How Muslims are smeared as ‘entryists’ in newspapers without reason


8:17 pm - March 15th 2015

by Sunny Hundal    


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There is no other minority group in the UK like Muslims that you can make crass and bigoted generalisations about, and get away with it. Perhaps Roma people, but they are rarely written about as much. Not even Poles get the treatment like they used to.

I want to illustrate this point through a recent article by the Telegraph’s Andrew Gillian, which screamed: Islamic ‘radicals’ at the heart of Whitehall.

Here’s what happened: the government set up a group to advise them on tackling anti-Muslim prejudice, in parallel to the one tackling anti-semitism. It includes representatives from most major departments.

It is a very inclusive like few others, including Ahmadis, Ismailis, Sunnis and Shia Muslims together, plus other campaigners like Nick Lowles (Hope Not Hate). This is worth keeping in mind, especially since its conveniently ignored by Andrew Gilligan, because any “extreme” views would very likely be challenged by others.

The central allegation of the article is against Mudassar Ahmad, a case which is so flimsy you have to wonder whether a different agenda was being served.

Among its most prominent non-government members is Muddassar Ahmed, a former senior activist in the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), an extremist and anti-Semitic militant body which is banned from many universities as a hate group

In fact Mudassar left MPAC years ago and was never involved in any of the main activities it was criticised for (and I was a frequent critics of MPAC). The article admits that later on too.

The main quotes come from Fiyaz Mughal from Tell MAMA, who is said to have left the group over “concerns”. But Fiyaz actually left earlier last year. He is referred to by Gilligan as a “senior Muslim leader” even though he earlier undermined and attacked Tell MAMA’s work (which led to a complaint to the PCC from Tell MAMA). One minute Gilligan thinks TM is dodgy and then he’s a senior leader? What does that say about Gilligan’s journalism?

When the article came out, I said maybe Fiyaz was justified if any in the group had made inflammatory statements.

But Hope Not Hate’s Nick Lowles said to me in response: “This is the first time the antisemtic charge has been levelled on the group or its members. It is a complete red herring and an insult to everyone on the group.” I trust his judgement.

And yet, by implication, people in the group are being smeared as ‘entryists’ (Fiyaz Mughal has conspicuously declined to fully justify his claims).

These kind of generalisations about Muslims are rare now, but still remain despicable. The Telegraph would never (any more) run headlines like ‘secret plan by gays to take over Whitehall‘ – so why is this kind of language acceptable regarding Muslims?

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: a) Section ,Liberal Conspiracy ,Race relations ,Religion

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Reader comments


So what Muslim sect are you talking about, it’s ridiculous to generalise. I watched the Big Question today, couldn’t understand a bleeding word of it because everyone had a different interpretation of the Koran.

… Because no other religion (or sect within), has a published objective to overthrow the Government, to change my way of life and to kill anybody who leaves it.

Is that enough?

3. Dave Roberts.

Well Sunny, after a promising couple of articles you seem to have reverted to type. Let’s look at what seems to be your overall position. It would seem that, if I understand you and sometimes that’s a little difficult, that the media singles out Muslims and Islam for some kind of special treatment which it doesn’t in relation to other groups.

What you seem to be doing is to equate all religious and ethnic groups in the UK as the same and that only Muslims are criticised. To say that you are being ingenuous is to be charitable. I could say that you are lying and, if the debate continues, we may have to do that.

Andrew Gilligan has been consistently right on a number of subjects that you have not been. In seem to recall that when he broke the story of the millions of pounds of Londoners money that went missing through Lee Jasper and the many black front organisations that he was involved with you rushed to Jasper’s defence.

You weren’t the only one but you were very prominent. I seem to remember how you predicted that the evidence was ” unraveling ” and ” coming apart “. Gilligan was of course completely correct, Jasper resigned rather than face the London Assembly and the whole thing brought down Livingstone.

In 2010 Gilligan made a programme exposing the Islamist backed regime in Tower Hamlets. He was once again completely prescient and in spite of the abuse that was heaped on him his allegations have stood the test of time to the extent that commissioners have been appointed to run the borough and a three week investigation into electoral malpractice has just finished at the Royal Courts of Justice. Expect a damning report shortly after Easter.

The long and the short of all this is that Gilligan has been right and you have been wrong. Why you persist in making a fool of yourself is anyone’s guess but you do.

According to its own website Tell MAMA was as late as the 23rd of last month still billing Fiyaz Mughal as director of the organisation. According to you he left some time ago.

The group certainly, as you have said, made a complaint about Gilligan and The Telegraph to the PCC. What you didn’t say was that it was rejected. Basic stuff that should have been checked by you which wasn’t. Or did you check and concealed what you found?

