Guardian/Channel 4 Promote Smear Against Shawcross mdi-fullscreen

A coordinated Channel 4 / Guardian ‘hit job’ on the new Prevent anti-radicalisation scheme chairman, William Shawcross, spectacularly backfired after it emerged it has the backing of scores of extremists.

In a letter to The Guardian, hundreds of co-signatories have called into question the credibility of the Government’s Prevent review. Guido thinks it’s the credibility of hacks behind this hatchet job that should be under the spotlight. Even a cursory search by Guido suggests some of the names on the list have dodgy form. Signatories include include those who: praise or defended terrorist groups al-Qaeda and Hamas; call for jihad or praise martyrdom; are members of Islamist lobbying groups, including those linked to the Muslim Brotherhood; advocate for an Islamic caliphate; promote the blood libel and call for the destruction of Israel or disseminate antisemitic conspiracy theories.

Guido recognised some of the names on the list of signatories, which is a roll-call of homophobes, terrorist apologists, supporters of armed jihad and radical Islamists. This hit-job on Shawcross is also getting top-billing on Channel 4 News, OFCOM have never tackled the bias of that broadcaster. Roll on privatisation of Channel 4…

Some of the extremist signatories below;

The infamous Prof. David Miller, University of Bristol

  • In 2020, Miller warned that community interfaith work is a “Trojan Horse for normalising Zionism in the Muslim community” and that there is an “Israeli-backed project to normalise Zionism within the Muslim community” via a “project of making chicken soup”.
  • Last month, Miller said that Jewish students at Bristol University were “political pawns” of Israel. He is currently under investigation by the university.
  • Miller has cast doubt over the idea that chemical weapon attacks in the Syrian war have been carried out by Bashar al-Assad and instead questioned where there are links to British intelligence.
  • Miller said Ken Livingstone’s treatment by the Labour Party was “absurd” and a “disgrace” after he was suspended for his comments regarding Israel and Hitler. 

Dr Layla Aitlhadj, Director, PreventWatch

  • Several of the case studies promoted by Prevent Watch to undermine trust within Muslim communities of the Prevent programme have been found to be false or exaggerated.
  • Prevent Watch has worked with pro-Islamist lobby group CAGE and Muslim campaign group MEND, sharing material, and promoting each other’s work on social media. 
  • Prevent Watch has been characterised by IPSO as having sympathy with terrorists after the group published comments on their website in defence of a person convicted under the Terrorism Act 2000, denying that there was any “evidence of terrorist intent or criminal wrongdoing” and expressing sympathy. 

Azad Ali, CAGE, hardline Islamic extremist who supported the “justified” killing of British and American soldiers in Iraq by fellow Muslims.

  • Azad Ali has praised al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki as one of his “favourite” scholars, claiming “I really do love him for the sake of Allah”.
  • Ali has lauded Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh as “truly a servant of Allah” and his preferred choice to lead an Islamic caliphate.
  • Ali lost a libel action after a newspaper described him as a “hardline Islamic extremist who supports the killing of British and American soldiers in Iraq by fellow Muslims as justified”.
  • CAGE is an advocacy group that defends individuals convicted of terrorism offences. Senior figures have praised Islamic militants, advocated for the implementation of Islamic law in the UK, and refused to condemn practises such as Female Genital Mutilation and stoning. CAGE director of outreach Moazzam Begg was alleged by the US government to have been a member of al-Qaeda, who provided financial, material and recruitment support for the terror group.

Dr Asim Qureshi, CAGE

  • Asim Qureshi notoriously described ISIS killer ‘Jihadi John’ as a “beautiful young man”.
  • Qureshi has praised violent jihad, including in countries where British troops were serving, at a rally for extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir

Dr Salman Butt, Islam21c

  • Islam 21c is a news and religious affairs website that has published material praising Hamas as “martyrs” and supportive of the Syrian “mujahideen”, specifically including activities undertaken by al-Qaeda.
  • Salman Butt has celebrated Hamas’ capture of an Israeli soldier and encouraged prayers for more soldiers to be kidnapped.

Heena Khaled, Advancing Voices of Women against Islamophobia

  • Khaled has promoted the blood libel, tweeting “They call us savages while they rip our flesh and drink our blood! #gaza #israel #zionist #iraq #afghanistan #syria #war #justice”.
  • Khaled has suggested that “the #holocaust taught no humility to #israel” adding that “they forget who fought for their causes!”

Yusuf Patel, SRE Islamic

  • Yusuf Patel is a former member the revolutionary Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which opposes democracy and believes in inciting military coups in Muslim-majority countries to replace secular government with an Islamic state. Patel featured in a Hizb ut-Tahrir video in September 2019.
  • SRE Islamic campaigns against “the unacceptability of homosexuality which is often portrayed as a lifestyle choice”. SRE Islamic literature has said that children must be taught that relationships outside of marriage are forbidden and that gender segregation in public should be the norm.
  • Patel previously ran the Association of Muslim Governors. He invited to seminars Tahir Alam, ringleader of the Trojan Horse plot, in which activists were accused of taking over school governing bodies and seeking to impose a hard-line interpretation of Islam on secular schools in Birmingham. 

Salma Yaqoob, Patron, Stop the War Coalition


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