AltNewsMedia has been examining the origins of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). Since the MCB is a ‘go to’ mainstream media source for Muslim opinion here in the UK, it is worth investigating where the organisation came from, who runs it, and what it stands for.
The genesis of the MCB can be found in the ferocious 1989 UK Salman Rushdie street demonstrations following the “Satanic Verses” publication and the subsequent Fatwa against Rushdie decreed by Ayatollah Khomeini. This was the first occasion of UK Muslim “street power” and it caused major political upset at the time. Press reports at the time state;
“An estimated 20,000 demonstrators waved banners denouncing author Salman Rushdie and shouted slogans such as “Rushdie must die!” as they began their march in Hyde Park.”
Iqbal Sacranie (who founded MCB in 1997) was then part of the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs. Sacranie organised the Salman Rushdie UK demos, and was reported as saying…
“Death, perhaps, is a bit too easy for him…”
…regarding Rushdie at the time.
in 2004, Iqbal Sacranie, now head of the MCB, attended a memorial service at London’s Central Mosque in honour of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Hamas, the charter of which mandates the extermination of Israel and the Jews. Yassin is on record as stating …
“Sons of Islam everywhere, the jihad is a duty – to establish the rule of Allah on earth and to liberate your countries and yourselves from America’s domination and its Zionist allies, it is your battle – either victory or martyrdom.”
Sacranie was honoured with an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1999 and Knighted by the Queen in 2005. Both these honours coincided with Tony Blair in power.
On 3 January 2006 Sacranie told BBC Radio 4 PM programme that he believes homosexuality is “not acceptable”, and denounced same-sex civil partnerships as “harmful”. He said that bringing in gay marriage did “not augur well” for building the foundations of society.
Sacranie’s deputy at the MCB was Abdul Wahid Hamid. Sacranie gained fame in the Islamic community for his jihad activities (i.e. the Rushdie demonstrations). He used those relationships (with mosques all over the country) to set up the Muslim Council of Britain. Sacranie later parted ways with Abdul Wahid Hami.
A separate group of interest, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, adopts different policies to the MCB. Hizb-ut-Tahrir strategy is to achieve the global caliphate by penetrating into the armed forces in Muslim countries and instigating a coup in that country. Due to this strategy, Hizb-ut-Tahrir feels that driving vehicles into crowds of people in the West is counter-productive. They feel, like all Jihad groups, that they have the best strategy. As it poses no direct threat to the UK, it operates perfectly legally here, despite being banned in almost all Muslim countries. Bans exist in some non Islamic countries, for example Germany, Russia and China.
One of the MCB’s affiliate organisations, Leicester’s Islamic Foundation, was founded by Khurshid Ahmad, a senior figure in Jamaat-i-Islami (JI).
Jamat-i-Islami (Islam Party) is a radical jihad terror political party. They set the jihad agenda which many larger parties (including Imran Khan’s PTI party) follow and thus gain support from Pakistan’s many jihad supporters.
Whereas Sinn Fein always pretended they had nothing to do with terrorism, JI openly declare their support for Al Qaeda and Taliban. Munawar Hasan, the last leader of JI, gave a famous televised speech in which he declared:
“Men like Osama bin Laden never die, they live on in our hearts”.
At this time, he was Imran Khan’s coalition partner in the KPK Provincial government (similar to UK devolved govts). Siraj-ul-Haq, the current leader of JI, frequently shares a podium with deadly international terrorists such as Hafiz Saeed of Jamat ud Dawa (Party of preaching Islam to Kuffar). Siraj-ul-Haq frequently attends funerals of Taliban leaders killed in US drone strikes and gives the eulogy. All this is widely known public information in Pakistan.
This is the famous speech by last JI leader Munawar Hasan, when he said “Osama lives on in our hearts”
Siraj-ul-Haq also often visits the UK, where he speaks to packed halls in Birmingham, Manchester, Rotherham, and so on. He is usually sits on the podium alongside Afzal Khan, Labour MP for Manchester Gorton.
