“He who rides the tiger can never dismount” (Chinese proverb)
Jeremy Corbyn, the hard-left leader of the UK’s opposition Labour Party, has well-documented international connections with anti-Western individuals and groups, which include Islamists. These associations have more recently become domestic and of greater significance, due to the Muslim votes that Islamist activists in the UK are able to garner for Corbyn. With such assistance, Labour have held ground in the May 3rd 2018 local elections, consolidating their urban strongholds with an increase of 77 councillors, compared with the Conservative Party losing 33. Although talked down by the mainstream UK media, this modest success does not signal to the party there is much urgent need to address their anti-Semitism problem. If these local election results were translated into general election terms, a hung parliament would be returned, as in the 2017 general election, when Labour won 40% of the vote share and Conservative 42.4%. Such results indicate that the UK is approaching an ideological fork in the road, with an Islamist-backed, hard-left direction becoming a possibility.
Until Corbyn became leader of the Labour Party in 2015, due to more inclusive leadership voting rules instigated by Ed Miliband, he was a fringe figure in the party. Catapulted to power by the infiltration of left wing activists at grassroots level, he has overturned Labour’s previously centrist position and implemented a radical socialist and identity-politics agenda. He is a conviction politician whose views have not been moderated by the complexities of leadership. Under the guise of promoting dialogue with enemies of the UK and its allies, Corbyn has in the past attended events in support of the IRA, has argued that ISIS supporters should not be prosecuted for expressing their “political point of view,” and made the now-notorious statement about his “friends” in Hamas and Hezbollah. Recently, Corbyn has disappointed UK Jewish groups with his perceived feet-dragging over cleaning up the anti-Semitism now embedded in his party; and, in line with his strong anti-Israel bias, has patronized the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign and 20 BDS groups blacklisted and barred from entering Israel for their activities. Corbyn has referred to the prominent member of the Islamic Movement in Israel and virulent anti-Semite, Sheikh Raed Salah, as an “honoured citizen,” and even invited him for tea in the House of Commons. Also regarding the Middle East, Corbyn consistently campaigns against Britain taking military action against Assad, campaigned against RAF strikes which would have given air-support to Kurdish forces defending Kobani, and has equated ISIS in Syria with the US military in Iraq. Not drawing the line at support of inaction, Corbyn spoke at a conference in Cairo in 2003 which resolved to encourage Iraqis to engage in military struggle against coalition forces, and celebrated the Iranian revolution at an event called to “commemorate the auspicious anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran”. Extraordinarily for the leader of the UK’s opposition party, he has presented for a show on Press TV, Iran’s propaganda channel, and has appeared on Russia Today (RT), Russia’s state channel. Furthermore, Corbyn is not offended by the suggestion that neither the killing of bin Laden nor the sentencing of Eichmann were both illegitimate and illegal. In the Manichean world of Corbyn’s imagination, all the aggression and agency lies with an inherently evil West, and the supposedly oppressed “other” is only ever passively wronged and acting in self-defence, never the author of its own imperial ambitions.
With Corbyn’s political CV being thus, many commentators predicted a poor performance for Labour at the 2017 general election and a resulting change of party leadership. However, Labour gained 36 parliamentary seats and Theresa May was only able to form a minority government with the assistance of the small Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from Northern Ireland. Labour’s increase in MPs echoed the 2015 claim of Islamist, Sufyan Ismail, that his organisation, Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), was able to guarantee the vote in 30 electoral districts. He added that MEND was poised to be “kingmaker” by directing the UK’s Muslim voters, with the end of reshaping the UK at policy level. MEND has been dogged by allegations of extremism, as it was when called iEngage, prior to rebranding. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) report on the 2017 general election, while claiming “There is no bloc Muslim vote”, nonetheless estimated 39 constituencies being won for Labour by Muslim voters.
In line with the MCB’s assertion, the received wisdom on the UK political scene is that there is no such thing as a Muslim voting bloc. The race equality think-tank, Runnymede Trust, stated in its 2012 Ethnic Minority British Election Study that the UK Muslim electorate was characterised more by its internal differences — such as ethnicity, class and region — than it was by unifying factors. However, if not quite a “voting bloc”, voting coherence in the UK Muslim community has been evident, with the demographic overwhelmingly voting Labour — although many Muslims turned their back on the party during the Blair era due to the Iraq war, which saw support drop for a period from 75% to 38% of Muslim voters. Lending itself to further coherence has been the manner in which corrupt elements of the Labour Party have operated. In 2004, Labour councillor Shafaq Ahmed was prosecuted for voting fraud in a case the judge said would “disgrace a banana republic”. Ahmed and five accomplices bribed voters, bought votes, impersonated voters and even ran a “vote-forging factory” where they created fraudulent postal votes. Another more recent instance was reported in 2015, when then leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Nigel Farage, complained about irregularities in the postal voting system which produced a 100% return for Labour in one predominantly Muslim constituency.
