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The hijacking of

British Islam
How extremist literature is subverting mosques in the UK

Denis MacEoin

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Trustees
Charles Moore (Chairman of the Board), Theodore Agnew, Richard Briance, Camilla Cavendish, Richard Ehrman,
Robin Edwards, Virginia Fraser, Lizzie Noel, George Robinson, Tim Steel, Alice Thomson, Rachel Whetstone.
The hijacking of British Islam

About the author

Denis MacEoin is the Royal Literary Fund University. He has also written several
Fellow at the University of Newcastle-upon- books, including Islam in the Modern World
Tyne. He holds MAs from Trinity College, (1983), A People Apart: The Baha'i
Dublin and Edinburgh in English, Persian, Community of Iran in the Twentieth Century
Arabic, and Islamic Studies, and a PhD in (1992), New Jerusalems: reflections on Islam,
Persian (Islamic) Studies from Cambridge. Religious Fundamentalism, and the Rushdie
From 1979-80 he taught English and Affair (1993) and From the Shaykhi
Islamic Civilisation at the Mohammed V Movement to the Babi Religion (forthcom-
University in Fez, Morocco and was later ing). He has also written numerous articles
lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies at in Islamic Studies, and contributed widely
Newcastle University. In 1980 he became to the Encyclopedia Iranica, the Encyclopedia
an Honorary Fellow in the Centre for of Islam, and the Encyclopedia of Islam in the
Middle East and Islamic Studies at Durham Modern World.

It should also be noted that in some
Notes on instances, where English language texts are
being quoted, the quality of the English
Transliteration being cited is not always particularly high;
and Methodology still, the report attempts to stay as faithful
as possible to the original sources.
The different materials featured here have In the pages that follow, several texts are
no systematic approach to the translitera- mentioned more than once. The reason for
tion of Arabic names, titles and terms, this is simple. First, these works are amongst
with the result that some of them occur in the most widely available in many of the
two or three different versions. To avoid mosques surveyed. Second, it allows readers
confusion, a consistent method has - as to move straight to specific locations that
much as possible - been used, while alter- interest them, and to observe in detail what
natives have been shown where necessary. material was found and where.

© Policy Exchange 2007

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Contents

Executive summary 5
Key quotes from the material 9

1 Preface 13
2 Introduction 14

3 A mosque-by-mosque survey 29
London 31
Birmingham 102
North-West England 118
Yorkshire 145
Edinburgh 148
Southern England 150

4 Conclusions and policy recommendations 167

Appendix I: The Publishers 180
Appendix II: Books Featured Here 186
Acknowledgements 202

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The hijacking of British Islam

And if he apostatises after that, his head should Jihad against a tyrant, oppressors, people of
be chopped off, according to the Hadith: bid'ah, or wrongdoers. This type of Jihad is
'Whoever changes his religion, kill best done through force if possible
him'[emphasis added]. [emphasis added], otherwise, by tongue, or
else by abhorring their deeds in one's heart.
Fatawa Islamiyah - Islamic Verdicts, volume 5;
found at the East London Mosque; the London The Islamic Digest of Aqeedah and Fiqh [The Islamic
Central Mosque and Islamic Centre (the ‘Regent’s Digest of Belief and Jurisprudence];
Park Mosque’). found at the Al-Muntada Al-Islami Trust,
west London.

You will not find any confusion in which the In the beginning of the twentieth century, a
Jews did not play a role…Their attempt at movement for the freedom of women was
trying to immerse nations in vice and the launched with the basic objective of driving
spread of fornication. The Jews controlled women towards aberrant ways. This was
this kind of trade and promoted it. They man patronised by Jews and Christians who made
age the bars in Europe and the United States known that their ambition was to lead astray
and in Israel itself. the aliens [sic].

Al-Hadith wa’l-thaqafa al-Islamiyya [Prophetic Tradition Women Who Deserve to go to Hell;
and Islamic Culture] - 1st Grade High School; found at the East London Mosque; and the
found at the King Fahad Academy, west London. Muslim Education Centre, High Wycombe.

Whoever takes part in stoning a married
adulterer, is rewarded for that, and it is not
fitting for anyone to abstain from it if a rul
ing of stoning is issued.

Fatawa Islamiyah - Islamic Verdicts, volume 6;
found at the East London Mosque.

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Executive Summary

This report is the result of a year long On the one hand, the results were reas-
investigation carried out by Policy suring: in only a minority of institutions -
Exchange into the character of the litera- approximately 25% - was radical material
ture currently available in mainstream found. What is more worrying is that these
sites of Islamic religious instruction in the are among the best-funded and most
UK. dynamic institutions in Muslim Britain -
During 2006 and 2007, four Muslim some of which are held up as mainstream
research teams travelled to towns and cities bodies. Many of the institutions featured
across the UK. They visited a large number here have been endowed with official
of important Islamic religious institutions, recognition. This has come in the form of,
including leading mosques, to determine official visits from politicians and even
the extent to which literature inculcating members of the Royal Family; provision of
Muslim separatism and hatred of non- funding; 'partnership' associations; or
believers was accessible in those institu- some other seal of approval.
tions - both in terms of being openly avail- Within the literature identified here, a
able and also being obtainable 'under the number of key themes emerge - many of
counter'. In total, almost 100 sites were which focus around the twin concepts of 'loy-
visited. alty' and 'enmity'. Simply put, these notions
demand that the individual Muslim must not
merely feel deep affection for and identity
Altogether some 80 books and
with, his fellow believers and with all that is
pamphlets were collected for this authentically Islamic. The individual Muslim
report. Thirtyeight (48% of the must also feel an abhorrence for non-believ-
total) were in English. Thirtysix ers, hypocrites, heretics, and all that is deemed
were in Arabic (45%) and six (7%) 'un-Islamic'. The latter category encompasses
in Urdu. those Muslims who are judged to practise an
insufficiently rigorous form of Islam. Much of
the material is thus infused with a strident sec-
This material was then passed to an expert tarianism, in which many Muslims - particu-
academic authority, Denis MacEoin, who larly the very large number of Sufis in this
together with a team of independent country and around the world - are placed
experts, translated it (where necessary) and beyond the pale.
then analysed its content. The result is this More widely, Muslims are urged to sep-
report. It provides excerpts of that material arate themselves from people and things
in easily accessible, reference format - that are not considered Islamic; a separa-
offering a detailed compendium of exactly tion that is to be mental, emotional, and at
what was found and where. The texts pre- times, even physical. Western society, in
sented here have been arranged according particular, is held to be sinful, corrosive
to the locations at which they were discov- and corrupting for Muslims. Western val-
ered. Some of them were available at mul- ues - particularly concerning the position
tiple locations: that is why the reader will and rights of women and in the realm of
encounter several texts more than once. sexuality generally - are rejected as inimical
The end product is the most comprehen- to Islam.
sive academic survey of such literature ever On occasion, this attitude of deep-
produced in this country. rooted antipathy towards western society

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The hijacking of British Islam

can descend into exhortations to violence itual challenges with either an implied or
and jihad against the 'enemies' of Islam. an explicit threat of violence; nor do they
Such instances have been highlighted seek to place the blame for developments
where they occur. Usually, the literature such as birth control on dark conspiratori-
does not go that far, but is no less prob- al forces (such as the notion that contra-
lematic for that. Without condoning or ception is a plot to keep Muslim popula-
inciting terrorism, portions of it can tions low).
sometimes provide a cultural hinterland -
couched in religious terms - into which Extremist literature enjoys a
those who do encourage and conduct vio- potency through its availability in
lence can move. They inculcate disgust
prestigious sites of Islamic reli
for, and separation from, the unbelievers
or 'kuffar', creating an ideological space gious instruction across the UK.
which can be exploited by those who are This makes it a major impedi
prepared to justify and engage in terror- ment to efforts by Muslims to
ism against the West. integrate into mainstream British
society.
According to Deputy Assistant
Commissioner Peter Clarke, Beyond the character of the literature
Head of the Counter Terrorism under focus here, the report also exposes some
Command at New Scotland Yard, of the forces vying for control of Britain's
five of the publications contained mosques: the Jamaat-e-Islami, the Deobandis
and, in particular, the Wahhabites. With
in this report have been found by
regard to the latter, it is clear that the influence
the Metropolitan Police during
of Saudi Arabia is both powerful and malign.
the course of their criminal inves Much of the material featured here is con-
tigations into acts of terrorism nected in some way with the Saudi Kingdom
since 9/11. - whether by virtue of being written by mem-
bers of the Wahhabite religious establishment;
being published and distributed by official, or
We recognise, of course, that hate and semi-official Saudi institutions; or being
separatist literature is not the exclusive pre- found in Saudi-funded, or linked, mosques
serve of Muslims. On the contrary, offen- and schools in this country. For this reason,
sive and troubling material is generated the report argues, there needs now to be a
under the banner of most faiths. However, proper audit of the costs and benefits of the
the hate and separatist literature found in Saudi-UK relationship.
some mosques and reported in these pages This report offers a series of policy recom-
is of a wholly different order from that mendations that might help the Government
which one would expect to find in main- respond to the major problems identified
stream religious institutions of other faiths here. Amongst the key proposals are:
in this country today.
Adultery, apostasy and homosexuality, z Saudi Arabia is the ideological source of
for instance, are deprecated by all the much of this sectarianism - and must be
Abrahamic religions, and many others held to account for it. In particular, it has
besides. But mainstream Christianity and made little progress in halting the export
Judaism, at least as practised in western of such materialss. It must be far more
Europe today, do not respond to these spir- transparent in disclosing the nature of the

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publications it produces - and when, z The Government and other authority
where and why they are sent overseas. figures - including politicians, members
The Kingdom of Saudi Arab bia should of the Royal Family and those in posi-
also be pressed to give full disclosure as to tions of influence more generally - need
the extent and character of the support to set a higher standard for their public
whicch it provides to a range of and partneers and stakeholder organisations.
Islamic institutions in the United They must insist that those Islamic part-
Kingdom. The British Government must ners and stakeholders remove such
demand a far greater level of transparen- extremist literature from their midst,
cy from Saudi charitable institutions even when they did not publish or dis-
operating in thiis country - and these tribute it themselves. The authorities
should be monitored, regulated and held should also urge that umbrella bodies
to public account on a regular basis. must not tolerate such materials ap ppear-
Finally, the public must be told whether ing in locations associated with affiliated
Islamic preachers and teachers in the bodies. For example, the Metropolitan
United Kingdom are graanted diplomatic Police Serviice and the Association of
status, as in the US - and if so, how many Chief Police Officers should reassess their
of them enjoy this. willingness to embrace bodies such as the
Muslim Safety Forum - the self-designat-
z Islamic institutions in the UK must ed 'advisory body… on issues concerning
clean up their act. It is not acceptable Britishh Muslims' - when some of their
that a minority - many of them pur- affiliate organisations have not cleansed
porting to represent mainstream their premises of the literrature featured
British Muslims - should provide a here. The terms of engagement with
home for extremist and separatist liter- these bodies need now to be re-examined
ature. This literature not only con- - and a prroper audit conducted as to what
demns non-Muslim society, but also is to be gained and lost by such engage-
frequently denigrates other Muslims - ment.
those whose standards of Islamic obser-
vance are deemed by the authors to be z The Government and other authorities
insufficientlly pure or rigorous. It thus should reassess whether it is right to place
promotes both Muslim ghettoisation even a measure of responsibility for the
and Islamic sectarianism. Such literaa- future direction of policy towards
ture must immediately be removed Britain's Muslim communities in the
from religious institutions. The institu- hands of groups such as th he MCB and
tions themselves should d be subject to the Islamic Foundation in Markfield,
greater regulation aimed at establishing which are implicated in this report. For
a new 'gold standard' for genuinely instance, th
here needs to be reconsidera-
moderatee Islam. tion of whether the Islamic Foundation is
an appropriate organisation to develop
z Islamic organisations to which the 'leadership' among Muslim communi-
'offending' institutions are currently ties, or whether other, more suitable part-
linked - notably groups such as the ners for Government exist. Establishing a
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) - body as a governmental 'partner' confers
must categorically repudiate the extrem- respectability and legitimacy. Greater
ist, seeparatist and often sectarian material 'due diligence' must be observed with
uncovered in this report and exert pres- respect to those who are to be seen as
sure for change. 'representatives' of British Muslims - and

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The hijacking of British Islam

engagement should be undertaken with z Women in Muslim and other minority
those who encourage an authentically communities must havee their human
moderate form of Islam. rights upheld; consideration should be
given to what steps can be taken to
z The charitable status of institutions that ensure this.. A Royal Commission into
harbour or purvey extremist and sepa- the rights of women from minority
ratist literature must be reviewed and communities is one obvious way of
made subject to possible revocation. It is highlighting the problem. British
unacceptable that institutions that under- Muslim women cannot be consigned
mine community cohesion should bene- to a position of inequality. Nor should
fit from the favourable legal and financial the British Government fail to act
conditions - as well as the prestige and against the oppression of a segment of
status - that charities enjoy. its population - whether th his is 'justi-
fied' on religious grounds or otherwise.
z The problem of Islamic extremism in
mosqques has hitherto been attributed in z Sectarianism cannot be tolerated -
large measure to the predominance of whatever the source. This is directed
non-English speaking imams,, who fail to at all ‘unbelievers’. But, significantly,
communicate with the younger genera- it is also directed at many Mu uslims
tion - leaving the latter vulnerable to the who do not subscribe to Wahhabite
blandishments of extremists. notions of ‘pure’ Islam, including
Consequently, much of Government Sufis and Shi’as. In partticular, it is
policy for countering the radicalisation unacceptable that British school-chil-
proocess operates on the assumption that dren should be subjected to works
there needs to be a significant increase in such as The Protocols of the Elders of
the number of English-speaking imams. Zion - a well-known anti-Semitic for-
Yet, as this report shows an emphasis on gery - and taught that this is a reliiable,
promoting the English language will authentic, historical work. This and
solve little. Much of the offending mate- other such literature should be repudi-
rial revealed in this report is in English ated unreservedlyy and publicly by
and the belief thatt problems can be dealt those who claim to speak for Muslim
with through the promotion of English is communities in the UK.
deeply misleading. It is indicative of a
technocratic approach that fails to tackle z Genuine attempts to establish inter-
the real difficulty: separatist ideology. faith dialogue should be encouraged.
Until thosse particular religio-political For this to be done, it is vital that
doctrines are challenged and defeated, lit- would-be partners in such initiatives
tle meaningful improvemen nt can be 'practise what they preach'. It is hard
achieved. to claim pursuit of a meaningful dia-
logue with other faiths, whilst intoler-
z Islamic schools must be subject to clearer ant and sectarian literature can be
regulation and made part of a genuinelly found on premises. For this reason,
shared system of national education. It is the advocates of dialogue from other
unacceptable that Muslim children in faith groups must perform greater 'due
some areas should receive an inferior diligencce' on their Muslim interlocu-
standard of education. tors.

8
Key quotes from the material

Key quotes from the material

The scholars have mentioned that a person may become apostate for many reasons which can nullify
his faith. These reasons would make someone’s blood permissible to spill [to be killed for apostasy] and
his wealth permissible to be usurped, because he is no longer a Muslim.
Al-‘aqida al-sahiha wa ma yudaduha, wa risalat al-Ma‘iyya [Correct beliefs, their opposite, along
with the treatise of the Divine presence]
Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, west London; Islamic Centre of Edinburgh; Birmingham Centtral
Mosque; Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith (Green Lane Mosque), Birmingham; Madinah Mosque, Oxford

Some Examples of the Methods Employed by Zionism to Accomplish its Goals:
1. Instigating confusion, schemes and conspiracies throughout history […] You will not find any
confusion in which the Jews did not play a role.
2. Their attempt at trying to immerse nations in vice and the spread of fornication. The Jews con
trolled this kind of trade and promoted it. They manage the bars in Europe and the United
States and in Israel itself.
3. Controlling literature and art by spreading the immoral pornographic literature...
4. Controlling the movie industry and art in the western world and elsewhere.
5. Cheating, bribing, stealing, and conning.
[…] The Jews are a people who were moulded with treachery and backstabbing throughout the
centuries, and they do not keep their word nor honour their promise …
Al-Hadith wa’l thaquafa al Islamiyya [Prothetic Tradition and Islamic Culture]
-1st Grade High School Level:
King Fahad Academy, west London

Some Kinds of Women Who Will Go to Hell
1. The Grumbler … the woman who complains against her husband every now and then is one
of Hell. […]
2. The Woman Who Adorns Herself.
3. The Woman Who Apes Men, Tattoos, Cuts Hair Short and Alters Nature […]
4. Women Who Kill Animals and Birds.
There are women who are careless in looking after pets. They neither feed them nor allow
them to look for their food themselves.
Women who Deserve to go to Hell:
East London Mosque; Muslim Education Centre, High Wycombe

It is forbidden for a Muslim woman to marry a Christian man or any other disbeliever….
And when he makes a contract of marriage with her, it must be annulled immediately; and if the wife
knew this [that she had married a Christian] and knew the ruling, she deserves to be chastised as does
the guardian, the witnesses and the registrar, if they knew that. And if she bears children, they follow their
mother in Islam. And if the husband embraces Islam, the contract of marriage should be renewed, after
the truth of his acceptance of Islam has been confirmed, so that it should not be a device (in order to
make the marriage legal). And if he apostatises after that, his head should be chopped off, according to
the Hadith: ‘Whoever changes his religion, kill him’.1
Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Verdicts, volume 5:
East London Mosque; London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre (The Regent’s Park Mosque).
1. Emphasis added.

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The hijacking of British Islam

Those who call for birth control or contraception are a group whose aim by this call is to plot
against the Muslims in general, and against the Arab Muslim community in particular, so that
they are able to colonize the lands and their people.
… birth control is not permissible under any circumstances …
Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Verdicts, volume 5:
East London Mosque; London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre
(The Regent’s Park Mosque)

Whoever takes part in stoning a married adulterer, is rewarded for that, and it is not fitting for
anyone to abstain from it if a ruling of stoning is issued.
Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Verdicts, volume 6:
East London Mosque

The shameful act of sodomy is one of the most repugnant of shameful acts…
It has been reported from the Companions2… that the punishment for one who does that or
allows it to be done to him is that he be killed. Or, to be burnt or to be stoned. Or, to be thrown
from the highest point (mountain, tower, lofty building etc.), then to follow it with stoning.3
Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Verdicts, volume 6:
East London Mosque

Protocols of the Elders of Zion:
It is a secret document which is thought to come out of ‘the conference of Bal.’ It was
revealed in the nineteenth century. The Jews tried to deny its existence, but there is a great
deal of evidence which proves its existence and the fact that its source was indeed the Elders
of Zion. We can summarise the content of the protocols with these points:
1 To shake the foundation of the current world society and its system of governing, in order
to allow Zionism to exclusively rule the world.
2 The destruction of Nationalism and religions, especially the Christian nations.
3 To work towards increasing the corruption of the current governing European regimes, for
Zionism believes in their corruption and elimination.
4 Controlling of media, propaganda, and newspaper venues. Using gold to instigate instabili
ties. Tempting the masses with physical pleasures and spreading pornography.
The indisputable evidence of the truth of the existence of these Protocols and their contents of
the hellraising Jewish plans is: the fact that a lot of the schemes, conspiracies, and instigations
found in it have been implemented. Although it was written in the nineteenth century, it will
become clear to anyone who reads it the extent of how many of its articles have been imple
mented.
Al-Hadith wa’l-thaqafa al-Islamiyya [Prophetic Tradition and Islamic Culture] - 1st Grade
2. The ‘Companions’ are those
of the Prophet. High School:
3. This ruling was echoed by the The King Fahad Academy, London
extremist preacher Abu Usamah
(an American convert) in the
Channel 4 documentary The Jews and the Christians are the enemies of the Muslim, and they will never be pleased
Dispatches: Undercover Mosque.
'Do you practise homosexuality
with the Muslims …
with men? Take that homosexual Al-Hadith [Prophetic Traditions] – 3rd Grade, Intermediate:
man and throw him off the moun-
tain.' For a full transcript of the The King Fahad Academy, London
Dispatches Programme see
‘Undercover Mosques: The
Transcripts’, MPAC-UK, 15
January 2007, available at
http://mpacuk.org/content/view/3
266/34/.

10
Key quotes from the material

Jihad is considered as the peak of Islam, and one of the best acts or worship. Some scholars
went as far as considering it as the sixth pillar of Islam.
[…]
The Kinds of Jihad
[…]
2 Jihad against the unbelievers and the hypocrites. This kind of Jihad may be by heart, or by
abhorring their deeds, by tongue, i.e., by establishing the evidence against them and refut
ing their arguments, or by finance, i.e., by financing da’wah4 programs, or maintaining
those who participate in such programs; and by force.
3 Jihad against a tyrant, oppressors, people of bid’ah5, or wrongdoers. This type of
Jihad is best done through force if possible [emphasis added], otherwise, by
tongue, or else by abhorring their deeds in one’s heart.
Jihad is the best of righteous deeds.
The Islamic Digest of Aqeedah and Fiqh [The Islamic Digest of Belief and Jurisprudence]:
Al-Muntada Al-Islami Trust, west London

We do not forbid a woman to do things outside her house, provided this is in conformity with
the following rules:
1. She must have a need to do these things (or society must need them to be done), provid
ed no man can be found to do them.
2. This must be done after she has completed her housework, which is her basic work.
3. This work must stay within her limitations, such as teaching women, or doctoring or
sick-nursing women, and (must take place) in segregation from men.
Tanbihat ‘ala ahkam takhussu bi’l-mu’minat [Warnings regarding laws related to believing women]:
The UKIM North London Mosque; Birmingham Central Mosque; The Salafi Mosque and Islamic
Centre, Birmingham; Madinah Mosque, Oxford

In the beginning of the twentieth century, a movement for the freedom of women was
launched with the basic objective of driving women towards aberrant ways. This was patron
ised by Jews and Christians who made known that their ambition was to lead astray the aliens
who were very devoted to their religion so that they keep away from their religion and feel shy
to describe its salient features. …
Women Who Deserve to go to Hell:
East London Mosque; Muslim Education Centre , High Wycombe

Islam today, its lands and countries are in a condition known and fully understood to the
Muslims: looted and separated by the hands of the rapists, desired by those who are greedy.
[To the Muslims], jihad is now a dictated obligation and essential necessity. It is upon their
leaders and heads to lead and mobilise them to it. For this they will have the triumph, the glory
and consent in this world, and the reward and heaven in the afterworld…
Minbar al-Jum‘a [The Friday Pulpit]:
The North London Central (‘Finsbury Park’) Mosque

Abiding by the laws which are contrary to Islam and accepting them as superior to Islamic
laws is a rejection of Faith (Kufr).
The Concise Collection on Creed and Tauhid:
The Tauheed Mosque and Islamic Centre, east London
4. Da'wah - proselytising.

5. Bid'ah - innovation.

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The hijacking of British Islam

Congratulating the unbelievers on the occasion of Christmas, or for other occasions is a for
bidden act by consensus as has been related from Ibn alQayyim …

As for congratulating the unbelievers during their religious holiday is forbidden…

Even if they congratulated us during our holidays, we do not congratulate them during theirs,
because theirs are not our holidays and because God is not pleased with their holidays
[…]
For the Muslim to accept their invitation to these events is forbidden, because it is worse than
congratulating them since you are participating with them. It is also forbidden for the Muslims
to imitate the unbelievers by throwing parties during these occasions …
Fatawa wa Adhkar [Religious Edicts and Reminders]:
The Muslim Student Centre, The University of Manchester

… Do we find an example that the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions ever sent any mis
sionary groups in other countries before Jehad [sic] and waited for their reaction to allow or
disallow the missionary work? …In my humble knowledge there has not been a single incident
in the entire history of Islam where Muslims had shown their willingness to stop Jehad just for
one condition that they will be allowed to preach Islam freely …

Aggressive Jehad is lawful even today for the purpose it was lawful in those days [early Islam].
Its justification cannot be veiled only because the peaceloving inventors of Atom Bombs and
Hydrogen Bombs label it as ‘Expansionism’ and resent those who have put the chains of slav
ery around the necks of the people of Asia and Africa. They are still bleeding under those
heavy chains.
Islam and Modernism:
Muslim Education Centre, High Wycombe

12
Preface

Preface

Most readers will be shocked by this agenda infused with hatred, misogyny, vio-
report. However, its contents ought not to lence and anti-semitism.
come as a surprise. Over the past three Much of the offending material con-
years several highly responsible broadcast- tained within these pages hails from Saudi
ers and investigative journalists have Arabia. This in itself calls for a number of
sought to alert the public to the fact that comments. First, comparatively few of the
some of Britain’s mainstream Islamic insti- world’s Muslims – somewhere between one
tutions give cause for concern. Those who and two per cent – are Saudi nationals.
have questioned their integrity or accused Second, many of the latter reject the dis-
them of Islamophobia should now have torted hate-filled version of Islam repre-
second thoughts. The findings presented sented here and will be as distressed by the
here demonstrate unequivocally that sepa- contents of the report as the average
ratist and hate literature, written and dis- English person.
seminated in the name of Islam, is widely Third, because the Muslim World
available in the UK. The report also lends League, departments of the Saudi Arabian
weight to my longstanding conviction that Government and other agencies within the
senior politicians and government agencies Kingdom expend vast sums of money in
too often confer legitimacy on those whose propagating this aberrant ideology, the
credentials are highly suspect. For although report must nevertheless be taken extreme-
offensive material was found in only a ly seriously.
quarter of the places visited, they include Fourth and finally, every cloud has a silver
some of the largest and most prestigious lining: the good news is that the researchers
institutions. who collected the material were all Muslims
A work of this nature is inevitably selec- – members of the silent majority who are suf-
tive. Many of the excerpts are from books ficiently worried about the situation to ren-
and pamphlets that are in other respects der this service. It is my hope that this report
unexceptionable. Nevertheless it would be will galvanise many British Muslims to repu-
wrong to accuse the compilers of bias or diate the kind of material featured here. I
sensationalism. Having scrutinised all the therefore whole-heartedly welcome its publi-
Arabic and English sources that they draw cation as a basis for informed discussion.
on, I can confirm that my choice of pas-
sages would have been much the same as Neal Robinson
theirs. Indeed I venture to suggest that it is Professor of Islamic Studies
a choice that would more or less force itself
on anyone with a genuine concern for har- Neal Robinson holds the chair in Islamic
mony and social cohesion in contemporary Studies at Sogang University in Seoul. He
Britain. was previously Professor of Islamic Studies at
In the pages that follow, there is no the University of Wales, at Lampeter and
desire to impugn Muslims; that was cer- Senior Lecturer in the Department of
tainly not the aim. Rather, this report Theology at the University of Leeds. He is
should be seen as an effort to force an hon- the author, amongst many works of, Islam:
est reappraisal of some of the things that A Concise Introduction (2000), Christ in
are said and done in the name of Islam. It Islam and Christianity (1991) and
is about the abuse and misuse of that reli- Discovering the Qur’an: A Contemporary
gion by those who would propagate an Approach to a Veiled Text (1996).

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 13
The hijacking of British Islam

Introduction

Statement of Purpose Doesn’t it stoke the fires of prejudice?
Doesn’t it paint Muslims as extremists? And,
The aim of this project is to provide as com- in so doing, doesn’t it undermine any
plete a picture as possible of the dispersion progress that has been made to improve
of separatist and hate literature in Islamic relations between non-Muslim society and
institutions across the UK. Until now there the Muslim community?
have been ‘snapshots’ of the reach of such Naturally, I do not believe it does any of
material. These have mostly focused on par- those things, and I know positively that
ticular case studies – whether on particular those were not the aims. The importance of
‘gothic’ hate preachers (such as Abu Hamza, this work, I believe, is that it sheds new light
or Omar Bakri), or on certain mosques on what remains largely unknown territory
(such as the Finsbury Park Mosque in to the average Briton and, indeed, to politi-
North London, or the Sparkbrook and cians. The public is, of course, more attuned
Green Lane Mosques in Birmingham).6 than ever to Islam, even if very few have
Much of this has been the product of high- read the Qur’an or immersed themselves in
ly valuable investigative journalism. Yet, Islamic history, doctrine, and law. Our
there has been little attempt to establish a newspapers carry daily stories about Islamic
fuller picture of what is going on across the issues, some from this country, others from
country in various locations. Neither has abroad; whilst bookshops are filled with
there been any systematic, in-depth aca- tomes offering an ‘introduction to’, or
demic analysis of this phenomenon – in ‘beginners guide’ on Islam.7 This interest is
terms of the patterns of language, the partly driven by a desire to understand why
repeated ideological themes and where the it is that some people commit acts of vio-
6. For more on Abu Hamza and literature can be found. These are the gaps lence and do so in the name of Islam.
the Finsbury Park Mosque, see
Sean O'Neill & Daniel McGrory,
which this report attempts to fill. That said, Politicians, civil servants, the police,
The Suicide Factory: Abu Hamza this study makes no claim to comprehen- social workers, teachers, and many others
and the Finsbury Park Mosque
(London, 2006). For material on
siveness: that would involve a much larger tend to see the British Muslim world in bi-
Omar Bakri, see Panorama: investigation. However, it is the most com- polar terms – a large majority of non-violent
London under attack, BBC One,
10 July 2005; transcript available prehensive examination of this issue by an Muslims on the one hand, and al-Qaeda
at, http://news.bbc.co.uk academic specialist in this country. sympathisers on the other. That is not the
/1/hi/programmes/panora-
ma/4679693.stm. For more on It is hard to conceive that anyone who impression that leaps out of these pages.
the Sparkbrook and Green Lane
reads these pages will not be shocked at The situation has never been that simple,
mosques in Birmingham, see
Dispatches: Undercover much or all of the original content. For and these materials, together with their
Mosque, Channel Four, 15
January 2007. For a full tran-
some, this will be the first time outside a provenance (found in British mosques,
script of the Dispatches pro- history book that they have come across many published by British presses) vividly
gramme see, 'Undercover
Mosques: The Transcripts',
hate-filled language in a religious context; demonstrate the complexity of the current
MPAC-UK, 15 January 2007, the first time they have been exposed to situation. The Muslim population is really a
available at, http://mpacuk.org/
content/view/3266/34/. open calls to hatred against those who do mix of communities, covering a diverse
7. The last four years alone, for not believe in a strict interpretation of a reli- range of backgrounds, lifestyles and beliefs.
instance, have seen a range of
gion; and the first time many will have seen On top of this it is worth emphasising: I
such books appear. See, for
example, Malcolm Clark, Islam themselves described as “infidels” and their have not written the texts presented here.
for dummies (New York, 2006);
Malise Ruthven, Islam: A Very
faith as nothing but a falsification. Neither have words been unjustly torn from
Short Introduction (2004); David Some readers may be asking why a publi- their original context in an effort to distort
Waines, An Introduction to Islam
(2003); Daniel Brown, A New
cation like this is necessary in the first place. their meaning. On the contrary, the aim was
Introduction to Islam (2003) Why draw attention to this material at all? to let the texts speak for themselves as much

14
Introduction

as possible. Naturally, even then, there is - as and Jamaat-e-Islami madrassas, mosques
in any empirical research project - a ques- and seminaries in Pakistan or Bangladesh.
tion of selection; some will undoubtedly ask Of course, hate and separatist literature is
whether the passages that follow are typical not the exclusive preserve of Muslims.
of the entire texts and whether the excerpts Much of the moral indignation found in
under focus here do reflect the wider char- these pages has echoes in the pronounce-
acter of the literature. It is right to say that ments and writings of Christian, Jewish,
large parts of the texts are harmless but that Hindu, and other exponents of traditional
would be to miss the point. There is noth- faiths exposed to and angry about a whole
ing in the harmless text which could justify range of modern liberal values and actions.
or counter the damaging messages which Many of the rulings (no music of any kind,
raise the concerns at the heart of this proj- no singing, fear of the female body) rank
ect. with the type of injunctions found in the
Besides, other more pressing questions West in some sects. Similarly, things like
arise from the material uncovered here: how adultery, apostasy and birth control are
is it possible that, in the year 2007, after staunchly opposed by many within the
many years of multiculturalism and earnest ‘Abrahamic religions’ and others besides. At
endeavour to bring the diverse communities the same time, it is clear that hate and sepa-
of the UK together, one can still enter some ratist literature of the type found in some
major religious buildings and walk away mosques and reported in these pages is of a
with calls for hate-inspired separation? How wholly different order from what one
is it that, after concerted inter-faith initia- expects to find in mainstream religious con-
tives, one can still find texts in too many texts. In too many places, the material runs
mosques that express hatred for Jews and a beyond pure moralising and carries a hint of
sneering disregard for the rights of women – coercion – even at times violence – that is
as well as Muslims who do not subscribe to highly troubling. Whereas all religions iden-
the Wahhabite/Salafi conception of Islam? tify and censure practices they consider ‘sin-
And how is it that these sentiments can be ful’, few nowadays appear to respond to
too often found coupled with exhortations them with calls for punishment in this
to the fighting of jihad? world, rather than the next. Neither do the
It is precisely out of a concern for ordi- ministries of these other religions seek to 8. This is an institution within the
nary British Muslims and their chances of place the blame for these problems on dark Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, dedi-
cated to Islamic propagation
making successful lives and careers in this conspiratorial forces (as exemplified by the (da’wah). It was founded in 1961
country that these undercurrents within notion that birth control is a plot to keep when members of the Muslim
Brotherhood who had been
some Islamic institutions need to be high- Muslim populations low). The purpose exiled from Egypt persuaded the
Saudi king to found a Wahhabite
lighted. Because they lack the skills neces- here is both to single out such material as
institution that might become a
sary to interpret the Qur’an or to explore prohibitive of a serious integrationist rival to Cairo's famous al-Azhar
Mosque and University. It pub-
the vast body of Hadith, untutored agenda on the part of mainstream lishes texts in no fewer than 47
Muslims often find it difficult to repudiate Muslims and also to emphasise the poten- languages. According to one
report, 'Teaching at Medina is
reactionary interpretations. Traditionally, cy that it enjoys through its availability in orthodox and ultra-conservative,
these have been matters best left to the prestigious sites of religious instruction. based on a literal reading of the
Qur'an, a rigid interpretation of
learned. In the past and still today, believers Islamic law, and constant hark-
have been discouraged from personal inter- ing back to the lives and deeds
of the earliest Muslims' (Brian
pretation, especially in matters of religious Methodology Whitaker, 'A tug of war - but will
the rope snap?', The Guardian, 6
law, and this leaves the community out-
October 2001). For further infor-
matched by graduates from the Islamic In November 2006 four research teams mation on it, see the University's
website, available at:
University of Medina8 or scholars from (each comprising two people) were dis- http://www.
Saudi-financed, Deobandi, Tablighi Jamaat patched over a six month period to almost iu.edu.sa/start.aspx?LinkID=11.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 15
The hijacking of British Islam

100 Islamic institutions in a variety of It is worth underlining that in the
locations across Britain. The researchers majority of the almost one hundred
included males and females of varying mosques and other sites visited no offen-
nationalities from outside the UK: sive literature of any sort was discovered.
Pakistani, Somali, Bangladeshi and Arab. This point is worthy of emphasis and
The focus for their research was on sites of should be welcomed: most institutions
religious instruction – which for the most examined for this study were found to be
part meant mosques, but also included free of troubling literature. Nevertheless,
some Islamic schools and Islamic cultural this was clearly far from the case universal-
centres where religious teaching takes ly. In a significant minority of places (26 –
place. The teams’ brief was to investigate almost a quarter of the total) extremist lit-
the extent to which literature inculcating erature was found to be present. In sum,
Muslim separatism and hatred for the 80 books and pamphlets containing ‘offen-
‘non-believer’ was accessible in those insti- sive’ material were collected.
tutions – both in terms of being openly Furthermore, it is important to stress
available and also being obtainable ‘under that it was not within the teams’ remit to
the counter’. search for or identify hate speech in the
On this occasion, Islamic bookshops mosques they visited. Earlier television
were not a focus for the researchers. On the documentaries have already done good
one hand this was simply a function of work in this regard.9 That said, it should
practicality: to have done otherwise would also be emphasised that the discovery of
have entailed vastly increasing the scope of offensive material at a specific institution
this study. More significant, however, was should in no way be taken to mean that
the fact that such an expansion of remit that institution necessarily condones, per-
would have taken this endeavour beyond mits or encourages such literature.
its pre-assigned aim: to identify material Mosques are non-hierarchical institu-
that is too often obtainable in institutions tions, and the degree to which their
where religious instruction is carried out - managements are responsible for the
and which therefore feeds off the commu- presence of the books and pamphlets
nal and theological respectability afforded identified in this report must be consid-
it by such locations. ered on a mosque-by-mosque basis. It is
Institutions were largely selected in not possible without more detailed evi-
locations that form major centres of the dence to draw general conclusions about
Muslim population in the UK; they the connection between a mosque’s man-
included London, Birmingham, Leicester, agement (however constituted) and the
Manchester and its immediate environs presence of hate and separatist literature.
(Bury, Blackburn, Bolton and Rochdale), Still, the acknowledgement of this truth
Bradford, Edinburgh, Glasgow, High scarcely diminishes the significance of
Wycombe and Camberley. Oxford was the discovery of such literature.
also visited as an important site of learn- Moreover, the very fact of it being in the
ing and the home of a large transient pop- form of literature – as opposed to the
ulation – both from within the UK and spoken word – is of particular impor-
abroad. In each area, the teams were tance since it is less susceptible to misin-
instructed to visit centrally-located insti- terpretation, or being taken “out of con-
tutions from across the spectrum of text”; the vexed issue of “context” is far
9. Again here, see Dispatches:
Undercover Mosque, Channel Islamic belief. The full list of towns and more ascertainable on the written page.
Four, 15 January 2007 and institutions visited can be found below Again, I believe these materials speak for
Panorama: London under attack,
BBC One, 10 July 2005. (see pages 28-30). themselves.

