It’s a staple of the Islamic supremacist “Islamophobia” narrative that counter-jihadists are, to a man (or woman), uneducated, ignorant charlatans in the game to make a fast buck (as if doing this really were lucrative). The real charlatans, however, are all too often the “moderate” Muslim spokesmen whom the media grabs hold of and makes into stars, so desperate are they to show that they’re not “Islamophobic” and that the true Islam is a Religion of Peace. So in the U.S. we have Reza Aslan, and in the U.K., as the situation there is so much worse in so many ways, they have Mo Ansar.
“Mo Ansar, the bogus Muslim ‘theologian’ who defends slavery and says Muslims discovered America in AD1000… while claiming benefits and appearing on the BBC,” by Milo Yiannopoulos, May 15, 2014 (thanks to Crazy Capper):
Author’s Note: For cost and scheduling reasons the newspaper this report was originally destined for has declined to publish it. (In short, that bugger Nick Cohen got his story out first!) I thought it a shame to waste several weeks’ work, so I have consulted a lawyer at my own expense and, minus a few expurgations, this is what we currently know about Mo Ansar. I have assembled a dossier of dated, documentary evidence for every claim in this report, which is available to other journalists upon request.
- ‘Community activist’ Mo Ansar is a regular guest on the BBC who presents himself as the face of moderate Islam
- Yet Ansar is a fantasist and Walter Mitty character who supports slavery and has promoted extremist organisations such as Hizb ut-Tahrir on social media
- Claims he is an ‘educationalist’, ‘theologian’, ‘lawyer’ and ‘visiting lecturer’ but has no qualifications and has never worked at a school, university or law firm
- The self-styled ‘expert commentator’ is also under fire for undeclared income from media appearances while costing taxpayers a fortune in unnecessary police protection, benefits and a spurious employment tribunal appeal
Mohammed Ansar, a regular fixture on the BBC’s news and current affairs programming, was engulfed in scandal this week with allegations that he has “sexed up” his CV in order to promote hard-line Islamist propaganda in the media, while presenting himself to producers, researchers and the public as the face of moderate Islam.
“So omnipresent has he become that he seems at times to be Britain’s only Muslim commentator,” writes Nick Cohen in the Spectator this week.
Ansar has appeared on Newsnight, the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme, and last week he tweeted pictures of an afternoon spent with Left-wing comedian Russell Brand at East London Mosque “talking Islam, sufism and philosophy.” He has also appeared on Channel Five, Sky News and many other networks.
I have been looking into Ansar for the past three weeks, and my investigation has revealed that Ansar has fabricated an extraordinary number of jobs, lied about professional qualifications and invented work experience, causing distress and harm to many, misleading the public and most likely breaking the law. He has bullied ordinary members of the public, filed nonsense police reports and failed to declare taxable income.
Ansar has been billed on television and radio, at his own urging, as an “educationalist,” despite no evidence of higher education qualifications, and describes himself as a “visiting lecturer,” though he refuses to disclose at which university he teaches.
There is no evidence he has any professional teaching or lecturing experience, besides a single talk given at Horndean Technology College in January 2013 to students considering a religious studies GCSE, a few invitations from Islamic societies and one talk at a church.
He has repeatedly and falsely claimed on Twitter to be a lawyer, which is an offence in England and Wales, before admitting earlier this week to Financial Times legal journalist David Allen Green that he was not in fact a qualified legal professional and he “regretted” any “impressions” to the contrary. But Ansar’s publicly made claims speak for themselves:
Ansar has repeatedly claimed to be a “theologian” while possessing no qualifications or job experience in either field. He has no published work in the field.
Even more outrageously, he has claimed on Twitter to be an “imam,” implying spiritual authority for which there is also no evidence. (Ansar does not speak Arabic, according to a community leader who has been following his antics for many years.)
He has no historical expertise or qualifications, but Ansar has made the eyebrow-raising claim that Muslims were trading with Native Americans “five centuries” before Columbus discovered the continent – an opinion not shared by any mainstream historian.
Ansar has also been revealed as the man behind at least one anonymous “sock-puppet” account on social media, through which he has supported his own opinions and even had conversations with himself in order to give the impression of support for his views. He also used the account, deleted after it was exposed by journalist Jeremy Duns, to attack prominent media personalities, in order to raise his own profile.
In emails, Ansar called Duns’ allegations “nonsensical” but did not deny that he was responsible for multiple pseudonymous accounts on Twitter.
Wild claims and a sexed-up CV
According to court documents, Ansar’s failure to honour a debt to Lloyds TSB – a staff loan – appears to be what kicked off a 36-day employment tribunal and launched him into a career of dishonesty and special pleading in the early 2000s.
He did not repay the money he owed, and when his manager launched a compliance investigation he accused that manager of “racial discrimination,” “victimisation” and “harassment.” He later accused the bank of “tampering” with data files, a claim rejected outright by the judge.
Many appeals later, after numerous failed allegations of bias against the chair of the Tribunal from Ansar, the case was thrown out by the Supreme Court before three Lord Justices, including Leveson, at massive cost to the taxpayer.
