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Islamic radicals 'infiltrate' the Labour Party
A Labour minister says his party has been infiltrated by a fundamentalist Muslim group that wants to create an “Islamic social and political order” in Britain.
This doesn’t surprise me as I have been able to see this happening in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, of particular interest as it is where my father's family originate and which I know well.
The Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) — which believes in jihad and sharia law, and wants to turn Britain and Europe into an Islamic state — has placed sympathisers in elected office and claims, correctly, to be able to achieve “mass mobilisation” of voters.
Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Jim Fitzpatrick, the Environment Minister, said the IFE had become, in effect, a secret party within Labour and other political parties.“They are acting almost as an entryist organisation, placing people within the political parties, recruiting members to those political parties, trying to get individuals selected and elected so they can exercise political influence and power, whether it’s at local government level or national level,” he said.“They are completely at odds with Labour’s programme, with our support for secularism.”
Mr Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Canning Town, said the IFE had infiltrated and “corrupted” his party in east London in the same way that the far-Left Militant Tendency did in the 1980s. Readers here may remember Mr Fitzgerald’s dismay at being segregated from his wife at a constituent’s wedding last year. Leaked Labour lists show a 110 per cent rise in party membership in one constituency in two years.
In a six-month investigation by this newspaper and Channel 4’s Dispatches, involving weeks of covert filming by the programme’s reporters:
IFE activists boasted to the undercover reporters that they had already “consolidated … a lot of influence and power” over Tower Hamlets, a London borough council with a £1 billion budget.We have established that the group and its allies were awarded more than £10 million of taxpayers’ money, much of it from government funds designed to “prevent violent extremism”.
IFE leaders were recorded expressing opposition to democracy, support for sharia law or mocking black people. The IFE organised meetings with extremists, including Taliban allies, a man named by the US government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and a man under investigation by the FBI for his links to the September 11 attacks.Moderate Muslims in London told how the IFE and its allies were enforcing their hardline views on the rest of the local community, curbing behaviour they deemed “un-Islamic”. The owner of a dating agency received a threatening email from an IFE activist, warning her to close it.
George Galloway, a London MP, admitted in recordings obtained by this newspaper that his surprise victory in the 2005 election owed more to the IFE “than it would be wise – for them – for me to say, adding that they played a “decisive role” in his triumph at the polls.
The IFE has particularly close links to Tower Hamlets council. Seven serving and former councillors said Lutfur Rahman, the current council leader, gained his post with the group’s help. Some said they were canvassed by a senior IFE official on his behalf.
After Mr Rahman was elected, a man with close links to the group, Lutfur Ali, was appointed assistant chief executive of the council with responsibility for grant funding.This was despite a chequered employment record, a misleading CV and a negative report from the headhunters appointed to consider the candidates. The council’s white chief executive was subsequently forced from his post. That stunk to high heaven, although the local paper, the East London Advertiser had to be careful how this was reported. The readers contributing to the letter’s page were in no doubt that Martin Smith was ousted for no good reason.
Since Mr Rahman became leader, more council grants have been paid to a number of organisations which our investigation established are closely linked to the IFE. Funding for other, secular groups (or other religious) was ended or cut. In the borough’s well-known Brick Lane area, council funds were switched from a largely secular heritage trail to a highly controversial “hijab sculpture”, angering many residents who accused the council of “religious triumphalism”. I have not said much here yet about stage two of this scheme, which is the arches; I wrote at some length about stage one, which was the 90 ft minaret (or as the council has it, the steel sculpture, merely shaped like a minaret complete with a crescent on top) erected outside the Mosque.
Mr Rahman refused to deny that an IFE activist had canvassed councillors on his behalf. . . The IFE said it did not seek to influence the council and had not lobbied for Mr Rahman. “If anything, existing members of the Labour Party have joined the IFE, rather than the other way round,” it said.
Either way it is sinister and I am glad that Channel 4 and the Telegraph have picked it up.