16
Introduction

In some cases, this literature was avail- million, this means that some 58 per cent
able openly and could be accessed with of Muslims attend mosques on a regular
little effort. On other occasions, it was basis.12 10. The figure is the one usually
offered by the Muslim Council of
only accessed on a private basis after the The mosque is to Britain’s Muslim com- Britain (MCB). See, for instance,
teams had won the trust of the suppliers. munities what the church, the chapel, and 'MINAB launch - 27th June',
MCB News, 27 June 2006, avail-
In such instances the teams were tasked to the synagogue have been to our Christian able at, http://www.mcb.org.uk/
spend several days, even weeks, in the rel- and Jewish communities. All three share article_detail.php?article=announ
cement-567. Also, the 'Sala@m'
evant mosque/school in order to max- common features. They are places to pray portal of information on Islam in
imise the reach of their investigation. In in, study in (in particular the mosque and the UK (recommended by the
Muslim Council of Britain),
these cases, the presence of this hidden lit- synagogue), marry in (the church and syn- claims to have 1699 mosques in
its database. See, 'Mosque
erature may not always have been known agogue), deliver and hear sermons in, and
database', Sala@m, available at,
to mosque elders, who, at a minimum, are celebrate religious festivals in.13 http://www.salaam.co.uk/mosqu
es/index.php.
clearly in need of official support in the Like many churches and synagogues, the
11. Nicholas Hellen and
task of eliminating such material from mosque can be put to numerous supple- Christopher Morgan, 'Muslims
their places of worship. Sometimes, the mentary uses – beyond its immediate reli- outpace Anglicans in the U.K',
The Sunday Times, 25 January
elders themselves may be in need of gious function. As Sean McLoughlin has 2004, available at,
replacement altogether. written, ‘since the 1980s at least, some http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/
news/uk/article1002743.ece.
Much of the objectionable material mosques in Britain have also functioned as
12. Ibid; for further population
obtained was in Arabic (thirty-six books, advice centres for the unemployed, MPs’ figures, see, 'Muslim Statistics',
Muslim Council of Britain, avail-
or 45% of the total), with some also in surgeries, homework clubs, youth centres, able at, http://www.mcb.org.uk/l
Urdu (six books or 7%). Most startling is elderly day-care centres, and spaces to pre- ibrary/statistics.php.

the fact that the largest category was pare food for communal gatherings such as 13. The Muslim wedding is sim-
ply a civil contract, without
English - with thirty-eight books (or 48%) weddings.’14 We are now entering the days sacraments of any kind. It can
in that language. With regards to the for- of ‘cathedral mosques’, from Birmingham take place in a mosque or else-
where, and may be simple or
mer two categories, these works were sub- Central Mosque to the proposed ‘mega- highly elaborate.
sequently translated into English. These mosque’ which is to be located close to the 14. Sean McLoughlin, 'Muslims
and Public Space in Bradford:
translations were then checked by inde- 2012 Olympics complex in east London;
Conflict, Cooperation and Islam
pendent scholars, led by myself, who were but for the average Muslim, the mosque is as a resource for Integration', p.
3, available at, http://www.euro-
commissioned by Policy Exchange and frequently a smaller and more intimate islam.info/PDFs/seanPuca.pdf.
who also scrutinised and analysed the place, a home church rather than a place for Dr. McLoughlin is part of the
Muslims in Britain Research
totality of the material. communal assembly. ‘More often than not, Network.
they [mosques] are converted nineteenth 15. McLoughlin, 'Muslims and
century terraced houses not to mention for- Public Space in Bradford', p. 2,
at: http://www.euro-
The mosque in British society mer laundries, lorry and brush factories, islam.info/PDFs/seanPuca.pdf,

schools, banks, photography studios, citing the Centre for the Study of
Islam and Christian-Muslim
As should be apparent, whilst the project churches, caravans, post office sorting Relations (CSIC), British Muslims
Monthly Survey, Birmingham,
remit covered sites of religious instruction depots, taverns and betting shops.’15 1993. Dr. McLoughlin is part of
in general, central focus was placed on the Such origins identify Islam as part the Muslims in Britain Research
Network.
mosque. Although there are no official fig- grassroots British urban fabric. The sig-
16. The Commission was first
ures for the number of mosques in the UK, nificance of this is that when the set up under the aegis of Ruth
estimates give a figure of around 1,600.10 Government appointed UK Commission Kelly's Department of
Communities and Local
Attendance rates are high. In 2004, a on Integration and Cohesion (CIC) pre- Government in June 2006. It
British Government source said that some sented its report in June 2007, it placed delivered its final report on 14
June 2007. It is not yet clear
930,000 Muslims attend the mosque once great emphasis on working locally.16 whether there will be a perma-
nent body to carry its work fur-
a week - rather more than the number of ‘Integration and cohesion are crucial at a ther. For further information, see,
Anglicans (916,000) who attend a place of local level,’ wrote CIC chairman, Darra 'Homepage', Commission on
Integration and Cohesion, avail-
worship over the same period.11 Given an Singh. ‘It is at a local level that leaders can able at, http://www.integratio-
estimated UK Muslim population of 1.6 understand in detail the profile of the nandcohesion.org.uk/.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 17
The hijacking of British Islam

population, the changes that are taking Cohesion warned that some ethnic groups
place and the impact of these changes on were leading ‘parallel lives’ and some of
the local economy and services. And most its conclusions are worth quoting at
importantly it is only at this level where length:
specific initiatives can be crafted and
delivered to build better integration and ‘It is unfashionable to speak of loving one’s
cohesion.’17 neighbour, but unless our society can move
Over several years, and especially since at least to a position where we can respect
the events of 7 July 2005, the debate about our neighbours as fellow human beings, we
Islam in Britain has often been framed in shall fail in our attempts to create a harmo
terms of social cohesion. Across the coun- nious society in which conditions have
try there has been growing unease over the changed so radically in the last 40 years.
viability of a society in which citizens live Such respect depends, in part at least, on
parallel lives and deny themselves any sense being open with one another about differ
of a common destiny or purpose. In 2005, ences of belief, tradition and culture. In our
Trevor Phillips, chairman of the anxiety to eliminate the forms of insulting
Commission for Racial Equality, articulat- behaviour and language, we have created a
17. Darra Singh, Chair of the ed a sentiment many of his fellow citizens situation in which most people are now
Commission, in his introduction already harboured: ‘The aftermath of 7/7,’ unwilling to open any subject which might
to Commission on Integration
and Cohesion - Our Shared he said, ‘forces us to assess where we are. possibly lead to uncomfortable differences
Future, (London, 2007), p. 6.
And here is where I think we are: we are of opinion. In this lies a big danger. If neigh
18. For the full text of the
speech see, Trevor Phillips,
sleepwalking our way to segregation. We bours are unable to discuss differences,
'After 7/7: Sleepwalking to seg- are becoming strangers to each other, and they have no hope of understanding them.
regation', Commission for Racial
Equality, 22 September 2005,
we are leaving communities to be Those who wish to cause trouble then have
available at, marooned outside the mainstream.’18 a fruitful field in which to operate. The rec
http://www.cre.gov.uk/Default.as
px.LocID-0hgnew07s.RefLocID- 2005 also saw Coventry University ommendations in our report seek to create
0hg00900c002.Lang-EN.htm. establish its Institute for Community conditions in which all of us can engage in
19. For more on Coventry
Cohesion and in the following year, the open debate on issues which affect us all
University's Institute for
Community Cohesion, see their Government set up the Commission on and when, as is inevitable, disagreements
website, available at,
http://www.coventry.ac.uk/icoco/a
Integration and Cohesion.19 Clearly, the become plain there will then be a real
/264. For more on the subject has moved close to the heart of chance that they can be accepted with
Commission on Integration and
Cohesion, see their website,
British society and near to the centre of mutual respect.’22
available at, 'Homepage', government. In July 2007, the
Commission on Integration and
Cohesion, available at, Government released a report, The Set against this background, it is clearly
http://www.integrationandcohe- Governance of Britain, which included a significant that – as this report will demon-
sion.org.uk/.
focus on achieving a ‘clearer definition of strate – too many mosques are being used,
20. The Secretary of State for
Justice and Lord Chancellor, The citizenship’ and emphasising the ‘core not as centres from which to foster integra-
Governance of Britain, London,
July 2007, pp. 53-8.
democratic values that define what it tion, but as bases for generating Muslim
21. For reports on the race riots,
means to be British’, so as to reinvigorate a separatism.
see, 'In depth: summer of vio- sense of shared national identity.20 Existing research has already drawn
lence', BBC News Online, avail-
able at, http://news.bbc.co.uk/
Such initiatives were clearly not just renewed attention to the possibility that
1/hi/in_depth/uk/2001/sum- knee-jerk responses to the 7/7 bombings. some mosques may be playing a key role in
mer_of_violence/default.stm.
As far back as 2001, in a policy initiative the radicalisation of elements of the
22. Community Cohesion: A
Report of the Independent following the riots in Burnley, Bradford Muslim community. A number of them
Review Team, Chaired by Ted
and Oldham, the then Home Secretary acquired a reputation for extremism in the
Cantle, Home Office, available
at, http://image.guardian.co.uk established a Community Cohesion early years of the new century – most
/sys-files/Guardian/docu-
ments/2001/12/11/community-
Review Team, chaired by Ted Cantle.21 notably the Finsbury Park Mosque (now
cohesionreport.pdf. The team’s report, entitled Community North London Central Mosque), where

18
Introduction

23. For more on Abu Hamza and
the Finsbury Park Mosque, see
Sean O'Neill & Daniel McGrory,
Abu Hamza used to preach and such material there creates particular diffi- The Suicide Factory: Abu Hamza
Birmingham’s Green Lane Mosque, which culties. The truth of this can be seen in the and the Finsbury Park Mosque
(London, 2006). For a full tran-
was the principal subject of a controversial guidelines for ‘activity at religious premis- script of the Dispatches pro-
investigation by the Channel 4 television es’ that have been issued by the Association gramme, see, 'Undercover
Mosques: The Transcripts',
documentary, Dispatches, in January of Chief Police Officer’s ‘National MPAC-UK, 15 January 2007,
2007.23 In the latter instance, undercover Community Tension Team’.27 Therein, available at, http://mpacuk.org/
content/view/3266/34/.
reporters were sent into certain mosques, much emphasis is put on the importance
24. Godsiff cited in Adam
where they filmed and voice-recorded of ‘engaging communities’ and taking all Sherwin, 'Muslim outrage at
Channel 4 film prompts new
speaker after speaker uttering hate speech possible steps to avoid causing offence; to inquiry by watchdog', The Times,
against unbelievers, Jews, women, and this end, a premium is placed on ‘commu- 9 August 2007. The programme
led to an investigation by West
homosexuals. The language was extreme, nity consultation’ and avoiding insensitivi- Midlands Police, which conclud-
clear, and, at times, even threatening. ty. Moreover, the section devoted specifi- ed that no offences had
occurred. The police also subse-
Indeed, the local Labour MP, Roger cally to dealing with Islam includes various quently investigated whether the
Godsiff, called for the Director of Public ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’, including – of particular programme makers themselves
had stirred up racial hatred
Prosecutions to take action against ‘words relevance in the present context – the through 'selective editing'.

that were racist and an incitement to mur- instruction, ‘never touch religious artefacts Though they concluded that they
had not, they did decide to refer
der’.24 or books’.28 Channel 4 to Ofcom, claiming
that the programme had 'com-
These issues were given fresh momen- The reality is, therefore, that literature pletely distorted' what the
tum in September 2007, when an investi- kept under the sanction of religious invi- speakers had said - a move that
prompted an outcry in many
gation by The Times revealed that almost olability enjoys a protected status not quarters. For the police state-
half of Britain’s mosques are under the con- available to bookshops or community ment see, 'Joint Statement
regarding Channel 4 Dispatches
trol of the hardline Deobandi sect, many spaces; and this status makes it extremely programme', West Midlands
of whose adherents preach a message of difficult for official agencies to intervene Police, 8 August 2007, available
at, http://www.west-
antipathy for and opposition to western against it. Thus, a key goal for this midlands.police.uk/stechford/new
s.asp?id=2. For more on this
society (for more on the Deobandis, see endeavour is to generate pressure for the
generally, see, Sherwin, 'Muslim
below, page 22).25 flushing out of hate literature and other outrage at Channel 4 film
prompts new inquiry by watch-
It is in this context that the revelations extremist materials from every mosque in dog', The Times, 9 August 2007;
contained in the present report are a cause Britain. At a minimum, these serve as a 'C4 'distorted' mosque pro-
gramme', BBC News Online, 8
for such concern. Recently, disquiet was brake on the efforts made by a majority of August 2007, available at,
voiced over the presence of extremist Muslims to find ways to integrate into http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/eng-
land/west_midlands/6936681.stm
Islamic literature in publicly-funded British society while leaving the most
25. Andrew Norfolk, 'Hardline
libraries in the UK. However, those seek- valuable parts of their heritage intact. Yet takeover of British mosques', The
ing to play down the significance of such more troubling is the possibility that such Times, 7 September 2007. See
also, A. Norfolk, 'The homegrown
findings could argue that stocking all materials can act as a de facto ‘bridge’ to cleric who loathes the British',
The Times, 7 September 2007.
kinds of books, including the ‘weird and radicalisation.
26. James Brandon & Douglas
wonderful’, is part of the raison d’être of It is thus worth considering the likely Murray, Hate on the State: How
libraries; and thus, the discovery of that impact of the following kind of passage: British libraries encourage Islamic
extremism, The Centre for Social
literature in such a setting was scarcely Cohesion (2007), available at,
unexpected.26 By contrast, the same argu- It is mandatory to hate and dislike the http://www.socialcohesion.co.uk/
pdf/HateOnTheState.pdf.
ments cannot be applied here. The fact unbelievers and polytheists, to never ask
27. 'A Guide to Police Activity at
that such literature can actually be them for support against the Muslims, to Religious Premises', National
Community Tension Team,
obtained in mosques cannot be so easily never follow their example in anything, to
Association of Chief Police
set aside; rather, it raises a whole new set never obey them in matters of religion, to Officers (n.d.), pp. 3, 5, 15, 23.

of issues and problems. never imitate them. Actually it is mandatory 28. Ibid.

Precisely because mosques are often to stay far away from them and to separate 29. Abdullah Al-Tarifi, Al-Wala' wa'l-
'ada' fi 'alaqat al-muslim bi-ghayr
treated as almost inviolable sacred spaces, from them, and to do what is necessary in al-muslim, [Loyalty and enmity con-
into which entry by ‘outsiders’ may be cir- terms of jihad and its like against their cerning relations between Muslims
and non-Muslims] (London, 1990).
cumscribed or discouraged, the presence of fighters.29 See pages 31-34.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 19
The hijacking of British Islam

There is a serious body of evidence to sug- ancestors Salaf (‘ancestors’) have a pivotal
gest that terrorists have been influenced by role to play in Islamic conceptions and
what they have read and heard in mosques ideas’; they are thus said to be of the ‘Salafi’
and Islamic centres; it is not just a question trend.34
of ‘self-radicalisation’ on the internet. Both In this context, it is perhaps surprising
Zaccarias Moussaoui, the ‘twentieth that there is a relative dearth of material
hijacker’ linked to 9/11, and Richard Reid, from the forces of political Islamism –
the ‘shoe-bomber’, were radicalised at the which often constitute the most readily-
Finsbury Park Mosque in London in the identifiable form of this brand of Islam.
30. Sean O'Neill & Daniel
McGrory, The Suicide Factory: 1990s.30 Mohammad Atta, the leader of There are, for instance, only two exam-
Abu Hamza and the Finsbury
the 9/11 conspiracy, attended an Islamic ples of Muslim Brotherhood publications
Park Mosque (London, 2006),
pp. 90-2. prayer group at Hamburg University, – a fact which seems to conflict with the
31. Hannah Cleaver, 'Terrorist where he was recruited into terrorism.31 broad range of Brotherhood activity in
was “devout student who want-
ed to work for a charity'', Daily
Elsewhere, pro-jihad material was found in this country. However, the greater orien-
Telegraph, 17 September 2001. buildings used by the Islamic Society at tation of the Brotherhood towards poli-
32. Roya Nikkhah & Andrew London Metropolitan University, despite tics needs to be remembered; as does the
Alderson, 'Inside this building, a
terror suspect ran a London uni- the efforts of the University’s Muslim fact that they, for the most part, do not
versity's Islamic group. Was it chaplain, Sheikh Musa Admani.32 directly control mosques in this country.
also a recruiting ground for “holy
war'', Daily Telegraph, 13 August Indeed, according to Deputy Assistant The same logic explains the total absence
2006.
Commissioner Peter Clarke, Head of the of material from groups such as Hizb ut-
33. Peter Clarke interview with
Policy Exchange 3 October
Counter Terrorism Command at New Tahrir (HT) – an organisation which has
2007. Scotland Yard, five of the publications list- risen to particular prominence recently.35
34. See, Jorgen Nielsen, ed here have been found by the Their material appears to remain external
'Transnational Islam and the
Integration of Islam in Europe', in Metropolitan Police during the course of to mosques and other religious institu-
Stefano Allievi and Jorgen their criminal investigations into acts of tions – available instead in bookshops or
Nielsen, Muslim Networks and
Transnational Communities in terrorism since 9/11.33 in car-parks and other public spaces sur-
and across Europe (Leiden,
rounding them.
2003). The term 'Salafi' refers to
the immediate companions of More significant here, by contrast, is the
the prophet and the first three
generations of Muslim leaders -
Britain’s mosques: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) or ‘Society of Islam’ –
the Salaf, or 'righteous prede- the Salafi challenge the radical Islamist political party founded
cessors' - who are held by
adherents of this view to have
by Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi in 1941 in
practised a purer, more pristine Britain’s mosques are far from homogenous India, which now has branches across
version of the faith.
in character and the results of this investi- south east Asia and beyond. Akin to the
35. Ed Husain's account of his
time as a radical Islamist por- gation throw into sharp relief some of the Muslim Brotherhood, the JI’s primary
trayed his own encounter with HT key forces vying for control of these and objective is the creation of an Islamic polit-
in the UK. See Ed Husain, The
Islamist: Why I joined radical other Islamic institutions: amongst them, ical order. It seeks to accomplish this
Islam in Britain, what I saw inside
and why I left (London, 2007).
the Ahl-e-Hadith, the Deobandis, the through a mixture of education, mission-
Similarly, Shiraz Maher, another Jamaat-e-Islami, the Muslim Brotherhood ary work, political activism, and at times,
former member of HT has spo-
ken out against the organisation.
and the Wahhabites – all of which origi- violent struggle. The JI’s importance in
See, Panorama: How I became a nated in the Middle East or on the Indian southern Asia and elsewhere is overshad-
Muslim extremist, BBC One, 1
October 2007, http://news.bbc.
sub-continent, but now have strong bases owed only by the worldwide legacy of al-
co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panora- within the UK. Taken together, these dif- Mawdudi, one of the most prolific archi-
ma/7016299.stm
ferent strands might be said to form a loose tects of modern Islamist political thought.
36. For more on this, see
Nielsen, 'Transnational Islam and ‘network’ or ‘family’ of movements. In the In spite of the fact that it does not for-
the Integration of Islam in
words of one academic observer they are mally exist in this country, the UK serves
Europe', in Stefano Allievi and
Jorgen Nielsen, Muslim unified by a shared, ‘understanding that as the de facto base of JI outside the
Networks and Transnational
Communities in and across
the Islamic theological and jurisprudential Muslim world and it enjoys close links
Europe (Leiden, 2003), pp. 35-6. foundations laid by the learned and pious with a number of organisations in this

20
Introduction

country.36 The United Kingdom Islamic being largely ‘civilisational’ in nature, focus-
Mission (UKIM), for example, which is ing on the degeneracy and decadance of the
headquartered at the ‘Euston Mosque’ on west.
North Gower Street in London acts as a
representative of the JI in this country - a
fact confirmed by the website of Pakistani Britain’s mosques:
JI.37 the battle for control
Beyond the UKIM, the JI is also repre-
sented in the UK by the Islamic Foundation, In the context of the growing prominence
which is based in Markfield, near Leicester. of those movements that might be
This organisation – which acts as a major described as ‘Salafi’, a perhaps more perti-
publishing, translation and distribution cen- nent division within Britain’s Islamic insti-
tre for Islamic texts in the UK (and pub- tutions – and one often expressed in stark
lished two of the books highlighted in this terms – is that which exists between those
study) – was founded by the current Vice- who adhere to a ‘Deobandi’ form of Islam
President of the Pakistani JI, Professor and as those who sit within the ‘Barelwi’
Khurshid Ahmad in 1973.38 Ahmad also tradition.
served as the Foundation’s first Chairman.39 Both groups are Sunnis of the Hanafi
The Foundation is itself, in turn, linked to legal school and both can have a Sufi ori-
the Markfield Institute of Higher Education entation; yet they differ widely. The
(MIHE), which is described on its website as Deobandi outlook leans more towards a
an ‘affiliated body’ (for more on the MIHE puritanical, Wahhabi-style Islam, though
see pages 183).40 sometimes this is blended with an under-
For these reasons, it is no surprise to stated brand of Sufism. Historically, this
find the writings of the JI’s founder, al- is not unusual: in the past it has been per-
Mawdudi, amongst the works uncovered fectly normal for orthodox Muslims to
in this study – with UKIM’s Cheetham adhere to one or another of the ‘sober’ 37. ‘Basic Facts’. Jammat-e-
Islami Pakistan, available at
Hill Mosque in Manchester, in particular, Sufi orders. In this case, however, http://www.jamaat.org/overview
turning up several of his works. One of al- Deobandism represents something of a 38. 'JI: Leadership: Prof
Mawdudi’s publications was also found at break from the popular Sufism of the sub- Khurshid Ahmad', Jamaat-e-
Islami Pakistan, available at,
the Finsbury Park Mosque which is now continent.41 http://www.jamaat.org/leader-

under the control of the Muslim It is the Barelwi tradition that most ship/pka.html; 'The Islamic
Foundation', The Islamic
Brotherhood-friendly Muslim Association often preserves the continuity of the popu- Foundation, available at,
http://www.islamic-
of Britain (MAB) – an indication of the lar, celebratory, and saint-oriented tradi- foundation.org.uk/.
informal, yet real, connections that have tion that employs Qawwali music to con- 39. Ibid.
been forged between the different branch- vey a passionate, emotional expression of 40. 'Affiliated bodies', The Islamic
es of political Islamism. the faith. Barelwis, like so many Muslims Foundation, available at,
http://www.islamic-
Nevertheless, despite these notable excep- actross the world, visit the shrines of Sufi foundation.org.uk/.
tions, it will become quickly apparent to the saints and celebrate festivals like the Birth 41. For more on this subject see,
Usha Sanyal, Devotional Islam
reader that there is, overall, very little mate- of the Prophet (Mawlid al-Nabi); this is
and Politics in British India:
rial that can be described as overtly ‘political’ controversial among Wahhabites and Ahmad Riza Khan Barelwi and
His Movement, 1870-1920
in character. There is, for instance, hardly Deobandis.42 (Oxford, 1999).
anything here about British foreign policy. It has been argued that the reason for the 42. Ibid
Criticism of UK involvement in the inva- great hostility between the two groups 43. See Peter Hardy, The
sions of Afghanistan and Iraq – commonly derives from their original closeness.43 If Muslims of British India,
Cambridge University Press,
held to be the foremost ‘Muslim grievances’ either party was to grow, it had to exaggerate 1972; Barbara Metcalf, Islamic
– are notable only by their relative absence. its differences with the others. Still, one cru- Revival in British India: Deoband
1860-1900, Princeton University
Instead, the material might be described as cial point of difference between the two Press, 1982.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 21
The hijacking of British Islam

44. For a fuller discussion of this
emergence, see: Charles Allen The Deobandis
'The hidden roots of Wahhabism
in British India Deobandism, one of the most important streams of South Asian revivalism, emerged in nine-
(Reconsiderations)', World Policy teenth century British-controlled India.44 Its name derives from the town of Deoband, located
Journal, 22 June 2005;
Muhammad Yusuf Abbasi, The northeast of Delhi, where the movement’s original madrassa, Darul Uloom (‘The House of
Genesis of Muslim
Sciences’), was founded in 1867.45 Deobandism was partly an anti-colonialist movement and
Fundamentalism in British India,
New Delhi, 1987. partly an ideological rejoinder to the rise of other trends within South Asian Islam, especially
45. The use of the term 'sci- the modernist thinking of Sir Sayed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898), who sought reconciliation with
ences' here, refers to the
branches of Islamic learning.
Britain as well as with western culture, science and materialism.
46. See in general, Dietrich Broadly speaking, Deobandism today contains a traditionalist, culturally-insular component
Reetz, 'The Deoband Universe: as well as a more politically activist part.46 The latter has grown and become more militant over
What Makes a Transcultural and
Transnational Educational the last thirty years. This has been attributed partly to events in South Asia—namely, to the
Movement of Islam?',
jihad to repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s—as well as to the growing influ-
Comparative Studies of South
Asia, Africa and the Middle East, ence of Saudi Wahhabism. Thanks to the windfall of cash Saudi Arabia received following the
Volume 27, Number 1, 2007, pp.
oil crisis of the early 1970s, Wahhabi money has bankrolled the proliferation of Deobandi
139-159.

47. Olivier Roy, 'Islamic
madrassas throughout southern Asia47, which now—according to some estimates—number
Radicalism in Afghanistan and upwards of 15,000.48 Some of these seminaries have served as the ideological incubators of the
Pakistan', UNHCR, 2002, at:
http://www.ecoi.net/file_upload/4
Afghan Taliban movement; of much of the anti-Shi’a and other forms of sectarianism through-
70_1162819345_3c6a3f7d2.pdf. out the region; and of a number of terrorist groups active in the ongoing conflict in Kashmir.49
48. Figure taken from Edward The missionary organisation, Tablighi Jamaat, which is active in the UK and has generated con-
Luce, 'Teachers of the Taliban,'
Financial Times, 16 November, troversy recently over its plans to build a huge mosque in east London close to the 2012
2001,
Olympics site (the ‘mega mosque’), comes directly out of the Deobandi movement.50
http://specials.ft.com/there-
sponse/FT366UGH4UC.html

49. The main Deobandi-influ-
enced terrorist groups include
Harakatul Mujahidin (Movement
The Barelwis
of Holy Warriors), Harakatul As a distinct way of belief and practice, the Barelwi movement emerged during the 1860s in the
Ansar (Movement of Helpers)
and Harakatul Jihad al-Islami north Indian town of Bareilly, where its effective founder, Maulana Ahmad Riza Khan lived and
(Movement for the Islamic Holy wrote.51 The Barelwis were among the first to address the challenge represented by direct British
War) - see Husain Haqqani,
'India's Islamist Groups,' in Hillel rule of India and the collapse of the Mughal Empire. Ahmad Riza (whose writings amount to some
Fradkin, Husain Haqqani, and
one thousand items) had been trained in the traditional Islamic sciences and jurisprudence, but he
Eric Brown, (eds), Current Trends
in Islamist Ideology, Hudson and his followers were also Sufi sheikhs, connected in the main with the Qadiri order. This blend
Institute Vol. 3, available at
http://www.futureofmuslimworld.
of orthodoxy and devotional Sufism served to inculcate a sense of ‘true Islam’ in the growing
com/research/pubID.38/pu Barelwi community.
b_detail.asp. More widely, see
Mumtaz Ahmad, 'Revivalism,
Today, Pakistan remains the heartland of Barelwism. The non-Pashtun population of that coun-
Islamization, Sectarianism and try is predominantly Barelwi and, in particular, the Punjab – the largest province of Pakistan – is
Violence in Pakistan', in Craig
Baxter and Charles Kennedy a key stronghold. In total, according to one estimate, 50% of Pakistan’s population can be cate-
(eds), Pakistan 1997, Westview, gorised as Barelwi, as compared to 20% Deobandi. Yet significantly, these statistics are virtually
1998; Larry Goodson, 'Foreign
Policy Gone Awry: The inverted when the question of control of religious schools (madrassas) is considered: some 64% of
Kalashnikovization and
the total seminaries are run by Deobandis, as against 25% by the Barelwis (with 6% under the
Talibanization of Pakistan', in
Craig Baxter et Charles Kennedy control of the Ahl-e-Hadith movement and 3% per cent operated by various Shi’a organisations).
(eds), Pakistan 2000, Oxford,
2000; Sayyed Vali Raza Nasr,
The rift between Barelwis and Deobandis was reinforced in 1906, when Ahmad Riza issued
'The Rise of Sunni Militancy in a fatwa condemning many of the scholars at Deoband as ‘Wahhabis’.52 In return, the Deobandis
Pakistan: The Changing Role of
Islamism and the Ulama in
protested their status as orthodox Sunni Muslims.53
Society and Politics', Modern
Asian Studies, 34, 1 (January
2000); and Sayyed Vali Raza
Nasr, 'Islam, The State and the groups lies in the extreme veneration given Originally, most mosques in the UK
Rise of Sectarian Militancy in
Pakistan' in C. Jaffrelot (ed.), to the Prophet by the Barelwis, who confer belonged to the Barelwi tradition, but dur-
Pakistan: Nationalism without a
on him a wide range of supernatural attrib- ing the 1970s the balance began to shift.
Nation?, London, 2002.
utes. This change was driven by developments

22
Introduction

far beyond Britain’s shores. The significant nexus. The same is equally true for groups
rises in oil prices in that era endowed Saudi such as the Jamaat-e-Islami and the
50. For more on the 'mega
Arabia with an enormous amount of Muslim Brotherhood, both of which have
mosque', see, Andrew Norfolk,
immediately disposable wealth; much of previously benefited from Saudi largesse.56 'Muslim group behind 'mega
mosque' seeks to convert all
this was made available for the proselytisa- Beyond such organisational links, mean- Britain', The Times, 10 September
tion abroad of the Wahhabite brand of while, it is clear that much of the material 2007; For more on the Tablighi
Jamaat, see Elke Faust, 'Close
Islam that dominates the religious estab- highlighted in the coming pages can be ties and new boundaries: Tablighi
lishment in the Kingdom (for more on connected in some way with the Kingdom Jama'at in Britain and Germany',
in Muhammad Khalid Masud (ed.),
this, see below). As the Saudi purveyors of of Saudi Arabia. Regardless of the language Travellers in Faith: Studies of the
Wahhabism looked around for potential they are written in, many of the publica- Tablighi Jama'at as a Transnational
Islamic Movement for Faith
surrogates and partners, the Deobandis of tions presented here were published by var- Renewal (Leiden, 2000); Marc

Pakistan were an obvious choice – sharing ious departments of the Saudi state, or offi- Gaborieau, 'Transnational Islamic
Movements: Tablighi Jamaat in
as they did the Wahhabite insistence on the cial religious institutions. Some were even Politics,' ISIM Newsletter
(International Institute for the
need to purify Islam through a return to marked ‘not for sale’ – ‘gifts’ to be distrib- Study of Islam in the Modern
what were believed to be the practices of uted at the discretion of the Saudis’ UK World), July 1999, available at:
http://www.isim.nl/files/
the prophet and his companions (the associates. newsl_3.pdf.
Salaf ). For this reason, significant financial The significance of this is that whereas 51. See at length Usha Sanyal,
resources were made available to Deobandi the other sources of this material are organ- Devotional Islam & Politics in
British India - Ahmed Riza Khan
missions in this period - resources that isations, or networks of organisations and his Movement 1870 - 1920,
began to alter the balance of power within (which are often hard to define with any OUP (Delhi, 1996).

52. Some care needs to be taken
Pakistan between the Barelwis and the certainty), the Saudis are the only explicit
with the use of 'Wahhabi' in a
Deobandis. The rise to power there of state actors. The history of the kingdom is North Indian/Pakistani context. It
was the British who introduced
General Zia ul-Haq in 1977, also proved worth recapitulating. In the eighteenth the term at the start of the nine-
crucial: a devout Deobandi, he set about century that two figures, one a religious teenth century for any Islamic
movement that resisted British
the task of marginalising the influence of teacher, the other a war leader, came rule, giving it connotations beyond
the Barelwis in Pakistan.54 together to create a religio-political union those it started with in Saudi
Arabia.
Such trends within Pakistan were subse- of remarkable power and endurance on the
53. On jihadi groups in South Asia
quently refracted into the Pakistani diaspo- Arabian peninsula. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd as a whole, see Husain Haqqani,
'The Ideologies of South Asian
ra in Europe, particularly Britain. The result al-Wahhab (1703-91) had already gained a
Jihadi Groups', in Hillel Fradkin,
was a surge in support here as well for reputation as a rigorous and puritanical Husain Haqqani, and Eric Brown,
(eds.), Current Trends in Islamist
Deobandism. As the recent research by The preacher when he joined forces with a trib- Ideology, Hudson Institute Vol. 1,
Times makes clear, it is increasingly possible al chieftain, Muhammad ibn Sa‘ud (d. pp. 12-26.

to see the Deobandis making much of the 1765). Together, they (and their succes- 54. Husain Haqqani, Pakistan:
Between Mosque and Military,
running for control of British Islam. sors) forged an empire in the sands; one Washington, Carnegie
Certainly, there is little doubt that their that would eventually comprise most of Endowment for International
Peace, 2005; Mumtaz Ahmad,
influence has grown significantly and they the peninsula and one that rested on the 'The Crescent and the Sword:

may be inching towards a majority position intrinsic fusion of religious and political Islam, the Military and Political
Legitimacy in Pakistan, 1977-85',
in terms of their influence over individual authority into a single polity. in The Middle East Journal, vol.
50:3, summer 1996, pp. 372-86.
mosques. Indeed, in The Times’ estimation, Wahhabites has come a long way since
55. Andrew Norfolk, 'Hardline
‘almost half of Britain’s mosques’ are now it first arose in the eighteenth century takeover of British mosques', The
under Deobandi control.55 Bedouin deserts of modern Saudi Arabia’s Times, 7 September 2007.

Najd region. The net result of the teach- 56. On Saudi/Brotherhood links,
see Lorenzo Vidino, 'The Muslim
ing of its founder, ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab, Brotherhood's Conquest of
The Saudi connection was a theology of Islamic revivalism that Europe', Middle East Quarterly,
Winter 2005. On the Jamaat, see
was homicidally opposed to any assumed Sayyed Vali Reza Nasr, The
Vanguard of the Islamic
It is clear that the growing strength of ‘deviations’ from the path of pure Islam.
Revolution: The Jamaat-e-Islami
Deobandism – both in the UK and abroad Wahhabites often refer to themselves as of Pakistan, University of
California Press, Berkeley, 1994.
– owes much to the Deobandi-Wahhabi ‘Salafis’, which reflects their desire to go

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 23
The hijacking of British Islam

back to Islam as they believe it was taught religious claim passes to the rest of the
and practised by the first three genera- country through its chief religious insti-
tions of the faith (the ‘Salaf ’ or ‘righteous tution, the Council of Senior ‘Ulama,60
57. On this controversial issue, see
the recent U.S. State Dept predecessors’). This means, among other whose current chairman, Sheikh ‘Abd al-
Trafficking in Persons Report, June
2006. For a partial transcript, go to:
things, a strict reliance on the Qur’an and ‘Aziz Al al-Sheikh, is also the Grand
http://gvnet.com the Hadith as sources for religious law Mufti of Saudi Arabia. This Council is
/humantrafficking/SaudiArabia-
2.htm. For wider references, go to:
(or, indeed, any law, since there is no where the ruling family meets its clerical
http://gvnet.com/humantraffick- western-style separation between ‘church’ representatives, in weekly meetings. Its
ing/SaudiArabia.htm. Not all the
links in the last group can be veri- and ‘state’ in Islam). remit is wide, running through every
fied. In all likelihood, this form of Islam – aspect of public and private life:
58. The full name is the Committee
considered by many other Muslims to be
for the Propagation of Virtue and
the Prevention of Vice (Hay'at al- sectarian in origin and belief – would have z The judicial system61
amr bi'l-ma'ruf wa'l-nahy 'an al-
munkar).
remained limited to the Arabian peninsula z The implementation of the rules of the
59. Thus in English. His Arabic
or perhaps a small part of it had it not been Islamic Shari’ah
title is: Khadim al-Haramain, for the extraordinary wealth that has z The Religious Guidance Group with
Servant of the two shrines.After
his accession to the throne in accrued to the Kingdom following the dis- affiliated offices all over the Kingdom
1982, King Fahd (1921-2005) covery of vast deposits of oil there in the z Islamic legal education and theology at
adopted the title ‘Servant of the
Twin Holy Enclosures’, a style twentieth century. This financial windfall all levels
carried on by his successor,
has been used to spread Wahhabism far z Religious jurisprudence
King ‘Abdullah.

60. Established in 1971 by King
and wide. Today, the Wahhabite doctrine z Preaching and guidance throughout
Faisal. dominates much of the religious and cul- the nation
61. There is also a Ministry of tural life of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, z The supervision of girls’ education
Justice. See http://www.moj.
gov.sa/layout/default.asp.
and its extremist ideas have penetrated z The religious supervision of all mosques
62. A useful portal to Saudi ministe- much of the Muslim world in significant z The preaching of Islam abroad
rial sites (mainly Arabic, but some in ways. z Continuous scientific and Islamic
English) may be found at
http://www.the-saudi.net/saudi-ara- Since the time of its inception, the research
bia/government.htm.
Saudi state has treated Wahhabism as its z The handling of legal cases in courts
63. Except for arrangements for the
hajj pilgrimage, which are under the
official form of Islam, and made religion according to Islamic law
Ministry of the Hajj. the centrepiece of all the country’s under-
64. See ‘Ministry for Islamic Affairs, takings, especially education. The At the ministerial level, 62 control of
Endowment, Dawa and Guidance’,
Saudi Arabia Information, available
Wahhabite influence in Saudi Arabia is Islamic matters63 in the Kingdom falls
at http://saudiinf.com/main/c6q. all-pervasive, lending the kingdom an under the control of the vast Ministry of
htm.
aura of rigidity and puritanism. Its ethos Islamic Affairs, [Religious] Endowments,
65. 'Homepage', Ministry of
Education, The Kingdom of Saudi is responsible for those aspects of Saudi Da’wah and Guidance.64 This organisa-
Arabia, available at,
Arabia which many westerners and others tion, together with the Ministry of
http://www.moe.
gov.sa/openshare/moe/index.htm. deem most objectionable about the Education,65 the Ministry of Higher
66. 'Homepage', Ministry of Higher Kingdom – its beheadings, its floggings, Education,66 the Council of Senior
Education, The Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia, available at,
its harsh treatment of adulterers, homo- ‘Ulama,67 the Higher Council of Qadis,
http://www.mohe.gov.sa/. sexuals, and dissidents, its denial of and various private enterprises, has
67. On the Council and the 'ulama human rights to women, its dislike for responsibility for religious indoctrina-
in general, see http://countrystud-
ies.us/saudi-arabia/54.htm; see non-Muslim foreigners, its role in slavery tion68 throughout the Kingdom and
also Nawaf E. Obaid, 'The Power of and people trafficking,57 and its control of beyond (see diagram below).
Saudi Arabia's Islamic Leaders',
Middle East Quarterly, 6:3, public mores through the religious police, Using this base the Saudis have
September 1999, at:
http://www.meforum.
the Mutawi’un.58 embarked on two enterprises: to win over
org/article/482. The international authority of the non-Wahhabi Muslims and to convert the
68. 'Indoctrination' is used advisedly. Saudi state hinges to a large extent on the non-Muslim world to Islam. Over the
Religious education in the Kingdom
is entirely Wahhabi in orientation. No
King’s claim to be the Custodian59 of the years – but particularly since the sharp
other religions are taught (except by two Shrines (Mecca and Medina). This increase in energy prices in the 1970s

24
Introduction

way of condemnation), no other
form of Islam is permitted (again
72
which brought the oil-rich Kingdom a vast Qur’an. But Fahd was not content with except by way of condemnation).
Despite its many faults, the following
windfall – the Saudis have spent billions of this. He poured billions into establishing article gives a vivid picture of reli-
pounds on achieving these two aims. mosques and Islamic centres round the gious education in Saudi Arabia:
Khaleed Waleed, 'Is Saudi Arabia
According to Charles Allen, one of the world, a process that picked up speed in the Against the Terrorists?', at:
leading writers on Wahhabism, since 1979 1980s and 1990s.73 Between 1982 and http://www.faithfreedom.org/oped/K
haleedWaleed60503.htm.
the Saudis have committed ‘an estimated 2002, 1,500 mosques, 210 Islamic centres,
69. Charles Allen, God's Terrorists:
seventy billion dollars to Islamist mission- 202 colleges, and 2,000 schools were built The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden
ary work’.69 with Saudi money in non-Muslim countries Roots of Modern Jihad, London,
2006, p. 277.
The Saudi rulers were deeply worried by alone.74 The list of towns and cities that have
70. In cooperation with the Saudi
the Iranian Revolution of 1979, as well as been the recipients of Fahd’s largesse is Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://
www.mofa.gov.sa/detail.asp?InServ
the outbreak of open rebellion among the remarkable: New York, Washington, iceID=2&intemplatekey=MainPage
Shi’a of the oil-rich eastern province of al- London, Toronto, Paris, Rome, Brussels, 71. Gwenn Okruhlik, 'Empowering
Ahsa’ and the seizure of the Grand Mosque Tokyo, Buenos Aires, and many more in Civility Through Nationalism:
Reformist Islam and Belonging in
in Mecca by Saudi radicals in the same every continent. Islamic universities have Saudi Arabia,' in Remaking Muslim
year. King Fahd thus devoted himself to been built from Malaysia to Nigeria, King Politics: Pluralism, Contestation,
Democratization, Robert W. Hefner
the intensification of the Kingdom’s Fahd academies in Washington, London,75 (ed.), (Princeton, NJ: Princeton

Islamic mission at home and abroad.70 He and Bonn, and Institutes of Islamic Studies University Press, 2005), p. 189-212.

72. The King Fahd Complex for
sought ‘to bolster the legitimacy of the rul- in the Americas, Australia, Asia, and Africa. Printing the Qur'an has produced
ing family by appropriating the power of In addition to all this, the Saudis have over 150 million copies of the book
so far, and distributed over 120 mil-
Islam’.71 Vast sums were spent on expan- opened almost 2000 schools in the United lion of them in Arabic and transla-
sion of the Mecca and Medina mosques, States, Canada, Great Britain, France, tion round the world to mosques,
Islamic centres, libraries, and
hundreds of smaller mosques were built Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, schools. See, Syed Husain,
throughout the country, along with Belgium, New Zealand, Spain, Austria, 'Spreading the Message of Islam
Worldwide', Arab News, 22 April
Qur’an schools for all ages, libraries, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, 2005, available at, http://www.arab-
madrassas, Islamic universities, and the Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestinian news.com/services/print/print.asp?
artid=62561&d=22&m=4&y=2005&
huge King Fahd Complex for Printing the Territories, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Japan, hl=Spreading%20the%20Message
%20of%20Islam%20Worldwide.