In an earlier appeals judgment, the judge noted that Ansar found it difficult to take instruction from female superiors, had undertaken “sloppy” work for the bank and had lied in a letter pertinent to the case.
There was also evidence of “deliberate falsification of assets” by Ansar, said the judge, who noted that Ansar was “a forceful personality” who “manipulated circumstances for his own benefit.”
His disputes with the bank “escalated to higher levels … as a consequence of his unwillingness to heed guidance and advice form his managers,” the judgment continues.
Ansar has claimed to be a “marriage counsellor,” without substantiation, but with serious consequence.
In July 2013, a woman on Twitter confronted Ansar, claiming that he had some time previously told her to stay with a man who had beaten and raped her. Ansar denied giving such advice until the woman threatened to publish documentary evidence of his advice. He demanded the woman stay quiet, citing “confidentiality” concerns.
A Twitter-fuelled fabricator
Some time around 2010, Ansar changed his manner of dress, assuming a more “Islamic” style, and began tweeting in earnest. He reinvented himself as a Muslim “community leader.” There is scant evidence, however, that despite varying claims from Ansar about his “decade,” “15-year” or “two-decade” career in activism, that his “work” consists of anything but tweets.
He has claimed to be the founder of the Hampshire Independent Equality Forum shortly after that time. This is not true. He was briefly the chairman in May 2010, before a messy dissolution of the organisation owing to “internal difficulties” and the removal of minutes from its website at Ansar’s insistence.
Community Action Hampshire declined to discuss Ansar when approached. Indeed, they could not put the telephone down quickly enough. Via other means I have obtained a copy of these minutes, which are available to interested journalists on request.
By 2012, Ansar was calling himself the “Muslim Bishop of Southampton” on Twitter, and claiming that he had been offered an Archdeaconship if he converted to Christianity. (He has also claimed that he was invited to become a trustee of a transgender charity, for which there is also no evidence, about which he refuses to answer questions.)
He has claimed to be a “chaplain” in both prisons and colleges and to have worked for PREVENT, a government counter-terrorism initiative. There is no evidence for either claim, and Ansar has declined to provide any when challenged.
Ansar now claims to be a “theologian” and an “educationalist” but there is no evidence he even has a university degree and certainly no formal qualifications or published research in the theory of education or any kind of religion. He has repeatedly refused to respond to requests for information about his academic achievements.
Historian and author Tom Holland has repeatedly challenged Ansar to declare his qualifications. Ansar has responded only by deleting tweets in which he makes educational claims.
Ansar declines to clarify at which university he is a “visiting lecturer,” as his Twitter profile claims. There is no evidence he has ever studied or held any teaching or lecturing position at any school or university.
He claimed in December 2013 to be a “diversity lead in the corporate sector.” But the only qualification Ansar has completed is a “basic training” certificate in equality and diversity four years ago.
He self-published one comment article purporting to represent academic research to a social network in 2013. He published one article in the Guardian newspaper in October of the same year about his experiences with former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson.
Finally, he has repeatedly claimed to be an LGBT activist. There is no evidence he has done any such advocacy, ever.
Extreme opinions and dangerous bedfellows
Mohammed Ansar’s brother, Jabraan Azlam, is currently serving a four-year prison sentence for dealing heroin and crack cocaine. Curiously, Mo Ansar has had business interests with his brother: he was co-director of a company called Securum Limited with Azlam.
The company never filed accounts and was eventually struck off, like every limited company of which Ansar has ever been a director.
There is no evidence that Ansar himself is involved in organised crime, although there are questions about how Ansar can possibly support a wife and six children on television appearance fees, unless he is in receipt of substantial state benefits, of which more later.
Yet he freely expresses opinions that will strike most people as shocking.
Despite presenting himself as the face of moderate Islam in Britain, Ansar supports slavery. On 15 July 2012, Ansar wrote: “If slaves are treated justly, with full rights, and no oppression whatsoever… why would anyone object?”
In a 2013 BBC documentary, in conversation with Maajid Nawaz, chairman of the anti-extremism Quilliam Foundation, Ansar refused to deny that thieves in an Islamic state should have their hands cut off.
He also supports gender segregation at public events and has indicated tacit support for sharia law.
It would appear that his professed “extensive experience in countering extremism” would be better expressed in fact as casual endorsement of extremist opinions: on Twitter, Ansar has explicitly endorsed Hizb ut-Tahrir, the extremist Islamist organisation that gave birth to Anjem Choudary and Omar Bakri and which calls for a global Caliphate.
He has also promoted Hizb ut-Tahrir’s events on social media.
Mohammed Ansar has publicly stated that homosexuality is a sin while praising feminist and Left-wing campaigners he admires.
He has also, bizarrely, spread the pseudo-historical claim that Muslims first colonised the United States of America via his Twitter account. No major historian agrees with this apparently invented historical claim.
On 9 March 2012, he publicly thanked Anas Al-Tikriti of the Muslim Brotherhood, son of wanted man and nephew of Saddam Hussein, Omar Al Tikriti, for the gift of Arabian oudh perfume, which he described as a “simply beautiful gift” from a “dear friend.”
The Muslim Brotherhood’s stated goal is to install the Koran as a “sole reference point” for “family, individual, community and state.”
There is much more here.