There is at the moment one religion that murders people in western societies for being people who live in western societies and that is Islam. Not all Muslims are involved and not all approve of the atrocities, but enough do. Hindus aren’t flying planes into tower blocks, Bhuddists have not recently blown up any tube trains, orthodox Jews seem strangely uninterested in strapping bombs to themselves and letting them off in Oxford Street. Muslims have done all of those things, not in Oxford St, and not yet but give them time.

I will do some more research and come back tomorrow but perhaps you would like to comment on what I have dealt with so far.

Dave Roberts: “Well Sunny, after a promising couple of articles you seem to have reverted to type.”

What, you mean I’m not bashing Muslims enough for you? The rest of your comment is equally garbage. When you can point out any mistakes in the article, feel free (FYI, I meant Fiyaz had left the group last year, not as director of TM)

5. Dave Roberts.

No Sunny, what I meant was that you are apologising for smearing and abusing Ghita Saghal and that you are, finally, taking a more realistic view of Cage and the whole issue of Islamist extremism. This is commendable if somewhat late in the day but better late then never.

You then revert to type and launch into an attack on Andrew Gilligan, never a wise course of action as he is invariably right, and then get your facts wrong.

The thrust of your argument, such as it is, is that there is some kind of a conspiracy to ” demonize ” Islam and Muslims which involves smears, innuendos, wrongly attributes statements and the, by now familiar, plethora of excuses which, when examined, are found to be false.

One example of this I have pointed out above is that when Gilligan exposed TM’s fiddling of the figures of ” Islamophobic ” incidents the government withdrew their grant. They then made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission which was thrown out.

What TM were doing was to inflate, I’ll be as diplomatic as I can, the figures for so called hate crimes against Muslims. The unkind might say they were inventing incidents in order to justify the grants they were getting.

The main thrust of my criticism of your article is that you are still, and you are one of the last ones doing this, attempting to claim that there is a quasi state sanctioned campaign of disinformation directed against Muslims because they are Muslims with some, as yet, undisclosed ulterior motive.

You pointed out that it is unlikely that anyone would claim that there was a Gay campaign to infiltrate government. The unkind or the witty might well say that’s not necessary! However there is considerable evidence of extremist Islamist infiltration of institutions witness all of the controversies over schools. As I pointed out above an entire London borough is now under judicial investigation for vote rigging and buying and smearing of opponents to gain power.

Even The Guardian has now given up on the line you are taking. You stand now in your position of a wicked and unjustified anti Muslim agenda at the heart of government alone except for the utterly loony left of Counterfire and the Socialist Rapists Party. Whatever credibility you might have tried to salvage from the wreckage of previous articles and positions is rapidly disappearing down the pan once again.

The situation is that in spite of the carnage wreaked on the USA and Europe by people claiming to be killing in the name of Allah we have been remarkably tolerant. Apart from a few demonstrations, the burning of, I think, one Mosque and some grafitti there has been no retaliation against Muslims in spite of dozens of murders of UK citizens.

It is because of this tolerance that America and Europe are where most of the world’s Muslims would like to live given a chance. The evidence for that claim is the constant stream of Muslims from various parts of the world to the shores of Europe. If it’s so bad why do they all want to get in?

You’ll have to do better than this Sunny. You are as they say in East London, or used to, flogging a dead horse. Cut your losses and get out while you can. The liberal left have folded their tents and slunk away in the night on this one hoping that nobody will remember what they said about the demonization of Lutfur Rahman. It’s just you and the remains of Britsh Trotskyism at the moment. Good luck.

The key part of this seems to me to be that Muddassar Ahmed is supporting the Tableeghi Jamaat mosque.
I’ve got no problem at all with people having been radicals in the past if they change their minds like some of the Quilliam people have done.
But why support a dodgy sect like Tableeghi Jamaat to grow in influence in the UK? Do we want regular Sufi Muslims becoming followers of this sect’s interpretation of Islam?
Do we want regular English school children going to its madrassa? He says they have to be embraced so that they feel included. It sounds a bit like appeasement. As the more influential they become the more divisive affect they might have on the wider community.

I’m sure Sunny will continue to feign ignorance of the aggressive and expansionist nature of Islam, continue to feign ignorance of the medieval nature of Sharia law, continue despite presenting himself as a feminist to entirely ignore the fact that women are second class in Islam.
He’s painted himself into a corner and seems to be making the best of it.Takes real guts to admit being wrong of course.

8. Dave Roberts.

Sunny. You have to say something.

9. Mike Killingworth

If Sunny Hundal – or anyone else – believes that Planet Earth is big enough for both Western culture and Islam, perhaps they would care to point to a poll of Muslims (here or world-wide) which shows a majority of Muslims believing the same thing.

In the real world, Islam is what Muslims do. And what Muslims have done over recent centuries is to reject inclusive, tolerant interpretations of their faith, such as Sufism, in favour of triumphalist ones, notably Salafi and Wahhabi teachings.