The Saudi System
King of Saudi Arabia Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia
(King Abdullah bin Abd al-Aziz Council of Senior ‘Ulama (Sheikh ‘Abd al-Aziz Al al-Sheikh)
al-Saud) (Chairman is the Grand Mufti)

Ministry of Islamic
Affairs, Endowment, Ministry of Education
Da’wah & Guidance (Headed by Abdallah bin
(Headed by Sheikh Salih bin Salih al-Ubayd)
‘Abd al-Aziz al-Sheikh)

World Association Muslim World
of Muslim Youth League (MWL)
(WAMY) Al-Haramain Other Saudi International (The Grand Mufti is
(The Minister of
Ministry of Foundation Charities Chairman of
Islamic Affairs is Islamic Relief Constituent Council
Chairman of the Islamic Affairs (The Minister of Islamic Headed by various Organisation of the MWL)
WAMY Secretariat) Departments in Affairs is Chairman of al- members of Saudi
(Headed by
Saudi Embassies Haramain Administrative royal family &
Council) private businessmen) Grand Mufti)

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 25
The hijacking of British Islam

73. Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995
and no longer took an active part in
running the country till his death in Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, promotion and defence of Islam, and at
2005.
Malaysia, Bangladesh, Burundi, Fiji, the same time acted to enhance the Saudi
74. Saudi Publications on Hate
Ideology Invade American
Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Algeria, Nigeria, claim to leadership of the Muslim world.
Mosques, Center for Religious Chad, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, Uganda, In 1975, it set up the World Council of
Freedom: Freedom House, 2005,
available at, http://www.freedom-
Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Brazil, Eritrea and Mosques to coordinate its many da’wah
house.org/uploads/special_report/4 Djibouti.76 In Europe alone, the number of activities. MWL missionaries are trained in
5.pdf. See also, the special edition
of the 'weekly Arab political maga- Saudi-funded Islamic centres has grown a number of Islamic universities in Saudi
zine', Ayn-Al-Yaqeen, 1 March enormously. Here is a list of centres alone: Arabia, Egypt and the Gulf states. The
2002, available at, http://www.ain-
al-yaqeen.com/issues/ League’s London headquarters (also known
20020301/index.htm.
z Islamic Centre of Brussels as the UK ‘Darulifta Office’) is at 46
75. The London academy hit the
news in 2007, when the principal,
z Islamic Centre of Geneva Goodge Street79 and it is closely connected
Sumaya Alyusuf, refused to take z Islamic Centre of Madrid with the ‘Office of Da’wah in Britain’, with
out of circulation textbooks that
had been identified as racist and
z Islamic Centre of London which it shares a building. As shall be seen,
derogatory of other religions. See z Islamic Centre of Edinburgh this site serves as one of the major
Graeme Paton, 'Islamic school rips
pages from textbooks', Daily z Islamic Centre of Rome providers of the material covered here.80
Telegraph, 9 February 2007, at: z Islamic Centre of Zagreb The World Assembly of Muslim Youth
http://www. telegraph.co.uk/
news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/ z Islamic Centre of Lisbon (WAMY) was founded in 1972 and, like
02/08/nmuslim108.xml.
z Islamic Centre of Vienna the MWL, its headquarters are in Saudi
76. See, the special edition of the
'weekly Arab political magazine',
z Islamic Centre of Aachen Arabia, whilst it retains a base in UK - at
Ayn-Al-Yaqeen, 1 March 2002, z Islamic Centre of Munich the same Goodge Street site as the MWL.
available at, http://www.ain-al-
yaqeen.com/issues/20020301/ind
z Islamic Centre of Budapest The WAMY has an extensive outreach pro-
ex.htm. z Islamic Centre of Malmö gramme, with numerous chapters based in
77. For an incomplete list of Islamic z King Fahd Islamic Centre in Malaga77 other countries and affiliations to many
Centres round the world, see
'Support for Mosques and Islamic another Muslim youth organisations across
Centers', King Fahd ibn 'Abd al- The dissemination of Wahhabite Islam the world. It carries out a wide range of
'Aziz, at: http://www.kingfahdbinab-
dulaziz.com/main/m400.htm does not end here, however. The Ministry activities, from camps to conferences, from
78. Not to be confused with the of Islamic Affairs supervises other organisa- the publication of books and brochures to
Pakistani Muslim League.
tions as well, including the Muslim World training and support.81
79. See the entry for the Muslim
World League at Londonline, at:
League (MWL) – an international Muslim Recently, there have been signs of an
http://www.londononline.co.uk/pro- organisation founded in 1962 – and the emerging debate within Saudi Arabia
files/113878/
World Assembly of Muslim Youth about the nature of religious discourse.
80. On the MWL, see Reinhard
Schulze, 'Muslim World League', in (WAMY). Thus, several columnists in al-Watan and
John Esposito (ed.), The Oxford
The Muslim World League (MWL) was al-Sharq al-Awsat have questioned the sec-
Encyclopedia of Islam in the
Modern World, New York and founded in 1962, and its headquarters tarianism and divisiveness of some of the
Oxford, 1995, vol.. 3, pp. 208-10.
were established in Mecca.78 Its head is the country’s religious voices. Subsequently,
81. For more on the WAMY, see,
'Homepage', World Assembly of
Saudi Grand Mufti, and its council mem- the Grand Mufti, Sheikh ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al
Muslim Youth, available at, bers have included well-known fundamen- al-Sheikh has issued an explicit fatwa pro-
http://www. wamy.co.uk/. See
also, 'World Assembly of Muslim
talist thinkers, including Abu al-A‘la al- hibiting Saudi youth going abroad on the
Youth', King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz, Mawdudi from Pakistan, ‘Allal al-Fasi from pretext of fighting jihad.82
available at, http://www.kingfahd-
binabdulaziz.com/main/m5020.htm. Morocco, and a leading Muslim Indeed, since 9/11 the Saudi
82. For information on the fatwa, Brotherhood activist, Sa‘id Ramadan from Government claims to have taken meas-
also See, Tariq Alhomayed,
Egypt. The first Secretary-General was a ures to combat extremism including re-
‘Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti’, al-
Sharq al-Awsat, 2 October 2007, Wahhabite businessman. Although inter- education programmes for convicted
available at, http://www.aaw
sat.com/english/news.asp?sec-
national in intent, the League remains jihadis - dubbed by one British official as
tion=2&id=10405 . For criticism firmly under Saudi control. By bringing all ‘Betty Ford clinics for terrorists’. They have
of the Grand Mufti’s fatwa see
article by Abd al-Bari Atwan in
other international Muslim organisations also retrained and dismissed imams who
al-Quds al-Arabi, 3 October under its wing, the League has sought to have espoused extremism. The Ministry of
2007, available at,
http://www.alquds.co.uk/archive establish itself as the principal body for the Islamic Affairs claims that several hundred

26
Introduction

s/2007/10Oct/03OctWed/qds01.pdf.
See also Y. Admon, ‘Criticism of the
such religious leaders have been sacked objection that was raised against the pro- Religious Discourse in Saudi Arabia’,
MEMRI, 19 October 2007, available
since 9/11 on these grounds. But accord- gramme. As the Foreign Secretary, David at, http://www.memri.org/bin/latest-
ing to an authoritative recent report by the Miliband, has recently confirmed, the news.cgi?ID=IA40007.

United States Commission on Saudi Ambassador in London wrote to his 83. Saudi Arabia, United States
Commission on International
International Religious Freedom, a bi-par- predecessor expressing his concern about Religious Freedom, 18 October
tisan federal body, the Saudis have provid- the content of the Channel 4 programme. 2007, available at, http://www.uscirf.
gov/mediaroom/press/2007/octo-
ed no statistics or detailed information Alongside this, the Embassy issued a ber/SaudiArabia_4.pdf.
about exactly what has been accom- statement in which it took great offence 84. Letter by The Foreign Secretary,
David Miliband, to Paul Goodman
plished.83 with the documentary and denied any
MP: Channel Four Dispatches
An even greater lack of transparency involvement with extremist views. In that Programme: Undercover Mosques, 21
September 2007. The letter also
surrounds the issue of Saudi materials sent statement, they said ‘The Government of states that the then Foreign Secretary,
out of the Kingdom. Indeed, the reassess- Saudi Arabia, working in close co-ordina- Margaret Beckett, responded by
emphasising the independent nature
ment described above does not apply to the tion with the British and other of Channel Four and informed the
flow of propaganda and literature abroad – Governments, has gone to great lengths to Saudi Ambassador that if he wished
to make a complaint about the pro-
and few countries have been more affected combat the type of extremism featured in gramme he would have to go through
by this than the UK. Saudi-backed the programme. The Saudi Arabian the television regulator, Ofcom. See
also, 'Press Release: Dispatches -
mosques and centres thus retain an influ- Government has gone on record a num- Undercover Mosque', Royal Embassy of

ence here that authentically reform-mind- ber of times to make it clear that it does Saudi Arabia - London, 16 January
2007, available at, http://www.mofa.
ed and genuinely moderate Muslims find not support radical or extreme ideology.’84 gov.sa/Detail.asp?InNewsItemID=59235.

hard to combat. That statement and the accompanying 85. It may also be contrasted with
some of the contents of a website
In the wake of the afore-mentioned Saudi protestations of innocence may run by the Saudi Ministry for Islamic
January 2007 broadcast of Dispatches: now be tested against the Saudi publica- Affairs, which has a section extolling
the superiority of jihad and fighters in
Undercover Mosque, the Saudi Embassy in tions reproduced or translated in the the ‘holy war’: http://www.the-saudi.
the UK lent its voice to the chorus of pages that follow.85 net/saudi-arabia/government.htm
and http://www.al-islam.com/eng/

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 27
28
Institutions visited during the conduct of our research

Town Mosque/Institution Address Hate/Separatist Lit Page

London Tauheed Mosque and Islamic Centre (Masjid & Madrassa AlTawheed) 78 High Road, Leyton, London, E10 Y 95
London Al Manaar  The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre 244 Acklam Road, London, W10 5YG Y 31
London AlMuntada AlIslami Trust 7 Bridges Place, Parsons Green, London, SW6 4HW Y 59
London Darul Amaan Islamic Centre (The ‘Colliers Wood Mosque’) 54 Merton Road, London, SW1910A Y 67
London East London Mosque 92 Whitechapel Road, London, E1 1JQ Y 38
The hijacking of British Islam

London The UKIM North London Mosque (The ‘Euston Mosque’) 202 North Gower Street, Euston, London, NW1 2LY Y 68
London King Fahad Academy Bromyard Avenue, London, W3 7HD Y 51
London Muslim World League/Darulifta Office 46 Goodge Street, London, W1T 4LU Y 71
London North London Central Mosque (The ‘Finsbury Park Mosque’) 715 St. Thomas Road, Finsbury Park, London, N4 2QH Y 77
London The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre (The ‘Regent’s Park Mosque’) 146 Park Road, London, NW8 7RG Y 82
London UK Turkish Islamic Trust Mosque and Cultural Centre 915 Shacklewell Lane, Clapton E8 2DY N
London Al Khoei Foundation Chevening Road, Kensal Rise, London, NW6 6TN N
London Walthamstow Jamla Mosque 439451 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7EA N
London Sultan Selim Mosque 277 St Anne’s Road, Tottenham, LondonN15 5RG N
London Darul Uloom Qadria Jalani 1 St Mary Road, Walthamstow, London E17 9RG N
London Manhaj ul Quran International 292296 Romford Road, Forest Gate, London, E7 9HD N
London Islamia School (Cat Stevens) 129 Salusbury Road, London NW6 6PE N
London Minaret 303 North End Road, Fulham, London W14 9NS N
London Fethullah Gulen Centre 30 Drayton Park, London N5 1PB N
London Mosque and Islamic Centre of Brent Cricklewood 33A Howard Road , Cricklewood, London NW2 N
London New Peckham Mosque 99 Cobourg Road, Peckham, London SE5 0HU N
London Muzzamil Mosque 8 Gatton Road , London, Tooting , SW 17 N
London The Sunni Muslim Association 20 Tooting Bec Road, London, SW17 8BD N
London Aziza Mosque 117119 Stoke Newington Road, London N
London Balham Mosque 47a BalhamHigh Road, London SW12 N
London Aga Khan Jamaat Khana and Centre Knightsbridge, London N
High Wycombe Muslim Education Centre (MEC) Totteridge Drive, High Wycombe HP13 6UH Y 154
Camberley The M. A. AlKharafi Islamic Centre (The Camberley Mosque) 282 London Road, Camberley, Surrey GU15 3JP Y 164
Manchester Didsbury Mosque and Islamic Centre of Manchester 271 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2WA Y 118
Manchester The Islamic Academy of Manchester 19 Chorlton Terrace, Manchester, M13 9AJ Y 129
Manchester The Muslim Student Centre, University of Manchester (The ‘McDougall Mosque’) Burlington Street, Manchester Y 132
Manchester Cheetham Hill Road Islamic Centre, Mosque (Markazi Jamia Masjid Khizra) 425 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, M8 OPF Y 120
Manchester Manhaj ul Quran International 122 Withington Road, Whalley Range, Manchester, M16 8FB N
Manchester Manchester Central Mosque 32 Upper Park Road, Victoria Park, Manchester M14 N
Manchester North Manchester Jamia Mosque 3 Woodlands Road, Manchester M8 N
Manchester Qadria Jilania Islamic Centre St Johns Road, Manchester N
Manchester Jamia Rasooliya Upper Chorlton Road, Manchester N
Manchester Jamiiyah al Karamiyah Platt Lane, Moss Side, Manchester M12 N
Manchester Stockport Islamic Centre 2 Longshut Lane West, Shaw Heath, Stockport, SK2 6RX N
Manchester Shahjalal Mosque & Islamic Centre 1 Eileen Green, Manchester, M14 5WE N
The Islamic institutions covered in this report
Town Mosque/Institution Address Hate/Separatist Lit Page

Manchester Werneth Mosque 116 Manchester Rd, Oldham, OL9 7AX N
Manchester Eccles Mosque Trafford Road, Corner of Church Street, Eccles Manchester M30 N
Manchester Darul Uloom Stamford Road , Longsight, Manchester, M13 N
Manchester Masjid e Noor 115  117 Stamford Street, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 9LT N
Bury Noor ul Islam 24 Yarwood Street, Bury, BL9 7AU N
Bury Khizra Mosque 85 Walmersley Rd, Bury, BL9 5AN N
Birmingham The Salafi Mosque and Islamic Centre (The ‘Salafiyah Mosque’) Wright Street, Birmingham, B10 Y 110
Birmingham Markazi Jamiat AhleHadith (Birmingham) 20 Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham, B9 5DB Y 107
Birmingham Birmingham Central Mosque 180 Belgrave Middleway, Highgate, Birmingham, B12 0XS Y 102
Birmingham Central Mosque Ghamkol Sharif 107113 Golden Hillock Rd, Small Heath, Birmingham B10 1DP N
Birmingham Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust 1721 Ombersley Rd, Small Heath, Birmingham, B12 8UR N
Birmingham Idara MaarifeIslam Hussainia Mosque Herbert Rd, Small Heath, Birmingham, B10 0QP N
Birmingham Jameah MohiulIslam Siddiqia 14 Victoria Road, Aston, Birmingham B65 N
Birmingham Jamiah Qadria Naushahiya Centre Sladefield Road, Birmingham N
Birmingham Almi Tanzeem e Ahle Sunnah UK Fosbrooke Road, Small Heath, Birmingham N
Birmingham Faizul Quran Jamia Mosque 62 Wills Street, Lozells , Birmingham B19 N
Birmingham Ghousia Islamic Learning Centre St Pauls Road, Birmingham B11 N
Birmingham The Zawiya Birmingham Jenkins Street, Small Heath, Birmingham, B10 N
Birmingham Madrasa Naqshbandia Nawabia Aslamia Bordesley Green, Birmingham N
Edinburgh The Islamic Centre of Edinburgh 50 Potterrow, Edinburgh, EH8 9BT Y 148
Edinburgh Madarsa Taleem ul Quran 8 Temple Park Crescent, Edinburgh N
Edinburgh Anware Madina Mosque Livingston , Edinburgh, EH54 5DT N
Edinburgh Masjid Anware Madina 11 Pilrig Street, Edinburgh N
Edinburgh Roxburgh Mosque 12 Roxburgh Street, Edinburgh N
Glasgow Madrsah Mosque 3238 Dixon Avenue, Glasgow, G42 8EJ N
Glasgow Manhaj ul Quran International 145 Albert Road, Crosshill, Glasgow, G42 8UE N
Glasgow Jamiya Islamiyah 275 Tantallon Road, Shawlands, Glasgow, G41 3JW N
Blackburn Islamic Educational Society (MasjideNoorul Islam) 108 – 110 Audley Range, Blackburn, BB1 1TF Y 136
Blackburn Jaame Masjid and Madrassah Talimul Islam Cumberland Street, Blackburn, BB1 1JP Y 138
Blackburn Masjide Tawheed al islam 31 Bicknell Street, Blackburn, BB1 7EY N
Blackburn Masjide Al Hidayah 22/24 Whalley Street, Blackburn N
Bradford Markazi Jamiat AhleHadith (Bradford) 5 Camden Terrace, Bradford, BD8 7HX Y 145
Bradford Darul Islam Mosque (Masjid Nimra) 910 Hannover Square, Bradford, BD1 Y 146
Bradford Jamia Masjid 30 Howard Street, Bradford N
Bradford Jamiyat Tabligh Ul Islam 69 Southfield Square, Bradford, BD8 7SN N
Bradford Jamiyat Tabligh Ul Islam Roxy Building, Barkerend Road, Bradford N
Bradford Faizan e Madinah 72 Harris Street, Bradford BD 1 N
Bradford Jamiyat Masjid Tabligh Ul Islam 2 Browning Street, Bradford BD3 9DX N
Bradford Jamiyat Tabligh Ul Islam 8789 Ryan Street, Bradford BD5 7AP N
Rochdale Central Mosque of Rochdale (Markazi Jamia Masjid) Mere Street, Rochdale, OL11 1HT Y 142

www.policyexchange.org.uk
Rochdale Bilal Jamia Mosque Bulwer Street, Rochdale N
Rochdale Ghamgolia Jamia Mosque Derby Street, Rochdale N
Rochdale Urdu Centre 5660 Morley Street, Rochdale N

• 29
Introduction
30
The hijacking of British Islam

Town Mosque/Institution Address Hate/Separatist Lit Page

Rochdale Jamia Masjid Chastiah Milkestone Road, Rochdale N
Rochdale Idira MinhajulQuran Werneth Hall Road, Oldham N
Rochdale Neeli Mosque 3436 Durham Street, Rochdale N
Bolton Zakaria Mosque 20 Peace Street, Bolton, BL3 5LJ N
Bolton Makka Mosque Rishton Lane, Bolton N
Oxford Madinah Mosque (The ‘Stanley Road Mosque’) 2 Stanley Road, Oxford, OX4 1QZ Y 150
Oxford Central Oxford Mosque Manzil Way, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 1HR N
Oxford Asian Cultural Centre Manzil Way, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 1HR N
Oxford Bangladeshi Mosque 57 Cowley Road, Oxford OX4 1HR N
Leicester Leicester Central Mosque Conduit Street, Leicester, LE2 OJN N
Leicester The Islamic Centre 50 St Peters Road, Leicester LE2 1DB N
Leicester Masjid e Bilal Chesterfield Road, Leicester, LE5 5LH N
London

London

Al-Manaar (The Muslim Cultural Office and the Muslim Council of Britain in
Heritage Centre) December 2003.89 More recently, in April
2007, the Centre was the venue for a speech 86. ‘Press Release: Laptop link-
up: A day at the mosque’, Al
Address: 244 Acklam Road, London, W10 5YG by Ruth Kelly, Secretary of State for Manaar: Muslim Cultural
Telephone: 020 8964 1496 Communities and Local Government, in Heritage Centre, 7 December
2006, available at,
Email: info@mchc.org.uk which she announced funding for a new http://www.almanaar.org.uk/pres
Website: http://www.almanaar.org.uk/ Faith and Social Cohesion Unit within the s/view_release.cfm?press_id=9.
Last accessed 10 July 2007.
Charity Commission Registration No: 1059085 Charity Commission.90
87. Paul Tumelty, ‘Reassessing
Local MP: Karen Buck (Labour) The Al-Manaar Centre also runs a the July 21 London bombings’,
Terrorism Monitor, 3, 17
Local Authority: Royal Borough of Kensington and ‘Diversity Awareness Programme’ that sets
(September 2005), Global
Chelsea its aim as promoting ‘understanding and Terrorism Analysis Website,
available at,
Affiliations: Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), respect between communities’. Amongst the http://jamestown.org/terrorism/n
Muslim Safety Forum (MSF) current client groups of the programme are ews/article.php?issue_id=3455;
Abul Taher & John
the Metropolitan Police.91 Elliott,‘Bombing suspect tried to
have moderate imam sacked’,
Sunday Times, 31 July 2005;
Points of Interest ‘Press Release: Statement
Books found here included: issued on behalf of the Muslim
Cultural Heritage Centre’, Al
The Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Manaar: Muslim Cultural
Heritage Centre, 4 August 2005,
Centre in west London plays host to some 1A. Al-wala’ wa’l-‘ada’ fi ‘alaqat al-
available at,
5,000 people a week. According to its web- Muslim bi-ghayr al-Muslim http://www.almanaar.org.uk/pres
s/view_release.cfm?press_id=6.
site, ‘many of these come simply to pray in [Loyalty and enmity concerning Last accessed 10 July 2007.
the mosque that takes up a quarter of the relations between Muslims and 88. ‘Press Release: Statement
building’; however, the centre does also non-Muslims] issued on behalf of the Muslim
Cultural Heritage Centre’, Al
claim to run ‘a wide range of cultural, social Author: Abdullah Al-Tarifi Manaar: Muslim Cultural
and educational projects for both the Publisher: The Office of Da‘wah in Britain Heritage Centre, 4 August 2005,
available at,
Muslim and wider local community’.86 Published: 1411 (1990) http://www.almanaar.org.uk/pres

In 2005, the centre hit the news in the Language: Arabic s/view_release.cfm?press_id=6.
Last accessed 10 July 2007.
wake of the alleged failed bomb plot on This book was also found at The Muslim
89. ‘Building a strong relation-
London’s transport system on 21 July. One World League, London (see pages 71-76) ship with British Muslims’, News:
Foreign and Commonwealth
of the men arrested in relation to that inci- Office, 10 December 2003, avail-
dent (and subsequently convicted of con- This short book, published in Arabic by the able at, http://www.fco.gov.uk
/servlet/Front?pagename=Open
spiracy to murder), Ramzi Mohamed, was Saudi Office for Da’wah in the UK, is devot- Market/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=
linked to the centre by the Evening Standard ed entirely to the issue of separation and the Page&cid=1007029391629&a=K
Article&aid=1070989704700%20
and the Sunday Times; links that were subse- antipathy between Muslims and western &year=2003&month=2003-12-
quently rejected by the centre itself.87 The society. Its title is a variant on the concept of 01&date=2003-12-10. Last
accessed 10 July 2007.
imam of the mosque at the Al-Manaar loyalty and dissociation, which is a regular
90. ‘Winning hearts and minds:
Centre insisted both that he had never feature of this material. working together to defeat
extremism’, Communities and
known Mohamed or his associates and that According to this text: separatism is Local Government, 5 April 2007,
the Centre would never permit extremists to mandatory; jihad is the struggle against the available at, http://www.commu-
nities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1509
use its facilities.88 enemies of Islam (i.e. all unbelievers); 407. Last accessed 10 July
Notable visitors to the Centre have showing favour to non-believers is enough 2007.

included the then Foreign Secretary, Jack to make a Muslim an apostate – they are to 91. ‘Services: Diversity
Awareness’, Al-Manaar - Muslim
Straw, who addressed a reception to mark be hated; it is treachery to join the army of Cultural Heritage Centre, avail-
able at , http://www.almanaar.
the Muslim festival of Eid-al-Fitr, jointly a non-Muslim state; it is recommended
org.uk/services/diversity_aware-
hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth that a conscripted Muslim should do noth- ness.cfm.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 31
The hijacking of British Islam

ing in battle; and to see anything good in disobedience. Everyone who pos
other religions is enough to make a sesses any of these elements must
Muslim an apostate and worthy of death; be hated according to how much he
there are grave dangers in loving non- possesses such elements. There is
believers. Throughout, there is total con- though a general hatred and a spe
tempt for all that is unIslamic. cific hatred. The general hatred is
Here is a typical example: toward unbelievers and heretics and
their likes because of how far they
As for enmity, we already said it is the are from the circle of Islam. The spe
opposite of loyalty. If loyalty means to cific hatred is towards a Muslim who
love, support and follow some and be mixes between good and bad deeds
close with them, enmity has the oppo …
site meaning, shown in terms such as
hatred, no support, and to stay far and The first kind: absolute and limited
separate from something. loyalty/guardianship to unbelievers:

Hatred then is part of enmity; it is the Absolute loyalty: this is to take them
beginning state of enmity and its cause… as guardians in an absolute manner,
through love, closeness, turning to
From the above we can say this: it is them in need, asking for their support
mandatory to hate and dislike the unbe and obeying them in what they like
lievers and polytheists, to never ask and similar things.
them for support against the Muslims,
to never follow their example in any This type of loyalty is general and
thing, to never obey them in matters of absolute and whoever amongst the
religion, to never imitate them. Actually it Muslim practises it, he is considered
is mandatory to stay far away from them an unbeliever even if he claims to be
and to separate from them, and to do a Muslim or practises some of its
what is necessary in terms of jihad and practices.
its like against their fighters. That is what
is intended by enmity, whoever falters in As for limited loyalty: it is to take the
applying enmity becomes a supporter of unbelievers as guardians in limited
unbelievers. If he harbours any love and specific matters: an example is
towards them, or turns to them for help, to accommodate them, to prefer liv
or asks for their support against other ing amongst them to living amongst
Muslims, or obeys them in any legal rul the Muslims, to hold them in high
ings, or imitates any of their specific esteem, to imitate them in things
traits, or takes them as friends … which pertain to them exclusively, to
befriend them, to live with them or to
From such a perspective, even minimal ask for their support against other
regard for non-believers is enough to render Muslims …
a Muslim an apostate:
If any of these forms of loyalty was
Should we then have enmity towards found in a Muslim, it would be con
everyone even if they were nonmilitary sidered a limited or special loyalty.
personnel? The verdict on such loyalty differs
according to the amount of loyalty; it
The believers believe in hating polythe can be considered unbelief or dis
ism, unbelief, atheism, deviation, and obedience.

32
London

Joining a non-Muslim army is considered 2 Working for unbelievers when they
treachery to God, Muhammad, and all humiliate you, even if the work
Muslims. This is particularly important itself is honourable …
as it carries negative implications for the 3 Working under their authority, and
British Army’s efforts to increase the under their leadership without a
number of Muslims within its ranks. legal excuse or any need to do so.
Recruitment campaigns aimed at meet- 4 Bowing for them when you meet
ing this objective are likely to prove futile them, or standing up to them
- and reports indicate that they are when they are sitting.
indeed struggling – if key sections of the 5 Exaggeration while addressing
British Muslim community are being them with honourable adjectives or
taught elsewhere that they cannot join giving them compliments
the British armed forces without compro-
mising their Islamic faith and identity:92 Muslims may not join in any form of reli-
gious practice alongside non-believers, and
The first form of supporting them is must remain in all respects distinct from all
to join the rank of the unbeliever’s others. Although this latter injunction can
army in their war against the have a positive ethical and moral signifi-
Muslims, and their attempt to destroy cance, taken alongside other recommenda-
their strength. This is the worst form tions to separation it may amount to an
of disloyalty, period. It is a great absolute refusal to take on board even the
treachery to Allah, His Prophet and best features of open democratic societies:
the believers. The one who does
such a thing is innocent of the reli participating with [the unbelievers] in
gion and an unbeliever, unless he their religious practices:
was ignorant or compelled to do so.
Like their prayers, chanting, funerals,
Working for non-believers, or under their holy day celebrations, and other reli
authority, is regarded as subjugation, gious activities they have. This kind
which is ruled out. Taken at face value, of participation is taking them as
this greatly reduces the possibilities for guardians no doubt
Muslim employment in the West. Not [...]
accepting the authority of non-Muslims the Muslim must set himself apart
strikes even deeper, since it may easily be from others in all his states, whether
interpreted to mean acceptance of any it is in his beliefs and perceptions, or
form of authority in any non-Muslim in his religious practices and man
state: ners, or in his morals and values, or
in his dealings and relations, or in his
to subjugate oneself to [the unbeliev traditions and culture
ers] may be motivated by respect
and love, or it may be due to a It is considered reprehensible for Muslims to
weakness of a person, or it may be imitate unbelievers even in how they eat,
as a compliment; all these things are sleep or dress. It is not a minor matter, for the
inappropriate for the Muslim. Muslim who imitates non-Muslims brings
92. For a report on the strug-
on himself or herself a charge of apostasy: gling nature of the army recruit-
This subjugation has many forms: ment campaign in this area, see,
for example, Georgina Fuller,
Imitating [the unbelievers] in matters ‘Army fails to attract Muslims in
£90m diversity recruitment
1 Doing humiliating work for the of belief and religious practices is
drive’, Birmingham Post, 10
unbeliever, like serving him. unbelief January 2007

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 33
The hijacking of British Islam

[…] the Muslims and that the Muslims
Imitating them in general appear are not more distinguished.
ance, like in their manners of eating, z Humbling oneself to them in order
sleeping, dressing, and such things, to gain their pleasure and love.
the least we can say in this is it is z To trust them and entrust them
disliked. over the Muslims.
Ideally, dissociation should be wholesale. z Supporting them and aiding them
Severe restrictions are placed on staying to fight the Muslims.
in the ‘Land of Kufr’ (i.e. the West).93 z Imitating them due to being
The only two respectable reasons for impressed with and liking their
doing so are to spread Islam among non- matters of religion and worship
believers and to obtain knowledge that [...]
will benefit Muslims. In any case, any 2. And some types are the greatest
stay should be temporary: of the great sins; a man would
become an unbeliever if he thought
Eight: living amongst them: them permissible. Examples are:
Living in the land of unbelievers for
the purpose of calling them to Allah z Taking them as intimate friends.
is permissible; it is even recommend z Flattering them and humbling one
ed … the same goes for staying for self to them, and being soft with
something which will benefit the their soldiers.
Muslims, like learning a certain type z Exaggeration in complimenting
of knowledge, or a certain trade… them, or raising their status.
z To be under their authority with no
As for staying with them for a worldly need, and with no greater interest
matter it is not permissible except being at stake.
with the ability to openly practise z Participating with them in their reli
one’s religion and as long as his stay gious ceremonies due to being
is temporary. accommodating and not due to
belief
What it means to show love or loyalty […]
towards unbelievers is summed up as fol- z Imitating them in their manners
lows: and practices, like celebrating
birthdays and holidays.
A summary of the judgement regard z Living amongst them if one is
ing loyalty towards unbelievers: unable to openly practise one’s
faith.
1. That some types of it are pure dis
belief, and a stripping of oneself 1B. Al-‘aqida al-sahiha wa ma
away from the religion. Examples of yudaduha, wa risalat al-Ma‘iyya
this type of loyalty are: [Correct beliefs, their opposite,
along with the treatise of the
z Absolute loyalty (guardianship). Divine presence]
z To love them because of their faith Author: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz
and behaviour, to be pleased with Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
93. Traditionally, Wahhabites and them, and to wish that they would Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This book
their associates have divided the
world between two realms, the be victorious over the Muslims. claims to be, ‘A Gift from the Servant of
Realm of Submission/Islam, and
z Obeying them in legal matters. the Two Sanctuaries [King of Saudi Arabia]
the Realm of Unbelief (Kufr) or
War. z To believe that they are equal to on the Occasion of the Opening of King

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Fahd Mosque and Islamic Centre of Muslim becomes an apostate and there-
Edinburgh, Scotland. To be distributed for fore liable to the death penalty:
free, not to be sold’.
Published: 1419 (1998) The scholars have mentioned that a
Language: Arabic person may become an apostate for
This book was also found at many reasons which can nullify his
Birmingham Central Mosque (see faith. These reasons would make
pages 102-106); the Islamic Centre of someone’s blood permissible to spill
Edinburgh (see pages 148-149); [to be killed for apostasy] and his
Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, wealth permissible to be usurped,
Birmingham (see pages 107-109); and because he is no longer a Muslim.
the Madinah Mosque, Oxford (see We will mention some of the worst
pages 150-153) and the most prevalent causes for
turning someone into an apostate
This book, written by one of the leading [...]
Saudi scholars of his day, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin 4. Whoever believes that the guid
‘Abdullah bin Baz (d. 1999), stands as a ance brought by someone other than
statement of Wahhabite belief. It is essen- the Prophet (pbuh)94, is better than
tially a theological treatise on belief and his guidance; or that the laws of
faith, in which the distinction between someone else is better than his laws
the true believer and the non-believer is … is an unbeliever.
clarified. Ten matters (nawaqid) that [...]
invalidate one’s faith are listed within its 9. Whoever believes that some peo
pages. ple have the right not to follow the
The book opens with a discourse on law of Muhammad (pbuh).95
correct belief, which is said to come
through faith in God, his angels, his The author provides a list of things that
books, his prophets, the Day of can nullify someone’s faith. He ends with
Judgement, and fate. The author then the following, ruling out any acceptance
examines the following themes: the sha- of secular legal systems:
hada (the profession of faith); God as the
Creator; God’s names and attributes; Among those who belong in section
belief in angels; belief in the prophets; four (above) are those who believe
belief in the finality of Muhammad (as that the statutes and laws which the
the last prophet); belief in the Last Day; masses (the people) enact are better
and belief in fate. Faith in God is said to than the legal system of Islam, or
involve love for Muslims and hatred of that the Islamic system does not fit
unbelievers. The Sunnis are held up as readily within the twentieth century,
‘the Saved Sect’. Marxism is described as or that it causes divisions among the
a dangerous falsehood. The author also Muslims, or that it is confined to the
condemns Sufism alongside long extinct relationship between a man and his
Muslim sects like the Jahmiyya and Lord without playing any part in other
Mu‘tazila. Stress is laid on the need to aspects of his life. In section four too
worship God alone, and on the means you will find those who think that
available for defeating the enemies of enforcement of God’s decree in cut
94. Pbuh is an abbreviation of
Islam. ting off the hand of the thief or ston the English formula ‘Peace be
In the following passage, the author ing the proven adulterer does not suit upon him’, the standard form
appended to Muhammad’s
declares that by obeying human laws, the present age. In the same catego name.

over and above God’s injunctions, a ry we also find those who believe it is 95. Ibid.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 35
The hijacking of British Islam

permitted to judge by something explained in the infamous forgery, The
other than the law of God, whether in Protocols of the Elders of Zion) want to
everyday matters or crimes or any rule the world. This work draws heavily
thing else, even if they do not think on this strain of thinking. Thus, Zionism
that doing so is better than judging is not treated as simply a Jewish national-
according to the shari’ah. This is ist movement, but as part of the wider
because they have thus made per Jewish plot, of which Freemasons and
missible what God has forbidden in others are also part. Actually quoting
all things; and anyone who permits from The Protocols, the author explains
what God has forbidden, of what is that the true nature of the Jewish plot lies
known of the religion by necessity, in the spread around the globe of ideas
such as fornication and drinking alco such as ‘freedom, brotherhood, and
hol and usury, and judging by any equality’:
thing but God’s law – such a person
is an unbeliever by the general agree This was written in the First Protocol
ment of all Muslims. of the Elders of Zion:
‘In the past, we were the first of those
1C. Al-mar’a wa kayd al-a‘da who were calling for freedom, brother
[Women and their scheming hood, and equality. The ignorant ones
enemies] everywhere started repeating such slo
Author: Abdullah bin Wakil al-Sheikh gans without thinking or awareness.
Publisher: The Office of Da‘wah in Britain The call for freedom, equality, and
Published: 1412 (1991) brotherhood attracted many to join our
Language: Arabic ranks all over the world – with the help
This book was also found at Central of our helpers – whole generations
Mosque of Rochdale (see pages 142- started to carry our banner with enthu
144) siasm and great care.’
In the Fourth Protocol: ‘The word
This is a short work that explores issues freedom continuously pits society
relating to women. The author begins by against all powers, even with the
outlining the honours bestowed by Islam power of nature, and the power of
on women, as maidservants, daughters, God himself. Although freedom does
wives, and beyond; in each instance, their not contain any harm – and is found
rights are listed. He then proceeds to in many countries without harming
enumerate the many enemies bent on the hopes of the people – if it is
corrupting Muslim women. The signs of based upon religion, and on fearing
their treachery are made known, and God  brotherhood between people
include: magazines; the spread of deviant which is stripped of the idea of
ideas; the breaking down of boundaries equality which contradicts the laws of
between Muslims and non-Muslims; calls creation. These laws which stated
for female emancipation; and the call for the need for obedience, by adopting
gender equality. The tract ends with a this belief, a nation will be subjected
short, critical history of feminism. to the obedience of the religious
The ‘enemies of women’ discussed here establishment, and live in peace. It
are said to include the Jews and will submit itself to the divine proivi
Christians. With regards to the former, dence which rules over the earth.
part of modern Muslim anti-Semitism is Therefore we must uproot the idea of
the belief that Jews lurk behind every sin- God from the minds of the Christians
ister plot in the world, because they (as (I say, and the Muslims too), and fill

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their minds with numbers and materi 1. The Jews: They are of all people
al desires.’ the keenest on corrupting humanity,
and on destroying their beliefs and
Finally (and unsurprisingly given the title values. The reason why they work so
of this volume) Jews are also viewed as hard to corrupt humanity is that they
the greatest enemies of women: cannot see an existence for them
selves except through the destruction
The enemies of women are also the of others, or corrupting them. That
enemies of men, there is no distinc way they will live like slaves for them
tion. They are four types: as they say.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 37
The hijacking of British Islam

East London Mosque Secretary-General of the Muslim Council
of Britain.
Address: 92 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1JQ As well as being affiliated to the Muslim
Telephone: 020 7650 3000 Council of Britain, the ELM is also affiliated
Email: info@eastlondonmosque.org.uk with the Islamic Forum Europe (IFE) and its
Website: http://www.eastlondonmosque.org.uk youth wing, the Young Muslim
Charity Commission Registration No.: 239403 Organisation (YMO), whose offices are
Local MP: George Galloway (Respect) located nearby. Links to all of these groups
Local Authority: London Borough of Tower Hamlets can be accessed via the East London Mosque
Affiliations: MCB, IFE, YMO website.101
The ELM’s leaders and other local
activists have been successful at building
Points of Interest alliances with local government officials
through campaigns against drug abuse,
The East London Mosque and Islamic family breakdown, anti-social behaviour,
Cultural Centre were first established on school truancy and other social prob-
Commercial Road in London’s East End lems.102
96. ‘History’, East London
Mosque, available at,
in the 1940s.96 From the beginning the Nevertheless, some of the mosque’s
http://www.eastlondonmosque.o institution enjoyed close links with Saudi other activities (and those of its associ-
rg.uk/. Last accessed 30
September 2007.
Arabia; indeed, the first prayer at the ates) have been called into question by
97. Ibid. mosque on 1 August 1941, was led by the recent revelations contained within Ed
98. Ibid. then Ambassador for Saudi Arabia, Husain’s book, The Islamist. Therein,
99. ‘Panorama: A question of Sheikh Hafiz Wahhab.97 In the 1970s, the Husain alleges that the East London
leadership’, BBC One, 21
August 2005; a full transcript is
mosque was forced to re-locate and fol- Mosque is under the control of the
available at lowing a period in temporary buildings, Bangladeshi Jamaat-e-Islami (the local
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/pro-
grammes/panorama/4171950.stm.
work started on what is now the East offshoot of the radical Islamist political
100. ‘New Muslim centre opens
London Mosque (ELM) on Whitechapel party created by Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi
its doors’, BBC News Online, 12 Road in 1982. Three years later in July that exists across much of south-east
June 2004, available at,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/37 1985, the new mosque opened its doors Asia). He also described the ELM as a key
96631.stm. to the public.98 exponent of extremist ideology and effec-
101 ‘Links’, East London
In 2001, in a project launched by HRH tively serves as a gateway to the world of
Mosque, available at,
http://www.eastlondonmosque.o the Prince of Wales and HRH Prince radical Islamism.103
rg.uk/. Last accessed 30
September 2007.
Mohamed al-Faisal of Saudi Arabia, work In December 2006, Dr. Abdul Bari
102. David Garbin, ‘Bangladeshi
began on what became the London Muslim criticised the British Government for
diaspora in the UK: some obser- Centre, which adjoins the original mosque. ‘unfairly targeting’ Muslims and claimed
vations on socio-cultural dynam-
ics, religious trends and transna- According to an August 2005 Panorama pro- that this ‘small, largely deprived commu-
tional politics’, Draft Version of a gramme, the ELM received some $1million nity’ was being demonised. 104 This
paper for a conference on
human rights and Bangladesh from Saudi Arabia for this new centre.99 The demonisation was said to undermine the
(June 2005), available online at
London Muslim Centre opened its doors to ability of Muslims to be ‘equal citizens’ as
http://www.surrey.ac.uk/Arts/CR
ONEM/SOASBangladeshi%20di the public in June 2004, in a ceremony well as contributing to a ‘deterioration of
aspora%20PaperDRAFT-
7June2005.pdf.
presided over by a leading Saudi cleric – community cohesion and fuel[ling] xeno-
103. Ed Husain, The Islamist:
Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais, the con- phobia’. He even went so far as to com-
Why I joined radical Islam in troversial Imam of the Ka’ba Mosque in pare this situation to the one faced by the
Britain, what I saw inside and
why I left (London, 2007).
Mecca (The Grand Mosque).100 Jews in Nazi Germany during the 1930s
104. Tom Harper, ‘Ministers Inaugurating the construction project, stating, ‘What is the degree of xenopho-
compared to Nazis over Islam Prince Charles was accompanied by the bia that tipped Germany in the 1930s
stigma’, Sunday Telegraph, 18
December 2006. chairman of the mosque, Dr. Muhammed towards a murderous ethnic and cultural
105. Ibid. Abdul Bari, who in 2006 became racism?’105

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Books found here included: This book was also found at the Muslim
Education Centre, High Wycombe (see
2A. Questions and Answers: pages 154-163)
Pertaining to Learning the
Fundamental Principles of the This short study, published by the Karachi
Creed and Clarification of the based Darul-Ishaat publishing house, is
Obstacles which Hinder Imaan available in the UK from the Azhar
Author: Abdur Rahmaan ibn Nasr as-Sadee Academy Ltd book suppliers. It is an
Publisher: Al-Hujjah Publication & Masjid English translation of an eschatological
Rahmah book in Arabic and deals with different
Published: 2006 kinds of conduct that is said to lead women
Language: English to hell. The book is dedicated to every
Muslim woman and is divided into three
This is an English translation of an Arabic chapters. Chapter one explains that most of
‘questions and answers’ book, which ‘clarifies the inhabitants of hell are women, and gives
some of the most fundamentals of the creed details of their types (see below). Chapter
of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah and refutes two is a Dante’s Inferno style tour of hell and
some of the shubuhaat [doubtful things] of its inmates. Chapter three recounts the fate
the atheists’. It claims to do this by utilising, of ‘historical’ women who went to hell, such
‘the prophetic methodology of questions and as Noah’s wife, Lot’s wife, Umm Jamil (a
answers, which was also used by the Salaf up pagan woman of the Prophet’s time),
until our time right now’. It is divided into Salome and Herodias (‘Salume and
17 chapters. Hirodiya’). The book claims its purpose is to
In the passage that follows, the author awaken women to reality, serving as a ‘guid-
provides answers to the question: ‘What are ing light in this difficult hour of trial and
the characteristics, by which, the Muslim during the great signs of the Last Hour, that
can distinguish himself from the disbeliever we have observed with our eyes’, so they
and the atheists?’ Describing the ‘disbeliev- may be ‘cautions [sic] and not misled by
er’, the author writes: mischievous promise of a liberated life’.
In this kind of literature, stereotypes of
His heart simmers with rancour and women and female behaviour abound. A
hatred. He doesn’t desire good or bene well-known Prophetic Tradition (Hadith)
fit for anyone, except if there is some says: ‘I looked at Hell and saw that the
worldly gain in it for him. majority of its inhabitants were women’.The
author relates this here as an illustration of
Furthermore, female deficiency:

He is characterised with impetuosity, The Prophet found that most of its
harshness, apprehensiveness, anxiety, [hell’s] dwellers are women. He said to
deceit, untrustworthiness and being bel an assembly of women, ‘Accustom
ligerent in manners. yourselves to give charity even if you
have to give your jewellery because you
2B. Women Who Deserve to outnumber men in Hell. You curse too
Go to Hell much and show ingratitude to your hus
Author: Mansur Abu’l Hakim band. And I have not seen anyone as
Publisher: Darul-Ishaat deficient in religion and in intelligence as
Published: 2004 women yet they gain an upparhand [sic]
Language: English over men.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 39
The hijacking of British Islam

[…]
2. The Woman Who Adorns Herself
[…]
3. The Woman Who Apes Men, Tattoos,
Cuts Hair Short and Alters Nature
[…]
4. Women Who Kill Animals and Birds
There are women who are careless in
looking after pets. They neither feed
them nor allow them to look for their
food themselves.

