Fury has erupted after it emerged that Tower Hamlets council was proposing to fund a debate involving the British chairman of an Islamist organisation banned throughout much of the world.
The East London Advertiser discovered that Town Hall chiefs were planning to subsidise up to £19,000 for a public meeting with Dr Abdul Wahid, the head of the radical Hizb ut-Tahrir organisation, which wants to create a worldwide Islamic state. He was due to share a platform with prominent community leaders, including Labour peer Lord Ahmed, at the London Muslim centre in Whitechapel later this month.
The event is one of a series of debates being organised by the Cordoba Foundation and funded by Tower Hamlets council as part of its efforts to tackle extremism.
The meeting in question, at the London Muslim Centre on 26 February, is a debate on the subject “Has Political Participation Failed British Muslims?” (pdf here) and poses the question: “Should Muslims become more politically active or should they shun politics altogether?” So by their stupid witch-hunt of Hizb ut-Tahrir the East London Advertiser has in fact removed the opportunity for Osama Saeed to publicly take on and defeat HT’s abstentionist arguments. And who precisely will gain from that?
Update: It now appears that Dr Abdul Wahid, the HT speaker, has been reinstated.