Islamists have utilized this pattern of electoral fraud to infiltrate the UK’s political system and promote their agenda from within it. In 2015, Lutfur Rahman, the Labour leader of Tower Hamlets council — a district of London — drew on the assistance of the fundamentalist group, Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE). Rahman was dismissed from his post after it was revealed how he had won in the 2010 candidate selection over his only close rival, John Biggs, also of the Labour Party. The case went to the High Court, and in the judge’s concluding comments it was stated Rahman’s win had been secured with the help of the following “corrupt and illegal practices”: the payment of canvassers; the false portrayal of his Labour rival John Biggs as a racist; the allocation of grants in a manner that amounted to bribery; the somewhat arcane offence of bringing “undue spiritual influence” to bear on Muslim voters; and the casting of invalid votes. Labour officials and one of the area’s Labour MPs, Jim Fitzpatrick, accused the IFE of “corrupting” and infiltrating the local Labour Party. The number of Labour Party members in the area had more than doubled, even as Labour membership elsewhere had fallen sharply. Ninety per cent of the new members were “Asian”. Rahman was banned from seeking office again, but it now seems he was at the cutting edge of a new and dangerous phenomenon in UK politics.
The Henry Jackson Society’s 2018 MEND report, Islamists Masquerading as Civil Libertarians, has more recently highlighted the increasingly significant efforts of Islamist activists to court UK politicians of all parties (but particularly Labour) with promises of electoral support from the Muslim voters they seek to organise. Corbyn spoke at a 2017 MEND event in the UK parliament, and it was noted by some commentators that this was in the same time frame he rejected a formal dinner with Benjamin Netanyahu to commemorate the Balfour Declaration. The UK’s rapidly expanding Muslim population has doubled in 10 years, and is rightfully seeking its own interests through the democratic process, but it being influenced at grassroots level by interlinked “extremist” pressure groups such as MEND and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) is problematic. MPACUK (which is endorsed by MEND) is reported to have had direct links with the Corbyn-supporting far-left Momentum group, despite the Islamists being consistently banned by the National Union of Students for their extreme anti-Semitism, once expressed in the slogan “Take your Holocaust then shove it up your ***”. Additionally, founding member of MPACUK, Asghar Bukhari, is alleged to have links with Holocaust denier David Irving. MEND’s aforementioned 2017 invitation to the UK parliament was not hindered by their representative, Azad Ali, previously having proclaimed his “love” for Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Qaeda recruiter, ideologue and regional commander killed in a US drone strike in 2011. Ali has also said that the 2008 Mumbai attacks were “not terrorism”; has justified the killing of British troops and stated that “democracy, if it means at the expense of not implementing the Sharia, of course nobody agrees with that”. Moreover, the terrorist sympathisers at MEND, when known as iEngage, are reported to have had links with the supposedly moderate MCB — the iEngage website is claimed to have been at one point registered to MCB spokesman Inayat Bunglawala. The MCB — cited in the still censored UK government Muslim Brotherhood Review as being supportive of terrorism — has backed Labour for many years now, for largely religio-political reasons. As the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body, the influence the MCB has with UK imams and community leaders is filtered through to ordinary Muslim voters and the choice they make at the ballot box. The MCB urges local religious authorities and community leaders “to remind their mosque congregations on the significance of voting and voter turn-out as an important civic responsibility.” Additionally, they publish a “Manifesto Comparison” serving as a “guideline” for undecided Muslim voters: “a comparison of different party manifestos against issues that affect and concern Muslims.” These issues are: “Religious liberty”, “Bigotry”, “Democracy for all”, “Security and freedom”, “Equality in education”, “Free Palestine” and “Ethical foreign policy”.
It is evident that the promise of a new voting base to replace Labour’s waning white working-class support, combined with Corbyn’s anti-Western instincts, has led him to collude with the likes of MEND. One particularly instructive manifestation of this apparent strategy is the December 2017 launch of the Labour Muslim Network. The event was held on the eve of Hanukkah, the Jewish celebration of the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. The Labour Muslim Network is headed by activist Ali Miliani, who claimed, “Israel has no right to exist,” and has previously had to apologise after suggesting Jewish people are stingy and saying Israel is “a land built on ethnic cleansing.” During the launch, Corbyn thanked the network for its work during the general election, saying:
“A huge thanks to the Network, the way you were able to send volunteers to specific constituencies that were marginals made a huge difference. Constituencies that people were frankly worried about, you went in and knocked on doors returning majorities of many thousands.”
The director of the Labour Muslim Network, Yusuf Hassan, added:
“The Labour Muslim Network is an exciting and thriving organisation, which has at its heart, a vision to support and empower the fastest growing movement this country has seen for generations. A movement that shares a vision that looks to embolden and diversify our Labour movement.”