Elsewhere, the feminist movement is derid-
ed, with the author explaining that it was the
creation of Jews and Christians in order to
lead Muslim women astray:

In the beginning of the twentieth century,
a movement for the freedom of women
was launched with the basic objective of
driving women towards aberrant ways.
This was patronised by Jews and
Christians who made known that their
ambition was to lead astray the aliens
[sic] who were very devoted to their reli
gion so that they keep away from their
religion and feel shy to describe its
salient features. They boasted that they
had converted many to atheism.

As to how women can avoid hell, the book
contains various prescriptions that they must
follow if they are to save themselves.
Foremost among these is the demand that
women should veil themselves. Not veiling
properly is said to negate the value of all the
Prince Charles visits the East London Mosque in Whitechapel accompanied by the chairman of the
mosque, Dr. Muhammed Abdul Bari, in November 2001. © Reuters other good deeds of Islam – and to endanger
both the woman concerned and her male
‘guardian’:
Furthermore, the women in hell are said to
fall into several categories, as follows: [Women who uncover some portions
of their bodies and cover others…]
Some Kinds of Women Who Will Go to This kind of woman lays claim to piety
Hell though she neglects the veil. We read
106. The ‘umra is a lesser pil-
grimage to Mecca, distinct from 1. The Grumbler in the foregoing Hadith that neglect of
the hajj. … the woman who complains against the veil effaces [sic] the advantage of
107. Zikr (more correctly, dhikr) her husband every now and then is one pious deeds like fasting, prayer, Hajj,
is remembrance of God through
chanting and reciting. of Hell. Umrah,106 zikr107 and others. In fact, the

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guardian of a woman who does not – from the exotic to the mundane. Given the
cover her body is also a fleshpedlar seniority of the clerics involved, these fatwas
[sic] who will not be admitted to represent the nearest thing to pronounce-
Paradise on whose gates will be ments by the Saudi religious establishment
inscribed, ‘Cuckolds are disallowed on spiritual, political, and personal matters,
entry.’ A cuckold is one who does not and cannot be challenged by those without
insist on modesty of his wife. What training in fiqh, the system of Islamic
can be more immodest for a man than jurisprudence. This particular volume deals
to let his wife move about unveiled? with issues collated under the heading of
‘creed’.
Just as not veiling cancels out all pious acts, The following passage justifies the practice
disobedience to one’s husband has the same of polygamy, claiming that this is the way in
effect: which a man’s sexual urges may be taken care
of:
If a woman obeys her husband, offers
salah108 five times a day, keeps fast in Q. Why did the Prophet marry a number
Ramadan, observes what Allah has of women?
enjoyed and forbidden then by Allah’s
will she will enter paradise. A. … This was not something new in
the Law, nor does it oppose common
On the other hand, she who is disobedi sense…. For women are more in num
ent to her husband will enter Hell even if ber than men, as censuses continually
she is careful about salah, fasting, and prove, a man may possess so much
other duties to Allah. A woman’s entry physical strength that he needs more
into Paradise is dependent on her hus than one wife, in order that he may be
band’s pleasure. able to indulge his desires in a permis
sible way, rather than in a prohibited
2C. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic way. Otherwise he will be forced to
Verdicts, volume 1 repress his desires; or the woman may
Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz, be suffering from some illness, some
Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin, ‘Abdullah thing that may prevent him from fulfill
bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al Jibreen and the ing his needs, such as menstruation or
Permanent Committee (of Saudi Arabia) postnatal bleeding, or anything else
Publisher: Dar-us-Salam that prevents a man from fulfilling his
Published: 2001 desires with her. So he may need
Language: English another wife with whom he may fulfill
This book was also found at The London his desires, rather than repressing
Central Mosque and Islamic Centre, (see them or committing indecency.
pages 82-94); Tauheed Mosque and
Islamic Centre (see pages 95-101); and Since plurality of wives is permissible
The Salafi Mosque and Islamic Centre (see and justified, logically, in accordance
pages (110-117). with the Fitrah109 and the Islamic law,
and since the Prophets of old used to
The Fatawa Islamiyah is a multi-volume col- practice it – indeed it could be said to 108. The salah is the obligatory
prayer, which is to be said and
lection of contemporary rulings (fatwas) be obligatory in cases of necessity or performed five times a day.

from a group of Wahhabite scholars based in need sometimes – then it is not sur 109. Fitrah (or fitra) is the natural
state into which human beings
Saudi Arabia, who hand down authoritative prising that our Prophet, Muhammad
are born, before their upbringing
opinions on all areas of public and private life did so. changes them.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 41
The hijacking of British Islam

Living with Christian (and other) ‘non- A. There are two reasons why it is not
believers’ is said to pose spiritual risks for permissible to obtain copies of previous
Muslims, as the following exchange and rul- scriptures, regardless of whether it is the
ing shows: Injil or the Tawrah [Torah]:

Q. I am living in Jordan in a house popu 1. Allah Almighty has related in the
lated mostly by Christian brothers, and Qur’an all that is of benefit to us from
we eat and drink together. Is my prayer those scriptures.
invalid, and is my living with them per 2. The Qur’an contains in it what suffices
missible? us from all previously revealed books….
A. Before answering your question, I So all the good contained in the previous
would like to make a point: I hope that scriptures is present in the Qur’an…
it was a slip of the tongue when you Furthermore, the Injil that is present
said: ‘I live with Christian brothers’, for among us today has been distorted. We
there is absolutely no brotherhood find that there are four Injils, not one, and
between the Muslims and the each one of them contradicts the others.
Christians. Brotherhood is of faith…. Thus we cannot depend on any of them
There is absolutely no brotherhood for the truth.
between the believer and the disbe
liever. Indeed, it is incumbent upon the Elsewhere, in the context of a ruling about
believer not to take the disbeliever as a freemasonry and related organisations, the
friend…. It is not permissible for the intentions and activities of ‘international
Muslim to describe the disbeliever – Jewry’ are impugned in a manner that is
whatever his brand of disbelief, be he wholly resonant with traditional anti-
Christian, Jewish, Magian or apostate Semitic tropes:
– as a brother; so beware, my brother,
of using such expressions. A Legal Judgement regarding the Ruling
on Membership of the Masonic
As for the answer to the question, I say: Movement
It is necessary to avoid mixing with non […]
Muslims, because mixing with them 7. The organization [Freemasonry] is
causes the loss of one’s religious zeal Jewish in origin and is secretly managed
from the heart and may even lead to and directed at its highest levels by inter
affection and love for them. national Jewry and its activities are
Zionist in character.
Believers are even discouraged from owning 8. It is, in fact, in its hidden aims, against
or reading the Bible; with serious implica- all religions, its intentions being the
tions for the possibility of genuine interfaith destruction of all of them in general, and
dialogue if such strictures were to be adhered Islam in the hearts of its adherents in
to: particular.
[…]
Q. Is it permissible for me to obtain a 10. It has many branches, which bear
copy of the Injil [Gospel] so that I may other names, in order to deceive and
learn what Allah’s words were to ‘Isa divert attention, so that they are able to
[Jesus]? And is the presentday version continue their activities under different
of the Injil authentic? I ask this because I pseudonyms, the most well known of
heard that the authentic version is lost at which are: The Lions, The Rotary Club,
the bottom of the sea. The Leons, and other such evil move

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ments,110 all of which are incompatible Mathhab [sic] from ‘the people of inno
and inconsistent with Islamic tenets. vation’…
[…]
The strong links between the Masons Sufis are also heavily criticised. The following
and International Zionist Jewry has [sic] fatwa deals with the best known of the North
become absolutely clear to all of the African orders, the Shadhiliyya. It is worth
people. By such means they have been noting that many sheikhs of Cairo’s al-Azhar
able to control the activities of many mosque/university, the leading seat of
leaders in Arab and other countries in authority in Sunni Islam, have been and are
the matter of Palestine, and they have Shadhilis. What is shocking in both the ques-
prevented them from carrying out many tion and the fatwa is that they show consid-
of their obligations with respect to this erable ignorance of what Shadhilis believe
most important matter, to the advantage and do.
of the Jews and the International
Zionists. Q. There is a sect known as Ash
Shathliyyah [sic], who neither pray nor
For this reason and many other fast, nor give Zakat,114 and there is a per
detailed facts concerning the danger son whom they call Sayyiduna (Our
ous activities of the Masons, their evil Master)115 and they say that he occupies
deceptions and cunning designs, the the place of their ‘lord’, and he is their
111
Fiqh Academy has determined that representative on the Last Day, he for
the Masons are one of the most dan gives them everything which they do in 110. Neither the Lions Clubs
International, nor Rotary
gerous, destructive organizations to their lives in this world…. International are branches of
Freemasonry. As far as is
Islam and the Muslims. And that who
known, there is no such thing as
ever joins them, knowing the truth of A. …. If the situation is as you say, that ‘The Leons’.

them and their aims, is a disbeliever in your father and those with him in this 111. The Islamic Fiqh Academy
(Akadimiyya al-fiqh al-islami) is
Islam who should be avoided. sect do not pray and do not fast and an institution for the advanced
that they believe that their leader or their study of Islam, with headquar-
ters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It
It is not just non-Muslims who are defined as Shaikh holds the position of a lord, who was proposed at the second
false, but followers of differing Islamic groups will guarantee them paradise and forgive summit conference of the
Organisation of the Islamic
as well: them all of their evil deeds, then they are Conference (OIC) 1974, and
inaugurated in February 1988.
disbelievers and if your father orders you
112. The meaning of ‘blindly fol-
Q. Some people consider that it is an to be one of them and forbids you to
low’ (taqlid) is that it is widely
obligation upon the Muslim to blindly fol pray and fast, then do not obey him…. 116
believed that independent rea-
112 soning in matters of religion and
low one of the four well known schools law ended by the tenth century,
of Islamic Jurisprudence in order for their Other groups are condemned as well. The and that all Sunni Muslims must
act in accordance with the rul-
acts of worship and their deeds to be Qadyanis/Ahmadiyya are based mainly in ings of four law schools (mad-
correct. Yet the Mathab [sic] of the Pakistan, but have a small international fol- hhab, pl. madhahib).

Shiites is not included amongst them, lowing: 113. A minority Shi‘a sect, main-
ly restricted to Yemen.
not even the Mathhab [sic] of the Zaidi
114. Zakat: alms for the poor.
Shiites.113 Does your Eminence agree The Ruling on Qadyanis and Their
115. This refers to Abu’l-Hasan
absolutely with this view, and thus pro Membership: al-Shadhili (d. 1258), the founder
of the order.
hibit the blind following of the Mathhab
116. Like other mainstream
[sic] of the Shiites…? The Committee of the Fiqh Academy Sufi orders, the Shadhili do, in
has examined the matter of the Qadyani fact, perform the salat, fast at
Ramadan, and pay the zakat
A. … It is not permissible for the Muslim sect, which appeared in India in the last alms-tax. See, for example, the
to blindly follow the Shiite Imamate century (the nineteenth century of the following Shadhili web page:
http://www.suficenter.org
Mathhab [sic], nor any other such like Christian era), and which is also known /faq.html.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 43
The hijacking of British Islam

as the Ahmadiyyah movement. The Fiqh sect which appeared in Persia (Iran) in
Academy has studied their beliefs…. the second half of the last century and
which is professed by a number of peo
A summary of these follows, including the ple who spread throughout the Muslim
Ahmadiyya rejection of Jihad: and nonMuslim countries until today.
[…]
Having studied these documents and It became clear to the Fiqh Academy,
others like them, including the numerous based upon the evidence of the texts
manuscripts which make clear the concerning the beliefs of the Bahais, that
beliefs of the Qadyanis, its [sic] founder they were intended to destroy Islam, in
and its [sic] establishment and its [sic] particular its firm stance against the wor
dangerous aims – the destruction of cor ship of mankind [i.e. human beings], with
rect Islamic beliefs and the diversion of the Bahai claims of Divinity and the
the Muslims away from it, and towards authority to alter the law of Islam
misguidance, the Fiqh Committee has […]
unanimously determined that the beliefs The Academy warns the Muslims in all
of the Qadyanis, known also as corners of the world118 against this
Ahmadiya [sic], are unIslamic and that criminal, disbelieving sect and appeals
the pretension of its followers to be to them to oppose them and take pre
Muslims is no more than an attempt to cautions against them, especially since
misguide and deceive; and the it is evident that they enjoy support
Committee of the Fiqh Academy from the colonialist nations whose aim
declares that it is incumbent upon the is the destruction of Islam and the
Muslims – governments, scholars, writ Muslims.
ers, thinkers, preachers, and others – to
oppose this misguided sect and its fol 2D. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic
lowers all over the world. Verdicts, volume 5
Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz,
If the Ahmadiyya are viewed as carrying out Muhammad bin Saleh al-
a dangerous heresy, members of the Baha’i ‘Uthaimin, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al-
religion (the Baha’i Faith) occupy a special Jibreen and the
niche in the ranks of religions Muslims Permanent Committee (of Saudi Arabia)
should loathe. Baha’ism is a worldwide reli- Publisher: Dar-us-Salam
gious movement of Shi’a origin numbering Published: 2001
some five or six million, most of whose fol- Language: English
lowers outside Iran come from Christian, This book was also found at The London
Hindu, Buddhist and animist backgrounds. Central Mosque (‘Regent’s Park Mosque’)
Baha’is, unlike the Ahmadiyya, make no (see pages 82-94)
claim to be Muslims, although they regard
Muhammad as a ‘divine manifestation’ and This volume of the Fatawa Islamiyah series
the Qur’an a divinely revealed scripture. In covers a wide range of topics: insurance;
Islamic countries, especially Iran and Egypt, trusts; lost property; endowments; wills and
they have been denied all rights to worship, testaments; inheritance; slavery; marriage
117. Some basic Baha’i beliefs
include the abolition of jihad, the meet, hold ceremonies, or publish literature. (this is the main section); looking at women
oneness of mankind, the one-
ness of all religions, and the
Many have been killed.117 (which is forbidden); the media; relations
equality of men and women. between the sexes; female conduct; mixing of
118. Note the assumption of uni- The Committee of the Fiqh Academy the sexes (forbidden); sexual matters in gen-
versal validity for the rulings of
this Saudi academy.
has examined the Bahai [sic, for Baha’i] eral; masturbation (with some very dubious

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‘medical facts’); the guardianship of women; according to your ability and your
marriage to Jewish and Christian women; need….
dowries; contraception (forbidden);
polygamy (approved); the obedience wives Elsewhere, it is stated that a boy may marry
owe their husbands; and different forms of as young as age 10:
marriage.
To take an example, the following passage When a boy reaches ten years of age,
confirms that polygamy is prescribed under he is considered to have started puberty,
Islam: and naturally, he feels inclined towards
Q. Is plurality of wives permitted in Islam, women, because the like of him may
119
or is it prescribed as a Sunnah? marry and do what a man does.

A. Plurality of wives is prescribed as a There are, however, certain limitations
Sunnah as long as one has the ability to imposed on when marriage is and is not per-
do it, according to the Words of Allah – missible. The following passage, for instance,
and because of the action of the prohibits it between a Muslim woman and a
Prophet…. It is also a prescribed Christian man. Perhaps more worrying,
Sunnah, because in plurality of wives, given the increasing likelihood of intermar-
there are great benefits for men and riages between Muslims and non-Muslims in
women and for the whole Islamic com the UK – and the growing recognition by the
munity… It also means that men take police of the problem of ‘honour killings’
responsibility for a number of women, by across a number of minority communities - is
which they are made righteous and pro the message sent out about how Muslims
tected from the causes of evil and devia should respond:
tion.
[…] Q. What is the ruling on the marriage of
Q. I am a man who has been married for a Muslim woman to a Christian man?
some years and I have a number of chil
dren and I am happy in my family life. A. It is forbidden for a Muslim woman to
However, I feel that I am in need of marry a Christian man or any other dis
another wife, because I wish to be right believer….
eous and one wife is not enough for me,
since as a man, I have physical potency And when he makes a contract of mar
which exceeds that of a woman; this is riage with her, it must be annulled imme
one point. Another point is that I want a diately; and if the wife knew this [that she
woman who possesses certain charac had married a Christian] and knew the
teristics which my wife lacks…. My wife ruling, she deserves to be chastised as
in whom I have not seen anything does [sic] the guardian, the witnesses
detestable absolutely rejects a second and the registrar, if they knew that. And if
wife. What advice can you give me? And she bears children, they follow their
what advice can you give my wife, in mother in Islam. And if the husband
order that she will be convinced? And embraces Islam, the contract of mar
does she have the right to reject my riage should be renewed, after the truth
desire to marry… of his acceptance of Islam has been
confirmed, so that it should not be a
A. If the matter is as you have described device (in order to make the marriage
in the question, then it is lawful for you to legal). And if he apostatises after that, his 119. A custom to be followed by
marry a second, a third, and fourth wife, head should be chopped off, according imitating the Prophet.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 45
The hijacking of British Islam

to the Hadith: ‘Whoever changes his reli other, is this action considered to be for
gion, kill him’ [emphasis added]. bidden?

The same volume also puts the case that, not A: This action is not permissible,
only is birth control forbidden, but it is to be because it excites desire between the
considered yet another plot against Muslims two, and incites the urge to arrange
. meetings and telephone calls...
Those who call for birth control or con
traception are a group whose aim by Finally, a further ruling claims that it is better
this call is to plot against the Muslims for women to marry, rather than study, since
in general, and against the Arab they do not need anything beyond primary
Muslim community in particular, so education:
that they are able to colonize the lands
and their people . . . birth control is Q. There is a widespread custom, which
not permissible under any circum is a young woman or her father refusing
stances. proposals of suitors, so that she can
complete her high school or university
Meanwhile, women are considered so dan- education, or, so that she can study for
gerous that even shaking hands with one a number of years. What is the ruling on
through a cloth can lead to temptation. this, and what is your advice to those
who do it? And what is your advice to
shaking hands with unrelated women those who delay it such that the young
might lead to some temptation (Fitnah) women might reach the age of thirty or
over them, like looking at them, or more without marrying?
even more so.
[…] A. The ruling on that is that it is contrary
It is not permissible for a man to shake to the order of the Prophet, because the
hands with a woman who is unrelated Prophet said:
to him, even if she placed a piece of ‘If one whose religion and character
cloth over her hand when shaking pleases you proposes to you, then marry
hands. (your daughter to) him’120...

Even speaking with a woman on the tele- Refusing marriage causes loss of the
phone is deemed dangerous: benefits of marriage, so my advice to
my Muslim brothers who are guardians
It is not permissible to speak with an of women and to my adult Muslim sis
unrelated woman in a manner which ters is not to refuse marriage in order to
may excite desire, such as by speaking complete their education or teaching.
words of love, flirting and subduing one’s However, it is possible for a woman to
voice, whether on the telephone or oth make it a condition of marriage that she
erwise. be allowed to continue her studies until
she has completed them, and likewise
In addition, it is decreed that writing letters to continue to teach for a year or two,
(or presumably e-mails?) to a woman is like- as long as she is not busy with children
ly to lead to trouble: and there is no objection to this.
Although the idea of a woman pro
Q: If a man corresponds with an unrelat gressing in university studies in subjects
120. Al-Tirmidhi No. 1084. ed woman, and they come to love each for which there is no need should be

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examined. I consider that if a woman Islamic countries have neglected, would
has completed primary school level and be implemented.
is able to read and write sufficiently well [...]
to benefit from this knowledge in read Whoever takes part in stoning a married
ing the Book of Allah [the Qur’an], its adulterer, is rewarded for that, and it is
explanation and recitation and the not fitting for anyone to abstain from it if
Hadiths of the Prophet and their expla a ruling of stoning is issued. The Prophet
nation, then that is enough. Unless she ordered the Companions… to stone
is studying knowledge which is essen [various individuals].
tial for the people, such as medicine
and the like – as long as there is noth There is no such condition that one who
ing dangerous, such as mixing [with takes part in stoning must be sinless or
men] or other things. free from error.121

2E. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic Similarly, homosexuality is firmly prohibited
Verdicts, volume 6 and those who would engage in it are
Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz, deemed to have forfeited all rights – includ-
Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin, ‘Abdullah ing their right to life.122
bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al-Jibreen and the
Permanent Committee (of Saudi Arabia) Q. What is the ruling on sodomy in Islam
Publisher: Dar-us-Salam and what is the punishment?
Published: 2001
Language: English A. The shameful act of sodomy is one of
the most repugnant of shameful acts
This volume of Fatawa Islamiyah, which [...]
covers issues under the heading ‘Divorce, It has been reported from the
breast-feeding, offences, punishments, Companions… that the punishment for
lawful and forbidden, oaths and judge- one who does that or allows it to be
121 Although the punishment of
ments’, calls for the implementation of a done to him is that he be killed. Or, to
stoning is mentioned in the
stark moral code – one that is fundamen- be burnt or to be stoned. Or, to be Qu’ran, many Muslims, nowa-
days disagree on when to apply
tally incompatible with liberal western thrown from the highest point (moun it.
society. Adultery, for instance, is to be pun- tain, tower, lofty building etc.), then to 122. For a contemporary Islamic
ished in the most severe way: follow it with stoning. view of homosexuality see
DrJamal Badawi, ‘Sexual
[…] Relations in Islam’ at islamon-
Q. One of the Islamic Courts in the city Q. What is the ruling of AlLiwat line.net, 8 March 2007. Available
at http://www. islamonline.net
of Ta’z, in the Yemen Arab Republic, [sodomy] in the religion?
123. This ruling was echoed by
ruled that a woman be stoned for the extremist preacher Abu
Usamah (an American convert)
committing adultery. Some of the peo A. It is fitting that anyone who does as
in the Channel 4 documentary
ple were hesitant to stone her. The they do [i.e. the People of Lot] be pun Undercover Mosque. Therein he
was quoted as saying, ‘Do you
reason was that they said it is required ished in the same way. Some of the practise homosexuality with
that the one doing the stoning fulfil Companions… ruled that the one who men? Take that homosexual
man and throw him off the
certain conditions, such as that he does it should be burned. Some of them mountain.’ See Dispatches:
may be free of sin. said that rather, he should be thrown Undercover Mosque, Channel
Four, 15 January 2007. For a full
[...] from the highest point (mountain, tower, transcript of the Dispatches pro-
gramme see, ‘Undercover
A. I was very happy to hear of the judge building etc.) then be stoned.123
Mosques: The Transcripts’,
ment of the Court in Ta’z that the mar MPAC-UK, 15 January 2007,
available at,
ried adulteress be stoned. By that, the By contrast, the punishment for bestiality is http://mpacuk.org/content/view/
punishment of Allah, which most of the actually much less severe: 3266/34/.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 47
The hijacking of British Islam

Q. Should a sheep be killed if a person he has become a disbeliever, an apos
has sex with it? tate.

A. Allah has permitted a man to take The everyday accoutrements of western
pleasure with his wife and with his slave society are deemed to be deeply damaging
girl and to have sexual intercourse with to the moral and spiritual well-being of
them… Accordingly, a man having sex ‘the believer’. In particular, it is clear that
with a sheep or any other such animal is film, television, and photographs cause
forbidden and a transgression of Allah’s considerable consternation among the
Limits. But it does not require the legal Saudi ‘ulama who issue the fatawa. Here,
punishment to be imposed, as in the for instance, are their verdicts on televi-
case when a man has sexual intercourse sion:
with a woman. Rather, it is only neces
sary for the person to be rebuked as the The Islamic Ruling on Television
Judge sees fit.
Television is at least as harmful as films
2F. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic are....
Verdicts, volume 8
Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz, No doubt, we should warn against
Muhammad bin Saleh al- ‘Uthaimin, ‘Abdullah something that is so evil and harmful;
bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al-Jibreen and the moreover, we should find ways to eradi
Permanent Committee (of Saudi Arabia) cate it from our Muslim society. … Even
Publisher: Dar-us-Salam after the censor removes those scenes
Published: 2001 and programs that he deems to be
Language: English harmful, there still remains much that is
evil. This may be because he has made
Volume 8 of the Fatawa Islamiyah offers ver- an error or because he, like most peo
dicts on the following subjects: ‘Jihad, ple, is so beguiled by western culture, so
da’wah, employees and workers, teachers and he permits to be aired that which goes
students, dreams and visions, bribery and its against the precepts of Islam. Anyone
effects, the orphan’s wealth, pictures, media, can clearly see, according to what is
singing and music’ and various other topics. aired on radio and television, that there
The following passage would allow a isn’t nearly enough editing and censor
Muslim employer to dismiss a Muslim ship.
employee because he does not pray. This […]
injunction sits uneasily alongside fair Q: … Television has penetrated the con
employment legislation; and it must surely fines of virtually all homes, whether in
infringe the rights guaranteed to workers in cities, villages, or even in the desert. The
British society: shows that are aired consist, at least to
some extent, of the following:
Q: Should I endeavour to fire a Muslim
employee who works in my department • Singing accompanied by musical
but doesn’t pray? instruments.
• Police and criminal dramas.
A: It is incumbent upon you to advise • Untrue and madeup stories.
him first, and perhaps Allâh Almighty • Mixing of the sexes among actors.
will guide him; if the advice has no • Portrayal of historical Islamic figures
effect, fire him, because by not praying as being evil or corrupt…

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Here are my questions: 2. Watching what is harmful to one’s
religion; this is unlawful. A Muslim must
• If we know these things, then is it per protect his religion from all negative influ
missible to bring televisions into our ences.
homes, where our women and chil
dren will watch them, thus disturbing 3. Watching what is neither beneficial nor
their perception of truth and false harmful: this kind of viewing is a waste of
hood? time, something that does not befit a
• Is it permissible, when watching tele determined believer.
vision, to look at women and at some
men whose appearance is not in the There is no ruling for television itself,
least bit manly? but rather for how it is used. If it is
• What must a person do who persists used for what is unlawful – such as for
in keeping a television set or who music, for lies, for disbelief, or for
says that he cannot remove it from licentiousness – then it is unlawful. If it
his home? is used for what is good – for spread
• What about a man who says that he ing the truth, for the recitation of the
finds it impossible to turn off his Qur’an, explaining the truth, for calling
television when music or women to good and warning against evil –
appear? then it is permitted.
• Are the shows I described above in
concordance with the Shari’ah? Another area in which the tenets of western
• Is it permissible for men and women, society are deemed antithetical to the teach-
in general, to watch the programs I ings of Islam as propounded here, is that of
described? … medical practice. It is, for example, suggested
that mental illness may be cured through
A: No doubt, all of the points you prayer in preference to modern medicine.
mentioned describe programs that are Potentially dangerous medical advice is dis-
unlawful (forbidden), a fact that no one pensed by someone wholly without medical
will deny, or at least no one who is qualifications:
aware of the Islamic Shari’ah, due to
the harm these shows have on society Q. Does a believer ever become affected
– corruption of the character and by mental illness? What is the cure for
morals of those who constitute our mental illness, considering that modern
societies.... medicines and chemicals are used [sic
‘only based on’?] only presentday theo
No doubt, obtaining a television set for ries to cure it?
the purposes you outlined is unlawful, for
watching what is unlawful is itself unlaw A. For sure, man is often beset with
ful. A person is sinning when he persists worries regarding the future and sad
in obtaining a television if he knows that ness regarding the past. Some forms
he will not be able to protect himself or of mental illness are more detrimental 124. This may in part be correct:
see Alok Jha, ‘Depression more
his family from evil programs. Even if he to the body than physical ailments harmful than angina, says
does not watch television himself, he is are.124 The cures to these diseases are study’, The Guardian, 7
September 2007, at:
sinning, because he is helping others to better achieved by what the Shari’ah http://www.guardian.co.uk/sci-
ence/2007/sep/07/medicineand-
do what is unlawful … Watching televi prescribed – the Ruqya125 – much
health.lifeandhealthinsurance.
sion without actually acquiring one as more so than by the use of modern
125. Reading over a sick person,
property is of three kinds:... medicine…. usually with part of the Qur’an.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 49
The hijacking of British Islam

East London Mosque. © Daily Telegraph

A long and a short invocation are provid- Q. Is Jihad in the way of Allâh the
ed. Other medieval sources are referred to, same level regardless of whether it is
before the author continues: with one’s life, wealth, or supplication,
even if somebody is capable of the
But when the faith weakens, so type that involves one’s life?
weakens the self acceptance of
Shari’ah cures. People nowadays A. There are different kinds of Jihad —
place more trust in physical remedies with one’s self, wealth, supplication,
than in remedies prescribed by the teaching, giving guidance, or helpling
Shari’ah. When a person’s faith is others in good in any form. The high
126. The idea of fighting in the
strong, the Shari’ah remedy is more est form of Jihad, however, is with
path of God with one’s life or
self (nafs) and one’s wealth is effective, and faster in results than one’s life; then come Jihad with one’s
derived from a number of
Qur’anic verses, such as the fol-
other cures. wealth and Jihad with teaching and
lowing: ‘Believe in God and His guidance, and in this way Da’wah
Messenger, and fight (tujahiduna)
in the way of God with your
Elsewhere, a ruling indicates that the great- [preaching and summoning to Islam] is
properties and selves. That is est form of striving (jihad) in God’s path is a form of Jihad, but Jihad with one’s
better for you, if you know
(61.11). with one’s life: life is the highest form.126

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The King Fahad Academy127 the only form of technology they are taught
is ‘home technology’. This disparity of treat-
Address: Bromyard Avenue, Acton, ment prompted Dr. Mai Yamani – a
London W37HD Research Fellow at the Royal Institute of
Telephone: 020 8743 0131 International Affairs and the daughter of
Email: academy@thekfa.org.uk Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani (the former
Website: http://www.thekfa.org.uk/ Saudi Oil Minister and spokesman for the
Charity Commission Registration No.: 327342 Organisation of Petroleum Exporting
Local MP: Andy Slaughter (Labour) Countries (OPEC)) – to withdraw her two
Local Authority: London Borough of Ealing daughters from the school.133
Affiliations: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, AMSUK In February 2007, further allegations were
levelled at the King Fahad Academy over the
127. The King Fahad Academy
content of its teaching. On this latter occa- is named after the former King
Points of Interest sion a former teacher, Colin Cook, claimed of Saudi Arabia, Fahd - albeit
with a slightly modified version
that pupils were being taught to describe Jews of his name.

The King Fahad Academy in London caters as ‘apes’ and Christians as ‘pigs’.134 He also 128. ‘About the King Fahad
Academy’, The King Fahad
for 1,000 students, amongst them the chil- claimed that the quality of instruction at the Academy, London, available at,
dren of Arab diplomats serving in London, school had taken a definitive turn for the http://www.thekfa.org.uk/index.p
hp?lang=en&content=about&sub
as well as other Arab and Muslim children worse from 2005, when many of the British =school.
living in London.128 It is a member of the teachers had left and there had been, ‘a move 129. ‘King Fahad Academy’,
Association of Muslim Schools UK towards a pro-Saudi agenda’.135 Association of Muslim Schools
UK, available at, http://ams-
(AMSUK).129 According to its website it In response to all such controversies, the uk.org/index.php?option=com_c
operates ‘under the support and supervision King Fahad Academy in London has repeat- ontent&task=view&id=125&Itemi
d=243&sid=68.
of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi edly denied that its pupils have ever been
130. ‘History of the Academy’,
Arabia in London’; this is confirmed by the subjected to extremist teaching.136 The King Fahad Academy,
London, available at,
fact that ‘His Excellency the Ambassador of High-profile visitors to the Academy (as http://www.thekfa.org.uk/index.p
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the Court listed on its website) have included King hp?lang=en&content=history&su
b=school; ‘Frequently asked
of St. James chairs the Council of Fahad of Saudi Arabia (1987), the future Questions’, The King Fahad
Management for the Academy’.130 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, (1988) Academy, available at,
http://www.thekfa.org.uk/index.p
Furthermore, the Academy has been a fre- HRH the Prince of Wales, Baroness hp?lang=en&content=faq&sub=s
quent port of call for Saudi Ambassadors to Thatcher, Lord Major and Lord Owen. chool.

131. ‘History of the Academy’,
Britain since 1978 who are said to have had
The King Fahad Academy,
‘the strongest impact on the direction of the London, available at,
http://www.thekfa.org.uk/index.p
Academy’.131 Books found here included: hp?lang=en&content=history&su
The Academy claims to have developed a b=school.

reputation for academic excellence; however, 3A. Al-Tawhid [Divine Unity] – 1st 132. Emma Hartley & Julie
Henry, ‘Girls at London Saudi
it has been the subject of some controversy Grade High School school are treated ‘as inferiors’,
as to the teaching methods it employs. In ‘To be distributed for free - not to be sold’ Daily Telegraph, 29 May 2004.

May 2004, the Daily Telegraph reported that Author: None Listed 133. Ibid.

134. Caroline Davies and
former teachers and parents of the school Publisher: The Ministry of Education, Learning
Graeme Paton, ‘Saudi-funded
had criticised the academy’s curricula for and Educational school “teaches religious
hatred’’’, Daily Telegraph, 7
instilling ‘hostility to the outsider’ among Advancement, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
February 2007.
children.132 There were also accusations of Published: 2004 135. Ibid.
discrimination against female pupils, with Language: Arabic 136. Hartley & Henry, ‘Girls at
girls taught under different courses from London Saudi school are treated
‘as inferiors’, Daily Telegraph, 29
boys in accordance with Saudi education This volume is a school textbook on the May 2004; Davies and Paton,
policy. Girls at the academy, it was claimed, concept of divine unity and the many ‘Saudi-funded school “teaches
religious hatred’’’, Daily
do little in the way of physical education and matters that fall under this topic. The Telegraph, 7 February 2007.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 51
The hijacking of British Islam

passages that follow are taken from a sec- Also showing happiness on their occa
tion entitled, al-Wala’ wa’l-bara’, which sions, taking time off from work and
deals with issues of loyalty to Islam and cooking food. Also using the solar cal
enmity to all that is not Islamic. The sec- endar, because it commemorates their
tion revolves around a series of Qur’anic Christmas.
texts.
Asserting loyalty and enmity along con- As for participating with them in their
fessional lines acts as a barrier to normal lawful celebrations, or in their tragedies,
social intercourse. Here, in this ‘first grade’ or in offering them sympathy and con
school textbook, Muslims are asked to dolences during calamities, the right
avoid any sort of engagement with non- way is the impermissibility of congratu
believers, such as attending their celebra- lating them or offering them condo
tions, showing happiness ‘on their festi- lences, as many of the scholars have
vals’, offering them sympathy or condo- conclusively ruled. The reason for this is
lences, cooperating in artistic activities like that closeness to them will result, and
singing, dancing, theatre, and taking part then love towards them will become firm
in sports: because of treating them with esteem. It
is forbidden because of these dangers.
‘Defining alWala’ wa’lbara: It is also forbidden to greet them before
they greet you, or to give way to them
alWala’: Its root is Wali which means on the road.
close to him.137 Its intended meaning is
closeness to the Muslims through loving Other types of imitating the unbelievers:
them, helping them, supporting them 1. That which they call art, like singing
against their enemies and living with and playing instruments, dancing,
them. acting, and establishing theatres and
movie theatres which are visited by
alBara’: Its root is bara which means to those who have lost their sense of
138
cut off … Its intended meaning here is righteousness, and do not take life
to sever all connections with the unbe seriously.
lievers, so he does not love them, sup 2. Taking great care in making pictures,
port them, or live amongst them. statues, and paintings …
3. Taking care to reestablish what has
One of the great requirements for hating been disregarded of games, distrac
the unbelievers and showing enmity tions, and traditions.
towards them is to stay away from their 4. A great interest of the youth in sports
ceremonies and celebrations. The great which distracts them from remem
est of their ceremonies is their holidays bering Allah and being obedient to
which are related to time and place. The Him.
Muslims must stay away from such
events. Similarly, Muslims are even prohibited from
using the western solar calendar:
... Also attending their time related festi
vals such as New Year and Christmas, One of the great requirements for hating
137. More correctly, the root is
the verb waliya, ‘to be near because it shows closeness to them, the unbelievers and showing enmity
someone… to be a friend’.
participation with them in establishing towards them is… using the solar calen
138. Correctly, the root is the
one of their ceremonies, and imitating dar, because it establishes their
verb bara’a, ‘to be or become
free, be cleared’. them. Christmas holiday.

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Here too, Muslims are greatly restricted in for a Muslim to travel to the lands of
their employment relations with non-believ- the unbelievers without a legal exemp
ers, since they should never appoint a non- tion and the power to exhibit his reli
Muslim to a responsible post when they are gion; when his visit is completed, he
employers, and should not take employment must return to the lands of Islam.
in junior positions when working for non-
Muslims. Once more, this seems like a bla- 3B. Sharh Kitab al-Tawhid [A
tant breach of regulations against discrimi- Commentary on The Book of the
nation in the workplace: Divine Unity] - 1st Grade
Intermediate
… they [nonMuslims] were forbidden ‘To be distributed for free - not to be sold’
from having authority over Muslims – Author: None Listed (This is a commentary
meaning in job positions – actually hiring on a central text by Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-
a Muslim with less qualification than a Wahhab)
nonMuslim is more beneficial to the Publisher: The Ministry of Education, Learning
Muslim’s religion. and Educational
[...] Advancement, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
You cannot give the disbeliever a posi Published: 2006-7
tion with authority over Muslims, or a Language: Arabic
position in which they have access to
secrets about Muslims, like ministers, This book offers 21 lessons for first-grade
and advisors pupils on ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s most impor-
[…] tant work, the Kitab al-Tawhid. The following
It is permissible to hire them for certain topics are covered: the virtues of divine unity,
marginal jobs which do not pose any how the believer in divine unity will enter par-
threat against the policies of the Muslim adise, fear of polytheism, summoning to the
government, like building buildings and confession of faith (al-shahada), customs that
paving roads, with the condition that amount to polytheism, spells and amulets (at
there are no Muslims who can do the length), making trees and stones sacred, sacri-
same job fice done in the name of any but God, oaths,
[...] and interpretations of two Qur’anic verses.
Working for the unbelievers and living In this passage discussing Islamic propa-
amongst them: gation (da’wah), it is made clear that, should
non-believers refuse to convert, they may be
It is forbidden for the Muslim to let him killed:
self be hired by an unbeliever, because it
would mean the unbeliever could com The basis of Islam is the divine unity.
mand the Muslim and could humiliate This requires bearing witness that ‘There
him. is no god but God’; it therefore is
incumbent on the people of Islam that
Finally, it is said that Muslims must not live their aim in jihad is to guide mankind to
among western societies without due cause: Islam, and to enter into it.
It is, therefore, preferable to call them
God has made it obligatory to migrate to Islam before fighting them, even if the
out of the lands of unbelief to the summons had already reached them
lands of Islam and warned against before that. But if it had not already
neglecting this [duty] without an reached them, it is necessary to sum
excuse in Shari‘a law. It is forbidden mon them before fighting them.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 53
The hijacking of British Islam

3C. Sharh Kitab al-Tawhid [A 3D. Al-Hadith wa’l-thaqafa al-
Commentary on The Book of the Islamiyya [Prophetic Tradition and
Divine Unity] - 2nd Grade Islamic Culture] - 1st Grade High
Intermediate School
‘To be distributed for free - not to be sold’ ‘To be distributed for free - not to be sold’
Author: None Listed (This is a commentary Author: None Listed
on the principal work of Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Publisher: The Ministry of Education, Learning
al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabi Islam) and Educational Advancement,The Kingdom
Publisher: The Ministry of Education, of Saudi Arabia
Learning, and Educational Published 2005-2006
Advancement, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Language: Arabic
Published: 2006-7
Language: Arabic This book is a first-grade secondary school
textbook for 11-year-old boys, divided into
This book, aimed at the level up from the two parts that deals with Prophetic
above book of the same name was pub- Traditions (Hadiths) and Islamic civilisation.
lished by an arm of the Saudi Government There are lessons on Traditions - four lessons
and is a second-grade school textbook look at specific Hadiths - and then the text
devoted to explanations of passages from deals with Islamic civilisation by examining
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab’s seminal religious issues: Islamic propagation
work, the Kitab al-Tawhid or Book of (da’wah); the Qur’an; the Companions of
Divine Unity. It provides 20 lessons on the the Prophet; sincerity; obedience; love for
following topics: unbelief, prayer at the God; and knowledge. In Part Two, there are
graves of saints (condemned), on how more Hadiths, then lessons on smoking,
some Muslims worship idols, magic, Zionism, generosity and altruism, the rights
astrology; praying for rain; interpretations of parents and relatives, listening (i.e. a list of
of several Qur’anic verses; and patience things that should and should not be lis-
with the decrees of God. tened to), remembrance (of God), personal
In this short, but disturbing, passage prayer, and righteousness.
Muslim students are commanded to betray In the following passage, the author
any of their fellow students who exhibit insists on the authenticity of the known for-
signs of innovation: gery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion – a
common theme in modern anti-Semitism:
He [Muhammad] (pbuh) warned against
imitating the polytheists … because imi Protocols of the Elders of Zion:
tating them in their worship and culture, It is secret document which is thought
will lead to the corruption of the religion to come out of ‘the conference of Bal
of Muslims, to the love of the enemies [Basle].’ It was revealed in the nien
of religion and to esteeming them and teenth century. The Jews tried to deny
liking them and the way they are on its existence, but there is a great deal of
[…] evidence which proves its existence and
Exercise: the fact that its source was indeed the
The student must write an essay about elders of Zion. We can summarise the
the dangers of imitating unbelievers, in content of the protocols with these
addition to mentioning some example of points:
the imitation which takes place amongst
the students. He must then read it to his 1. To shake the foundation of the cur
classmates. rent world society and its system of

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governing, in order to enable Zionism land of Palestine, and to defeat its
to exclusively rule the world. neighbouring enemies
2. The destruction of nationalism and […]
religions, especially the Christian The Difference between Zionism and the
nations. Masons:
3. To work towards increasing the cor Zionism is the same as the Masonic
ruption of the current governing order, the only difference is that Zionism
European regimes, for Zionism is purely Jewish in its form, content,
believes in their corruption and elimi method, and members. It advances the
nation. interests of the Jews in a direct manner
4. Controlling of media, propaganda,
and newspaper venues. Using gold ... The Masonic Order is a hidden
to instigate instabilities. Tempting the Jewish organisation. It uses general
masses with physical pleasures and humanitarian slogans. It may have non
spreading pornography. Jewish members. It is a secular, secret,
atheist movement which serves the
The indisputable evidence of the truth Jews indirectly. It is the hidden power
of the existence of these Protocols which sets the stage for the Jews to
and their contents of the hellraising achieve their goals, therefore Zionism
Jewish plans is: the fact that a lot of uses it to achieve its goals.
the schemes, conspiracies, and insti
gations found in it have been imple In addition to this, it is worth noting that
mented. Although it was written in the Zionism is even credited with plots dating
nineteenth century, it will become clear back long before the days of Theodor
to anyone who reads it the extent of Herzl (1860-1904) – the founder of mod-
how many of its articles have been ern Zionism. The Ibn Saba referred to is
implemented. an early Islamic hate figure thought by
most historians to have been a mythical
The textbook also goes on to repeat the character:
accusation that the malign hand of the Jews
can be seen lurking behind every sinister plot Some Examples of the Methods
in the world, because they (as explained in Employed by Zionism to Accomplish its
The Protocols) want to rule the world – a Goals:
familiar canard of modern anti-Semitism.
Following on from this, Zionism is not treat- 1. Instigating confusion, schemes and
ed as simply a Jewish nationalist movement, conspiracies throughout history:
but as part of the wider Jewish plot, of which • The Jewish Ibn Saba started and
Freemasons and others are also part. As the inflamed the rebellion against the
following passage asserts: Caliph Uthman Bin Affan, which
resulted in the martyrdom of Uthman
The Zionist Movement: at the hands of the rebels …
Zionism – as a political movement – • The French Revolution: The Jews
aims at gathering the Jews and uniting used it to attack religions, to destroy
them in order to have them immigrate to moral values and to promote empty
Palestine and establish a Jewish state. slogans. They also played a role in its
Zionism – as a religious and intellec planning and moral constitution.
tual movement – aims at empowering • World War I: the Jews play a role in
the Jewish race in order to possess the lighting its fuse.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 55
The hijacking of British Islam

• Bringing down the Islamic Ottoman Publisher: The Ministry of Education, Learning
Caliphate, and it is no secret the role and Educational Advancement, The Kingdom
139
the Jews of the Donma [sic] of Saudi Arabia
played in it. Published 2005-6
• The Bolshevik Russian Revolution Language: Arabic
against the rule of Czar: it is well
known that the roots of Marxist One stage up from the book of the same title
thought are Jewish … for first grade secondary pupils (see above),
• You will not find any confusion in this Saudi school textbook starts with nine
which the Jews did not play a role. Hadiths, followed by a section on civilisa-
tion. Topics include: the bravery of the
2. Their attempt at trying to immerse Prophet, youth, bravery and manliness,
nations in vice and the spread of wealth in Islam, expenditure, the mosque,
fornication. The Jews controlled neighbours and their rights, greetings, visit-
this kind of trade and promoted it. ing, feasts, and sleep and waking. Section
They manage the bars in Europe Two begins with seven Hadiths, then the
and the United States and in Israel rights of guardians, honouring women, for-
itself. bidding the mixing of the sexes, the rights of
3. Controlling literature and art by married couples, polygamy, the rights of
spreading the immoral pornographic children, the characteristics of the human
literature... tongue (lying, back-biting etc.), the heart
4. Controlling the movie industry and art and its sicknesses, self-restraint, the danger
in the western world and elsewhere. posed by the Crusaders/Christians, danger-
5. Cheating, bribing, stealing, and ous sects (atheism, Communism,
conning. Existentialism, nationalism, Qadyanism,
Babism and Baha’ism), and meetings.
A very common feature of modern Muslim As ever in this kind of material, a central
anti-Semitism is the association of other focus is placed on the position and role of
groups with Zionism. This has the added women in society. Here, the author describes
effect of making it more difficult for how women, collectively, are innately dis-
Muslims in the West to integrate by joining posed to behave badly:
societies that might bring them into contact
with their fellow citizens: Some of the collective character traits
women possess is that they complain
The destructive movements which were too much and they are not content with
employed by Zionism to achieve its the favours their husband provide for
goals: them. These are blameworthy traits
1 The Masons … which will lead them to hellfire, which is
2 B’nai B’rith … why the Muslim woman must avoid
3 The International Lions Clubs … such traits, and must be keen on stay
4 The Rotary Clubs … ing away from them.

