But despite the involvement of multiple directors and trustees of the mosque in IFE, we’re assured it’s a positively teensy minority of extremists there who support the IFE’s work.
For most of the 15,000 ordinary Muslims who pray there each week, it is simply a place of worship. For many, it provides valuable social facilities, and creche and outreach services.
But for a small number, the mosque is the headquarters of a secretive, fundamentalist political network. The Islamic Forum of Europe is dedicated, in its own words, to changing the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed … from ignorance to Islam”.
The mosque and IFE are inextricably intertwined. Dr Mohammed Abdul Bari, the chairman of the mosque, and its vice-chairman are former IFE presidents.
The director and imam of the mosque are trustees of the group. Of 22 IFE trustees in recent years, only five have not also been trustees or officeholders of the religious centre.
The mosque calls the IFE a “social welfare organisation” and the IFE presents itself as committed to “community cohesion” and “tolerance”.
Caveat emptor: Tolerance within the limits of Islamic law. Note also the Hamas- and Hizballah-style combination of jihadist ideology and activity and “social services.” The latter must not in any way excuse the former.
But the undercover reporters discovered that it was also a sophisticated political group with a structured rank system and hardline goals.
Prospective recruits must attend training. One undercover reporter was told that she would have to take an exam and swear an oath of allegiance and ordered to keep her membership of the IFE a secret.
The reading list for the recruits’ training course consists of the key works of the revolutionary political creed known as Islamism, which advocates the overthrow of secular democratic government and its replacement by Islamic government.
Above is the use of “Islamism” to displace responsibility from Islam’s own texts and traditions — most notably, the imperative to wage jihad to impose Islamic law, and offer unbelievers conversion, subjugation, or war (Qur’an 9:29).
The key text, Let Us Be Muslims, by Syed Mawdudi, a high priest of Islamism, instructs recruits: “The sacred duty of Muslims … wherever you are, in whichever country you live, you must strive to change the wrong basis of government, and seize all powers to rule and make laws from those who do not fear God.” […]
This newspaper obtained an official transcript from the two-day annual training camp held for the IFE’s youth wing, the Young Muslim Organisation UK, held in Leicestershire last June. In one talk, Muhammad Rabbani, a trustee of the youth wing, told the recruits: “Our goal is to create the True Believer, [and] to then mobilise these believers into an organised force for change who will carry out dawah [preaching], hisbah [enforcement of Islamic law] and jihad. This will lead to social change and Iqamatud-Deen [an Islamic social and political order].”
Quoting Qur’an 3:85:
The nature of that Islamic social and political order in Britain was made clear when Mr Rabbani said: “Whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.” He instructed the recruits to “protect yourselves” from music, television and “free mixing with women in that which is not necessary”….