Sunday, 8 March 2015

The Muslim Manifesto and Labour's useful idiots

Recently, it had seemed that the spate of idiotic "engagement" between some Labour MPs and far-right Muslim figures had happily died down.

However, as if to prove me wrong, that there is no end to the imbecility of the pro-Palestine brigade, last week the Telegraph reported the launch of a "Muslim Manifesto" in Parliament by Yasmin Qureshi, Andy Slaughter and Gerald Kaufman. These three are well-known apologists for terrorists Hamas, but even the likeable Kate Green, who I met as an activist years ago and have always thought of as quite sensible, was there.

Now, you might argue that a "Muslim Manifesto" is quite a good idea, to reach out to communities. Aside from the jarring fact that it is naked identity polics, lumping Pakistanis, Indonesians and Somalis into one, homogeneous mass, it might at least be classified as anodyne.

But it is not. It is really not.

Because the person launching it is none other than Azad Ali of the awful Islamic Forum Europe (for regular readers, you remember those names on Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman's nomination papers for mayor? Yup, those guys).

Those who recently elected Ali Vice Chair of the increasingly inaccurately-named Unite Against Fascism (UAF), seem not to realise the irony that he is part of an organisation which is clearly of the political far right. The only difference is that it is the Islamist far right, not the National Front or the English Defence League. But the fascistic nature of their thinking is quite the same, as my good comrade Nick Cohen has observed many times.

We might also note that, when the Telegraph's Andrew Gilligan was the subject of a Press Complaints Commission complaint from Lutfur Rahman, the PCC upheld the words "extremist-linked", the extremists in question being, we presume, Rahman's friends at the IFE.

Ali is also a fan of Al-Qaeda recruiter Anwar Al-Awlaki, and much more, as my friends at Harry's Place helpfully summarise here. He is exactly the kind of person Labour politicians should have nothing whatsoever to do with.

So, a few short years after inviting renowned hate preacher Raed Salah to Parliament, this time a similar group invite this deeply unpleasant figure to a parliamentary meeting actually presented by him?

Your actions, Labour Members of Parliament, beggar belief. Trying to make yourselves popular with Muslims in your constituency, should it really need to be spelled out, does not include fraternising with extremists. In fact, it is most likely to alienate many of your constituents. Do you honestly think these clowns are popular with ordinary Pakistani mums and dads, terrified that their sons and daughters might end up fighting jihad in Syria?

What were you thinking? What idiot booked the room? What the hell were you all doing there? In the middle of an election campaign? 

Do you not realise how damaging these things are for the party?

Public sympathy for Islamist apologists is waning, if it was indeed ever there; as evidenced by the sharp public reaction to CAGE's Asim Qureshi last week after an interview by Andrew Neil where he finds it strangely impossible to denounce stoning for adultery.

As the Telegraph piece points out, a government crackdown on extremism is currently being launched, and not before time. 

What Labour absolutely cannot afford to do is find itself on the wrong side of that crackdown.

UPDATE: since this morning, I have discovered the answer to one of my own questions: the meeting was hosted, according to this news report, by disgraced peer Lord Nazir Ahmed (see Centre Lefts passim). Other speakers included Lib Dem MP David Ward, suspended then reinstated by his own party for questionable statements about "the Jews". 

Just in case there were any doubt about the quality of the attendance.

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