3E. Al-Hadith wa’l-thaqafa al- Following on from this, women are por-
139. Dönmeh is a Turkish word
meaning convert. In its technical Islamiyya [Prophetic Tradition and trayed as fundamentally weak in nature and
sense it refers to certain follow-
ers of Sabbatai Sevi, who out-
Islamic Culture] – 2nd Grade High needing to be led (presumably by men):
wardly practised Islam, but School
inwardly remained Jews – con-
vinced that Sabbatai Sevi was
‘To be distributed for free - not to be sold’ For sure the nature of the woman is that
the Messiah. Author: None Listed she is weak; if she is left without being

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directed, or without being led by her This book offers a set of lessons on Prophetic
hand, she will become corrupted and Tradition (Hadith) for third-grade interme-
she will corrupt others. diate pupils. There is a total of twenty-six les-
sons, most of which deal with two traditions
Furthermore, men and women are deemed apiece. A range of topics are woven into this:
to be so volatile that just to mix with the adultery, death, the prohibition on the mix-
opposite sex at all will inevitably provoke a ing of men and women, homosexuality
sexual storm. According to such a view, if (where the meaning of ‘the doings of the
western women have become commodities, People of Lot’ are described as ‘putting their
men are no more than wolves: penises into their buttocks’), the prohibition
on mistreating animals, thanking God at the
One of the most effective methods for end of a meal, dreams (nightmares are from
corrupting the character (of Muslims) is Satan), the prohibition on men wearing gold
the free mixing [of] women and foreign ornaments, the prohibitions on smoking
men [other than her legal guardian], in and drinking alcohol, etc. There is an appen-
a way in which they are alone together dix giving brief biographical descriptions of
without a legal guardian with the the transmitters of the traditions cited.
woman. The unbelieving woman, in In this short excerpt, it is not only that
the east and west, fell in this free mix Muslims are enjoined to be the enemies of
ing trap, so she became decadent in ‘non-believers’, but also there is an assump-
the mud of corruption and sin. She tion that Jews and Christians must be ene-
became a cheap item for sale mies of Islam:
amongst the wolves of men; her hon
our was trampled on, her dignity was The Jews and the Christians are the
polluted and she became a commer enemies of the Muslim, and they will
cial item in the stores and market never be pleased with the Muslims
places … this is the state of the unbe
lieving woman 3G. Al-Tafsir [Qur’an Exegesis] – 3rd
[…] Grade Intermediate
There is no doubt that free mixing ‘To be distributed for free - not to be sold’
between men and women activates the Author: None Listed
sexual instincts within the self, lights the Publisher: The Ministry of Education, Learning
fire of excessive desires and tempts and Educational
each of the sexes with each other. It Advancement, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
loosens the reins of the unrestricted Published: 2005-6
sexual desires, which cause each of the Language: Arabic
sexes to become the prisoner of his or
her desires. This third-grade school textbook delivers
lessons on Qur’an exegesis (tafsir). There are
3F. Al-Hadith [Prophetic Traditions] – twenty-six lessons in total, each based on a
3rd Grade, Intermediate clump of verses from different suras. This is
‘To be distributed for free - not to be sold’ a primer in the Islamic science of Qur’an
Author: None Listed interpretation. A verse or series of verses is
Publisher: The Ministry of Education, Learning selected, dictionary definitions are given,
and Educational Advancement, The Kingdom then legal and general conclusions are
of Saudi Arabia reached. We have taken passages from sever-
Published 2005-6 al places, many with a bearing on
Language: Arabic Muslim/non-Muslim relations.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 57
The hijacking of British Islam

In the following passage, for instance, the stabbing throughout the centuries,
author asserts that no matter how close the and they do not keep their word nor
bond between people, it must be superseded honour their promise
by the ties of faith. This feeds into the notion […]
that a Muslim must define him/her-self as a The Jews who lived in Medina were
Muslim first and foremost; which, in turn, three tribes: Banu Qainuqa‘, Banu
promotes the concept of the world-wide Nadhir, and Banu Qurayza. They all
Islamic umma – to which a Muslim must betrayed the agreement they had with
give his or her allegiance over and above all the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). This is
else: the practice of Jews in every age. That
is why they deserved quick retribution,
1. The tie of belief is the strongest of either to be exiled or to be killed or
ties. Faith in God and the end of enslaved.
days cannot meet with loving and
supporting the unbelievers, even if 3H. Al-adab al-‘Arabi [Arabic
the unbeliever is the closest of those Literature] – 3rd Grade High
close to you such as father, children, School
brothers, or tribe. ‘To be distributed for free - not to be sold’
2. Every Muslim is obliged to love his Author: None Listed
[fellow] Muslims, to assist them in Publisher: The Ministry of Education, Learning
their problems, to share their misfor and Educational Advancement, The Kingdom
tunes. This is one of the requirements of Saudi Arabia
of belief, namely love for the Muslims Published: 2003
and enmity towards the disbelievers. Language: Arabic
3. The absence of friendship or love to
the unbelievers; does not abstain This Saudi school textbook, whilst sup-
from treating them with justice, so posedly about Arab literature, is in fact
long as this does not involve being mainly about Islamic matters, including
friends to them or loving them. da’wah (Islamic propagation) in the past
4. Those who abandon love for the and the present. The modern part main-
unbelievers shall be rewarded by God ly focuses on Saudi religious literature,
but it also includes a song by Sayyed
In another passage, meanwhile, the fate of Qutb, a main ideologue of the Muslim
the Jews of Medina (many of whom were Brotherhood. There is also a section on
either expelled, or executed as traitors within modern culture in Saudi Arabia.
five years of Muhammad’s arrival in Medina The passage we have drawn attention
in 622 CE) is presented as desirable because to is from an address to Arab youth by
of the supposedly innate deceit of the Jews as Mustafa Sadiq al-Rafi‘i (d. 1937), a
a people. The implication seems to be that Syrian-Egyptian writer considered one of
mistreating or executing Jews is justified, the greatest Arab poets of the twentieth
first because the Prophet commanded it in century:
his day, and secondly because the Jew is
always treacherous. The battle between us and colonialism
is a psychological battle, if levity is not
• The Jews are a people who were killed, the duty [of fighting the battle]
moulded with treachery and back will be killed insteard.

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Al-Muntada Al-Islami Trust Ofsted-inspected, fee-paying primary
school with over 150 students (both boys
Address: 7 Bridges Place, Parsons Green, and girls). In addition, the Trust also runs
London SW6 4HW the al-Muntada Islamic school (Eden
Telephone: 020 7731 8203 High School) in west London, which is
Email: n/a part of the Association of Muslim
Website: www.almuntada.org.uk Schools UK.143
Charity Commission Registration No.: 293355 According to its website, the Al-
Local MP: Greg Hands (Conservative) Muntada Al-Islami Trust engages in a
Local Authority: London Borough of number of activities ‘aimed at building 140. ‘About us’, Al-Muntada Al-
Islami website, cached at
Hammersmith & Fulham better community relations’.144 Such activ- http://66.102.9.104/search?q=ca
Affiliations: MCB, ASMUK, MSF ities include its cooperation with the che:9gMc9nGgdzwJ:www.almun
tada.org.uk/aboutus.htm+al-
‘Safer Neighbourhoods Team’ of the Muntada+alIslami&hl=en&ct=cln
Hammersmith and Fulham division of k&cd.

Points of Interest the Metropolitan Police.145 It is also part 141. Cristina Odone, ‘Faith
Invaders’, New Statesman, 18
of the Muslim Safety Forum (MSF) – an April 2005.

The al-Muntada al-Islami Trust was set up in ‘advisory body’, which liaises with the 142. Abdul Mohamed, ‘Letters –
We Strive Only for Harmony’,
the UK in 1986 and has since spread to over Metropolitan Police Service and the New Statesman, 9 May 2005,
twenty African and Asian countries. Its Association of Chief Police Officers on available at, http://www.new-
statesman.com/200505090033.
declared purpose is ‘to follow the path of Al- ‘issues concerning British Muslims’.146
143. ‘Al-Muntada Islamic School
Sunnah Al-Jama’a and call Muslims to Further, the Trust even participated in the (Eden High School)’, Association
believe in Allah and remind them of their 2006 ‘Borough Peace Breakfast’, which of Muslim Schools UK, available
at, http://www.ams-
method in neither excess nor deficiency’.140 was hosted by the police and the organi- uk.org/index.php?option=com_c
ontent&task=view&id=125&Itemi
In April 2005, New Statesman maga- sation, Peace Alliance, in an effort to pro-
d=243&sid=23.
zine published an article by Cristina mote interfaith community engage- 144. ‘Activities: Community
Odone in which she categorised al- ment.147 Relations’, Al-Muntada Al-Islami,
available at, http://www.almunta-
Muntada as being part of a Saudi-funded In addition to this, the Trust also states datrust.org/home/index.php?opti
effort to disseminate ‘a rigid, censorious it has carried out ‘interfaith work’ with on=com_content&task=view&id=
57&Itemid=75.
form of Islam, which includes the strict ‘local churches and their congregations’, as
145. See, ‘Hammersmith:
observance of prayer times, learning the well as having organised ‘seminars for pub- Diversity Action Plan 06/07’,
Qur’an by rote, and a wholesale rejection lic sector workers aimed at educating them Metropolitan Police Service,
available at,
of the habits, attitudes and values of about the Muslim faith, practices and http://cms.met.police.uk/met/bor
oughs/hammersmith/03work-
mainstream society’.141 In response Mr. community’.148 ing_with_the_community/diversi-
Abdul Fatah S. Mohamed, the Director of In 2005, the local Conservative ty_action_plan_06_07.

the Al-Muntada Al-Islami Trust, wrote a Councillor Greg Hands (now Member of 146. ‘Home’, The Muslim Safety
Forum, available at,
letter that was published on the Letters Parliament for the constituency of http://www.muslimsafetyforum.o
page of the New Statesman under the Hammersmith & Fulham) visited the rg/. Last accessed 3 October
2007.
headline, ‘We strive only for harmony’. Centre.149
147. See, ‘Hammersmith:
Therein, he claimed that the Trust ‘does Diversity Action Plan 06/07’,
Metropolitan Police Service,
not promote any version of Islam except
available at,
middle-path and mainstream. It is totally Books found here included: http://cms.met.police.uk/met/bor
oughs/hammersmith/03work-
independent and has never been part of ing_with_the_community/diversi-
any sect or group. Odone wrongly says we 4A. Al-wala’ wa’l-bara [Loyalty and ty_action_plan_06_07.

are ‘Saudi-funded’: we have never been enmity] according to the 148. ‘Activities: Community
Relations’, Al-Muntada Al-Islami,
funded by the Saudi Government’.142 ‘aqeedah [belief] of the Salaf available at, http://www.almu
Since 1989, the Trust has owned and [Righteous Companions] ntadatrust.org/home/index.php?
option=com_content&task=view
run al-Muntada Islamic primary school Author: Muhammad Saeed al-Qahtani &id=57&Itemid=75.

in Parsons Green, west London – an Publisher: Al Firdous Publications 149. Ibid.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 59
The hijacking of British Islam

Published: 1993 cumstances. If a ruler understands trhe
Language: English obligation to rule in accordance wth
what Allah has revealed, but refuses to
This book is based on the author’s MA the- do so out of disobedience, while know
sis, which discusses different aspects of the ing full well that this exposes him to the
declaration of faith. The book claims that it threat of punishment, then this is a case
was written at a very crucial time, in which of lesser disbelief.
‘everything has become so mixed up that
some Muslims are no longer aware of those ‘But if he believes that this is not an obli
qualities which distinguish the believers gation and that he is able to choose this
from the non-believers’. Muslim belief is or that, when he knows that the only
described as being weak and the author com- option is the rule of Allah, then this is
plains that many Muslims have taken ‘disbe- greater disbelief. Finally, if his error is
lievers’ as their friends, while displaying because of ignorance, then the ruling
enmity towards many of the believers. that applies to him is the same as for
In the following passage, the author anyone else who makes a mistake.’
asserts that if a ruler replaces shari’ah law
with secular law, he/she is to be seen as an Ibn Taimiya [d. 1328] says, ‘There is no
unbeliever. The implications for secular gov- doubt that whoever does not believe in
ernments are serious, since the attribution of the obligation to rule by what Allah has
‘disbelief’ may be seen to delegitimise them: revealed to His Messenger, may Allah
bless him and grant him peace, is a dis
To override the Divine law and to believer. Whoever sanctions another to
impose instead of it the fleeting desires rule a people in whichever way he
of man, is one of the acts that our pleases, without reference to what Allah
ulama have always said takes a per has revealed, is a disbeliever. He may
son out of Islam; and this could not be claim to be just, but there is no people
otherwise. No one can deny this. who would not claim to be just, even if
this justice were only discernible to the
Muhammad ibn Ibrahim Alash powerful amongst them.
Sheikh 150
explains the words of Imam
Ahmad which were mentioned earlier – 4B. The Authentic Creed and the
‘This is real disbelief about which there Invalidators of Islam
is no doubt in anyone’s mind’ – saying, Author: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz
‘Clearly the greatest disbelief is to ele Publisher: Dar-us-Salam
vate a secular profanity to the position Published: 2000
of the Revelation brought by the hand Language: English
of Gabriel, upon whom be peace, to
the heart of Muhammad, may Allah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz (d. 1999)
bless him and grant him peace, so was the leading Saudi cleric of his day and his
that his voice should ring out across writing continues to carry considerable
the world.’ weight among Wahhabites. In this book he
explains ‘the fundamental beliefs that every
Ibn alQayyim [d.1350] also says, ‘The Muslim should have faith in’ and also discuss-
fact of the matter is that the phrase, es ‘some misconceptions and false ideologies
‘rule by other than what Allah has that contradict the correct belief system’.
150. The Saudi Minister for
Justice. He is a descendant of
revealed’, refers to all disbelief, both With regards to the latter, he draws attention
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab. greater and lesser, according to the cir to the reversal from the days when Islam was

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supreme and the present age of ignorance — This work covers the main issues of faith
an echo of the thought of the major Muslim and jurisprudence and claims to have been
Brotherhood thinker, Sayyed Qutb (d. 1966). written in order to, ‘serve as a reference for
Whether his own original thinking or, as is the English speaking Muslims in general
likely, a borrowing from Qutb, bin Baz’s use and Muslims who are living in the West in
of the ‘Age of Ignorance’/‘Age of Islam’ has particular where scholars and Islamic refer-
profound implications. ence works are minimal’.
Thus, in this passage he outlines that the A key theme within much of the literature
original ‘Age of Ignorance’ was the situa- examined here is an emphasis on the notion
tion of the pagan Arab world, before the that whatever a Muslim does in worship –
coming of Islam: whether that be through prayer, fasting, giv-
ing alms, or going on the hajj pilgrimage – it
Islam then reigned supreme and pre means nothing without an inner intent for
vailed over all religions … The situation jihad. Several writers come very close to
changed again after ignorance domi making jihad a sixth pillar of the faith (the
nated and an overwhelming majority of four components of worship just mentioned
people reverted to their foolish, igno are four of the five pillars, with the testimo-
rant practices … ny of faith as the fifth). The following pas-
sage is a classic example in this regard:
The author then describes how, when the
pagans refused to accept his claims, Jihad is considered as the peak of
Muhammad (and later, the Caliphs who suc- Islam, and of the best acts or worship
ceeded him) had recourse to outright vio- [‘one of the best acts of worship?].
lence. Implied here is the notion of ceaseless Some scholars went as far as consid
enmity between Muslims and ‘disbelievers’, ering it as the sixth pillar of Islam.
with the two locked in an existential struggle.
This is certainly how Qutb intended the con- As to what is meant by jihad, the broad
cept to be used, and many extremists have scope of jihad as a tactic to be used against
turned to his works to justify their actions. As a variety of evildoers is also elaborated
the following extract shows, bin Baz is an here. Whilst the use of non-violent meth-
active proponent of this logic: ods is discussed it is clear that force
remains as an option:
Belief in Allâh also necessitates love
for His sake, hate for His sake, and The Kinds of Jihad
making friends and enemies for His […]
sake. A true believer loves the 2. Jihad against the unbelievers and
believers and takes them for friends, the hypocrites. This kind of Jihad may
and shows hate towards the disbe be by heart, or by abhorring their
lievers and does not take them for deeds, by tongue, i.e., by establishing
friends. the evidence against them and refut
ing their arguments, or by finance,
4C. The Islamic Digest of Aqeedah i.e., by financing da’wah151 programs,
and Fiqh [The Islamic Digest of or maintaining those who participate
Belief and Jurisprudence] in such programs; and by force.
Author: Mahmoud R. Murad
Publisher: Dar-us-Salam 3. Jihad against a tyrant, oppressors,
Published: 1998 people of bid’ah152, or wrongdoers. 151. Da’wah - proselytising.

Language: English This type of Jihad is best done 152. Bid’ah - innovation.

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The hijacking of British Islam

through force if possible, otherwise, by her finery, but if the jilbab is colorful
tongue, or else by abhorring their and decorative, it becomes an orna
deeds in one’s heart. ment in itself and defeats its own pur
pose.
Jihad is the best of righteous deeds.
In his renowned book, AlKabaa’ir (The
Another key theme covered in this vol- Grave Sins), Imam adthDthahabi [al
ume concerns the position of women in Dhahabi]154 asserts:
society. According to the author, a
woman’s body is so dangerous that most Among other things for which a woman
rapes in the West are inspired by female would be cursed, are disclosing the
‘nudity’ (which for some Wahhabites can fineries which she wears under her
mean the uncovered face and hands of a outer garment, wearing perfume in her
woman). The answer, therefore, is to outings, wearing colorful outer garment,
wear an all-covering garment, the jilbab – or a short cloak. Tabarruj includes all
and one that is not too colourful. Here, these things. Allah, the Exalted, hates
we see a form of puritanism that abhors tabarruj and women who practice it.
bright colours and perfumes, stands jux-
taposed to western norms, and which 4D. Fatawa al-Lajna al-Da’imiyya li’l-
even for many practising Muslims Buhuth al-‘Ilmiyya wa’l-Ifta’. Al-
around the world runs counter to the Mujallad al-Awwal, al-‘Aqida
tenets of Islam itself: [Religious Edicts (fatwas) from
the Permanent Council for
all of the woman’s body is vulnerable Knowledge and the Issue of
which must be covered with a gar Fatwas, volume 1, Belief]
ment which hides the details of her Compiler: The Permanent Council for
body. While in the West, most rape Knowledge and Edict Research,
cases are sparked by nudity. Not only The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
that, nudity is one of the most effec Publisher: Al’Abikan Library
tive factors behind reluctance in mar Published: 1412 (1991)
riage, and a major factor in divorce. Language: Arabic

Women display their naked bodies day This Saudi-issued compilation of reli-
and night, and as a result fornication gious edicts covers a variety of themes.
and adultery prevail to the point that it The passages that follow indicate serious
has become a matter of fact in the problems with the acceptance of non-
west. Thus the men evade the shackles Muslim law, respect for the symbols of the
of marriage and take a girlfriend instead. country in which Muslims live (described
[…] as ‘an ugly habit’), and democracy. These
Tabarruj [correctly: tabarruj]153 of echo statements in ‘Loyalty and Enmity’
woman, is displaying her beauty and (see above, pages 31-34) which emphasise
153. From the fifth form of the ornaments to strangers, or men dis a belief in Muslim superiority over non-
Arabic verb baraja, ‘to adorn
herself, to make herself pretty (of
tantly related to her, and wearing in Muslims and the unacceptability of
a woman)’. public, makeup or whatever may Muslims obeying ‘unbelievers’ in any
154. Muhammad ibn Ahmad al- excite men’s lust. sphere of life:
Dhahabi (1274-1348) was a
leading scholar in several Islamic
disciplines. The Kitab al-kaba’ir The purpose of the jilbab is to conceal Q: Is it permissible to stand up for the
is the best known of the roughly
one hundred works he penned. the details of the woman’s body and national anthem or the national flag?

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A: It is not permissible for a Muslim to Q: What do you say about owning
stand up to honour a national flag, or a magazines which have pictures in
national anthem. These are reprehensi them…?
ble innovations … It also falls under imi
tating the unbelievers in their ugly habits, A: Owning magazines with pictures in
and accommodating them in their trans them is permissible if it is for the pur
gression regarding their presidents and pose of learning. The one reading it
their ceremonies. must cover the pictures in it with ink or
[…] other matter. If the ownership is
Q: We live under the authority of a non because of the pictures, then it is for
Muslim government which uses secular bidden.
laws to govern. Is it permissible for us to
take our cases to this government (for a 4E. Fatawa al-Lajna al-Da’imiyya li’l-
judgement)? Buhuth al-‘Ilmiyya wa’l-Ifta’. Al-
Mujallad al-Thani, al-‘Aqida
A: It is impermissible for a Muslim to [Religious Edicts (fatwas) from
seek judgement from a nonMuslim the Permanent Council for
government… If the government Knowledge and the Issue of
ruled with laws which Allah did not Fatwas, volume 2, Belief]
reveal then it is an unIslamic govern Complier: The Permanent Council for
ment. Knowledge and the Issue of
[…] Fatwas, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Q: Would the Muslims who con Publisher: Al’Abikan Library
tributed to the constitution be sinful for Published: 1992
doing so? Language: Arabic

A: If the constitution contained any In this text, another volume of ‘religious
thing which is contrary to Islam, it edicts’, the incompatibility of Muslims
would be impermissible for a Muslim with the society and social norms of non-
to contribute in drafting it … Muslims is stressed. Here, for example, a
[…] question expressing concern about having
Q: Is it permissible for a Muslim to non-Muslims to visit, allowing unbelievers
vote during elections or to vote for a to visit mosques, or meeting with them at
nonMuslim? general assemblies organised by the gov-
ernment meets with a negative response.
A: It is impermissible for Muslims to vote
for a nonMuslim, because that would Q: We live in Australia which is a secu
raise their prestige, and increase their lar nonreligious country, although they
honour and make them an authority claim to believe in the freedom of reli
over Muslims. gion for all faiths. We find that the
Australian media is fully dressed with
Such is the antipathy for western society the Christian and Jewish garment. Any
that infuses the material in this volume discerning mind can see this phenom
that even reading magazines is deemed to enon. The numbers of Muslims com
be potentially problematic, since pictures pared to their numbers is 1 to 32.
have to be covered up and they may be Sometimes we feel obligated to go to
read only for educational purposes in the their centres and their places of wor
first place: ship. Sometimes a person may find

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The hijacking of British Islam

himself compelled to attend their would stay away from a source of
funeral service of a friend, or of a doubt, worry, accusations, and dan
supervisor at work or for some other ger.
occasion … some of these people 4. It is forbidden to allow them to give
may visit our homes and sit and eat speeches or lectures at our
with us. He may even ask us to take mosques, because you cannot trust
him inside the mosque and to give him them not to show doubts, or trans
a tour of the place (of course with gress against Allah’s religion, or gain
observing the Islamic etiquette of tak prestige in the eyes of some of the
ing off their shoes or for women cover attendees. This would create confu
ing their heads). What is the legal rul sion and a great corruption. The
ing regarding the following matters? same applies regarding other places
where Muslims gather …
1. Visiting their homes.
2. Attending their religious ceremonies. Furthermore, as the following passages
3. Taking them as business partners. make clear it is unacceptable to create a
4. If they visited our homes. place for joint worship for Jews,
5. If they enter our places of worship. Christians, and Muslims; or to try to bring
6. Can they give a speech inside our the three faiths closer to one another.
mosques? Rather, Judaism and Christianity are sim-
7. Can we meet with the Jews and the ply to be seen as falsehoods.
Christians in a general assembly
organised by the Australian Q: Is it permissible to make a place for
Government? joint faith worship for all of these three
religions: Judaism, Christianity, and
A: Islam?
1. You can enter their homes in order
to soften their hearts towards Islam, A: It is not permissible to create a place
or to advise and guide them, but shared by all three, because that would
you cannot visit them because you mean it is not built upon piety. It would
love them or feel closeness towards be built upon polytheism and worship
them. ping other than Allah. There is no other
2. It’s forbidden to attend their reli correct religion besides Islam…
gious ceremonies, because that sig […]
nifies that you respect and are Q: Is the call for bringing the three reli
happy with their ceremonies. It gions: Islam, Christianity, and Judaism,
would also mean that you would closer to each other a sound invitation
increase their numbers during such according to religious law? Is it per
events and gatherings. missible for a Muslim to work for such
3. It is permissible to be their partners a cause, and strengthen it? I heard
in businesses which are permissi that the scholars of the AlAzhar and
ble, if the Muslim who is partnering other Islamic organisations are doing
with them felt safe that they would such work …
not cheat him, nor would they med
dle in impermissible things like A: 1. The Jews and the Christians have
usury, and gambling … but it would falsified and changed the words which
be better not to take them as part they were given; by doing so they have
ners altogether, that way a Muslim changed the principles upon which their

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religions stand, and the laws of their they corrupted, and to guide them and
God. Some examples of this are: the to guide others to the straight path…
Jews claim Uzair [Ezra] was the son of
God, or that God was tired from creating But they have rejected him and turned
the heavens and earth and what is away from him because of their trans
between them in six days, so he needed gression, enmity, and jealousy;
to rest on Saturday; their claim that they although the truth was known to them
crucified and killed Jesus son of Mary
(pbuh) … other examples are the claims In another exchange, it is confirmed that
of the Christians that Jesus (pbuh) is the taking holidays in non-Muslim countries is
son of God, that he is God with Allah; also forbidden:
they also believed the Jews in their claim
that they crucified and killed Jesus. Both Q: I go every year with my wife and lit
of these groups claimed that they are tle daughter on vacation to Greece
the beloved children of God, they disbe and Austria. We spend two weeks at
lieved in Muhammad (pbuh) and what he the beach or visiting the beautiful
brought, they harboured malice and Greek islands and their gardens as a
envy towards him … form of innocent vacation. Is doing so
permissible knowing that both me and
How then can a sane person who my wife maintain our prayer discipline,
knows their insistence upon falsehood, and my wife does not uncover her
and knows their hatred (towards body, and we only eat fruits and veg
Muslims) openly and knowingly, due to etables, and we do not interact with
their envy and of following their whims, the foreigners nor do we look at their
call for closeness between the nakedness. Please advise us.
Muslims and these people?
A: It is forbidden to travel to the coun
... those who convince themselves that tries of polytheistic people without a
they can bring together these two con legal reason, and vacation is no legal
tradictions, or to bring Islam closer to reason for travel …
Judaism and Christianity, is like someone
who tries hard to bring together another That is why we advise not to go to
two contradictions, truth and falsehood, such countries for the reason you
or disbelief and faith … mentioned, because you may become
confused, or because you would be
2. Based on what we said, we can see living amongst the unbelievers …
that the foundations of all faiths which
God sent is to his servants are one … And unsurprisingly, taking citizenship in a
the Jews and the Christians have falsi country whose government is composed of
fied their faith and changed what was unbelievers is also forbidden:
sent to them from their Lord. This way
their religions became counterfeit, a Q: Many Muslims who come to this
grave lie, disbelief, and misguidance. land, they come with the intention of
That is why the Messenger residing here. They finally get the
Muhammad was sent to them and to American citizenship. Is it permissible
other nations in general, in order to that they do so knowing that it is the
uncover what they tried to cover of the land of unbelievers and polytheism
truth, and to unveil the beliefs which and deviancy? How could they give

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 65
The hijacking of British Islam

their oath of loyalty to such a govern A: It is permissible for a Muslim to
ment, and how could they give up change one Muslim country’s
the nationality of their Islamic home nationality to another Muslim country’s
land while accepting the nationality of nationality. As for changing his Muslim
such a country? What is Islam’s country’s nationality to an unbelieving
judgement in this matter, since they country’s nationality, it is forbidden.
give the excuse that they are spread
ing Islam. Finally, here, the author stresses that even
taking Saturday and Sunday as days off
A: It is forbidden for a Muslim to be school – as is the convention across west-
naturalised with the citizenship of a ern societies - is deemed prohibited:
country with a disbelieving govern
ment; because that would signify loyal Q: What is the ruling regarding those
ty to them and acceptance of the who have Saturday and Sunday as
falsehood they are on. As for staying school days off, and he goes to school
without becoming naturalised, it is also on Thursday and Friday? Does such a
forbidden … person qualify to lead the Muslims in
[…] prayer?
Q: What is the religious ruling regard
ing changing one’s nationality; whether A: It is impermissible to specifically take
it was from the nationality of one Saturday or Sunday or both as school
Muslim Arab country to another days off, because it would mean imitat
Muslim Arab country; or from a Muslim ing the Jews and the Christians, since
Arab country to a European country, the Jews take Saturday off and the
given that he maintains his great Christians take Sunday off, as they
beliefs, I mean Islam? revere these days…

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Darul Amaan Islamic Centre (The then deals in detail with the concept of
‘Colliers Wood Mosque’) divine unity, the Qur’an, the act of witness,
angels, the Prophet, the Last Day, the Salaf
Address: 54 Merton Road, London, SW19 1DH (the first three generations of Muslims),
Telephone: 020 8543 5687 apostasy, and unbelief. There is a presenta-
Email: n/a tion of the principles of Islamic propaga-
Website: n/a tion, its aims and supports. Jihad is covered
Charity Commission Registration No.: 275579 in some detail, and after that the Islamic
Local MP: Stephen Hammond (Conservative) umma and its leadership. An account of
Local Authority: London Borough of Merton the religious scholars and their position
Affiliations: MCB within society follows and then a section
on holding fast to the Qur’an and the
Traditions. The book ends with an account
Points of Interest of studying the Islamic sciences.
In this passage, the author engages in a
The Darul Amaan Trust that runs the discussion of jihad, arguing that it is for-
Islamic Centre was established in 1978 and bidden for believers ever to abandon it.
its stated objective (according to the
Charity Commission’s website) is, ‘to pro- Abandoning jihad is one of the great
mote the faith of Islam and Islamic chari- est of things prohibited. It is forbidden
table institutions, and relief of poverty in for the people of Islam to abandon the
the United Kingdom’.155 jihad, especially defensive jihad;
indeed, it is one of the greatest of
things prohibited and one of the sever
Books found here included: est of mortal sins. Ibn Hazm156 has
said: ‘There is no sin after that of unbe
5A. Al-Sirat: usul manhaj ahl al- lief greater than the sin of anyone who
sunna wa’l-jama‘a fi’l-I‘tiqad refuses to fight jihad against the unbe
wa’l-‘amal [Conducts/Way of life: lievers and orders the Muslim women to
the principles of the followers of be given to them. 155. ‘Darul Amaan Trust’, Extract
the Prophetic path concerning from the Central Register of
Charities, available at,
belief and [religious] action] It is not a condition for undertaking http://www.charity-
Author: ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Abd al-Khaliq; jihad that a general leader be present. commission.gov.uk/registered-
charities/showcharity.asp?regno
ed. Sheik ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz =275579.

Publisher: n/a There is no disagreement among the 156. Ahmad ibn Sa’id ibn Hazm
(d. 1064) was a famous
Published: 2000 followers of the Prophetic path that
Andalusian theologian and
Language: Arabic there doesn’t have to be a leader in writer. He is best known for his
erotic poem, Tawq al-hamama
order to undertake the duty of jihad, (The Dove’s Necklace).
This book contains a full-length discussion whether voluntarily or defensively…157 157. Some Islamic scholars
based closely on the central Wahhabite argue that under normal condi-
tions, so long as jihad is under-
text, Kitab al-Tawhid [The Book of Divine The fighters (mujahidun) who under taken by some Muslims, it is not
Unity] by Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al- take jihad in the path of God from binding on the rest. But should a
Muslim country come under
Wahhab. It summarises proper belief among the believers are the best of attack, then defensive jihad
becomes a duty binding on
according to the Wahhabite world-view, the people of Islam.
everyone.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 67
The hijacking of British Islam

The UKIM North London The central Birmingham branch of the
Mosque (The ‘Euston Mosque’) UKIM was implicated in January 2007’s
Dispatches: Undercover Mosque programme
Address: 202 North Gower Street, London, which was shown on Channel 4. In that
NW1 2LY investigation, speakers were filmed inside
Telephone: 020 7387 2157 the mosque speaking out against non-
Email: friends@ukim.org Muslims – who were labelled ‘kaffirs’ – and
Website: www.ukim.org telling Muslims that they could not accept
Charity Commission Registration No.: 250275 non-Muslim rule, democracy, or integration
Local MP: Frank Dobson (Labour) into British society.162 Responding to the
Local Authority: London Borough of Camden controversy created by the programme,
Affiliations: MCB, MSF, UKIM, JI, MAB, IF, MET, Mohammed Shahin Akhtar, the Secretary-
IFE, FOSIS General of the UK Islamic Mission, said,
‘The UK Islamic Mission is a totally trans-
parent, mainstream organisation which has
Points of Interest been working in the UK for 45 years. We
158. ‘UK Islamic Mission’, UK
have done positive work and have con-
Islamic Mission @ Madinah The ‘Euston Mosque’ is the North London tributed a lot to interfaith work’. 163
Mosque, Nelson, available at,
http://www.ukim- headquarters of the United Kingdom UKIM is a member of the Muslim
nelson.org.uk/about.htm#. Last Islamic Mission (UKIM). The UKIM was Safety Forum that works alongside the
accessed 12 July 2007.
created in 1962 ‘on the initiative of a small Metropolitan Police Service and the
159. ‘Welcome to the UK Islamic
Mission’s Web Portal’, group of Muslims’ who sought to convey Association of Chief Police Officers as an
http://www.ukim.org/DesktopDef
ault.aspx?tabindex=0&tabid=1.
‘the true spirit of Islam to the western advisory body on ‘Muslim issues’.164
160. Blair cited in Dispatches:
world’.158 Its constitution claims that its pur-
Undercover Mosque, Channel pose is to work to ‘establish Islamic social
Four, 15 January 2007. For a full
transcript of the Dispatches pro-
order in the United Kingdom in order to Books found here included:
gramme see, ‘Undercover seek the pleasure of Allah’. According to its
Mosques: The Transcripts’,
MPAC-UK, 15 January 2007, main website, the UKIM has ‘helped to 6A. Tanbihat ‘ala ahkam takhussu
available at, build bridges of understanding and mutual bi’l-mu’minat [Warnings regard-
http://mpacuk.org/content/view/
3266/34/. respect across faith communities’.159 While ing laws related to believing
161. Martin Bright, ‘An still Prime Minister, Tony Blair said that the women]
encounter with radical Islam’,
New Statesman, 26 July 2006.
UKIM was ‘extremely valued by the govern- Author: Saleh Bin al-Fouzan

162. Dispatches: Undercover
ment’, particularly for its ‘multi-faith and Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
Mosque, Channel Four, 15 multicultural activities’.160 The website of The Kingdom Saudi Arabia
January 2007. For a full tran-
script of the Dispatches pro- Pakistani JI confirms this, describing UKIM Published: 1419 (1998)
gramme see, ‘Undercover as one of its ‘outreaches’ around the world Language: Arabic
Mosques: The Transcripts’,
MPAC-UK, 15 January 2007, (see pages 20-21) This book was also found at Birmingham
available at,
The political editor of the New Statesman, Central Mosque (see pages 102-106); the
http://mpacuk.org/content/view/
3266/34/. Martin Bright, claimed in July 2006 to have Salafi Mosque, Birmingham (see pages
163. Jasbir Authi & Steve been present at a meeting in which the former 110-117); and the Madinah Mosque,
Swingler ‘Brum’s extreme
Muslims exposed’, Birmingham
Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Oxford (see pages 150-153)
Mail, 16 January 2007. Britain (MCB), Sir Iqbal Sacranie, confirmed
http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co
.uk/mail/news/tm_headline=&me
that the UKIM was the representative in In this volume, published by the Saudi
thod=full&objectid=18485505&si Britain of the radical Islamist political party Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the carefully
teid=50002-name_page.html
from south Asia, the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).161 delineated gender roles for the separate
164. ‘Home’, The Muslim Safety
Forum, available at, The website of Pakistani JI confirms this, sexes are outlined. The author, Saleh Bin
http://www.muslimsafetyforum.o
describing the UKIM as one of its ‘outreach- al-Fouzan, is a member of the Saudi
rg/. Last accessed 3 October
2007. es’ around the world. Council of Senior Religious Clerics, the

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Fiqh Committee of the Muslim World 4. Thus, there is no prohibition –
League, the Permanent Committee of indeed it is a duty for women – to
Jurists, and the Committee for the teach their religion, and there is no
Supervision of Missionaries, and the prohibition on her teaching those
Permanent Committee for Islamic matters of her religion for which she
Research and Fatwas. has a need. The teaching must be
Here he provides an exposition on the done among women. There is no
various laws relating to women includ- harm in her attending classes at
ing: the place of women in Islam; how to the mosque or somewhere similar,
treat one’s hair and eyebrows; teeth (there but she must stay hidden and be
should be no gaps); tattooing (which is kept away from men.
forbidden); and menstruation and child-
birth (including prohibitions on facing In addition, al-Fouzan reserves consider-
Mecca or touching the Qur’an during able antipathy for women who decide to
these periods, because of ritual ‘unclean- take up any work outside the home; and if
liness’). In addition, there are injunctions she should succeed in attaining employ-
on: clothing and veiling; rules affecting a ment, makes it clear that a large range of
woman’s prayers; the preparation of dead occupations are forbidden:
women for burial; fasting; performing
pilgrimage (hajj and ‘umra); marriage Those Muslims who have a sickness in
(the ethos being that a woman’s work is their hearts, they want the woman to
in the house); the obedience of a wife to be cheap merchandise, in the market
her husband (which is deemed compul- place of the people of lowly desires and
sory and she is forbidden from satanic tendencies, to be uncovered
rebelling); divorce; widowhood; and merchandise in front of their eyes,
laws that protect a woman’s honour. where they can enjoy her beauty or
As the following passage reflects, al- even do with her what is worse.
Fouzan believes there are to be clear limits
to what a woman can do, which emphasise That is why, they wish that she left the
that her position, first and foremost, house to join the men, to be with them
should be in the home: side by side in their jobs; to serve men
as a nurse in the hospital, as a flight
We do not forbid a woman to do things attendant, as a student, as a teacher in
outside her house, provided this is in a coed school, as an actress in the the
conformity with the following rules: atre, or as a singer and announcer in the
different media outlets, unveiled and
1. She must have a need to do these seductive through her voice and appear
things (or society must need them ance. The pornographic magazines are
to be done), provided no man can using the pictures of seductive naked
be found to do them. girls, as a means to sell and promote
2. This must be done after she has their magazines. Some merchants and
completed her housework, which is factories also use these pictures to sell
her basic work. their merchandise; they put these pic
3. This work must stay within her limi tures on their merchandise and prod
tations, such as teaching women, ucts.
or doctoring or sicknursing
women, and (must take place) in Because of this false way of doing
segregation from men. things, the woman quits her real job

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The hijacking of British Islam

in the house. She forces her husband In addition, the following ruling declares
to hire foreign servants to raise their that listening to singing can turn women
children, and organise their home into prostitutes. Here, what amounts to an
affairs, which causes lots of problems obsession with music solely as a path to
and brings great evil. ‘homosexuality and fornication’ acts as a
bar to Muslims taking a fuller part in one
Beyond this, al-Fouzan emphasises that of the most important aspects of western
women are forbidden from driving in a car civilisation:
with a man (as in a taxi) or attending a
male doctor: listening to music, singing and forbid
den instruments which distract the
A woman riding in a car with a man heart from the Qur’an and makes it
unchaperoned is an obvious blamewor [the heart] intent on deviation and
thy act... It entails many corruptions disobedience … it is a recipe for
which cannot be taken lightly. A man homosexuality and fornication.
who accepts his women to do this is Through it the lover gets his utmost
not a real man and his faith is weak. desire (sexual intercourse) from his
[…] beloved … As for women who listen
Some women and some of their to music, it is of the greatest forbid
guardians take the matter of women den acts, and most corrupting of reli
visiting male doctors lightly; they use gion … how many women became
the excuse of their need for treatment. prostitutes because they listened to
This is a grave sin, and a great danger singing.

