The Woolwich attack has provided the scoundrels at Quilliam with a new opportunity to perform their usual trick of holding the British Muslim community (or at least a significant section of it) to blame.
Quilliam’s senior researcher, Usama Hasan, was on the BBC Breakfast show yesterday. In response to a question from Charlie Stayt as to whether the extremist ideology evidently adopted by the alleged Woolwich killers was promoted at mosques and university campuses in Britain, Hasan agreed that it was.
Not that this was an unexpected response. Last year Hasan was happily encouraging the right-wing press to depict his former mosque, the Masjid-al-Tawhid in Leyton, as a representing a terrorist threat to the Olympics.
However, Hasan was making his claim in circumstances where two mosques had already been attacked and organisations like the MCB – who, unlike Quilliam, are actually representative of the community – were trying to defuse a potentially violent situation by emphasising that the Woolwich killers had no base of support among British Muslims. Hasan was clearly intent on undermining this message.
In a roundup of views on Woolwich, BBC News quoted Hasan as saying:
The real problem here is the decisive hatred preached by a very small minority of clerics in this country in a small number of our mosques and universities.
They know who they are and there are Muslim groups and other groups, left-wing groups, may I say, who defend that kind of grievance and victimhood mentality. That’s what must change and has to stop. A very small number of people but unfortunately their influence is too high.
This nonsense has been effectively demolished by Yusuf Smith at Indigo Jo Blogs.
In an article for the Guardian entitled “The lessons of Woolwich”, Hasan has expanded on his views about the influence of extremist ideology in the British Muslim community and the role of the left in encouraging this. He specifically refers to Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s appearance at London’s City Hall in 2004 during Ken Livingstone’s mayoralty.
Hasan falsely accuses Qaradawi of backing suicide bombers targeting Israeli civilians and states “it is very easy for al-Qaida to extrapolate from his logic and justify terrorism in the west”. As Hasan must know perfectly well, al-Qaida does nothing of the sort. They hate Qaradawi, and with good reason – he is their most influential opponent in the Muslim world.
But then, Quilliam has something of a history when it comes to Qaradawi. Five years ago its original financial backers withdrew their funding from Quilliam in protest at its attacks on him.