they did. Awlaki among them. Do we even need to ask why they are inviting such people to give talks in their premises? We all know of course.
Of course they should take responsibility. But we know they won’t. They won’t because Inayat is not really condemning them here. He is defending them.
Justabloke – 69 votes
More of Inayats half-truths and evasions again. We never get anything better from him
WindyTrench – 52 votes
[IB said][Finally, we were treated to the spectacle of Paul Richards, the former political advisor to the ex-communities secretary, Hazel Blears, claiming that the IFE was anti-democratic and that the government should not have anything to do with it.]
Well. The IFE wants to bring Sharia to the UK so that says that the IFE is anti democratic in the extreme.
PaulIsleOfDogs – 65 votes
I read through your article and thought you were talking about a completely different program to the one I saw. You are misrepresenting and downplaying the content of the program quite dramatically.
The allegations made by Dispatches against the IFE are extremely serious, given what is happening in the borough. It was very alarming, for instance, to hear that the Tower Hamlets Labour Group was in such trouble with its own party.
It was also very revealing to hear the local Labour leaders responses to some very troubling questions and the nature of the IFE’s beliefs.
WindyTrench – 42 votes
[IB said][To refuse point blank to engage with those structures is to ensure their detachment and marginalisation, creating a vacuum in which – as we have seen elsewhere – rejectionist ideologies flourish.]
Careful Inayat. You are reverting back to the doublespeak threats of old.
Adamastor – 22 votes
I.F.E has strong connexions with Jamaat-e-islami, a decidedly undemocratic Bangladeshi party with very different political views to the Labour Party, new or old. Add personation, questionable members from dubious addresses, inventing well-paid jobs for friends, and intimidation of opponents, them yes, it looks as if Tower Hamlets Labour Party and Council need to be very closely examined.
JayReilly – 56 votes
[IB said][“For a number of years now, British Muslims have been told that they must all eschew terrorism and instead seek to influence policy through the process of democratic engagement. In Tower Hamlets we have seen young people, particularly following the deeply unpopular war against Iraq, seeking to do just that and join the local political parties including George Galloway’s Respect party. And instead of being commended for this they get smeared as being “entryists” by people like Fitzpatrick.]
Inayat, i think this may well be the most dishonest article you have ever written. This is disingenuous in the extreme. No one is criticising democratic political involvement (as you well know), what is being criticised is the wholly undemocratic, ugly goings on at Tower Hamlets council (only a fraction of which was covered in that program).
What a thoroughly dishonest piece.
Doncha – 29 votes
How on earth can anybody say the IFE is a democratic organisation, when it makes it plain that it is an ISLAMIC political party, and since when is Islam compatible with democracy?
…. Didn’t you think we’d notice that part of IFE’s agenda is Dawa, the spreading of Islam and convincing infidels to convert? No? It’s as plain as the nose on your face on the front page of their website.