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Muslim World League/ sation.166 Above the Secretary-General sits
Darulifta Office the Constituent Council of the League,
which is the group’s ‘highest policy-making
Address: 46 Goodge Street, London, body’.167 The Chairman of the Constituent
W1T 4LU Council is also the Grand Mufti of Saudi
Telephone: 020 7636 7568 Arabia – Sheikh ‘Abd al-Aziz Al al-
Email: rabita_uk@yahoo.co.uk Sheikh.168
Website: n/a The MWL has spent many millions of
Charity Commission Registration No.: 290098 pounds on spreading Islam around the
Local Authority: London Borough world and in the UK, with contributions 165. ‘Introduction: The Muslim
World League’, Muslim World
of Camden to a range of mosques and Islamic insti- League, available at,
http://www.muslimworldleague.o
Local MP: Frank Dobson (Labour) tutes.
rg/mwlwbsite_eng/index.htm.
Affiliations: MCB, MWL, WAMY, Kingdom of The League’s UK branch is located at 46 Last accessed 10 July 2007.

Saudi Arabia Goodge Street – home to a number of 166. ‘Muslim World League
holds press conference’,
other Islamic organisations. The UK Ministry of Hajj: Kingdom of
branch of the World Assembly of Muslim Saudi Arabia, 20 June 2007,
available at, http://www.hajinfor-
Points of Interest Youth (WAMY) – another Saudi-founded mation.com/main/y1410.htm.
entity – is head-quartered here (for more Last accessed 10 July 2007;
‘The Secretariat-General’,
The Muslim World League (MWL), or on the WAMY, see page 26), as is the Muslim World League, available

Rabitat Al-‘Alam Al-Islami, was founded in Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs at http://www.muslim-
worldleague.org/mwlwbsite_eng/
1962 by Saudi Arabia to promote globally (which produces the Journal of Muslim index.htm. Last accessed 10
July 2007.
the Wahhabite version of Islam that is Minority Affairs) and the Muslim Families
167. ‘The Constituent Council,
practised within the Saudi Kingdom, and UK Charitable Trust.169 The building is Muslim World League, available
as a counter-weight to the pan-Arabist also utilised by the MCB, which has held at, http://www.muslim-
worldleague.org/mwlwbsite_eng/
propaganda of Egypt’s Gamal Abdel legal affairs meetings there.170 There is also index.htm. Last accessed 10
Nasser. a prayer area in the Muslim World League July 2007.

The MWL has since become a major to which all who are in the office are 168. ‘Forum for Muslim Scholars
opened’, Saudi Press Agency,
player in world affairs. It is represented at a expected to come when the call to prayer is available at,
http://www.spa.gov.sa/English/d
number of international organisations, made.
etails.php?id=350165. Last
including: the United Nations, where it In 1989, the MWL was at the forefront accessed 10 July 2007.

enjoys a category (A) observer status on a of the protests against Salman Rushdie’s 169. ‘Homepage’, World
Assembly of Muslim Youth,
consultative basis with the Economic and Satanic Verses; on that occasion, its press available at,
Social Council; the United Nations attaché in London, Ayman Ahwal, noted http://www.wamy.co.uk/;
‘Introduction’, Institute of Muslim
Educational and Scientific Council that only a world-wide ban of the publi- Minority Affairs, available at,
(UNESCO); the United Nations cation would bring an end to their http://www.imma.org.uk/;
‘Muslim Families UK Charitable
Emergency Children’s Fund (UNICEF); protests.171 Trust’, London Online, available
at, http://www.londononline.
and the Organisation of the Islamic More recently, in 2006-7, its French
co.uk/profiles/113869/.
Conference (OIC) where it holds observer branch, in alliance with other Islamic 170. ‘Legal Affairs: Dates of
status which entitles it to attend all confer- organisations, brought a case against the Committee Meetings’, Muslim
Council of Britain, available at,
ences organised by the OIC including the magazine Charlie Hebdo for publishing a http://www.mcb.org.uk/comm_d
Islamic Summit and Foreign Ministers controversial series of cartoons (that first etails.php?heading_id=52&com_i
d=7.
conferences.165 appeared in the Danish newspaper
171. S. Ward, ‘Salman Rushdie –
The current Secretary-General of the Jyllands-Posten satirising Islam and The Satanic Verses: Publishers
Muslim World League is ‘Abd Allah Ibn Muhammad), accusing it of ‘publicly abus- may print apology in ‘Satanic
Verses’, The Independent, 27
‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Turki. Al-Turki operates ing a group of people because of their reli- February 1989.

out of the League’s head-quarters in gion’. Ultimately, however, the charges 172. Angelique Chrisafis,
‘Cartoons did not incite hatred,
Mecca, Saudi Arabia and is effectively the against the magazine and its director were French court rules’, Guardian, 23
day-to-day Chief Executive of the organi- dismissed.172 March 2007.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 71
The hijacking of British Islam

Books found here included: lievers, but also they were innovations
leading to heresy or outright unbelief
7A. Fatayatuna bayna’l-taghrib wa’l- among Muslims. Viewed from such a per-
‘affaf [Our daughters between spective, a Muslim living in a western soci-
westernisation and modesty] ety – which is filled with apparently end-
Author: Nasir Sulayman al-‘Umar less ‘sources of innovation’, faces serious
Publisher: The Office of Da‘wah in Britain problems. In theory, endless fatwas are
Published: n/a required to define what is and what is not
Language: Arabic permissible, with ‘imitation’ of the ‘unbe-
lievers’ considered the worst of all sins.
This book offers, as the title implies, a short Here, for example, the author offers an
discussion of the westernisation of young opinion on the apparently trivial matter of
women. Various ways in which westernisa- beauty salons and hair salons. The objec-
tion can take place are outlined - the press, tion is not to the principle of a woman
films, propaganda, education, clothes, hair- looking beautiful for her husband (provid-
dressing salons, the ‘mania’ of women leaving ed she covers herself fully when out of the
the house and thinking it a prison. The ‘rem- house), but to the salons in themselves,
edy’ that the author proposes is the establish- and to the adoption of western styles:
ment and preservation of a cohort of modest
young women, and it is to them that the Beauty and hair salons:
remainder of the treatise is addressed. These places are strange to the
As the following passage reflects, a key Muslim societies. Do not ask about the
theme here (and one that is common to much new hair cuts, but ask which prosti
of the material covered in this study) is the tute’s name is given to a hair cut....
general ban on anything that brings innova-
tion (bid’ah) into the faith. There has always These tragedies we call hairdressers
been a belief that innovation leads to unbelief. reveal to what new levels the grand
This is based on a number of Wahhabite daughters of the great conquerors (of
interpretations of Prophetic Traditions, Islam) have stooped to
including these: ‘every innovation is error.’ ‘If
anyone makes an innovation or accommo- Underlying such warnings against ‘imita-
dates an innovator, the curse of Allah, the tion’ and ‘innovation’ is a fear of corrup-
angels, and all persons will fall upon him, and tion – especially of Muslim women. Here
Allah will not accept any obligatory or (in another passage that draws on the infa-
supererogatory act as recompense from them’, mous forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of
it notes.173 Even trivial matters that can lead to Zion), Jews and Freemasons are seen as
innovation are to be eschewed: ‘Avoid novel- particular corrupters of Muslim woman-
ties, for every novelty is an innovation, and hood. Quotations are placed in their
every innovation is an error’.174 mouths with a clear indifference as to their
The struggle against innovation became source or plausibility:
much more difficult once Muslim coun-
tries came into direct and regular contact The Jews say in their Protocols of the
with western societies from the late eigh- Elders of Zion: ‘We must win over the
173. Ibid 7:3163; Abu Da’ud, teenth century onwards. Almost every- woman, once she gives us her hand,
Sunan, 39:4515. See also al-
Bukhari, Sahih, 12:41, Muslim
thing that came from Europe was an inno- we would have won the fight.’
9:140. vation. This created a double dilemma:
174. Abu Da’ud, Sunan, 40: western products, ideas, institutions, and Another Jew said: ‘The situation in the
4590; cf. ibid, 460&; al-Tirmidhi,
Sunan, 2676. laws were not only the creation of unbe- east would not be resolved (for them)

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until the girls take off the veil.’ He did Author: Abdullah Al-Tarifi
not stop there with his maliciousness, Publisher: The Office of Da‘wah in Britain
he continued, ‘until she lifts off her veil Published: 1411 (1990)
and covers with it the Qurán.’ Language: Arabic
This book was also found at Al-Manaar
One of the leaders of the Masons said: (The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre),
‘A drink and a prostitute are more west London (see pages 31-37)
effective in destroying the nation of
Muhammad than a thousand artillery This short book, published in Arabic by
guns, so drown them in the love of the Saudi Office for Da’wah in the UK, is
physical desires.’ devoted entirely to the issue of separation
and the antipathy between Muslims and
This corruption is assumed to owe much western society. Its title is a variant on the
to enticement by fashion and perfume. concept of loyalty and dissociation, which
Again, the apparently malignant hand of is a regular feature of this material.
‘the Jews’ is assumed to be behind these – According to this text: separatism is
even if the passage actually reveals how mandatory; jihad is the struggle against the
uninformed the author is of western histo- enemies of Islam (i.e. all unbelievers);
ry. Below, the author refers to ‘the Jewish showing favour to non-believers is enough
Harry Ford’: a double confusion. This to make a Muslim an apostate – they are to
must be a reference to Henry Ford (of the be hated; it is treachery to join the army of
motor company), who was neither called a non-Muslim state; it is recommended
Harry, nor was a Jew. Indeed, Ford was that a conscripted Muslim should do noth-
well known for his extreme right-wing and ing in battle; and to see anything good in
anti-Semitic sentiments, and was closely other religions is enough to make a
associated with a notorious collection of Muslim an apostate and worthy of death;
anti-Jewish articles, The International Jew: there are grave dangers in loving non-
believers. Throughout, there is total con-
… The Jewish Harry Ford said: ‘The tempt for all that is unIslamic.
Jews have controlled three things in Here is a typical example:
order to achieve their goal; one of
these things is fashion.’ As for enmity, we know it is the
opposite of loyalty. If loyalty means to
The Jews admit that fashion is one of love, support and follow some and
the three things they used to western be close with them, enmity has the
ise our girls … opposite meaning, shown in terms
such as hatred, no support, and to
As for perfumes, everyday there is a stay far and separate from some
new perfume trend … they rob the thing.
pockets of our girls and women and
put the money in the treasure chest of Hatred then is part of enmity; it is the
the thieves. beginning state of enmity and its
cause…
7B. Al-wala’ wa’l ‘ada’ fi ‘alaqat al-
Muslim bi-ghayr al-Muslim From the above we can say this: it is
[Loyalty and enmity concerning mandatory to hate and dislike the
relations between Muslims and unbelievers and polytheists, to never
non-Muslims] ask them for support against the

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 73
The hijacking of British Islam

Muslims, to never follow their exam and similar things.
ple in anything, to never obey them in This type of loyalty is general and
matters of religion, to never imitate absolute and whoever amongst the
them. Actually it is mandatory to stay Muslim practises it, he is considered
far away from them and to separate an unbeliever even if he claimed to be
from them, and to do what is neces a Muslim or practised some of its
sary in terms of jihad and its like practices.
against their fighters. That is what is
intended by enmity, whoever falters in As for limited loyalty: it is to take the
applying enmity becomes a supporter unbelievers as guardians in limited and
of unbelievers. If he harbored any love specific matters: an example is to
towards them, or turned to them for accommodate them, to prefer living
help, or asked for their support amongst them to living amongst the
against other Muslims, or obeyed Muslims, to hold them in high esteem,
them in any legal rulings, or imitated to imitate them in things which pertain
any of their specific traits, or took to them exclusively, to befriend them,
them as friends … to live with them or to ask for their
support against other Muslims …
From such a perspective, even minimal
regard for non-believers is enough to ren- If any of these forms of loyalty was
der a Muslim an apostate: found in a Muslim, it would be consid
ered a limited or special loyalty. The
Should we then have enmity towards verdict on such loyalty differs accord
everyone even if they were nonmilitary ing to the amount of loyalty; it can be
personnel? considered unbelief or disobedience.

The believers believe in hating polythe Joining a non-Muslim army is considered
ism, unbelief, atheism, deviation, and treachery to God, Muhammad, and all
disobedience. Everyone who possess Muslims. This is particularly important as
es any of these elements must be it carries negative implications for the
hated according to how much he pos British Army’s efforts to increase the num-
sesses such elements. There is though ber of Muslims within its ranks.
a general hatred and a specific hatred. Recruitment campaigns aimed at meeting
The general hatred is toward unbeliev this objective are likely to prove futile - and
ers and heretics and their likes reports indicate that they are indeed strug-
because of how far they are from the gling - if key sections of the British Muslim
circle of Islam. The specific hatred is community are being taught elsewhere
towards a Muslim who mixes between that they cannot join the British armed
good and bad deeds … forces without compromising their Islamic
faith and identity:175
The first kind: absolute and limited loyal-
ty/guardianship to unbelievers: The first form of supporting them is to
join the rank of the unbeliever’s army
175. For a report on the strug-
gling nature of the army recruit-
Absolute loyalty: is to take them as in their war against the Muslims, and
ment campaign in this area, see, guardians in an absolute manner, their attempt to destroy their strength.
for example, Georgina Fuller,
‘Army fails to attract Muslims in through love, closeness, turning to This is the worst form of disloyalty,
£90m diversity recruitment them in need, asking for their support period. It is a great treachery to Allah,
drive’, Birmingham Post, 10
January 2007 and to obey them in what they like His Prophet and the believers. The

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one who does such a thing is inno participating with [the unbelievers] in
cent of the religion and an unbeliever, their religious practices:
unless he was ignorant or compelled
to do so. Like their prayers, chanting, funerals,
holy day celebrations, and other reli
Working for non-believers, or under their gious activities they have. This kind
authority, is regarded as subjugation, of participation is taking them as
which is ruled out. Taken at face value, this guardians no doubt
greatly reduces the possibilities for Muslim [...]
employment in the West. Not accepting the Muslim must set himself apart from
the authority of non-Muslims strikes even others in all his states, whether it is in
deeper, since it may easily be interpreted to his beliefs and perceptions, or in his
mean acceptance of any form of authority religious practices and manners, or in
in any non-Muslim state: his morals and values, or in his deal
ings and relations, or in his traditions
to subjugate oneself to [the unbeliev and culture
ers] may be motivated by respect and
love, or it may be due to a weakness It is considered reprehensible for Muslims
of a person: or it may be as a compli to imitate unbelievers even in how they
ment, all these things are inappropriate eat, sleep or dress. It is not a minor matter,
for the Muslim. for the Muslim who imitates non-Muslims
brings on himself or herself a charge of
This subjugation has many forms: apostasy:

1 Doing humiliating work for the Imitating [the unbelievers] in matters
unbeliever, like serving him. of belief and religious practices is
2 Working for unbelievers when they unbelief …
humiliate you, even if the work itself
is honourable … Imitating them in general appearance,
3 Working under their authority, and like in their manners of eating, sleep
under their leadership without a ing, dressing, and such things, the
legal excuse or any need to do so. least we can say in this is it is disliked.
4 Bowing for them when you meet
them, or standing up to them when Ideally, dissociation should be wholesale.
they are sitting. Severe restrictions are placed on staying in
5 Exaggeration while addressing them the ‘Land of Kufr’ (i.e. the West).176 The
with honourable adjectives or giving only two respectable reasons for doing so
them compliments are to spread Islam among non-believers
and to obtain knowledge that will benefit
Muslims may not join in any form of reli- Muslims. In any case, any stay should be
gious practice alongside non-believers, and temporary:
must remain in all respects distinct from all
others. Although this latter injunction can Eight: living amongst them:
have a positive ethical and moral signifi- Living in the land of unbelievers for the
cance, taken alongside other recommenda- purpose of calling them to Allah is per
176. Traditionally, Muslims have
tions to separation it may amount to an missible; it is even recommended … divided the world between two
absolute refusal to take on board even the the same goes for staying for some realms, the Realm of
Submission/Islam, and the
best features of open democratic societies: thing which will benefit the Muslims, Realm of Unbelief (kufr) or War.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 75
The hijacking of British Islam

like learning a certain type of knowl • Supporting them and aiding them to
edge, or a certain trade… fight the Muslims.
• Imitating them due to being
As for staying with them for a worldly impressed with and liking their
matter it is not permissible except with matters of religion and worship
the ability to openly practice one’s reli [...]
gion and as long as his stay is tempo 2. And some types are the
rary. greatest of the great sins; a man
would become an unbeliever if he
What it means to show love or loyalty tow- thought them permissible. Examples
ards unbelievers is summed up as follows: are:

A summary of the judgement regard • Taking them as intimate friends.
ing loyalty towards unbelievers: • Flattering them and humbling one
self to them, and being soft with
1.That some types of it are pure disbe their soldiers.
lief, and a stripping of oneself away from • Exaggeration in complimenting
the religion. Examples of this type of loy them, or raising their status.
alty are: • To be under their authority with no
need, and with no greater interest
• Absolute loyalty (guardianship). being at stake.
• To love them because of their faith • Participating with them in their
and behaviour, to be pleased with religious ceremonies due to being
them, and to wish that they would accommodating and not due to
be victorious over the Muslims. belief …
• Obeying them in legal matters. • Imitating them in their manners
• To believe that they are equal to the and practices, like celebrating
Muslims and that the Muslims are birthdays and holidays.
not more distinguished. • Living amongst them if one is
• Humbling oneself to them in order unable to openly practise one’s
to gain their pleasure and love. faith.
• To trust them and entrust them over
the Muslims.

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North London Central Mosque Britain (MAB).181 Five MAB members were
(The ‘Finsbury Park Mosque’) made the new trustees of the institution.182
One of the trustees is Dr. Azzam Tamimi,
Address: 7-15 St. Thomas Road, Finsbury Park, another member of the MAB who is also
London, N4 2QH director of the Institute of Islamic Political
177. Dominic Casciani & Sharif
Telephone: 020 7424 5252 Thought.183 Tamimi was the same man who, Sakr, ‘The battle for the
Email: info@nlcentralmosque.com in November 2004, told the BBC that he was mosque’, BBC News Online, 7
February 2006, available at,
Website: http://www.nlcentralmosque.com prepared to be a suicide bomber against Israel http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/46
Charity Commission Registration No.: 299884 if the opportunity arose.184 Tamimi has since 39074.stm.

Local MP: Jeremy Corbyn (Labour) claimed that the MAB was asked by the 178. Sean O’Neill & Daniel
McGrory, The Suicide Factory:
Local Authority: London Borough of Islington authorities to take control of the mosque: Abu Hamza and the Finsbury
Affiliations: MCB, MAB, IIPT ‘MAB was approached by a combination of Park Mosque (London, 2006),
pp. 90-2; Sean O’Neill, ‘The
people - the old trustees, the police, the Home drifters and dropouts who turned
on their adopted home’, The
Office, MPs, and we were asked could we, if
Times, 10 July 2007.
Points of Interest we had the opportunity, run this mosque’.185 179. O’Neill & McGrory, The
In February 2005, the mosque reopened its Suicide Factory, pp. 253-264.

Formerly known simply as the ‘Finsbury doors to the public, replete with new imams 180. Ibid., pp. 265-295.

Park Mosque’, the North London Central and a new Board of Trustees. In line with 181. Casciani & Sakr, ‘The battle
for the mosque’, BBC News
Mosque was founded in 1988 at a cost of Tamimi’s assertions that the mosque has been Online, 7 February 2006, avail-
£8million.177 ‘cleansed’, it now claims to have firmly turned able at, http://news.bbc.co.uk
/1/hi/uk/4639074.stm.
It gained nation-wide notoriety for its its back on extremism and to be concerned
182. ‘Terror link of “moderate”
association with the activities and rhetoric only with ‘serving the local Muslim commu- Muslims at London rally’, Daily
Mail, 11 February 2006.
of the radical preacher, Abu Hamza al- nity’ and ‘working with everyone to promote
183. ‘Home page’, Institute of
Masri. This was particularly so after it dialogue and understanding in our multi-cul- Islamic Political Thought, avail-
emerged that convicted terrorists linked to al- tural society’.186 In line with the latter aim, the able online (cached) at,
http://66.102.9.104/search?q=ca
Qaeda – Richard Reid and Zaccarias mosque’s mission statement talks of its desire, che:sTxqswJq560J:www.ii-
Moussaoui – as well as members of the failed ‘to reach out to the rest of society to give them pt.com/+tamimi+insititute+politi-
cal+thought&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=
21/7 bomb attacks in London (Muktar Said a better idea about Islam and to dispel any 1. Last accessed 10 July 2007.

Ibrahim, Yassin Omar and Ramzi myths and misconceptions they may have in 184. Tamimi cited in ‘Hardtalk:
Interview with Dr. Azzam al-
Mohammed) had either attended the mosque an effort to promote good relations in society. Tamimi’, BBC News 24, 2
or been radicalised in extremist circles con- This includes holding interfaith conferences November 2004. Transcript
available online at,
nected with the institution.178 Such revelations and running Islam awareness courses for http://www.geocities.com/mar-
prompted the Charity Commission to express workers in the public sector.’187 tinkramerorg/Documents/Tamimi
Hardtalk.htm. Last accessed 10
concerns over the management of the mosque July 2007.
and its use for political activities. 185. Tamimi cited in Casciani &
In January 2003, the mosque was raided Books found here included: S. Sakr, ‘The battle for the
mosque’, BBC News Online, 7
by the Metropolitan Police during the course February 2006, available at,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/46
of its investigation into the so-called ‘ricin 8A. Bayna’l-da‘wa al-qawmiyya wa’l-
39074.stm.
plot’ – with police claiming that several of the rabita al-Islamiyya [Between the 186. Tamimi cited in Glenn
men involved in the plot were also attendees call to nationalism and the call to Frankel, ‘Muslim leaders in
Britain pledge solidarity despite
at the mosque.179 In the wake of this raid, Abu the Islamic League] divisions’, Washington Post, 20
Hamza was forced out and the mosque was Author: Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi July 2005; ‘Home’, North
London Central Mosque Trust,
closed – though he continued to preach on Publisher: Al-Ansar Publishing House available at, http://www.nlcen-
the streets outside until his arrest in May Published: n.d. tralmosque. com/. Last
accessed 10 July 2007.
2004.180 Language: Arabic
187. ‘Home’, North London
In early 2005, the mosque was subject to a Central Mosque Trust, available
at, http://www.nlcentralmosque.
‘takeover’ by a new management committee This book is a translation into Arabic of a com/. Last accessed 10 July
of men from the Muslim Association of famous volume by the south east Asian radi- 2007.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 77
The hijacking of British Islam

Finsbury Park Mosque.
© Daily Telegraph

cal Islamist, Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi, the man darity around country and progeny, as for
who created the Jamaat-e-Islami political you, oh Muslim, your solidarity is due to
party. Running through the text is an insis- the strength of your faith’.
tence on a separatist philosophy for Muslims
that impinges on all areas of life, but is partic- Some people may say that it is possible
ularly divisive in one respect; namely, alle- to maintain the ties of Islamic nationality
giance to the country of which a Muslim is a while having a sense of country and race
citizen. This is made clear in the following nationalism. Such people are cheating
short passage. themselves and wronging it [Islamic
When he speaks of ‘Islamic nationality’, al- nationality] by saying that both nationali
Mawdudi means allegiance to the umma, ties are compatible …
which he envisages as a sort of Islamic super-
nation uniting all Muslims in the world into Since man was not made with two
a single, indivisible community. Note the cru- hearts in his chest, there is no way that
cial phrase at the end, identifying the non- conflicting emotions and contradictory
Muslim as ‘alien’. Note too the opening state- feelings towards two different nationalities
ment, that western and Islamic principles are would coexist in one heart. It is a given
contradictory: that if feeling towards one nationality
grew in a person’s heart, he must then
The principles of Islam and the principles distinguish between what is familiar (to
of the West are contradictory and in that nationality) and what is alien. Based
opposition in terms of nationality. That on this, it is natural for the Muslim to look
which is a source of strength and vigour upon the Muslim as familiar and to the
there is a source of weakness and failure nonMuslim as alien.
here; and that which is the water of life
here is the deadly poison there. On this Introducing the ‘sources of Islamic national-
matter the Muslim poet and the wise ism’, al-Mawdudi asserts a bi-polar world-
man of the East Muhammad Iqbal said, view that juxtaposes the Islamic sphere with
‘Do not compare the West to your all else:
nation, because for sure the nation of the
Hashemite Prophet (pbuh) is unique in its It is as if humanity as a whole is divided
content. They (the West) believe in soli into two Nations: the Nation of Islam and

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belief – whose followers are all one humans is a deficient civilisation. A civili
Nation [umma]; and the Nation of disbe sation, which ignores the spread of
lief and those who deviate from what is crime, ignores moral sickness, is a los
right. The followers of this [latter] route ing and anxious civilisation. All these
also comprise one Nation, in spite of all dangers will cause it to decline and
the disagreements and controversies that wither …
they have.
Elsewhere, meanwhile, the author explains
Furthermore, in another place, al-Mawdudi the problems he sees in the Muslim world.
insists that Muslims should completely isolate He argues that this world has, since the
themselves from those he deems not to be beginning of the nineteenth century, failed
Muslims, saying: to defend itself against what he terms ‘for-
eign forces’ – meaning the West – due to
Whoever is a Muslim and would like to the fact that it was disunited. He then goes
remain a Muslim, surely must drive from on to suggest seven reasons, ranging across
his mind any attitude that is not based on social, political, generational and cultural
the Nationhood of Islam; he must cut all factors to explain this lack of unity.
other ties and connections based on Underlying these, however, is said to be a
race, or friendship. familiarly malign hand:

8B. ‘Ala hamish sahwat al-‘alam al- World Jewry focuses all its efforts on
Islami [At the edge of the isolating Islam from society and plans
awakening of the Islamic world] to force it out of the region. It con
Author: Mahmoud al-Naku’ stantly suggests to other foreign forces
Publisher: MWH/Dar al-Ri‘aya al-Islamiyya that the Islamic religion is an obstacle
Published: n.d. to peace and coexistence between
Language: Arabic the nations.

This publication is from the London-based 8C. Risalat al-Hijab [The Treatise
‘Muslim Welfare House’ (MWH or Dar al- regarding the Veil]
Ri‘aya al-Islamiyya). The MWH is based close Author: Muhammad ibn Salih bin al-‘Uthaimin
to the Finsbury Park Mosque, at 233 Seven Publisher: Thurayya Publishing House
Sisters Road – on the same site as the offices Published: n.d.
of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB). Language: Arabic
In this book the author makes clear his con-
tempt for western society. This is a short treatise on veiling that considers
As the following passage reflects, western the proofs for the necessity of women being
civilisation as a whole is deemed to have covered from the Qur’an, the Traditions (the
failed: sayings and doings of the Prophet), and anal-
ogous reasoning. The author also examines the
In the areas of organising social relation proofs of free-thinkers in support of uncover-
ships, achieving economic justice, provid ing the face, and provides a rebuttal of these.
ing safety, establishing peace, and affirm As the following passage reveals, the rulings
ing love and social cohesiveness; the on veiling here show little sign of being rele-
western civilisation has failed to achieve vant to twenty-first century norms and
its ideal state. demands:

A civilisation which gives more attention A woman should not stamp her feet, for
to dogs and cats that it does to that will make known what she hides of

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The hijacking of British Islam

her anklets and the like, with which she shame or embarrassment in compet
adorns herself for men. So, if a woman is ing [with men]; in this lies great mis
forbidden to stamp her feet for fear it chief and vast corruption.
may be a temptation for a man when he
hears her anklets and other ornaments 8D. Manhaj al-Islam fi bina’ al-usra
tinkling, how much more needful is it for [Islam’s way of building the family]
her to cover her face. Author: ‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Turki
Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, The
Feet are not the only problem. Letting Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
women uncover a single eye to see with is seen Published: 1419 (1998)
as a major concession: Language: Arabic

Ibn ‘Abbas has said: ‘God ordered the In this book, published by the Saudi
wives of the believers that, when they go Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the author –
out from their houses for some necessity the Secretary-General of the Muslim
they must cover their faces from the top World League and a former Saudi
of their heads to their cloaks, and they Government Minister188 – argues that
are to show no more than a single eye.’ Islamic rulings on the family are derived
… Some of the clergy have said that the from religious principles and are part of
command goes back to the Prophet and the perfect religion of Islam: issues con-
his saying ‘let them show only one eye’ cerning the family are deemed to fall
was only a concession for the sake of between duties and rights. He discusses the
necessity and the need to see the road; if aims of the family, the sexual question in
there were no such need, it would not be Islam, adultery, the family in western soci-
required to reveal one eye. ety (decadent).
In the following passage it is described how
The basis for such injunctions as these is the a woman who asks for a divorce without
notion that the threat of woman’s beauty has enduring ‘hardships’ deserves to go to hell:
great potential to cause social mischief.
Uncovering her face, it is argued, can lead to He [Muhammad] (pbuh) said : ‘Any
the following corruptions: woman who asks her husband for
divorce without enduring hardship, will
Mischief: Woman enchants herself when never even smell the perfume of para
she makes her face beautiful and pretti dise.’
fies it and displays it in a tempting form.
This is one of the great causes of evil and Elsewhere, it is also described how any breach
corruption. of the sexual rules under Islam can lead to
severe punishment:
The disappearance of shame from the
woman, which is part of faith and one of Islamic law slams shut the doors of
the requirements of her innate nature. what is forbidden and, by way of com
pensation, opens the door of what is
Men’s being tempted by her, especially if permitted. What is forbidden in Islam
she is beautiful… applies in the first degree to the crime
of adultery or fornication. The other
188. For confirmation of al- The mixing of men and women. If offences, such as homosexuality and
Turki’s position, see, for exam-
ple, Muslim World League, avail-
woman considers herself equal to men lesbianism, are deviations that go
able at, http://www.muslim- in uncovering her face and walking against nature and are rare (in Islamic
worldleague.org/mwlwbsite_eng/
index.htm. about unveiled, she will show no society). Nevertheless, their fate is

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derived from the warnings in Islamic In the following passage, which is taken
law and its strict and severe punish from the ‘Jihad Tract’ [Risalat al-Jihad], al-
ments, suited to the nature of the Banna brings a series of quotes from the
crime and its severity. Qur’an and Hadiths on the jihad being a
religious duty. He concludes by saying:
As for adultery, it has taken up a large
amount of legislative concern, consider Islam today, its lands and countries are
ing that it is the most widespread of in a condition known and fully under
offences. Whoever thinks adultery is per stood to the Muslims: looted and sep
missible in Islam is an unbeliever. arated by the hands of the rapists,
Whoever perishes in it without thinking it desired by those who are greedy. [To
permissible [i.e. knowing it is forbidden] is the Muslims], jihad is now a dictated
corrupt and should be stoned if married obligation and essential necessity. It is
and flogged and banished if unmarried. upon their leaders and heads to lead
and mobilise them to it. For this they
8E. Minbar al-Jum‘a [The Friday will have the triumph, the glory and
Pulpit] consent in this world, and the reward
Author: Hasan al-Banna and heaven in the afterworld…’
Publisher: Dar al-Da‘wah
Published: 1988 In another tract, the ‘art of death’ [fan al-
Language: Arabic mawt], al-Banna speaks on the novelty of
death for the sake of Allah, and concludes
This is a collection of sermons of Hasan al- with the words,
Banna, the founder of the Muslim
Brotherhood. The book brings together sev- Oh Muslims, you are now on the edge
eral of al-Banna’s basic tracts (rasa’il), which of a new year. If you accept [the mes
were, for a period, published on Fridays by sage of love of this world and hate to
the Muslim Brotherhood’s first daily paper death] in the souls between your
Jaridat al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (until this waists, love life, hate death and keep
organ was closed down by the Egyptian away from the responsibilities of jihad,
Government in 1948). Here, various topics you will end up getting nowhere. But, if
are covered, including the Night Journey you change those souls, substitute the
and Ascent to Heaven (mi‘raj) of the cowardice and weaknesses, love
Prophet, faith, proof, idols, the single death for the sake of truth and master
umma, the nation, revolution, jihad and the its tools and methods, no doubt you
‘art of death’. The title page carries the sym- will get by the permission of Allah to
bol of the Muslim Brotherhood and pro- the triumph in this world and the
claims ‘Fifty Years of Jihad’. immortality in the afterworld…’

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The London Central Mosque the advisory body that works with the
and Islamic Cultural Centre (The Metropolitan Police Service and the
‘Regent’s Park Mosque’) Association of Chief Police Officers on
issues relating to Muslim communities.193
Address: 146 Park Road, London, NW8 7RG
Telephone: 020 7724 3363
Email: directorgeneral@iccuk.org Books found here included:
Website: http://www.nlcentralmosque.com
Charity Commission Registration No.: 231920 9A. Four Essays on the Obligation of
Local MP: Karen Buck (Labour) Veiling
Local Authority: Westminster City Council Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz,
Affiliations: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, MCB, MSF Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin, Saleh
Bin al-Fouzan and Zayd bin Muhammad bin
Haadee Al-Madkhalee.
Points of Interest Publisher: Al-Ibaanah Book Publishing
Published: 2006
Also known as the ‘Regent’s Park Mosque’, Language: English
the London Central Mosque was founded
during World War Two, with Churchill’s This text is a compilation of four essays by
189. ‘London Central Mosque’, War Cabinet allocating £100,000 for the leading Saudi scholars. The first deals with
((Regent’s Park Mosque’),
Sacred Destinations Travel acquisition of the site for the mosque next tabarruj, the shame-provoking unveiling of
Guide, available at,
to Regent’s Park.189 The Islamic Cultural women; the second focuses on hijab in
http://www.sacred-destina-
tions.com/england/london- Centre, which would later include the general, employing citations from the
regents-park-mosque.htm. Last
accessed 10 July 2007. See
mosque, was officially opened in Qur’an, Hadith, and Muslim scholars;
also, Idris Tawfiq, ‘A Mosque in November 1944 by King George VI. essay three provides general advice to
the Centre of London’, Islam
Online.net, available at,
Building work on the mosque itself did Muslim women (on covering up, not trav-
http://www.islamonline.net/servl not begin until 1969 when a design was elling without a proper male companion,
et/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=116
8265593343&pagename=Zone- finally approved and construction staying at home, etc.); and number four
EnglishEuro_Muslims%2 began.190 discusses the obligation of veiling the
FEMELayout. Last accessed 20
September 2007; A. Tibawi, The principal source of initial funding hands and face (in the extreme form of
‘History of the London Central
for the project was a donation of £2 mil- total veiling). A central theme throughout
Mosque and the Islamic Cultural
Centre 1910-1980’, Die Welt des lion, made by King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. is that women enjoy no independent exis-
Islams (1981), pp. 193-208.
The mosque was finally completed in July tence.
190. ‘London Central Mosque
(Regent’s Park Mosque’), Sacred
1977, at a total cost of £6.5 million.191 As the following passage shows, they
Destinations Travel Guide, avail- Over the years the mosque has played exist only as daughters, sisters, wives and
able at, http://www.sacred-desti-
nations.com/england/london-
host to many prominent visitors – from mothers and can enjoy no social role
regents-park-mosque.htm. Last both the UK and abroad. These have beyond that:
accessed 10 July 2007.
included (as displayed on the mosque’s
191. ‘The Islamic Cultural Centre
and London Mosque’, available own website), HRH Prince Muhammed women are obligated to stay in their
at, http://www.iccuk.org/icc/his-
bin Nawaf al-Saud (Saudi Ambassador to homes and are forbidden to come out
tory/history.htm. Last accessed
10 July 2007. the UK), Sheikh Salih bin Abdul Aziz Al from them.
192. ‘Famous Visitors to the al-Sheikh (Minister of Islamic Affairs,
ICC’, The Islamic Cultural Centre
& London Mosque, available at,
Saudi Arabia), Rt. Hon. Jack Straw MP, Following on from this, the more a woman
http://www.iccuk.org/icc/vip.htm Mike O’Brien MP and Nasim Ali (former stays at home, the better:
. Last accessed 10 July 2007.
Mayor of the London borough of
193. ‘Home’, The Muslim Safety
Forum, available at, Camden).192 From the new forms of this forbidden
http://www.muslimsafetyforum.o
In addition, the Islamic Cultural Centre type of privacy that has appeared in
rg/. Last accessed 3 October
2007. is a member of the Muslim Safety Forum – our times is a woman riding in a car

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[as a passenger] by herself with a driv Shaikh Saalih AlFawzaan was asked:
er that is not mahram194 to her. So he ‘What is your advice to the male
takes her to the school, to the market guardians [sic] of certain women who
and even to the masjid [mosque]! This are lax when it comes to the issue of
is not permissible. It is not permissible Hijaab and who are engrossed in
for a woman to ride in her car alone exposing their alluring bodily features
with a driver that is not a mahram to to malestrangers [sic] in the markets
her because this is from the prohibited and other places? What is the role of a
forms of privacy woman’s maleguardian in safeguard
[...] ing her Religion?’
A Muslim woman must also not be
excessive in going out from her house So he replied: ‘Allaah says: ‘Men are
unless it is for a valid necessity that the protectors and maintainers of
cannot be fulfilled unless she goes out. women because of the fact [sic] that
So if she has a need to go out, she Allaah has favoured some of them (i.e.
must cover herself and not go out per men) over others (women).’ [Surah An
fumed. The reason for this is that if Nisaa: 34]. Allaah has enabled and
she goes out perfumed, it is a cause entrusted men to take care of and be
for the occurrence of evil and the responsible for women. And He com
drawing of looks towards her, as well manded the women to obey Him and
as men gazing at her and their follow forbade them from disobeying Him.
ing after her. This includes the Hijaab. The Hijaab is
one of God’s commandments. So
So, however much a woman is able to therefore it is an obligation on her
stay at home, this is more protective of maleguardian to oblige her to wear it,
her. Allah addressed His Prophet’s regardless is he is [sic] her direct male
wives – who are our role models – guardian such as her father, son,
saying: ‘And remain in your homes’. brother or someone who has
[Surah AlAhzaab: 33] guardianship over her, or if he is a
[...] general guardian, such as the Muslim
Many women are afflicted today with ruler who may mandate the Muslim
going out of their homes – not for women to wear the Hijaab.
something important but rather to just
roam around the marketplaces whilst Therefore, a Muslim ruler may oblige
adorning themselves, perfuming them the women of his country to wear the
selves and uncovering their faces. Hijaab, in the general sense, while
When they enter the shops and go the maleguardians in charge of
inside the showrooms, they uncover households may oblige the women
their faces in front of the workers and that live in their homes to wear the
the salesmen as if they were her Hijaab (in the specific sense). They
mahaarim [i.e. mahrams]. And they are responsible for these women. If
have friendly conversations with them, the women knew that the general
joking and laughing with them. Where ruler in charge of her affairs as well
is the modesty, O Muslim women?! as her specific maleguardian oblige
Won’t you fear Allah?! her to obey Allaah and abandon dis
obeying Him, she would not put up
194. A mahram is someone who
Men are given guardianship over women any resistance in these matters. But
cannot marry a woman (e.g.
and can force them to wear the veil: when the maleguardians show laxity father, brothers, or sons).

