A government-funded group has called on police and council bosses to ban a public meeting which is being held in Queens Park on Tuesday night.
The Hizb ut-Tahrir political party has scheduled a public meeting at 7.30pm at Queens Park Community Centre, in Westbourne Road, about a perceived bias by Western governments against Muslims. The meeting is entitled “The Campaign To Destroy Islam”. Hizb ut-Tahrir’s website says the group wants to unite all Muslim nations in a unitary Islamic state, or “caliphate”, headed by an elected caliph. This would be established using political methods.
But the Quilliam Foundation, a Government-funded think tank, has described the group as “extremists”. James Brandon, spokesman for the Quilliam Foundation, said: “Hizb ut-Tahrir is one of the more extreme British Islamic groups. The Government has considered banning it in the past. It has got a confrontational, aggressive agenda. The agenda is to radicalise Muslims to take over the world.”
Mr Brandon said his group had contacted Bedfordshire Police, Bedford Borough Council and Queens Park Community Centre to try to have the meeting cancelled.
Yes, that’s the same Quilliam Foundation who defended Geert Wilders’ right to speak at a meeting in the UK, on the grounds that banning him offended the principle of free speech. Maajid Nawaz stated piously:
“Banning Geert Wilders from the UK is not the solution. Just as the ideas of non-violent Islamist groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir should be tackled through debate and argument, so should those of Wilders and others. Freedom of speech should be protected – so long as people do not use this freedom to call for violence against others.”
So, at least we know what a load of nonsense that was. The reality is that the Quilliam Foundation opposes freedom of expression for Islamist sectarians but defends it for far-right racists.