Corbyn and Miliani then posed for photographs with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell (who in 2015 wielded Mao’s Little Red Book at the Parliamentary dispatch box), Labour MP Naz Shah (who was temporarily suspended from the Labour Party for a post on Facebook suggesting that Israel should be relocated to the United States) and MPs Tanmanjeet Singh Desi, Andy Slaughter, Wes Streeting, Dawn Butler, Karen Buck, Kate Green, Rupa Huq and Afzal Khan (who has also apologised for tweeting during the 2014 Gaza conflict that, “The Israeli government are acting like Nazis in Gaza”). Also present was Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of Hamas-linked Finsbury Park Mosque and Vice-President of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Muslim Association of Britain (MAB).
Although predominately a Labour Party phenomenon, the infiltration of Islamists into the UK body politic crosses party lines. MPACUK stated on the page of its Operation Muslim Vote Map 2017: “MPACUK does not endorse just one party. We want the most ethical MPs for the job to be our representatives — regardless of the party they belong to.” By “most ethical” is presumably meant most in accord with Islamic principles and Islamist politics. It continues, indicating a clear preference for Corbyn’s Labour:
“That being said, Jeremy Corbyn offers a real, ethical alternative to the disastrous national/international policies we have seen enacted under the Conservatives, and it would be a shame if more Muslims did not back him in this election. The difference between him and Theresa May is clear for all to see. There are many constituencies where Muslims can be the deciding vote – but it requires being organised and planning long term to make sure we have the best MPs representing us. We need to move beyond just activating 6 weeks before an election – we need a long term strategy to deal with the political issues our communities face. We hope this tool [the Vote Map] will go some way towards starting some meaningful long-term engagement.”
With the bulk of top-tier career politicians in the UK habituated to thinking in the short term of an election cycle, they are at risk of being out-manoeuvred by Islamists who think in terms of centuries, and battles long forgotten in a complacent Western Europe. The far-left these Islamists have aligned with will be considered by them as little more than “useful idiots”.
“Our campaign to get people registered to vote was general and was across the country. But in terms of constituencies that we are targeting we’re looking at places where there is a sitting Tory [Conservative] MP with Labour in second place and where there is a sizeable Muslim population. So we’re targeting Derby North, Croydon Central and Keighley.”
It would seem that the strategy achieved its objectives, because Labour MPs from the Corbyn wing of the party were returned in all three constituencies. This had particularly far-reaching consequences in the case of Keighley, location of a recent grooming scandal, in which white British children were systematically raped by a gang comprised solely of Muslim men. Then Conservative MP Kris Hopkins used the politically correct euphemism “Asian” to condemn this “sick model of organised groups […] grooming young white girls”; yet was still pilloried for daring to talk about the issue by Nadim, who used Sufyan Ismail’s term “kingmaker” while doing so:
“…Kris Hopkins in Keighley who has a majority of around 3,000 or so and the reason why he won is because the Muslim community wasn’t engaged. But they are kingmakers there and can decide who gets in or out. Hopkins is a deeply offensive man with the comments he’s made about grooming gangs.”
The consequences of unseating an MP who dared to mention the organised, sectarian, sexual exploitation of children is immense — it sets up a situation in which the democratic process is being played to silence concern and debate regarding egregious lawlessness. Corbyn himself did much to suppress this issue when he banished Rotherham MP Sarah Champion from his shadow cabinet for also daring to speak out regarding the grooming which has made her constituency infamous. Corbyn followed Champion’s dismissal with the fallacious claim that there was no “particular problem” with grooming in the British-Pakistani Muslim community. Putting the lie to Corbyn’s claim, the Muslim think tank Quilliam has reported that 84% of grooming convictions are “Asian” men — meaning of predominately Pakistani-Muslim origin.
In addition to intensifying the continuing taboo on discussing the real nature of grooming in the UK, Nadim’s rhetoric also extends to condemning Conservative-voting Muslims who buck the trend he is encouraging:
“They’ve chosen personal benefit and sold out our community and I have no respect for any Muslims who say ‘I support the Conservatives’, given the damage they’ve done over the years. Muslims have been treated with disdain by this government, we are not treated equally or with respect.”
Contrary to the MCB’s (or Runnymede Trust’s) claim that there is no Muslim voting bloc, Nadim asserts “there is such a thing as the Muslim vote” and that Muslims need
“to be politically-engaged and we need to stand up for Muslims here and around the world. But we need to continue engaging even after the election because the key is proactive long-term engagement and work and without that we are going to be in the same situation forever.”
Ultimately, the situation Nadim seeks to change is the entire political landscape and orientation of the UK. Although Corbyn would delight in an (oxymoronically) anti-Western UK foreign policy, he might find key elements of an Islamist social agenda more tricky to digest. If Islamists are permitted by UK authorities to continue fomenting in the country’s fast-growing Muslim population, then these activists will almost inevitably become “kingmaker” in the coming decades. In such a scenario, the Islamist tiger Labour has begun to ride on Corbyn’s watch may prove impossible to safely dismount in the long run. As the Chinese proverb conveys, alliances with dangerous actors become ever more difficult to disengage from; particularly when “dismounting” runs the risk of being eaten.