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in these matters, the women become those who follow them. And know that
bold. remaining silent with them (when they
commit these evil deeds) is the same
Apart from the need to keep a woman at as participating with them in their sin
her tasks as a wife and mother, as the fol- and in receiving Allaah’s anger and
lowing passages make clear, the need to punishment. May Allaah protect you
keep her in the home is inspired by an and us from the evil of that!
underlying sense of female weakness. […]
Added to this is the belief that the female From the greatest forms of depravity is
body, in each and every part, compels men when many of the (Muslim) women
to lust and thus potentially brings about imitate the disbelieving women, such
the collapse of social order. It is this that as the Christians, by wearing short
creates an imperative to keep women cov- garments, exposing the hair and other
ered, under control, and disciplined: body parts, getting hairstyles accord
ing to the fashion of the people of dis
Everyone with some understanding is belief and wickedness, adding hair
aware of the misfortunes that have extensions and wearing manufactured
occurred in many of the lands, such as hairpieces known as wigs.
women indecently exposing them
selves, revealing their faces and not We know very well what comes as a
195
observing the proper Hijaab in front result of this imitation and wearing of
of men, as well as their openly expos scanty garments that make women
ing their adornment, which Allaah has look naked, such as depravity, tribula
forbidden them from revealing. No tions, lenience in the Religion and a
doubt, this is from the great wrongs decrease in modesty. So it is an obli
and manifest sins. And it is from the gation to beware of that and to restrict
greatest causes for punishment and the women from doing that, whilst
wrath descending upon the ummah.196 being stern in this matter. … It is not
This is because of what comes as a permissible to be lenient about these
result of unveiling and indecent expo things with young girls since bringing
sure, such as the appearance of them up with that will only lead them
immorality, the enactment of crimes, a to grow accustomed to it … they will
decrease in modesty and widespread fall into the dreaded mischief, sin, and
mischief.... fitnah,197 which the older women fall
into.
restrict your women from that which […]
Allaah has made forbidden for them There are women that have been
whilst requiring from them that they afflicted by this crime of plucking the
observe the Hijaab and veil themselves eyebrows based on their following of
properly. the disbelieving women, lewd sinful
[…] women and ignorant women that do
So Fear Allaah O Muslims! And take not care about disobeying Allaah and
hold of the hands of your women and His Messenger.
prevent them from doing what Allaah […]
195. Hijab - covering. has forbidden, such as unveiling, The societies of the past and the pres
196. Umma - the Islamic nation. showing off their adornment, exposing ent were not destroyed except due to
197 Fitna –used here to mean their features, and imitating the ene the cause of women in most cases.
corruption, can also mean disor-
der, strife. mies of Allah, from the Christians and So a woman is a means leading to

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danger if she doesn’t safeguard herself plucking of eyebrows; an activity which is
and if her society does not preserve said to lead to terrible results:
her. Speech concerning women may
go on and on, however this should be There are women that have been
sufficient. afflicted by this crime of plucking the
[…] eyebrows based on their following of
… every part of a woman is ‘awrah the disbelieving women, lewd sinful
(i.e. ‘private parts’) in front of male women and ignorant women that do
strangers, whether that includes her not care about disobeying Allaah and
face or any other part of her body. In His Messenger.
fact, her face and hands have the
most right to be covered since they The role of women in society is then
are the areas that are sought after by described:
men and the places of enticement
from women. Intermingling between women and
[…] men. When a woman sees herself as
… ‘A woman’s fingernail is ‘awrah (i.e. being equal to a man in uncovering her
must be covered). So when she goes face and roaming around unveiled, she
out from her home, she must not will not have any sense of modesty or
reveal any part of herself, not even her feel any shame in mixing with men.
khuff (i.e. sock), for the khuff describes There is incredible fitnah [mischief] and
the foot. What is preferred, in my opin overwhelming corruption in this.
ion, is that she put a button on her
sleeve where her hand is so that noth Abu ‘Usayd AlAnsaree [alAnsari]
ing could be exposed from her.’ reported that the Prophet came out of
[…] the masjid [the mosque] one day while
… the fitnah involved in a woman the women were freely intermingling
unveiling her face and hands is greater with the men on the road. So the
than that of her exposing her feet … Prophet said [to the women]:
So when this point becomes clear and
understood, it then becomes binding ‘Draw back (O women)! For, verily, it is
on the one who states that it is per not for you to occupy the middle of
missible for a woman to uncover her the road. So stick to the sides of the
face and hands in front of male road.’
strangers to fear his Lord and to
recant from this verdict. And so thereafter a woman would
[…] press herself ‘against the wall [when
It is also required for the Hijaab not to walking], to the point that her dress
be perfumed, since fragrances cause would scrape against it, due to her
men’s desires to be incited and for pressing.’
them to be tempted against their will.
So a woman who does this carries the 9B. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic
sin of her action as well as the sin of Verdicts, volume 1
those who respond to her active call Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz,
to this type of fornication. Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin,
‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al-Jibreen
The fear of the ‘power’ of women to pro- and the Permanent Committee (of Saudi
voke men into lust even extends to the Arabia)

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 85
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Publisher: Dar-us-Salam desires with her. So he may need
Published: 2001 another wife with whom he may fulfill
Language: English his desires, rather than repressing
This book was also found at the East them or committing indecency.
London Mosque (see pages 38-50); the
Tauheed Mosque (see pages 95-101); Since plurality of wives is permissible
and the Salafi Mosque, Birmingham (see and justified, logically, in accordance
pages 110-117) with the Fitrah198 and the Islamic law,
and since the Prophets of old used to
The Fatawa Islamiyah is a multi-volume practice it – indeed it could be said to
collection of contemporary rulings (fatwas) be obligatory in cases of necessity or
from a group of Wahhabite scholars based need sometimes – then it is not sur
in Saudi Arabia, who hand down authori- prising that our Prophet, Muhammad
tative opinions on all areas of public and did so.
private life – from the exotic to the mun-
dane. Given the seniority of the clerics Living with Christian (and other) ‘non-
involved, these fatwas represent the nearest believers’ is said to pose spiritual risks for
thing to pronouncements by the Saudi reli- Muslims, as the following exchange and
gious establishment on spiritual, political, ruling shows:
and personal matters, and cannot be chal-
lenged by those without training in fiqh, Q. I am living in Jordan in a house
the system of Islamic jurisprudence. This populated mostly by Christian broth
particular volume deals with issues collated ers, and we eat and drink together. Is
under the heading of ‘creed’. my prayer invalid, and is my living with
The following passage justifies the prac- them permissible?
tice of polygamy, claiming that this is the
way in which a man’s sexual urges may be A. Before answering your question, I
taken care of: would like to make a point: I hope that
it was a slip of the tongue when you
Q. Why did the Prophet marry a num said: ‘I live with Christian brothers’, for
ber of women? there is absolutely no brotherhood
between the Muslims and the
A. … This was not something new in Christians. Brotherhood is of faith….
the Law, nor does it oppose common There is absolutely no brotherhood
sense…. For women are more in num between the believer and the disbe
ber than men, as censuses continually liever. Indeed, it is incumbent upon the
prove, a man may possess so much believer not to take the disbeliever as a
physical strength that he needs more friend…. It is not permissible for the
than one wife, in order that he may be Muslim to describe the disbeliever –
able to indulge his desires in a permis whatever his brand of disbelief, be he
sible way, rather than in a prohibited Christian, Jewish, Magian or apostate
way. Otherwise he will be forced to – as a brother; so beware, my brother,
repress his desires; or the woman may of using such expressions.
be suffering from some illness, some
thing that may prevent him from fulfill As for the answer to the question, I
198. Fitrah (or fitra) is the natural ing his needs, such as menstruation or say: It is necessary to avoid mixing
state into which human beings postnatal bleeding, or anything else with nonMuslims, because mixing
are born, before their upbringing
changes them. that prevents a man from fulfilling his with them causes the loss of one’s reli

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gious zeal from the heart and may […]
even lead to affection and love for 7. The organization [Freemasonry] is
them. Jewish in origin and is secretly man
aged and directed at its highest levels
Believers are even discouraged from own- by international Jewry and its activities
ing or reading the Bible, with serious are Zionist in character.
implications for the possibility of genuine 8. It is, in fact, in its hidden aims,
interfaith dialogue if such strictures were to against all religions, its intentions being
be adhered to: the destruction of all of them in gener
al, and Islam in the hearts of its adher
Q. Is it permissible for me to obtain a ents in particular.
copy of the Injil [Gospel] so that I may […]
learn what Allah’s words were to ‘Isa 10. It has many branches, which bear
[Jesus]? And is the presentday ver other names, in order to deceive and
sion of the Injil authentic? I ask this divert attention, so that they are able
because I heard that the authentic ver to continue their activities under differ
sion is lost at the bottom of the sea. ent pseudonyms, the most well known
of which are: The Lions, The Rotary
A. There are two reasons why it is not Club, The Leons, and other such evil
permissible to obtain copies of previ movements,199 all of which are incom
ous scriptures, regardless of whether it patible and inconsistent with Islamic
is the Injil or the Tawrah [Torah]: tenets.
[…]
1. Allah Almighty has related in the The strong links between the Masons
Qur’an all that is of benefit to us from and International Zionist Jewry has
those scriptures. [sic] become absolutely clear to all of
2. The Qur’an contains in it what suf the people. By such means they have
fices us from all previously revealed been able to control the activities of
books…. So all the good contained in many leaders in Arab and other coun
the previous scriptures is present in tries in the matter of Palestine, and
the Qur’an… Furthermore, the Injil that they have prevented them from carry
is present among us today has been ing out many of their obligations with
distorted. We find that there are four respect to this most important matter,
Injils, not one, and each one of them to the advantage of the Jews and the
contradicts the others. Thus we can International Zionists.
not depend on any of them for the
truth. For this reason and many other
detailed facts concerning the danger 199. Neither the Lions Clubs
International, nor Rotary
Elsewhere, in the context of a ruling about ous activities of the Masons, their evil International are branches of
Freemasonry and related organisations, the deceptions and cunning designs, the Freemasonry. As far as is
known, there is no such thing as
intentions and activities of ‘international Fiqh Academy200 has determined that ‘The Leons’.
Jewry’ are impugned in a manner that is the Masons are one of the most dan 200. The Islamic Fiqh Academy
(Akadimiyya al-fiqh al-islami) is
wholly resonant with traditional anti- gerous, destructive organizations to
an institution for the advanced
Semitic tropes: Islam and the Muslims. And that study of Islam, with headquar-
ters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It
whoever joins them, knowing the
was proposed at the second
A Legal Judgement regarding the truth of them and their aims, is a dis summit conference of the
Organisation of the Islamic
Ruling on Membership of the Masonic believer in Islam who should be Conference (OIC) 1974, and
Movement avoided. inaugurated in February 1988.

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It is not just non-Muslims who are defined their Shaikh holds the position of a
as false, but followers of differing Islamic lord, who will guarantee them paradise
groups as well: and forgive them all of their evil deeds,
then they are disbelievers and if your
Q. Some people consider that it is an father orders you to be one of them
obligation upon the Muslim to blindly and forbids you to pray and fast, then
201
follow one of the four well known do not obey him….205
schools of Islamic Jurisprudence in
order for their acts of worship and Other groups are condemned as well. The
their deeds to be correct. Yet the Qadyanis/Ahmadiyya are based mainly in
Mathab [sic] of the Shiites is not Pakistan, but have a small international
included amongst them, not even the following:
Mathhab [sic] of the Zaidi Shiites.202
Does your Eminence agree absolutely The Ruling on Qadyanis and Their
with this view, and thus prohibit the Membership:
blind following of the Mathhab [sic] of The Committee of the Fiqh Academy
the Shiites…? has examined the matter of the
A. … It is not permissible for the Qadyani sect, which appeared in India
Muslim to blindly follow the Shiite in the last century (the nineteenth cen
Imamate Mathhab [sic], nor any other tury of the Christian era), and which is
such like Mathhab [sic] from ‘the peo also known as the Ahmadiyyah move
ple of innovation’… ment. The Fiqh Academy has studied
their beliefs….
Sufis are also heavily criticised. The follow-
ing fatwa deals with the best known of the A summary of these follows, including the
North African orders, the Shadhiliyya. It is Ahmadiyya rejection of Jihad.
worth noting that many sheikhs of Cairo’s
al-Azhar mosque/university, the leading Having studied these documents and
seat of authority in Sunni Islam, have been others like them, including the
and are Shadhilis. What is shocking in numerous manuscripts which make
both the question and the fatwa is that clear the beliefs of the Qadyanis, its
they show considerable ignorance of what [sic] founder and its [sic] establish
201. The meaning of ‘blindly fol- Shadhilis believe and do. ment and its [sic] dangerous aims –
low’ (taqlid) is that it is widely
believed that independent rea- the destruction of correct Islamic
soning in matters of religion and
Q. There is a sect known as Ash beliefs and the diversion of the
law ended by the tenth century,
and that all Sunni Muslims must Shathliyyah [sic], who neither pray nor Muslims away from it, and towards
act in accordance with the rul- 203
ings of four law schools (mad-
fast, nor give Zakat, and there is a misguidance, the Fiqh Committee
hhab, pl. madhahib). person whom they call Sayyiduna (Our has unanimously determined that the
204
202. A minority Shi‘a sect, main- Master) and they say that he occu beliefs of the Qadyanis, known also
ly restricted to Yemen.
pies the place of their ‘lord’, and he is as Ahmadiya [sic], are unIslamic and
203. Zakat is alms for the poor.
their representative on the Last Day, that the pretension of its followers to
204. This refers to Abu’l-Hasan
al-Shadhili (d. 1258), the founder he forgives them everything which they be Muslims is no more than an
of the order.
do in their lives in this world…. attempt to misguide and deceive;
205. Like other mainstream Sufi
orders, the Shadhili do, in fact,
and the Committee of the Fiqh
perform the salat, fast at A. …. If the situation is as you say, that Academy declares that it is incum
Ramadan, and pay the zakat
alms-tax. See, for example, the
your father and those with him in this bent upon the Muslims – govern
following Shadhili web page: sect do not pray and do not fast and ments, scholars, writers, thinkers,
http://www.suficenter.org/faq.
html. that they believe that their leader or preachers, and others – to oppose

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this misguided sect and its followers is the destruction of Islam and the
all over the world. Muslims.

If the Ahmadiyya are viewed as carrying 9C. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic
out a dangerous heresy, members of the Verdicts, volume 5
Baha’i religion (the Baha’i Faith) occupy a Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz,
special niche in the ranks of religions Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin,
Muslims should loathe. Baha’ism is a ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al-Jibreen
worldwide religious movement of Shi’ite and the
origin numbering some five or six million, Permanent Committee (of Saudi Arabia)
most of whose followers outside Iran come Publisher: Dar-us-Salam
from Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and ani- Published: 2001
mist backgrounds. Baha’is, unlike the Language: English
Ahmadiyya, make no claim to be Muslims, This book was also found at the East
although they regard Muhammad as a London Mosque (see pages 38-50)
‘divine manifestation’ and the Qur’an a
divinely revealed scripture. In Islamic This volume of the Fatawa Islamiyah series
countries, especially Iran and Egypt, they covers a wide range of topics: insurance;
have been denied all rights to worship, trusts; lost property; endowments; wills
meet, hold ceremonies, or publish litera- and testaments; inheritance; slavery; mar-
ture. Many have been killed.206 riage (this is the main section); looking at
women (which is forbidden); the media;
The Committee of the Fiqh Academy relations between the sexes; female con-
has examined the Bahai [sic, for duct; mixing of the sexes (forbidden); sex-
Baha’i] sect which appeared in Persia ual matters in general; masturbation (with
(Iran) in the second half of the last cen some very dubious ‘medical facts’); the
tury and which is professed by a num guardianship of women; marriage to
ber of people who spread throughout Jewish and Christian women; dowries;
the Muslim and nonMuslim countries contraception (forbidden); polygamy
until today. (approved); the obedience wives owe their
[…] husbands; and different forms of marriage.
It became clear to the Fiqh Academy, To take an example, the following pas-
based upon the evidence of the texts sage confirms that polygamy is prescribed
concerning the beliefs of the Bahais, under Islam:
that they were intended to destroy
Islam, in particular its firm stance Q. Is plurality of wives permitted in
against the worship of mankind [i.e. Islam, or is it prescribed as a
human beings], with the Bahai claims Sunnah?208
of Divinity and the authority to alter the
law of Islam A. Plurality of wives is prescribed as a
[…] Sunnah as long as one has the ability
206 Some basic Baha’i beliefs
The Academy warns the Muslims in all to do it, according to the Words of
include the abolition of jihad, the
corners of the world207 against this Allah – and because of the action of oneness of mankind, the one-
ness of all religions, the equality
criminal, disbelieving sect and appeals the Prophet…. It is also a prescribed of men and women.
to them to oppose them and take pre Sunnah, because in plurality of wives, 207 Note the assumption of uni-
cautions against them, especially since there are great benefits for men and versal validity for the rulings of
this Saudi academy.
it is evident that they enjoy support women and for the whole Islamic
208 A custom to be followed by
from the colonialist nations whose aim community… It also means that men imitating Muhammad.

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take responsibility for a number of and non-Muslims in the UK – and the
women, by which they are made right growing recognition by the police of the
eous and protected from the causes of problem of ‘honour killings’ across a num-
evil and deviation. ber of minority communities – is the mes-
[…] sage sent out about how Muslims should
Q. I am a man who has been married respond:
for some years and I have a number of
children and I am happy in my family Q. What is the ruling on the marriage
life. However, I feel that I am in need of of a Muslim woman to a Christian
another wife, because I wish to be man?
righteous and one wife is not enough
for me, since as a man, I have physical A. It is forbidden for a Muslim woman
potency which exceeds that of a to marry a Christian man or any other
woman; this is one point. Another disbeliever….
point is that I want a woman who pos
sesses certain characteristics which And when he makes a contract of
my wife lacks.... My wife in whom I marriage with her, it must be annulled
have not seen anything detestable immediately; and if the wife knew this
absolutely rejects a second wife. What [that she had married a Christian] and
advice can you give me? And what knew the ruling, she deserves to be
advice can you give my wife, in order chastised as does [sic] the guardian,
that she will be convinced? And does the witnesses and the registrar, if they
she have the right to reject my desire knew that. And if she bears children,
to marry… they follow their mother in Islam. And if
the husband embraces Islam, the con
A. If the matter is as you have tract of marriage should be renewed,
described in the question, then it is after the truth of his acceptance of
lawful for you to marry a second, a Islam has been confirmed, so that it
third, and fourth wife, according to should not be a device (in order to
your ability and your need. make the marriage legal). And if he
apostatises after that, his head should
Elsewhere, it is stated that a boy may marry be chopped off, according to the
as young as age 10: Hadith: ‘Whoever changes his religion,
kill him’ [emphasis added].
When a boy reaches ten years of age,
he is considered to have started The same volume also puts the case that,
puberty, and naturally, he feels inclined not only is birth control forbidden, but it
towards women, because the like of is to be considered yet another plot against
him may marry and do what a man Muslims.
does.
Those who call for birth control or con
There are, however, certain limitations traception are a group whose aim by
imposed on when marriage is and is not this call is to plot against the Muslims
permissible. The following passage, for in general, and against the Arab
instance, prohibits it between a Muslim Muslim community in particular, so
woman and a Christian man. Perhaps that they are able to colonize the lands
more worrying, given the increasing likeli- and their people.... birth control is not
hood of intermarriages between Muslims permissible under any circumstances.

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Meanwhile, women are considered so she can complete her high school or
dangerous that even shaking hands with university education, or, so that she
one through a cloth can lead to tempta- can study for a number of years. What
tion. is the ruling on this, and what is your
advice to those who do it? And what
shaking hands with unrelated women is your advice to those who delay it
might lead to some temptation (Fitnah) such that the young women might
over them, like looking at them, or reach the age of thirty or more without
even more so marrying?
[…]
It is not permissible for a man to shake A. The ruling on that is that it is con
hands with a woman who is unrelated trary to the order of the Prophet,
to him, even if she placed a piece of because the Prophet said:
cloth over her hand when shaking ‘If one whose religion and character
hands. pleases you proposes to you, then
marry (your daughter to) him’.209
Even speaking with a woman on the tele-
phone is deemed dangerous: Refusing marriage causes loss of the
benefits of marriage, so my advice to
It is not permissible to speak with an my Muslim brothers who are
unrelated woman in a manner which guardians of women and to my adult
may excite desire, such as by speak Muslim sisters is not to refuse mar
ing words of love, flirting and subduing riage in order to complete their edu
one’s voice, whether on the telephone cation or teaching. However, it is pos
or otherwise. sible for a woman to make it a condi
tion of marriage that she be allowed
In addition, it is decreed that writing let- to continue her studies until she has
ters (or presumably e-mails?) to a woman is completed them, and likewise to con
likely to lead to trouble: tinue to teach for a year or two, as
long as she is not busy with children
Q: If a man corresponds with an unre and there is no objection to this.
lated woman, and they come to love Although the idea of a woman pro
each other, is this action considered to gressing in university studies in sub
be forbidden? jects for which there is no need
should be examined. I consider that if
A: This action is not permissible, a woman has completed primary
because it excites desire between the school level and is able to read and
two, and incites the urge to arrange write sufficiently well to benefit from
meetings and telephone calls... this knowledge in reading the Book of
Allah [the Qur’an], its explanation and
Finally, a further ruling claims that it is recitation and the Hadiths of the
better for women to marry, rather than Prophet and their explanation, then
study, since they do not need anything that is enough. Unless she is studying
beyond primary education: knowledge which is essential for the
people, such as medicine and the like
Q. There is a widespread custom, – as long as there is nothing danger
which is a young woman or her father ous, such as mixing [with men] or
refusing proposals of suitors, so that other things. 209 Al-Tirmidhi No. 1084.

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9D. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic No doubt, we should warn against
Verdicts, volume 8 something that is so evil and harmful;
Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz, moreover, we should find ways to
Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin, ‘Abdullah eradicate it from our Muslim society.
bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al-Jibreen and the … Even after the censor removes
Permanent Committee (of Saudi Arabia) those scenes and programs that he
Publisher: Dar-us-Salam deems to be harmful, there still
Published: 2001 remains much that is evil. This may be
Language: English because he has made an error or
This book was also found at the East because he, like most people, is so
London Mosque (see pages 38-50) beguiled by western culture, so he
permits to be aired that which goes
Volume 8 of the Fatawa Islamiyah offers ver- against the precepts of Islam. Anyone
dicts on the following subjects: ‘Jihad, can clearly see, according to what is
da’wah, employees and workers, teachers and aired on radio and television, that there
students, dreams and visions, bribery and its isn’t nearly enough editing and censor
effects, the orphan’s wealth, pictures, media, ship.
singing and music’ and various other topics. […]
The following passage would allow a Q: … Television has penetrated the
Muslim employer to dismiss a Muslim confines of virtually all homes, whether
employee because he does not pray. This in cities, villages, or even in the desert.
injunction sits uneasily alongside fair The shows that are aired consist, at
employment legislation; and it must surely least to some extent, of the following:
infringe the rights guaranteed to workers
in British society: • Singing accompanied by musical
instruments.
Q: Should I endeavour to fire a Muslim • Police and criminal dramas.
employee who works in my depart • Untrue and madeup stories.
ment but doesn’t pray? • Mixing of the sexes among actors.
A: It is incumbent upon you to advise • Portrayal of historical Islamic figures
him first, and perhaps Allâh Almighty will as being evil or corrupt…
guide him; if the advice has no effect,
fire him, because by not praying he has Here are my questions:
become a disbeliever, an apostate....
• If we know these things, then is it
The everyday accoutrements of western soci- permissible to bring televisions into
ety are deemed to be deeply damaging to the our homes, where our women and
moral and spiritual well-being of ‘the believ- children will watch them, thus dis
er’. In particular, it is clear that film, televi- turbing their perception of truth and
sion, and photographs cause considerable falsehood?
consternation among the Saudi ‘ulama who • Is it permissible, when watching tel
issue the fatwas. Here, for instance, are their evision, to look at women and at
verdicts on television: some men whose appearance is
not in the least bit manly?
The Islamic Ruling on Television: • What must a person do who per
sists in keeping a television set or
Television is at least as harmful as films who says that he cannot remove it
are. … from his home?

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• What about a man who says that is used for what is good – for spread
he finds it impossible to turn off his ing the truth, for the recitation of the
television when music or women Qur’an, explaining the truth, for calling
appear? to good and warning against evil –
• Are the shows I described above in then it is permitted.
concordance with the Shari’ah?
• Is it permissible for men and Another area in which the tenets of west-
women, in general, to watch the ern society are deemed antithetical to the
programs I described? teachings of Islam as propounded here is
[…] that of medical practice. It is, for example,
A: No doubt, all of the points you suggested that mental illness may be cured
mentioned describe programs that are through prayer in preference to modern
unlawful (forbidden), a fact that no one medicine:
will deny, or at least no one who is
aware of the Islamic Shari’ah, due to Q. Does a believer ever become
the harm these shows have on society affected by mental illness? What is the
– corruption of the character and cure for mental illness, considering that
morals of those who constitute our modern medicines and chemicals are
societies. used [sic ‘only based on’?] only pres
[…] entday theories to cure it?
No doubt, obtaining a television set for
the purposes you outlined is unlawful, A. For sure, man is often beset with
for watching what is unlawful is itself worries regarding the future and sad
unlawful. A person is sinning when he ness regarding the past. Some forms
persists in obtaining a television if he of mental illness are more detrimental
knows that he will not be able to pro to the body than physical ailments
tect himself or his family from evil pro are.210 The cures to these diseases are
grams. Even if he does not watch tele better achieved by what the Shari’ah
vision himself, he is sinning, because prescribed – the Ruqya211 – much
he is helping others to do what is more so than but the use of modern
unlawful … Watching television without medicine….
actually acquiring one as property is of
three kinds: A long and a short invocation are provid-
[…] ed. Other medieval sources are referred to,
2.Watching what is harmful to one’s before the author continues:
religion; this is unlawful. A Muslim
must protect his religion from all But when the faith weakens, so weak
negative influences. ens the self acceptance of Shari’ah
3. Watching what is neither beneficial cures. People nowadays place more
nor harmful: this kind of viewing is a trust in physical remedies than in
waste of time, something that does remedies prescribed by the Shari’ah.
210. This may in part be correct:
not befit a determined believer. When a person’s faith is strong, the see Alok Jha, ‘Depression more
harmful than angina, says
Shari’ah remedy is more effective, and study’, The Guardian, 7
There is no ruling for television itself, faster in results than other cures. September 2007, at:
http://www.guardian.
but rather for how it is used. If it is co.uk/science/2007/sep/07/medi
used for what is unlawful – such as for Elsewhere, a ruling indicates that the great- cineandhealth.lifeandhealthinsur-
ance.
music, for lies, for disbelief, or for est form of striving (jihad) in God’s path is
211. Reading over a sick person,
licentiousness – then it is unlawful. If it with one’s life: usually with part of the Qur’an.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 93
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Q. Is Jihad in the way of Allâh the helpling others in good in any form.
same level regardless of whether it is The highest form of Jihad, however,
with one’s life, wealth, or supplication, is with one’s life; then come Jihad
even if somebody is capable of the with one’s wealth and Jihad with
type that involves one’s life? teaching and guidance, and in this
way Da’wah [preaching and sum
A. There are different kinds of Jihad moning to Islam] is a form of Jihad,
— with one’s self, wealth, supplica but Jihad with one’s life is the highest
tion, teaching, giving guidance, or form.212

212. The idea of fighting in the
path of God with one’s life or
self (nafs) and one’s wealth is
derived from a number of
Qur’anic verses, such as the fol-
lowing: ‘Believe in God and His
Messenger, and fight (tujahiduna)
in the way of God with your
properties and selves. That is
better for you, if you know.’
(61.11).

The Central London Mosque. © Daily Telegraph

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Tauheed Mosque and Islamic Salam Publications; Sheikh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz
Centre (‘Masjid & Madrassa bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz; Muhammad ibn
Al-Tawhid) Jamil Zino
Publisher: Dar-us-Salam
Address: 78 High Road, Leyton, London, Published: 2002
E15 2BP Language: English
Telephone: 020 8519 6655
Email: info@masijidtawhid.com This work is produced by Dar-us-Salam
Website: http://www.masjidtawhed.org Publications, which has UK outlets
Charity Commission Registration No: 1070735 based in both Walthamstow and at the
Local MP: Harry Cohen (Labour) Regent’s Park Mosque.215
Local Authority: London Borough of Waltham This is a compilation of short treatises
Forest on belief and the divine unity by a num-
Affiliations: MCB, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ber of Saudi scholars. It begins with
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab him-
self, from whom Wahhabism takes its
Points of Interest name. It opens with his famous and most
important work, Kitab al-Tawhid (Book
The Tauheed Islamic Centre is based in of Divine Unity).
east London. This is then followed by Religious
The mosque dates back to 1984 when it Fundamentals (by the same author); The
was founded, according to its website, by Virtue of Tauhid and a Warning Against
virtue of a ‘generous donation’ from ‘Abdul What Contradicts it (by the Research
‘Aziz ‘Abdullah bin Baz - then the ‘Head of Division of Dar-us-Salam Publishers);
Presidency of Islamic Research, Ifta, The Authentic Creed and Invalidators of
Daw’ah and Guidace, Saudi Arabia’; the Islam (by Sheikh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz bin
writings of bin Baz feature elsewhere in ‘Abdullah bin Baz; Islamic Creed
this report. Since its creation, the mosque (Muhammad ibn Jamil Zino); and 50
has maintained close relations with the Questions and Answers on Islamic
Saudi Kingdom, with the foundation stone Monotheism (Research Division of Dar-
for its current premises laid by the then us-Salam).
‘President of Affairs of the Sacred Mosques A key theme in the book (as for much
of Makkah and Madinah’ - Muhammad of the other literature presented in this
bin Abdullah al Subbayyl.213 survey) concerns the correct conduct of
The current president of the mosque, social relations between Muslims and
Dr Suhaid Hasan is an Indian-born gradu- non-Muslims. Also of concern is the
ate of the Islamic University of Medina; he question of those Muslims who are
is also the Secretary of the ‘Islamic Shari’ah deemed to practise an insufficiently ‘rig-
Council of the UK’.214 orous’ form of Islam. Many Muslims in
the UK (mainly those from South Asia)
define themselves as Sufis, followers of
Books found here included: one form or another of a more mystical
style of Islam.
213. See, ‘About us’, Masjid al-
10A. The Concise Collection on As the following passage demon- Tawhid, available at,
http://www.masjidtawhid.org/ab.
Creed and Tauhid [The Divine strates, to the Wahhabites and other out-us.html.
Unity] Salafis, much of Sufism is deemed to be 214. Ibid.
Author: Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al- beyond the pale, even worse than pre- 215. For more Dar-us-Salam
Wahhab; the Research Division of Dar-us- Islamic paganism: publications see pages 180-181.

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Other beliefs which contradict the with the unanimous agreement of all
true belief include AlBatiniyah216 and Muslim scholars.
Sufism whose followers believe that
their socalled saints are Allah’s part 10B. Al-’Adl fi Shari‘at al-Islam, wa
ners in His rile and disposition of the laysa fi’l-dimuqratiyya al-
world’s affairs. … Indeed, this is the maz‘uma [Justice is in the Law
worst form of Shirk217 with relation to of Islam and not in the
Allah’s Lordship; it is even far worse acclaimed democracy]
than the form of Shirk which was Author: ‘Abd al-Muhsin ibn Hamad
prevalent in PreIslamic Arabia, for Publisher: Al-Mughni Publishing House
the Arabs at that time joined part Published: 1426 (2005)
ners with Allah only in worship not in Language: Arabic
His Lordship.
This is a short work arguing the need for
Meanwhile, this text also makes clear the creation of a Caliphate (Islamic
that to seek any kind of modernisation state), which will rule by shari’ah law,
for Islamic law, including the abolition which is itself deemed to embody justice.
of physical punishments, makes a Islamic justice is held to include human
Muslim an apostate: rights [albeit by a different standard to
contemporary universal human rights
The fourth point mentioned above theory]. Also within this text, there is a
also includes those who believe that discussion of the role of consultation in
manmade laws are better than the Islam and the Caliphate. The author
Islamic Law, that the Islamic Law is examines how power is obtained in a
not suitable to be implemented in democracy, then criticises democracy,
the present century, that Islam is the freedom and equality between men and
reason behind Muslims’ backward women, arguing that women cannot rule
ness in some spheres of life, or that over men.
it is not applicable in other spheres As the following excerpt reveals:
of life apart from regulating one’s life
with one’s Lord. This point also To govern in a socalled democracy
includes those who believe that cut is based upon political parties. Each
ting off the thief’s hand is a back party will have one candidate after
ward law that should not be imple which there will be an election in
mented in the presentday society. It which any citizen can elect whom he
also includes those who believe that or she wants. After the vote count,
it is permissible to dispense with the the winner will be the one with most
Islamic Law in matters relating to the votes. This method, which the
social life and the boundary limits for Muslims have imported from their
the lawful and the unlawful even if enemies, contradicts Islam in many
they do not believe that other laws ways.
are not better than the Islamic Law. […]
For this means that they have made In the socalled imported democracy
216. The term means literally, lawful what Allah had already made freedom is absolute, it is not
‘those who believe in inner reali-
ties’ and whilst it more common- unlawful. Whoever by some necessi restricted by morals or religion, and
ly refers to a form of Shi‘ism, ty makes lawful what Allah has each person in it has the right to
here it is related to Sufism.
declared unlawful, things that are believe whatever he wants to
217. Shirk – attributing partners
to God. known in religion … is a disbeliever believe, even if he believes in athe

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ism. He has the right to do as he authoritative opinions on all areas of
likes, even if his actions are degen public and private life – from the exotic
eration and a falling into the to the mundane. Given the seniority of
swamps of vice. The hearts [of peo the clerics involved, these fatwas repre-
ple] in democracy contain two sick sent the nearest thing to pronounce-
nesses, that of the heart and that of ments by the Saudi religious establish-
physical desires. ment on spiritual, political, and personal
matters, and cannot be challenged by
Only Islam, it is maintained, provides those without training in fiqh, the sys-
true equality for men and women, tem of Islamic jurisprudence. This par-
because it assigns them distinct roles ticular volume deals with issues collated
within society. The sort of equality avail- under the heading of ‘creed’.
able in democratic societies is, by com- The following passage justifies the
parison, false: practice of polygamy, claiming that this
is the way in which a man’s sexual urges
Sixth: [In democracy] an absolute may be taken care of:
equality between men and women.
The perfect Islamic law brought Q. Why did the Prophet marry a
equality between men and women in number of women?
many areas, and distinguished
between them in others like inheri A. … This was not something new in
tance, freeing of slaves, being a wit the Law, nor does it oppose com
ness … As for socalled democracy, mon sense.... For women are more
it makes men and women equal, in number than men, as censuses
without taking nature, character, and continually prove, a man may pos
religion into account. sess so much physical strength that
he needs more than one wife, in
10C. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic order that he may be able to indulge
Verdicts, volume 1 his desires in a permissible way,
Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin rather than in a prohibited way.
Baz, Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin, Otherwise he will be forced to
‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al-Jibreen repress his desires; or the woman
and the Permanent Committee (of Saudi may be suffering from some illness,
Arabia) something that may prevent him
Publisher: Dar-us-Salam from fulfilling his needs, such as
Published: 2001 menstruation or postnatal bleeding,
Language: English or anything else that prevents a man
This book was also found at the East from fulfilling his desires with her. So
London Mosque (see pages (38-50); he may need another wife with
the London Central Mosque and whom he may fulfill his desires,
Islamic Centre (see pages 82-94); and rather than repressing them or com
the Salafi Mosque, Birmingham (see mitting indecency.
pages 110-117)
Since plurality of wives is permissible
The Fatawa Islamiyah is a multi-volume and justified, logically, in accordance
collection of contemporary rulings (fat- with the Fitrah218 and the Islamic law, 218. Fitrah (or fitra) is the natural
state into which human beings
was) from a group of Wahhabite scholars and since the Prophets of old used
are born, before their upbringing
based in Saudi Arabia, who hand down to practice it – indeed it could be changes them.

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said to be obligatory in cases of Q. Is it permissible for me to obtain a
necessity or need sometimes – then copy of the Injil [Gospel] so that I
it is not surprising that our Prophet, may learn what Allah’s words were
Muhammad did so. to ‘Isa [Jesus]? And is the present
day version of the Injil authentic? I
Living with Christian (and other) ‘non- ask this because I heard that the
believers’ is said to pose spiritual risks for authentic version is lost at the bot
Muslims, as the following exchange and tom of the sea.
ruling shows:
A. There are two reasons why it is
Q. I am living in Jordan in a house not permissible to obtain copies of
populated mostly by Christian broth previous scriptures, regardless of
ers, and we eat and drink together. whether it is the Injil or the Tawrah
Is my prayer invalid, and is my living [Torah]:
with them permissible?
1. Allah Almighty has related in the
A. Before answering your question, I Qur’an all that is of benefit to us
would like to make a point: I hope from those scriptures.
that it was a slip of the tongue when 2. The Qur’an contains in it what
you said: ‘I live with Christian broth suffices us from all previously
ers’, for there is absolutely no broth revealed books…. So all the good
erhood between the Muslims and the contained in the previous scrip
Christians. Brotherhood is of faith…. tures is present in the Qur’an…
There is absolutely no brotherhood Furthermore, the Injil that is pres
between the believer and the disbe ent among us today has been dis
liever. Indeed, it is incumbent upon torted. We find that there are four
the believer not to take the disbeliev Injils, not one, and each one of
er as a friend…. It is not permissible them contradicts the others. Thus
for the Muslim to describe the disbe we cannot depend on any of them
liever – whatever his brand of disbe for the truth.
lief, be he Christian, Jewish, Magian
or apostate – as a brother; so Elsewhere, in the context of a ruling
beware, my brother, of using such about freemasonry and related organisa-
expressions. tions, the intentions and activities of
‘international Jewry’ are impugned in a
As for the answer to the question, I manner that is wholly resonant with tra-
say: It is necessary to avoid mixing ditional anti-Semitic tropes:
with nonMuslims, because mixing
with them causes the loss of one’s A Legal Judgement regarding the
religious zeal from the heart and may Ruling on Membership of the
even lead to affection and love for Masonic Movement
them. […]
7. The organization [Freemasonry] is
Believers are even discouraged from Jewish in origin and is secretly
owning or reading the Bible, with serious managed and directed at its high
implications for the possibility of gen- est levels by international Jewry
uine interfaith outreach if such strictures and its activities are Zionist in
were to be adhered to: character.

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8. It is, in fact, in its hidden aims, Q. Some people consider that it is
against all religions, its intentions an obligation upon the Muslim to
being the destruction of all of blindly follow221 one of the four well
them in general, and Islam in the known schools of Islamic
hearts of its adherents in particu Jurisprudence in order for their acts
lar. of worship and their deeds to be
[…] correct. Yet the Mathab [sic] of the
10. It has many branches, which Shiites is not included amongst
bear other names, in order to them, not even the Mathhab [sic] of
deceive and divert attention, so the Zaidi Shiites.222 Does your
that they are able to continue their Eminence agree absolutely with this
activities under different pseudo view, and thus prohibit the blind fol
nyms, the most well known of lowing of the Mathhab [sic] of the
which are: The Lions, The Rotary Shiites…?
Club, The Leons, and other such
evil movements,219 all of which are A. … It is not permissible for the
incompatible and inconsistent with Muslim to blindly follow the Shiite
Islamic tenets. Imamate Mathhab [sic], nor any
[…] other such like Mathhab [sic] from
The strong links between the Masons ‘the people of innovation’…
and International Zionist Jewry has
[sic] become absolutely clear to all of Sufis are also heavily criticised. The fol-
the people. By such means they have lowing fatwa deals with the best known
been able to control the activities of of the North African orders, the
many leaders in Arab and other coun Shadhiliyya. It is worth noting that
tries in the matter of Palestine, and many sheikhs of Cairo’s al-Azhar
they have prevented them from carry mosque/university, the leading seat of 219. Neither the Lions Clubs
ing out many of their obligations with authority in Sunni Islam, have been and International, nor Rotary
International are branches of
respect to this most important matter, are Shadhilis. What is shocking in both Freemasonry. As far as is
to the advantage of the Jews and the the question and the fatwa is that they known, there is no such thing as
‘The Leons’.
International Zionists. show considerable ignorance of what
220. The Islamic Fiqh Academy
Shadhilis believe and do. (Akadimiyya al-fiqh al-islami) is
an institution for the advanced
For this reason and many other study of Islam, with headquar-
detailed facts concerning the dan Q. There is a sect known as Ash ters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It
was proposed at the second
gerous activities of the Masons, their Shathliyyah [sic], who neither pray summit conference of the
evil deceptions and cunning designs, nor fast, nor give Zakat,223 and there Organisation of the Islamic
Conference (OIC) 1974, and
the Fiqh Academy220 has determined is a person whom they call inaugurated in February 1988.
that the Masons are one of the most Sayyiduna (Our Master)224 and they 221. The meaning of ‘blindly fol-
low’ (taqlid) is that it is widely
dangerous, destructive organizations say that he occupies the place of
believed that independent rea-
to Islam and the Muslims. And that their ‘lord’, and he is their represen soning in matters of religion and
law ended by the tenth century,
whoever joins them, knowing the tative on the Last Day, he forgives
and that all Sunni Muslims must
truth of them and their aims, is a dis them everything which they do in act in accordance with the rul-
ings of four law schools (mad-
believer in Islam who should be their lives in this world…. hhab, pl. madhahib).
avoided. 222. A minority Shi‘a sect, main-
A. …. If the situation is as you say, ly restricted to Yemen.

It is not just non-Muslims who are that your father and those with him 223. Zakat is alms for the poor.

224. This refers to Abu’l-Hasan
defined as false, but followers of differ- in this sect do not pray and do not
al-Shadhili (d. 1258), the founder
ing Islamic groups as well: fast and that they believe that their of the order.