Many years ago a Muslim said to me: “no one wants equality. Everyone wants power and privilege”. Muslims and Westerners are alike in their desires, truth be told. It’s just that Westerners have made theirs happen and Muslims haven’t – until now, when more and more of them see Western culture as an over-ripe fruit ready to be plucked and then crushed underfoot.

10. Navdeep Bain

Damon:

I’ve been following this story since it was published in the Telegraph. I happen to think there are serious problems the Muslim community in Britain needs to wake up to and start addressing but having Gilligan and co. sensationalising and cheapening terms like “radical islamist” won’t help that effort, it just makes it harder for those people doing the real work to confront such dangers.

In muddassar’s blog post on Harry’s place (http://hurryupharry.org/2015/02/25/entryism-mpac-and-whitehall-my-views/), he says he supported the tablighi jamaat centre because despite disagreeing with many of their views, he felt engagement and support would be worth it if it would influence them into a embracing a more inclusive trajectory (i.e. making their facilities open to women and non-muslims).

Now whatever you may think of that, I don’t think it makes someone a radical Islamist. Especially when you consider other people that support the TJ centre include local MP, Lynn Brown and Ken Livingston amongst others.

The point is – if we use accusations like radical Islamist so brazenly and without substance (and btw I think the Gilligan article is poor journalism) then it makes those terms look like a tool of bigotry.

Navdeep Bain, that’s fine to a degree. Muddassar Ahmed seems like a pretty sound guy and I don’t have a problem with him doing what he feels is best. I certainly don’t think he should be abused by Gilligan, but that wouldn’t mean I have to agree with his views. I still don’t understand why we need this mosque. Tablighi Jamaat are a movement out of India and I can’t see why we should facilitate them to spread their influence in England. He seems to be saying that if it’s not conservatives like them (or Salafists like in Luton) then it will be extremists that will gain ground. It would almost be like saying we should support the EDL to stop people turning to the BNP. Or to back UKIP to prevent something worse.
When we are having ongoing immigration by large numbers of new Muslims into Britain, why have the mosques they will attend be of a particularly conservative and separatist sect?

He definitely comes across as someone who sees different communities that need to reach out to each other. As Muslims and non Muslims. He says ”we can even become friends though” like he has with MP Stephen Timms.
It sounds like hard work and not the natural integration you’d hope for between people living in the same streets and housing estates. It sounds like people who would have the Tablghhi Jamaat view of living their lives would find it difficult to mix with the rest of (in this case) the wider east London working class communities. The cockney white people who are not really going to get this sect and their way of life for example.
They say that they will be very inclusive and their doors will be open to everyone. But I see that more of a bad thing than a good. Maybe the same as if Mormons were converting thousands of Christians to their sect. It wouldn’t be good as being secular and not conservative, I can’t see that as progress.

What is despicable is how it has taken so long for some liberals to even acknowledge that there is a problem of Islamist entryism in our society. Deal with the problem rather than throw up smokescreens.

There is another minority group that we make bigoted and crass generalisations about besides Muslims and that is the prison population.
We may as well let all prisoners loose as we are victimising & infringing their freedom to commit crime because of our world view is not the same as theirs.this is anti-criminal prejudice.

What lurks beneath the surface of Islam that is of no interest to the media or the government what is important is preventing anti-Muslim prejudice in their view.

Generalisations about Muslims are not rare now its just that that if you are out of touch with ordinary people you do not see that most people are sick of them winging about being victimised.

So there is good reason Muslims get treated the way they do, recently I saw four Muslim Clerics being questioned about the life of Muhammed and Aisha.
In the end they all admitted that it was ok to marry a child as soon as it is born and that sexual contact with babies and children was acceptable under Sharia law as long as the child suffered no physical harm.
(Sharia seems to be a law that anything goes as long as you have the will to do it.)

Until Muslims change their Misogynistic and supremacist attitude.and sort out who’s interpretation of the koran is right,
There will be just a continuation of the last 1400 years fight, against the proliferation of Islam in western countries, where they are looked upon not as peaceful followers of a gentle and charitable religion doing good in the world, but as weird deviants hell bent on the destruction of the western way of life.

14. Dave Roberts.

I decided to google Sunny and Andrew Gilligan and came up with a series of articles and references in which Sunny comes off worst every time. You do seem to have something of an obsession with Gilligan Sunny even though he always seems to trump you. Leave it alone, you’re on a hiding to nothing.

“These kind of generalisations about Muslims are rare now, but still remain despicable. The Telegraph would never (any more) run headlines like ‘secret plan by gays to take over Whitehall‘ – so why is this kind of language acceptable regarding Muslims?”

