Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Welcome to MCB Watch!

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) was founded in 1997 and since then has grown to be the largest and arguably the most influential Muslim lobby group in the UK. Representing some 300 affiliate organisations, the MCB seeks to lobby parliament and represent Muslims on a wide range of issues. It also claims to be the voice of moderate, reasonable Islam, “working hard for a representative Britain”.

Since its inception, the MCB has also been actively courted by the British Government, who had previously struggled to engage with the Muslim community due to the lack of figureheads or organisations with whom to dialogue. The MCB is proud of its links with government and, post 9/11 and 7/7, these channels of influence are likely to open all the wider.

However, there are also grave problems with the MCB and it is our considered opinion that the time has come for the organisation to be seriously and robustly challenged on a whole range of points. This we will seek to do over the coming weeks and months, drawing on the whole pool of statements, opinions and articles that the MCB has published since its inception eight years ago.

Problem 1

The MCB present themselves as the moderate face of British Islam, yet many of the ideas and doctrines they put forward are actually not that far removed from the radicals. For example, The Quest for Sanity, a book published by the MCB in the aftermath of 9/11, argues in several places for the restoration of the caliphate (= global Muslim state), a similar aim espoused by many radicals. This reduces the MCB’s effectiveness, since it cannot challenge the radicals on ideology or theology, only on methodology.

Problem 2

The MCB consistently engages in sitting on the fence as far as possible when it comes to actually condemning the theology and ideology of the radicals. This not only makes their criticism of the radicals’ methodology look a little hollow, but also results in them appearing to be guilty of double-standards. The most recent example was their failure to actually state that all suicide bombings are un-Islamic, no matter where or when they were carried out.

Problem 3

Within the 300 or so Muslim organisations affiliated to the MCB are many organisations that espouse radical views. The MCB apparently makes no attempt to actually set standards for its affiliates and when challenged on this in the past, has simply ducked the issue. In the next few weeks, we shall shine the light on several examples, including affiliates with extreme Islamist and anti-Semitic leanings. The MCB cannot claim to be moderate whilst lying in bed with radicals.

Problem 4

The MCB consistently refuses to engage in any serious self-critique of Islamic practice or history and this manifests itself in a failure to deal with the theology that drives the radicals. This lack of self-critique also leads to further double-standards. For example, the MCB regularly accuses the West (and especially America) of “colonialist” tendencies in its foreign policy, yet the Muslim world engaged in its own colonial expansion in the seventh and eighth centuries. Furthermore, as David Cook has argued, in the best of the recent scholarly books on jihad, you cannot really hope to challenge the ideology of the radicals properly if you are not prepared to condemn the Islamic conquests with the same force as the Christian churches have repudiated the Crusades.

Problem 5

The MCB’s failure to engage in self-critique spills over into a tendency to engage in ad hominem attacks and its typical methodology is to slander anybody who criticises it or Islam with labels like “Zionist” or “Colonialist” and so forth. Rather than face up to the fact that some critics might have a point and engage in rational debate and argument with them, the MCB regularly takes the path of cheap point scoring. This also extends to its treatment of radical Muslims, whom the MCB often accuse of not being "true Muslims” rather than actually confronting their arguments.

We have other problems and concerns with the MCB, but these will do for now. Over the weeks and months to come we will cast more light into all these areas, quoting from the MCB’s published materials to demonstrate our case at each point. Stick with us and keep reading MCB Watch.


At 4:51 pm, July 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

MCB Watch, thank you for starting this website. It is important to see the big picture.

All this chaos and confusion...it is all part of the plan as laid out in the Qur'an. Dar al-harb, the Land of the Infidels is to be conquered by Jihad (sword, tonque (taqiyya), wealth and breeding/overpopulation) When Islam is weak (i.e. in a minority in the Infidel land), taqiyya is necessary and an obligation on all Muslims. They emigrated here because the leaders of the Muslim ummah has directed them to use the West's openness to settle and establish Islam among the Infidels. Peace, the Muslim's peace, will come when al-harb is absorbed into Dar al-Islam, and the world is all Muslim. As a Christian, you can be a dhimmi, convert or be killed. It's all there in the Qur'an.

An excellent place to start is "Islam for Infidels" at jihadwatch.org. This 50 page exceptional treatise by Hugh Fitzgerald will answer all of your questions and give you a 1000 more to ask.


Take care and good luck in your search for understanding why Muslims do what they do.

At 5:28 pm, July 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job you guys. Keep it up,

At 7:28 pm, July 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wake up call - I shall be sure to check back often...

At 9:04 pm, July 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blessings be upon this blog.

At 10:06 pm, July 19, 2005, Blogger MissSippi said...

I have followed the MCB and MAB for about four years now and can give you a number of leads.

1. They have refused to acknowledge Holocaust Rememberance for many years - always citing that it doesn't acknowledge the Palestinian Holocaust (What about the Armenian Holocaust Iqbal-baby)

2. Note that they (or is it MAB) sponsor a Muslim Students visit to Spain (sorry, Al Andalus) to see the former Islamic Calipahte and its mosques at Cordoba and Al Hambra. Two years ago a visit report recorded the tears of teh students when they remembered the days of the Islamic control of Spain. But were gladdened in heart 'when we remembered what Allah has promised us". I believe those comments don't appear any more.

3. Only after Home Office minister Mike O'Brien criticised the MCB for not saying anything about the bombings in Turkey (Day One, Synagogues and people. Day Two HSBC and British Embassy) - did they respond by expressing regret for the bombing of British interests in Turkey. They pointedly did NOT say anything of condemnation of the attacks on the Turkish people because to do so would obviously mean that any condemnation of attacks against synagogues would be missing.