Afzal Khan MP on left, Siraj-ul-Haq on right
Afzal Khan (centre) on podium in Manchester (August 2015)
This is all designed to ensure that the many UK supporters of JI know that Afzal Khan is “their man” in the UK. JI was founded by Maulana (Priest) Maudoodi (1900-1979).
Maudoodi was the intellectual godfather of Pakistan Jihadism, writing lengthy books on the need for Muslims to use violence to spread Islam worldwide.
Another is Birmingham-based Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, an extremist sect whose website says:
‘The disbelievers are misguided and their ways based on sick or deviant views concerning their societies, their universe and their very existence.’
It urges its adherents not to wear Western hats, walk dogs, watch sport or soap operas and forbids ‘mingling and shaking hands between men and women’.
The Islamic ideology favoured by the MCB leadership and many of these affiliate organisations is inspired by Maulana Maudoodi.
Who was he? He was a 20th-century Islamic scholar little known in the West but hugely significant as a thinker across the Muslim world. His writings, which call for a global Islamic revival, influenced Sayyid Qutb who is usually credited as the founding father of modern Islamic radicalism and one of the inspirations for al-Qaeda. In Maudoodi’s worldview all humanity was split into believers (practising Muslims) and non-believers, whom he describes as ‘barbarians’. He was deeply critical of notions such as nationalism and feminism and called on Muslims to purge themselves of Western influence.
So the major theological inspiration for the MCB considered anyone who is not a Muslim to be a “barbarian”. The MCB rose to a position of considerable influence in the UK during the Tony Blair era and is now portrayed as an authoritative voice of moderate muslim reason by the mainstream media.
2015 saw the Government release a report into the Muslim Brotherhood which stated;
“For some years the Muslim Brotherhood shaped the new Islamic Society of Britain (ISB), dominated the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) and played an important role in establishing and then running the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)”
A further area of concern is manifest in The Oxford Teacher Handbook for GCSE Islam, authored by a small team of educational specialists and Muslim community leaders. The purpose of the manual is to guide British teachers lacking in-depth knowledge of Islam to help their students pass the Religious Studies General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), the UK’s public examination for pupils at the end of Grade 11.
Islamic scholar and activist, Ibrahim Mogra is a co-author of the Teacher Handbook, who oversaw his fellow authors’ contributions.
Mogra is an imam of the purist, revivalist Deobandi sect, which harks back to 7th century Islam and currently controls between 40-45% of Britain’s mosques. It has a strong politicized and jihadist pedigree, having begun as a form of resistance to British colonial rule in India and, later, with its role as the ideological foundation of the Taliban.
Mogra spoke alongside Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in 2003 at the annual summer conference of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies. Al-Awlaki was killed in a US drone strike in 2011 for his role as a senior Al Qaeda ideologue and regional commander.
Mogra also serves as assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)
Most recently the MCB has been to the fore in demanding a formal investigation into what it claims is “Islamophobia” in the Conservative party and it has been very critical of Boris Johnson’s comments on the Burqa.
The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in many parts of the world as a terrorist organisation and AltNewsMedia has recently examined how it operates in the UK and across the globe. The Muslim Council of Britain has denied any links to the group with a spokeswoman saying it has “no affiliation to the Muslim Brotherhood”. Given that the Government report explicitly states to the contrary, readers can decide who to believe.
Based on the words of those within the MCB, it appears to oppose feminism, homosexuality, and more generally western culture. It’s spiritual guru has described those who are not muslim as “barbarians” and whilst stating that it opposes terrorism the MCB has also opposed the Government’s anti terrorism strategy Prevent.
The lack of interest in the character of those at the top of the MCB by representatives of the mainstream media is alarming. All such organisations must be scrutinised and the simple question posed; are they operating in pursuance of a stronger peaceful more pluralist western democracy? If not, then why are they here and in a position of considerable political influence?