That’s a strawman, Sunny. The article referred to ‘Islamic radicals’ and ‘Islamists’, and you are treating that as if it simply said ‘Muslims’. Are you still pretending that (a) we do not have Islamists in this country and (b) they constitute no problem? ISIS and The Cage fiasco, among many, ought to have disabused you of your credulity towards Islamists.

16. Dave Roberts.

Sunny, you have gone strangely quiet. Would you like to make some comment on the very detailed criticisms of this article?

Would it be a good or bad thing if more and more British Muslims, (particular people were reasonably secular in their approach to their religion or the religion they were brought up in) started living the lives that Tablighi Jamaat would prefer them to?
That is, becoming far more observant, growing beards, adopting Isamlic dress and not having as much to do with non Muslims as they might do now.

Because that is what Tablighi Jamaat is about I think.
They’re peaceful fundamentalists by the sound of it. Probably more like what we’d like the Taliban to turn into.
Why should we as Brits want to encourage that, or even see it happening?

18. Dave Roberts.

Sunny, I decided to click the top right hand link on you home page about how LC was no longer a group enterprise and found there the most bizarre collection of claims about what you and your list of collaborators had achieved.

It would seem that you and they were solely responsible for defending democracy over the last decade. Do you expect people to actually believe any of what you have claimed?

Typo in last post, should have read: ”(particularly people who were reasonably secular in their religion or the religion they were brought up in)”.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown doesn’t like what’s been happening either:
”It could be a millenarian crisis or a delayed reaction to decades of bad history, but millions of Muslims seem to have turned inwards, hankering for an imagined golden age. They are contemptuous of modernity’s bendable, ductile values. Some are drawn to reactionary dogma, and preachers while a good number have thrown themselves into political Islam to resist and combat western hegemonies – or so the story goes.”

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/20/muslim-woman-veil-hijab

So could someone tell me why anyone should engage with and even encourage Tablighi Jamaat?

20. Mike Killingworth

[15][19] I don’t often agree with YA-B, but that quote seems about right.

The reason we should engage with Tablighi Jamaat is that they can stop young Muslims joining al-Qaeda or the self-styled Khalifate, and we can’t.

Surely it would be better to have a conservative Islamic party committed to peaceful means attracting disaffected youth? And if in the fullness of time that leads to the creation of Muslim enclaves in parts of our cities, where Sharia law operates – is that not better than having those same cities bombed or even nuked?

”Surely it would be better to have a conservative Islamic party committed to peaceful means attracting disaffected youth?”

That night be true, but if you draw out the implications of what you say there it would be a terrible indictment of the failure of our multicultural society and one that would be practically proving Enoch Powell was right.
Which he wasn’t of course.

It would mean that the initial idea of bringing over Pakistani men to work in the mills of Yorkshire and Lancashire had failed. They were only meant to be guest workers propping up some failing industries – and now we had to accept that it had not been possible to integrate the communities they had created.
Because that’s what working with and encouraging Tablighi Jamaat sounds like to me. Why can’t we just tell them to get lost, and that they are about has welcome in Britain as Scientologists are?
Or as welcome as Wahhabi doctrine is?

At least we should be able to have the discussion about how malign an influence TJ might have if they started to convince regular reasonably integrated Muslims to start looking inwards more and turning their backs on the wider society that they live in. I can’t see any possible good in it – apart from stopping people from that part of society being even worse and wanting to join Isis or whatever.

@ 21

“And if in the fullness of time that leads to the creation of Muslim enclaves in parts of our cities, where Sharia law operates – is that not better than having those same cities bombed or even nuked?”

Yes, if we end up with enclaves in British cities where women exist as covered-up second class citizens, Jews are expelled and apostates from Islam and gay people put to death, what could possibly be the objection of British ‘socialists’ living elsewhere? So long as they get to exist unharmed for a while longer, who cares what happens to minorities and women living in such places.

You really are a scumbag, aren’t you?

23. the a&e charge nurse

[20] if the sharia enclaves are next to the EDL enclaves won’t that have an adverse affect on property prices?

Lamia @ 22 (” You really are a scumbag, aren’t you “).

Why not debate without becoming abusive !

It’s no wonder this website has so few following it.

This is truly an anti caucasian website.

In the past, on this website I have read people becoming disgustingly abusive to those that have innocently mentioned other cultures, race and religions.

How can people came to understand your point of view when you are abusive ? Maybe Damon @ 21 would be positive to debate and see things the way you do. The way you carry on it will never happen. Abuse attracts abuse and hatred.

Why should I treat as worthy of anything other than abuse a self-styled ‘socialist’, Mike Killingworth, who is happy enough to have in parts of our cities a system of law that entails killing apostates from Islam and gay people and treating other minorities as second class citizens, you piece of shit?

HaaaaHaaaaHaaaaaaaa

You are so funny !

Good day……………………..

28. Silly Me !

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