4. The award of a knoighthood to Sacranie has been condemmed by Islamist groups since he will have to kneel before the Queen and adopt a title with a history of being close to Christianity.

5. MCB went to Leeds Grand Mosque to show support and solidarity for the community. But look at the sermon preached at Leeds Grand Mosque in March 2004 at http://www.leedsgrandmosque.org.uk/khutbahs/khutba-20040326.asp.

Note the paragraph: "The assassination of Shaykh Ahmad Yasin reminds you of the treachery of the Jews; their plotting and their scheming. Who tried to kill your Prophet by throwing a rock from the top of the house which the Prophet sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam was sitting in, and who is the one who put poison into the lambs meat which was given to the Prophet sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam? Who whispered to Abu Lu’luah al-Majoosi, who betrayed and killed Amir-ul-Mu’mineen, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, and he was leading the Muslims in Fajr prayer? Who was the one who spread tribulation and dissention and planned the assassination of the Khalifah of the Muslims ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan, who was killed while reading the book of Allah? And who was the one who killed Imam ‘Ali RA while he was on the way to Fajr prayer? And who are the ones today who have killed a leader, a Mujahid, after he performed the Fajr prayer? The planning and the actions are the same; it is only the hands and the names that differ."

Does the MCB endorse the views expressed in this sermon?

6. Inyat Buglawala appeared on a Radio Four program to answer if the MCB really condemmed ALL suicide bombings - including Israel. Of course he avoided saying he condemmed it with weasel words. But he came out with an interesting phrase "Jews lives are not MORE valuable that Palestinian lives". He was never asked any question for which this is a logical answer. He was simply comparing the attacks on innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kashmir and Palestine.

If I have time, count me as a strong supporter and a resource.

At 10:52 pm, July 19, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no possible way that it is not an intentional, organized plan to convert the West to Islam from within. No doubt about it. It only takes one side to make a religious war, and they're fighting it. All these other organizations are just fronts that legitimize them for political purposes.

At 12:28 am, July 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have got to read Infiltration. They are weaving themselves into our institutions at a fantastic rate (Saudi sponsered chairs in Islam, in the MI5 and US' FBI and CIA, in the companies that write Mideast history (notice how all those textbooks have an expanding and positive portrayal of Islam). They are cooking on all cylinders and our leaders don't have a clue.

At 12:29 am, July 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me, meant to say burners. Mixed metaphor.

At 3:08 am, July 20, 2005, Blogger jimgoism said...

Keep it up i am also blogging and will check up on you quite often.


Warning my blog is not for the weak.

At 10:35 pm, August 02, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two sources of criticism within the Muslim community vis-a-vis the MCB to check out. Firstly, back issues of Q-News magazine since 1997, but even prior to that look at the activities of the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs (the precusor). The MCB's stalwarts emerged during the Rushdie Affair, reading the various accounts of the Affair (particularly the insider account, M. M. Ahsan and A. R. Kidwai (eds), Sacrilege verses Civility, Leicester 1991) would give some good background; also Malise Ruthven's account. Secondly there is a recent critique in a collection edited by Tahir Abbas (ed.) Muslim Britain (Zed, London, 2005), entitled lobbying and marching, which has something about the formation of the MCB and its lobbying role after 9/11.

I'll help further with proper insider information if I can be reassured that the aim of this blog is to out the hotheads but preserve the institution.

At 6:20 am, August 03, 2005, Blogger MCB Watch said...

I would wholeheartedly agree that the idea or principle behind the MCB is good and laudable; it just needs (a) major reform and (b) the bad apples rooting out. Thanks for the Q News idea, I've got access to a good archive of them. Feel free to send me anything else of interest. Thanks.

At 4:00 pm, August 14, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

5. MCB went to Leeds Grand Mosque to show support and solidarity for the community. But look at the sermon preached at Leeds Grand Mosque in March 2004 at http://www.leedsgrandmosque.org.uk/khutbahs/khutba-20040326.asp.

Interestingly, that page has vanished and been replaced by one fomr 22/7/05.
However, Google has kindly cached the original here:

At 8:08 pm, August 15, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been dreaming of something like this wonderful, vitally needed column to appear. An excellent tool for digging out the enemy and the collaborationists.

At 7:26 pm, August 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding the recent alliance between the MCB and Hizb ut Tahir, here's what a bit of dredging dug up from 2001:
"In an important issue of policy the MCB for the first time took a public stand to confront groups within the community that not only misrepresented the values of Islam but caused ill-will through foolish statements and quixotic behaviour (the Hizb Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroon)."

Who's going backward and who's going forward, I wonder?

At 7:30 pm, August 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wrote:
"Regarding the recent alliance between the MCB and Hizb ut Tahir, here's what a bit of dredging dug up from 2001:
"In an important issue of policy the MCB for the first time took a public stand to confront groups within the community that not only misrepresented the values of Islam but caused ill-will through foolish statements and quixotic behaviour (the Hizb Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroon)."

Who's going backward and who's going forward, I wonder?"
Sorry, forgot to add the url:

At 4:56 pm, August 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Good resource. I've just come across this blog after reading a story about it in the August Freethinker (p. 11, col. 3). Keep up the good work, team.

At 8:41 am, August 20, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You quote Dr muhammad al-Jibaly as saying:

"The disbelievers are misguided, and their ways are based on sick or deviant views concerning their societies, the universe, and their very existence. Their actions frequently reflect their deviant opinions. Why then would anyone ever think of imitating them?"

He can cite plenty of justification for this from the Koran.



At 5:17 am, January 22, 2008, Blogger ds said...

skeptics will have the last laugh!

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