One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

BY SHIRAZ MAHER

There’s been some interesting news coming out of Hounslow in recent days. A newly formed group, the Hounslow Muslim Forum (HMF) is due to hold an event on Saturday 11 July discussing the government’s revised counter-terrorism strategy known as ‘Contest 2′.

A quick scan of the groups involved in the HMF revealed Hizb ut Tahrir, the theocratic fascist party seeking to establish a global Caliphate,. Inspector Alan Murphy from Hounslow Police was due to speak but pulled out after HT’s involvement in the HMF was brought to light.

In fact, the Hounslow Chronicle now reports:

Although the original poster for the event ‘Putting Contest 2 in Context’ listed Hizb ut-Tahrir as members of the forum, Mr Chaudhry [chairman of the HMF] added that the controversial group had since been expelled.

That’s a much welcome development. It strikes a blow against HT and its attempts to embed itself within the community by positioning itself among a broader spectrum of groups.

Unfortunately the HMF hasn’t gone far enough.

The event is still scheduled to go ahead with guest speakers including Daud Abdullah, who recently signed a statement implicitly calling for attacks on Royal Navy servicemen and insisting on perpetual war against Israel. Another speaker is Moazzam Begg, the former Guantanamo Bay detainee.

What makes matters worse is that the event is scheduled to take place on council property at Lampton School. Council leader Peter Thompson is now pressuring the school to cancel the event altogether, warning:

In truth the only purpose of the event appears to be an attempt to increase fear and mistrust amongst Muslims in the UK and in our borough.

The use of publicly-owned premises such as your school by groups holding extreme religious, ideological or political views, who aim to create or exploit grievances and community tensions to the detriment of the whole community, should not be permitted.

But it looks like the event will still be going ahead at 7.30 this evening.

The real question for the HMF remains: why is it unwilling to do business with one set of fascists, but not with another?

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