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The hijacking of British Islam

leader or their Shaikh holds the posi ments, scholars, writers, thinkers,
tion of a lord, who will guarantee preachers, and others – to oppose
them paradise and forgive them all of this misguided sect and its followers
their evil deeds, then they are disbe all over the world.
lievers and if your father orders you
to be one of them and forbids you to If the Ahmadiyya are viewed as carrying
pray and fast, then do not obey out a dangerous heresy, members of the
him….225 Baha’i religion (the Baha’i Faith) occupy
a special niche in the ranks of religions
Other groups are condemned as well. Muslims should loathe. Baha’ism is a
The Qadyanis/Ahmadiyya are based worldwide religious movement of Shi’a
mainly in Pakistan, but have a small origin numbering some five or six mil-
international following: lion, most of whose followers outside
Iran come from Christian, Hindu,
The Ruling on Qadyanis and Their Buddhist and animist backgrounds.
Membership: Baha’is, unlike the Ahmadiyya, make no
claim to be Muslims, although they
The Committee of the Fiqh Academy regard Muhammad as a ‘divine manifes-
has examined the matter of the tation’ and the Qur’an a divinely
Qadyani sect, which appeared in revealed scripture. In Islamic countries,
India in the last century (the nine especially Iran and Egypt, they have been
teenth century of the Christian era), denied all rights to worship, meet, hold
and which is also known as the ceremonies, or publish literature. Many
Ahmadiyyah movement. The Fiqh have been killed.226
Academy has studied their beliefs….
The Committee of the Fiqh Academy
A summary of these follows, including has examined the Bahai [sic, for
the Ahmadiyya rejection of jihad. Baha’i] sect which appeared in
Persia (Iran) in the second half of the
Having studied these documents last century and which is professed
and others like them, including the by a number of people who spread
numerous manuscripts which make throughout the Muslim and non
clear the beliefs of the Qadyanis, its Muslim countries until today.
[sic] founder and its [sic] establish […]
ment and its [sic] dangerous aims – It became clear to the Fiqh
the destruction of correct Islamic Academy, based upon the evidence
beliefs and the diversion of the of the texts concerning the beliefs
225. Like other mainstream Sufi
orders, the Shadhili do, in fact,
Muslims away from it, and towards of the Bahais, that they were
perform the salat, fast at misguidance, the Fiqh Committee intended to destroy Islam, in partic
Ramadan, and pay the zakat
alms-tax. See, for example, the
has unanimously determined that the ular its firm stance against the wor
following Shadhili web page: beliefs of the Qadyanis, known also ship of mankind [i.e. human beings],
http://www.suficenter.org/
faq.html. as Ahmadiya [sic], are unIslamic with the Bahai claims of Divinity and
226. Some basic Baha’i beliefs and that the pretension of its follow the authority to alter the law of
include the abolition of jihad, the
ers to be Muslims is no more than Islam
oneness of mankind, the one-
ness of all religions, the equality an attempt to misguide and deceive; […]
of men and women.
and the Committee of the Fiqh The Academy warns the Muslims in
227. Note the assumption of uni-
versal validity for the rulings of
Academy declares that it is incum all corners of the world227 against this
this Saudi academy. bent upon the Muslims – govern criminal, disbelieving sect and

100
London

appeals to them to oppose them enjoy support from the colonialist
and take precautions against them, nations whose aim is the destruction
especially since it is evident that they of Islam and the Muslims.

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Birmingham

Birmingham Central Mosque Then, in the aftermath of the terrorist
attacks on London in July 2005, Dr.
Address: 180 Belgrave Middleway, Highgate, Naseem claimed that he did not believe al-
Birmingham, B12 0XS Qaeda existed because the only informa-
Telephone: 0121 440 5355 tion about it came from the CIA.233 In sim-
Email: enquiries@centralmosque.org.uk ilar vein, he expressed doubt over the
228. ‘Welcome’, Birmingham
Website: http://centralmosque.org.uk/ authenticity of the video testimony of one
Central Mosque, available at, Charity Commission Registration No.: 259545 of the terrorist bombers, Mohammed
http://centralmosque.org.uk/.
Last accessed on 10 July 2007.
Local MP: Roger Godsiff (Labour) Sidique Khan, stating, ‘We are in the twen-
229. See, for example, Salma
Local Authority: Birmingham City Council ty-first century. The cows can be made to
Yaqoob, ‘Why the personal is the Affiliations: MCB look as dancing, the horses can speak like
political in Islam’, The Dawn, April
2004, available at, http://central- humans, so these things can be doctored or
mosque.org.uk/pubs/thedawn/20 can be produced’.234 On more than one
0404-Why%20The%20
Person%20Is%20Political%20In Points of Interest occasion, Dr. Naseem has claimed that
%20Islam.pdf.
Muslims in the UK are under siege from a
230. R. Hattersley, ‘End this cho-
rus of intolerance’, Guardian, 12
Opened in 1975, Birmingham Central police state and being persecuted ‘like Jews
August 2005; ‘Home Security Mosque is capable of accommodating up in Germany’.235 In 2005, Dr. Naseem stood
MP bids to sway City Muslims’,
Birmingham Central Mosque, 27
to 5,000 worshippers on special occa- (unsuccessfully) as a candidate for the
November 2004, available at, sions.228 In the UK it has a mixed reputa- Respect Party.236
http://centralmosque.org.uk/?pa
ge=media/pressreleases&press- tion. On the one hand, it preaches a peace-
releases_id=pressrelease_2004- ful version of Islam; it has two women offi-
11-27_0001.
cials, one of whom is Salma Yaqoob229 – the Books found here included:
231. Andrew Norfolk, ‘The
homegrown cleric who loathes vice-chair of the Respect party. Many
the British’, The Times, 7
September 2007.
politicians have paid visits there, including 11A. Tanbihat ‘ala ahkam takhussu
232. N. Connor, ‘Muslim leader
Roy Hattersley, Patrick Mercer and George bi’l-mu’minat [Warnings regard-
says extremists have CIA link’, Galloway.230 And the mosque is even listed ing laws related to believing
Birmingham Post, 24 September
2004. as a ‘partnership’ organisation by the web- women]
233. ‘Call for mosque chairman site of the West Midlands Police. Author: Saleh Bin al-Fouzan
to quit’, BBC News Online, 28 Against this, however, a former imam at Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
July 2005, available at,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/eng- the mosque, Riyadh ul-Haq, emerged as a The Kingdom Saudi Arabia
land/west_midlands/4723731.st
m.
central figure in a recent investigation by Published: 1419 (1998)

234. ‘Experts analyse bomber
The Times into the activities of some Language: Arabic
videotape’, BBC News Online, 3 Deobandi preachers in certain mosques This book was also found at the UKIM
September 2005, available at,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/42
within the UK. That investigation claimed North London Mosque (see pages 68-
10566.stm. that ul-Haq was spreading a message of 70); the Salafi Mosque, Birmingham (see
235. ‘Mosque chairman sparks intolerance and antipathy to British socie- pages 110-117); and the Madinah
fresh row’, BBC News Online, 6
August 2005, available at, ty in many of his sermons.231 Mosque, Oxford (see pages 150-153).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/eng-
Furthermore, the mosque’s long-stand-
land/west_midlands/4126688.st
m; P. Bradley, ‘Muslims ‘treated ing chairman, Dr. Mohammad Naseem, In this volume, published by the Saudi
like German Jews’’, Birmingham
Evening Mail, 3 February 2007.
has repeatedly made headlines for a series Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the carefully
236. ‘Result: Birmingham Perry
of seemingly eccentric statements. In delineated gender roles for the separate
Barr’, Election 2005, BBC News September 2004, for instance, he claimed sexes are outlined. The author, Saleh Bin al-
Online, 6 May 2005, available at,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/
that the extremist group, al-Muhajiroun, Fouzan, is a member of the Saudi Council
vote2005/html/59.stm. was a creation of the American CIA.232 of Senior Religious Clerics, the Fiqh

102
Birmingham

Birmingham Central Mosque.
© www.jr-photos.com

Committee of the Muslim World League, We do not forbid a woman to do things
the Permanent Committee of Jurists, and outside her house, provided this is in
the Committee for the Supervision of conformity with the following rules:
Missionaries, and the Permanent
Committee for Islamic Research and 1. She must have a need to do these
Fatwas. things (or society must need them
Here he provides an exposition on the to be done), provided no man can
various laws relating to women including: be found to do them.
the place of women in Islam; how to treat 2. This must be done after she has
one’s hair and eyebrows; teeth (there completed her housework, which is
should be no gaps); tattooing (which is her basic work.
forbidden); and menstruation and child- 3. This work must stay within her limi
birth (including prohibitions on facing tations, such as teaching women,
Mecca or touching the Qur’an during or doctoring or sicknursing
these periods, because of ritual ‘uncleanli- women, and (must take place) in
ness’). In addition, there are injunctions segregation from men.
on: clothing and veiling; rules affecting a 4. Thus, there is no prohibition –
woman’s prayers; the preparation of dead indeed it is a duty for women – to
women for burial; fasting; performing pil- teach their religion, and there is no
grimage (hajj and ‘umra); marriage (the prohibition on her teaching those
ethos being that a woman’s work is in the matters of her religion for which she
house); the obedience of a wife to her hus- has a need. The teaching must be
band (which is deemed compulsory and done among women. There is no
she is forbidden from rebelling); divorce; harm in her attending classes at the
widowhood; and laws that protect a mosque or somewhere similar, but
woman’s honour. she must stay hidden and be kept
As the following passage reflects, al- away from men.
Fouzan believes there are to be clear limits
to what a woman can do, which emphasise Elswhere, al-Fouzan reserves considerable
that her position, first and foremost, antipathy for women who decide to take
should be in the home: up any work outside the home; and if she

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should succeed in attaining employment, thy act... It entails many corruptions
it is clear that a large range of occupations which cannot be taken lightly. A man
are forbidden: who accepts his women to do this is
not a real man and his faith is weak.
Those Muslims who have a sickness […]
in their hearts, they want the woman Some women and some of their
to be cheap merchandise, in the mar guardians take the matter of women
ketplace of the people of lowly visiting male doctors lightly; they use
desires and satanic tendencies, to be the excuse of their need for treatment.
uncovered merchandise in front of This is a grave sin, and a great danger
their eyes, where they can enjoy her
beauty or even do with her what is In addition, the following ruling declares
worse. that listening to singing can turn women
into prostitutes. Music can be a path to
That is why, they wish that she left ‘homosexuality and fornication’. This rul-
the house to join the men, to be with ing thus acts as a bar to Muslims taking a
them side by side in their jobs; to fuller part in one of the most important
serve men as a nurse in the hospital, aspects of western civilisation:
as a flight attendant, as a student, as
a teacher in a coed school, as an … listening to music, singing and forbid
actress in the theatre, or as a singer den instruments which distract the heart
and announcer in the different media from the Qur’an and makes it [the heart]
outlets, unveiled and seductive intent on deviation and disobedience …
through her voice and appearance. it is a recipe for homosexuality and forni
The pornographic magazines are cation. Through it the lover gets his
using the pictures of seductive naked utmost desire (sexual intercourse) from
girls, as a means to sell and promote his beloved … As for women who listen
their magazines. Some merchants to music, it is of the greatest forbidden
and factories also use these pictures acts, and most corrupting of religion …
to sell their merchandise; they put how many women became prostitutes
these pictures on their merchandise because they listened to singing.
and products.
11B. Al-‘aqida al-sahiha wa ma
Because of this false way of doing yudaduha, wa risalat al-Ma‘iyya
things, the woman quits her real job in [Correct beliefs, what opposes
the house. She forces her husband to them, along with the treatise of
hire foreign servants to raise their chil the Divine Presence]
dren, and organise their home affairs, Author: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz
which causes lots of problems and Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
brings great evil. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
This book claims to be, ‘A Gift from the
Beyond this, al-Fouzan emphasises that Servant of the Two Sanctuaries [King of
women are forbidden from driving in a car Saudi Arabia] on the Occasion of the
with a man (as in a taxi) or attending a Opening of King Fahd Mosque and Islamic
male doctor: Centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. To be dis-
tributed for free, not to be sold’
A woman riding in a car with a man Published: 1419 (1998)
unchaperoned is an obvious blamewor Language: Arabic

104
Birmingham

This book was also found at Al-Manaar many reasons which can nullify his
(The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, faith. These reasons would make
London – see pages 31-37; Markazi someone’s blood permissible to spill
Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, Birmingham (see [to be killed for apostasy] and his
pages 105-109); the Islamic Centre of wealth permissible to be usurped,
Edinburgh (see pages 148-149); and the because he is no longer a Muslim. We
Madinah Mosque, Oxford (see pages will mention some of the worst and the
150-153). most prevalent causes for turning
someone into an apostate
This book, written by one of the leading […]
Saudi scholars of his day, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin 4. Whoever believes that the guidance
‘Abdullah bin Baz (d. 1999), stands as a brought by someone other than the
statement of Wahhabite belief. It is essen- Prophet (pbuh)237, is better than his
tially a theological treatise on belief and guidance; or that the laws of some
faith, in which the distinction between one else is better than his laws … is
the true believer and the non-believer is an unbeliever.
clarified. Ten matters (nawaqid) that [...]
invalidate one’s faith are listed within its 9. Whoever believes that some people
pages. have the right not to follow the law
The book opens with a discourse on of Muhammad (pbuh).
correct belief, which is said to come
through faith in God, his angels, his books, The author provides a list of things that
his prophets, the Day of Judgement, and can nullify someone’s faith. He ends with
fate. The author then examines the follow- the following, ruling out any acceptance of
ing themes: the shahada (the profession of secular legal systems:
faith); God as the Creator; God’s names
and attributes; belief in angels; belief in the Among those who belong in section
prophets; belief in the finality of four (above) are those who believe
Muhammad (as the Last Prophet); belief in that the statutes and laws which the
the Last Day; and belief in fate. Faith in masses (the people) enact are better
God is said to involve love for Muslims than the legal system of Islam, or that
and hatred of unbelievers. The Sunnis are the Islamic system does not fit readily
held up as ‘the Saved Sect’. Marxism is within the twentieth century, or that it
described as a dangerous falsehood. The causes divisions among the Muslims,
author also condemns Sufism alongside or that it is confined to the relation
long extinct Muslim sects like the ship between a man and his Lord
Jahmiyya and Mu‘tazila. Stress is laid on without playing any part in other
the need to worship God alone, and on the aspects of his life. In section four too
means available for defeating the enemies you will find those who think that
of Islam. enforcement of God’s decree in cut
In the following passage, the author ting off the hand of the thief or ston
declares that by obeying human laws, over ing the proven adulterer does not suit
and above God’s injunctions, a Muslim the present age. In the same catego
becomes an apostate and therefore liable to ry we also find those who believe it is
the death penalty: permitted to judge by something
237. Pbuh is an abbreviation of
other than the law of God, whether in the English formula ‘Peace be
upon him’, the standard form
… The scholars have mentioned that a everyday matters or crimes or any
appended to Muhammad’s
person may become apostate for thing else, even if they do not think name.

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that doing so is better than judging known of the religion by necessity,
according to the shari’ah. This is such as fornication and drinking alco
because they have thus made per hol and usury, and judging by any
missible what God has forbidden in thing but God’s law – such a person
all things; and anyone who permits is an unbeliever by the general agree
what God has forbidden, of what is ment of all Muslims.

106
Birmingham

Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith riage and divorce cases.238 According to the
(‘The Green Lane Mosque’) Ahl-e-Hadith website, numerous guests
have visited the mosque, ‘including the
Address: 20 Green Lane, Small Heath, illustrious imams of the two holy mosques
Birmingham B9 5DB of Mecca and Medina, as well as various
Telephone: 0121 773 0019 Islamic scholars and local MPs’.239
Email: info@mjah.org In January 2007, the mosque gained
Website: http://www.greenlanemasjid.org/ or nation-wide notoriety in the UK following
http://mjah.org/ Channel Four’s expose, Dispatches:
Charity Commission Registration No.: 272001 Undercover Mosque. Therein, an American
Local MP: Roger Godsiff (Labour) convert to Islam, Abu Usamah, was shown
Local Authority: Birmingham City Council preaching that women should be beaten
Affiliations: MCB and that gays deserved to be thrown off
mountains.240 In the wake of the pro-
gramme being broadcast, the local MP,
Points of Interest Roger Godsiff, wrote to the Chief
Constable of West Midlands Police and the
The ‘Green Lane Mosque’ is the head- Director of Public Prosecutions, urging
quarters of the Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e- them to take action.241
Hadith movement in the UK. As well as In the wake of the controversy, the
housing a madrassa, the masjid houses Secretary-General of Markazi Jamiat Ahl-
offices of both the monthly Urdu maga- e-Hadith, Sheikh Shouaib Ahmed, repudi-
zine, Sirat-e-Mustaqeem and the bi-month- ated the words of Abu Usamah and said
ly English magazine, The Straight Path; the that the Green Lane Mosque wholly reject-
mosque building also accommodates the ed extremism. Mr Ahmed said: ‘It is deeply
offices for a Shari’ah court, the Islamic alarming that a few sentences have been
Judiciary Board (IJB) which oversees mar- taken out of context in order to create the

238. ‘About us’, Welcome to
Green Lane Masjid, available at,
http://www.greenlanemasjid.org/
aboutus.asp. Last accessed 10
July 2007.

239. Ibid.

240. Dispatches: Undercover
Mosque, Channel Four, 15
January 2007. For a full tran-
script of the Dispatches pro-
gramme see, ‘Undercover
Mosques: The Transcripts’,
MPAC-UK, 15 January 2007,
available at, http://mpacuk.org/
content/view/3266/34/; see also,
Jasbir Authi & Steve Swingler,
‘Brum’s extreme Muslims
exposed’, Birmingham Mail, 16
January 2007, available at,
http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co
.uk/mail/news/tm_headline=&me
thod=full&objectid=18485505&si
teid=50002-name_page.html.

241. Godsiff cited in A. Sherwin,
‘Muslim outrage at Channel 4
film prompts new inquiry by
watchdog’, The Times, 9 August
The Green Lane Mosque. © www.jr-photos.com
2007.

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The hijacking of British Islam

impression that our institution is a hotbed The book opens with a discourse on cor-
of fanaticism. We have nothing to hide.’242 rect belief, which is said to come through
In 2007, the Green Lane Mosque was faith in God, his angels, his books, his
shortlisted as a finalist in the Islam prophets, the Day of Judgement, and fate.
Channel’s ‘Model Mosque’ programme – The author then examines the following
reaching the ‘last eight’ before being elimi- themes: the shahada (the profession of
nated.243 The producer of the programme, faith); God as the Creator; God’s names and
Abrar Husain, was subsequently quoted as attributes; belief in angels; belief in the
saying, ‘We did our homework. We did prophets; belief in the finality of
not find any evidence of this radicalisation Muhammad (as the last prophet); belief in
that’s supposed to be everywhere.’244 the Last Day; and belief in fate. Faith in
God is said to involve love for Muslims and
hatred of unbelievers. The Sunnis are held
Books found here included: up as ‘the Saved Sect’. Marxism is described
as a dangerous falsehood. The author also
12A. Al-‘aqida al-sahiha wa ma condemns Sufism alongside long extinct
yudaduha, wa risalat al-Ma‘iyya Muslim sects like the Jahmiyya and Mu‘tazi-
[Correct beliefs, their opposite, la. Stress is laid on the need to worship God
along with the treatise of the alone, and on the means available for
Divine presence] defeating the enemies of Islam.
Author: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz In the following passage, the author
Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, declares that by obeying human laws, over
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and above God’s injunctions, a Muslim
This book claims to be, ‘A Gift from the becomes an apostate and therefore liable to
Servant of the Two Sanctuaries [King of the death penalty:
Saudi Arabia] on the Occasion of the
Opening of King Fahd Mosque and Islamic The scholars have mentioned that a
Centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. To be dis- person may become apostate for
tributed for free, not to be sold’ many reasons which can nullify his
Published: 1419 (1998) faith. These reasons would make
Language: Arabic someone’s blood permissible to spill
This book was also found at Al-Manaar - [to be killed for apostasy] and his
242. Authi & Swingler, ‘Brum’s
extreme Muslims exposed’. The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, wealth permissible to be usurped,
243. ‘Finalists: Model Mosque @ London (see pages 31-37); Birmingham because he is no longer a Muslim. We
Islam Channel.tv’, Islam
Channel, available at,
Central Mosque (see pages 102-106); the will mention some of the worst and the
http://www.islamchannel.tv/Mod Islamic Centre of Edinburgh (see pages most prevalent causes for turning
elMosque/finalists.aspx.
148-149); and the Madinah Mosque, someone into an apostate
244. Husain cited in Riazat Butt,
‘Faith meets reality TV in contest Oxford (see pages 150-153) [...]
to find the best mosque in
4. Whoever believes that the guidance
Britain’, The Guardian, 6 October
2007. For more on the pro- This book, written by one of the leading brought by someone other than the
gramme, see ‘Model Mosque @
IslamChannel.tv’, Islam Channel,
Saudi scholars of his day, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin Prophet (pbuh)245, is better than his
available at, http://www.islam- ‘Abdullah bin Baz (d. 1999), stands as a guidance; or that the laws of some
channel.tv/ModelMosque/about-
mm.aspx.
statement of Wahhabite belief. It is essen- one else is better than his laws … is
245. Pbuh is an abbreviation of tially a theological treatise on belief and an unbeliever.
the English formula ‘Peace be faith, in which the distinction between the [...]
upon him’, the standard form
appended to Muhammad’s true believer and the non-believer is clari- 9. Whoever believes that some people
name.
fied. Ten matters (nawaqid) that invalidate have the right not to follow the law
246. Ibid.
one’s faith are listed within its pages. of Muhammad (pbuh).246

108
Birmingham

The author provides a list of things that the thief or stoning the proven adulter
can nullify someone’s faith. He ends with er does not suit the present age. In the
the following, ruling out any acceptance of same category we also find those who
secular legal systems: believe it is permitted to judge by
something other than the law of God,
Among those who belong in section whether in everyday matters or crimes
four (above) are those who believe that or anything else, even if they do not
the statutes and laws which the mass think that doing so is better than judg
es (the people) enact are better than ing according to the shari‘a. This is
the legal system of Islam, or that the because they have thus made permis
Islamic system does not fit readily sible what God has forbidden in all
within the twentieth century, or that it things; and anyone who permits what
causes divisions among the Muslims, God has forbidden, of what is known
or that it is confined to the relationship of the religion by necessity, such as
between a man and his Lord without fornication and drinking alcohol and
playing any part in other aspects of his usury, and judging by anything but
life. In section four too you will find God’s law – such a person is an
those who think that enforcement of unbeliever by the general agreement
God’s decree in cutting off the hand of of all Muslims.

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The Salafi Mosque and Islamic This short tract by an eminent Saudi cler-
Centre (The ‘Salafiyah Mosque’) ic deals with the ‘science of Tawheed’
[monotheism], mainly based on the writ-
Address: Wright Street, Birmingham, B10 OUG ings of Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn al-Qayyim [al-
(472 Coventry Road, Small Heath) Jawziyya] and Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-
Telephone: 0121 773 0033/0003 Wahhab and his students - ‘the Imams of
Email: admin@spubs.com the blessed Daw’ah’. It contains four chap-
Website: http://www.salafi.com ters. Chapter 1 deals with deviation in
Charity Commission Registration No.: 1083080 human life, and has sections on polythe-
Local MP: Roger Godsiff (Labour) ism, unbelief, hypocrisy (nifaq), apostasy,
Local Authority: Birmingham City Council and the killing of apostates. Chapter 2 is
Affiliations: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, AMSUK about words and deeds that either contra-
dict the divine unity or decrease it. These
include practising sorcery, recanting oaths
Points of Interest at graves, mocking religion, claiming the
right to make laws, belonging to false sects
The site of the Salafi Mosque on Wright and parties, indulging in materialism,
Street is also the home of the ‘Salafi book- swearing an oath by anything but God,
store’ and Islamic Centre.247 It is also and wearing amulets. Chapter 3 focuses on
linked to ‘Salafi publications’ and the the need to love Muhammad, the impor-
‘Salafi independent school’.248 The latter is tance of obeying and following him, as
part of the Association of Muslim Schools well as the merits of his household and his
UK (ASMUK) and is an Ofsted-regis- companions. Finally, chapter 4 deals with
tered institution catering for 200 innovation, including the appearance of
pupils.249 innovation among Muslims, with exam-
A UK-registered charity, the ‘Salafi’ ples of contemporary bid’ah given as cele-
247. ‘Welcome to
Salafibookstore.com’, available
establishments describe their objective as brations of the Prophet’s birthday, putting
at, http://www.salafibookstore. being to ‘promote the knowledge of allaah blessings on places, etc.
com/sbs/index.cfm?scn=dona-
tion. Last accessed 10 July
(God) as portrayed in the authentic As the following passage reflects, obedi-
2007. sources of Islam and according to the way ence to man-made laws is described as
248. Ibid. of the Salaf-as-Saalih (pious predeces- shirk or joining partners with God (i.e. a
249. ‘Salafi Independent
sors’).250 form of polytheism, because it means
School’, Association of Muslim
Schools UK, available at, According to its website, the Salafi obeying man’s laws, not God’s):
http://ams-
uk.org/index.php?option=com_c
Mosque maintains close links with Saudi
ontent&task=view&id=125&Itemi Arabia – often hosting live ‘tele-link’ Hence, the obedience of the Christians
d=243&sid=99; ‘Welcome to
Salafibookstore.com’, available
conferences, involving leading figures to their learned men, with regards to
at, http://www.salafibookstore. from the Saudi Arabian clerical establish- illegalization and legalization is consid
com/sbs/index.cfm?scn=dona-
tion. Last accessed 10 July ment. ered as worship and major Shirk252…
2007.

250. ‘Salafi bookstore and If obeying such people constitutes major
Islamic Centre’, Extract from the
Central Register of Charities, Books found here included: Shirk, then how about those who obey
available at, http://www.charity-
manmade laws that are the work of the
commission.gov.uk/registered-
charities/showcharity.asp?regno 13A. Kitab al-Tawhid: The Book of unbelievers and the atheists …? They
=1083080. Last accessed 10
July 2007.
Divine Unity251 are much worse than the former. … For
251. Not to be conflated with the
Compiler: Saleh Bin al-Fouzan the latter take the unbelievers as lords
famous book of the same title by Publisher: Dar-us-Salam aside from Allâh to legislate laws for
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab.
Published: 1997 him, and legalize the illegal, and rule
252. Shirk – attributing partners
to God. Language: English people by such laws.

110
Birmingham

And following on from this, the author an established fact, and inescapable
rules out membership of political parties: reality after Europe raided it political
ly and culturally. Its people rush fran
1. Joining … groups such as tically to revive such schisms which
Communism, Secularism, Capitalism, Islam squashed.
and other schism of disbelief consti
tutes apostasy. It should be known that such parti
[…] sanships are only a torment to which
While secularism recognises only Allâh subjects those who turn away
materialism whose main objective in from His laws and rejects His deen.
this life is living like animals.
Whilst, elsewhere, the author is clear that
While the main objective of capitalism the punishment for apostasy is death:
is to amass wealth, regardless how,
and is restrained by neither lawful, 1. If the apostate repents: If he repents
unlawful, nor mercy or pity for the poor and returns to Islam in the space of
and needy. Its economy is based on three days, it is accepted from him
usury which is an opposition to Allâh and he should be left alone.
and His Messenger, and carries
destruction of states and individuals 2. If he refuses to repent he must be
and sucks the blood of poor nations. killed, in accordance with what he [the
Prophet] has said: ‘he who changes
There is no sane person, let alone a his religion, kill him’.254
believer, who would be content to live […]
under the system of such schools of 5. If he [the apostate] dies or is killed
thought, with neither reason, religion while persisting in his apostasy, he
nor a clear purpose in his life for which must not be ritually washed or prayed
he struggles. Such schools have raid over, nor may he be buried in a Muslim
ed Muslim countries when the majority cemetery, but must be buried in a
of those people of those countries cemetery belonging to unbelievers, or
253
drifted away from the true deen, and must be buried in the earth anywhere
grew up in such loss, depending on you like so long as it is not in a Muslim
such schools. burial ground.

1. Joining the parties of ignorance and 13B. Tanbihat ‘ala ahkam takhussu
racist nationalism constitutes apostasy bi’l-mu’minat [Warnings regard-
too, for Islam rejects racism and ing laws related to believing
nationalism, and other schism of igno women]
rance. Author: Saleh Bin al-Fouzan
Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
Citizenship and nationalism are both con- The Kingdom Saudi Arabia
demned as falsehoods: Published: 1419 (1998)
Language: Arabic
Allâh, Glory be to Him, wants us to be This book was also found at the UKIM
one party, that is, the prosperous party North London Mosque (see pages 68-
of Allâh. But the Muslim world has 70); Birmingham Central Mosque (see 253. Deen - religion.

254. This is a well-known Hadith
succumbed to blood ties, citizenship pages 102-106); and the Madinah
found in al-Bukhari and Abu
and nationalism and believe in it as Mosque, Oxford (see pages 150-153) Da’ud.

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The hijacking of British Islam

In this volume, published by the Saudi 3. This work must stay within her limi
Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the carefully tations, such as teaching women,
delineated gender roles for the separate sexes or doctoring or sicknursing
are outlined. The author, Saleh Bin al- women, and (must take place) in
Fouzan, is a member of the Saudi Council of segregation from men.
Senior Religious Clerics, the Fiqh 4. Thus, there is no prohibition –
Committee of the Muslim World League, indeed it is a duty for women – to
the Permanent Committee of Jurists, and teach their religion, and there is no
the Committee for the Supervision of prohibition on her teaching those
Missionaries, and the Permanent matters of her religion for which she
Committee for Islamic Research and Fatwas. has a need. The teaching must be
Here he provides an exposition on the done among women. There is no
various laws relating to women including: harm in her attending classes at the
the place of women in Islam; how to treat mosque or somewhere similar, but
one’s hair and eyebrows; teeth (there she must stay hidden and be kept
should be no gaps); tattooing (which is for- away from men.
bidden); and menstruation and childbirth
(including prohibitions on facing Mecca or Elsewhere, al-Fouzan reserves considerable
touching the Qur’an during these periods, antipathy for women who decide to take
because of ritual ‘uncleanliness’). In addi- up any work outside the home; and if she
tion, there are injunctions on: clothing and should succeed in attaining employment,
veiling; rules affecting a woman’s prayers; it is clear that a large range of occupations
the preparation of dead women for burial; are forbidden:
fasting; performing pilgrimage (hajj and
‘umra); marriage (the ethos being that a Those Muslims who have a sickness in
woman’s work is in the house); the obedi- their hearts, they want the woman to
ence of a wife to her husband (which is be cheap merchandise, in the market
deemed compulsory and she is forbidden place of the people of lowly desires
from rebelling); divorce; widowhood; and and satanic tendencies, to be uncov
laws that protect a woman’s honour. ered merchandise in front of their
As the following passage reflects, al- eyes, where they can enjoy her beau
Fouzan believes there are to be clear limits ty or even do with her what is worse.
to what a woman can do, which emphasise
that her position, first and foremost, That is why, they wish that she left the
should be in the home: house to join the men, to be with them
side by side in their jobs; to serve men
We do not forbid a woman to do as a nurse in the hospital, as a flight
things outside her house, provided this attendant, as a student, as a teacher in
is in conformity with the following a coed school, as an actress in the
rules: theatre, or as a singer and announcer in
the different media outlets, unveiled and
1. She must have a need to do these seductive through her voice and
things (or society must need them appearance. The pornographic maga
to be done), provided no man can zines are using the pictures of seductive
be found to do them. naked girls, as a means to sell and pro
2. This must be done after she has mote their magazines. Some merchants
completed her housework, which is and factories also use these pictures to
her basic work. sell their merchandise; they put these

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pictures on their merchandise and greatest forbidden acts, and most cor
products. rupting of religion … how many
women became prostitutes because
Because of this false way of doing they listened to singing.
things, the woman quits her real job
in the house. She forces her husband 13C. Fatawa Islamiyah – Islamic
to hire foreign servants to raise their Verdicts, volume 1
children, and organise their home Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz,
affairs, which causes lots of problems Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin,
and brings great evil. ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Rahman Al-Jibreen
and the Permanent Committee (of Saudi
Beyond this, al-Fouzan emphasises that Arabia)
women are forbidden from driving in a car Publisher: Dar-us-Salam
with a man (as in a taxi) or attending a Published: 2001
male doctor: Language: English
This book was also found at the East
A woman riding in a car with a man London Mosque (see pages 38-50); the
unchaperoned is an obvious blamewor London Central Mosque and Islamic
thy act... It entails many corruptions Centre (The ‘Regent‘s Park Mosque’)
which cannot be taken lightly. A man (see pages 82-94); and the Tauheed
who accepts his women to do this is Mosque (see pages 95-101)
not a real man and his faith is weak.
[…] The Fatawa Islamiyah is a multi-volume
Some women and some of their collection of contemporary rulings (fatwas)
guardians take the matter of women from a group of Wahhabite scholars based
visiting male doctors lightly; they use in Saudi Arabia, who hand down authori-
the excuse of their need for treatment. tative opinions on all areas of public and
This is a grave sin, and a great danger private life – from the exotic to the mun-
… dane. Given the seniority of the clerics
involved, these fatwas represent the nearest
In addition, the following ruling declares thing to pronouncements by the Saudi reli-
that listening to singing can turn women gious establishment on spiritual, political,
into prostitutes. Here, what amounts to an and personal matters, and cannot be chal-
obsession with music solely as a path to lenged by those without training in fiqh,
‘homosexuality and fornication’ acts as a the system of Islamic jurisprudence. This
bar to Muslims taking a fuller part in one particular volume deals with issues collated
of the most important aspects of western under the heading of ‘creed’.
civilisation: The following passage justifies the prac-
tice of polygamy, claiming that this is the
… listening to music, singing and for way in which a man’s sexual urges may be
bidden instruments which distract the taken care of:
heart from the Qur’an and makes it
[the heart] intent on deviation and dis Q. Why did the Prophet marry a num
obedience … it is a recipe for homo ber of women?
sexuality and fornication. Through it
the lover gets his utmost desire (sexual A. … This was not something new in
intercourse) from his beloved … As for the Law, nor does it oppose common
women who listen to music, it is of the sense…. For women are more in num

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ber than men, as censuses continually liever. Indeed, it is incumbent upon the
prove, a man may possess so much believer not to take the disbeliever as a
physical strength that he needs more friend…. It is not permissible for the
than one wife, in order that he may be Muslim to describe the disbeliever –
able to indulge his desires in a permis whatever his brand of disbelief, be he
sible way, rather than in a prohibited Christian, Jewish, Magian or apostate
way. Otherwise he will be forced to – as a brother; so beware, my brother,
repress his desires; or the woman may of using such expressions.
be suffering from some illness, some As for the answer to the question, I
thing that may prevent him from fulfill say: It is necessary to avoid mixing
ing his needs, such as menstruation or with nonMuslims, because mixing
postnatal bleeding, or anything else with them causes the loss of one’s reli
that prevents a man from fulfilling his gious zeal from the heart and may
desires with her. So he may need even lead to affection and love for
another wife with whom he may fulfill them.
his desires, rather than repressing
them or committing indecency. Believers are even discouraged from own-
ing or reading the Bible, with serious
Since a plurality of wives is permissible implications for the possibility of genuine
and justified, logically, in accordance interfaith outreach if such strictures were
with the Fitrah255 and the Islamic law, to be adhered to:
and since the Prophets of old used to
practice it – indeed it could be said to Q. Is it permissible for me to obtain a
be obligatory in cases of necessity or copy of the Injil [Gospel] so that I may
need sometimes – then it is not sur learn what Allah’s words were to ‘Isa
prising that our Prophet, Muhammad [Jesus]? And is the presentday ver
did so. sion of the Injil authentic? I ask this
because I heard that the authentic
Living with Christian (and other) ‘non- version is lost at the bottom of the
believers’ is said to pose spiritual risks for sea.
Muslims, as the following exchange and
ruling shows: A. There are two reasons why it is not
permissible to obtain copies of previ
Q. I am living in Jordan in a house ous scriptures, regardless of whether it
populated mostly by Christian broth is the Injil or the Tawrah [Torah]:
ers, and we eat and drink together. Is
my prayer invalid, and is my living with 1. Allah Almighty has related in the
them permissible? Qur’an all that is of benefit to us
from those scriptures.
A. Before answering your question, I 2. The Qur’an contains in it what suf
would like to make a point: I hope that fices us from all previously revealed
it was a slip of the tongue when you books…. So all the good contained
said: ‘I live with Christian brothers’, for in the previous scriptures is present
there is absolutely no brotherhood in the Qur’an… Furthermore, the
between the Muslims and the Injil that is present among us today
255. Fitrah (or fitra) is the natural Christians. Brotherhood is of faith…. has been distorted. We find that
state into which human beings
are born, before their upbringing
There is absolutely no brotherhood there are four Injils, not one, and
changes them. between the believer and the disbe each one of them contradicts the

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others. Thus we cannot depend on For this reason and many other
any of them for the truth. detailed facts concerning the danger
ous activities of the Masons, their evil
Elsewhere, in the context of a ruling about deceptions and cunning designs, the
freemasonry and related organisations, the Fiqh Academy257 has determined that
intentions and activities of ‘international the Masons are one of the most dan
Jewry’ are impugned in a manner that is gerous, destructive organizations to
wholly resonant with traditional anti- Islam and the Muslims. And that
Semitic tropes: whoever joins them, knowing the
A Legal Judgement regarding the truth of them and their aims, is a dis
Ruling on Membership of the Masonic believer in Islam who should be
Movement avoided.
[…]
7. The organization [Freemasonry] is It is not just non-Muslims who are defined
Jewish in origin and is secretly man as false, but followers of Islamic minority
aged and directed at its highest lev groups as well:
els by international Jewry and its
activities are Zionist in character. Q. Some people consider that it is an
8. It is, in fact, in its hidden aims, obligation upon the Muslim to blindly
against all religions, its intentions follow258 one of the four well known
being the destruction of all of them schools of Islamic Jurisprudence in
in general, and Islam in the hearts of order for their acts of worship and
its adherents in particular. their deeds to be correct. Yet the
[…] Mathab [sic] of the Shiites is not
10. It has many branches, which included amongst them, not even the
bear other names, in order to Mathhab [sic] of the Zaidi Shiites.259
deceive and divert attention, so Does your Eminence agree absolutely
that they are able to continue their with this view, and thus prohibit the
activities under different pseudo blind following of the Mathhab [sic] of
nyms, the most well known of the Shiites…?
256. Neither the Lions Clubs
which are: The Lions, The Rotary International, nor Rotary
International are branches of
Club, The Leons, and other such A. … It is not permissible for the Freemasonry. As far as is
256
evil movements, all of which are Muslim to blindly follow the Shiite known, there is no such thing as
‘The Leons’.
incompatible and inconsistent with Imamate Mathhab [sic], nor any other
257. The Islamic Fiqh Academy
Islamic tenets. such like Mathhab [sic] from ‘the peo (Akadimiyya al-fiqh al-islami) is
[…] ple of innovation’… an institution for the advanced
study of Islam, with headquar-
The strong links between the Masons ters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It
was proposed at the second
and International Zionist Jewry has Sufis are also heavily criticised. The fol-
summit conference of the
[sic] become absolutely clear to all of lowing fatwa deals with the best known Organisation of the Islamic
Conference (OIC) 1974, and
the people. By such means they have of the North African orders, the inaugurated in February 1988.
been able to control the activities of Shadhiliyya. It is worth noting that many 258. The meaning of ‘blindly fol-
many leaders in Arab and other coun sheikhs of Cairo’s al-Azhar mosque/uni- low’ (taqlid) is that it is widely
believed that independent rea-
tries in the matter of Palestine, and versity, the leading seat of authority in soning in matters of religion and
they have prevented them from carry Sunni Islam, have been and are Shadhilis. law ended by the tenth century,
and that all Sunni Muslims must
ing out many of their obligations with What is shocking in both the question act in accordance with the rul-
ings of four law schools (mad-
respect to this most important matter, and the fatwa is that they show consider-
hhab, pl. madhahib).
to the advantage of the Jews and the able ignorance of what Shadhilis believe 259. A minority Shi‘a sect, main-
International Zionists. and do. ly restricted to Yemen.

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Q. There is a sect known as Ash and towards misguidance, the Fiqh
Shathliyyah [sic] who neither pray nor Committee has unanimously deter
260
fast, nor give Zakat, and there is a mined that the beliefs of the Qadyanis,
person whom they call Sayyiduna (Our known also as Ahmadiya [sic], are un
261
Master) and they say that he occu Islamic and that the pretension of its
pies the place of their ‘lord’, and he is followers to be Muslims is no more
their representative on the Last Day, than an attempt to misguide and
he forgives them everything which they deceive; and the Committee of the
do in their lives in this world…. Fiqh Academy declares that it is
A. …. If the situation is as you say, that incumbent upon the Muslims – gov
your father and those with him in this ernments, scholars, writers, thinkers,
sect do not pray and do not fast and preachers, and others – to oppose this
that they believe that their leader or misguided sect and its followers all
their Shaikh holds the position of a over the world.
lord, who will guarantee them paradise
and forgive them all of their evil deeds, If the Ahmadiyya are viewed as carrying
then they are disbelievers and if your out a dangerous heresy, members of the
father orders you to be one of them Baha’i religion (the Baha’i Faith) occupy a
and forbids you to pray and fast, then special niche in the ranks of religions
do not obey him….262 Muslims should loathe. Baha’ism is a
worldwide religious movement of Shi’a
Other groups are condemned as well. The origin numbering some five or six million,
Qadyanis/Ahmadiyya are based mainly in most of whose followers outside Iran come
Pakistan, but have a small international from Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and ani-
following: mist backgrounds. Baha’is, unlike the
Ahmadiyya, make no claim to be Muslims,
The Ruling on Qadyanis and Their although they regard Muhammad as a
Membership: ‘divine manifestation’ and the Qur’an a
The Committee of the Fiqh Academy divinely revealed scripture. In Islamic
has examined the matter of the countries, especially Iran and Egypt, they
Qadyani sect, which appeared in India have been denied all rights to worship,
in the last century (the nineteenth cen meet, hold ceremonies, or publish litera-
tury of the Christian era), and which is ture. Many have been killed.263
also known as the Ahmadiyyah move
ment. The Fiqh Academy has studied The Committee of the Fiqh Academy
their beliefs…. has examined the Bahai [sic, for
Baha’i] sect which appeared in Persia
260. Zakat is alms for the poor.
A summary of these follows, including the (Iran) in the second half of the last cen
261. This refers to Abu’l-Hasan
al-Shadhili (d. 1258), the founder Ahmadiyya rejection of jihad. tury and which is professed by a num
of the order.
ber of people who spread throughout
262. Like other mainstream Sufi
orders, the Shadhili do, in fact,
Having studied these documents and the Muslim and nonMuslim countries
perform the salat, fast at others like them, including the numer until today.
Ramadan, and pay the zakat
alms-tax. See, for example, the ous manuscripts which make clear the […]
following Shadhili web page: beliefs of the Qadyanis, its [sic] It became clear to the Fiqh Academy,
http://www.suficenter.org/faq.html.
founder and its [sic] establishment and based upon the evidence of the texts
263. Some basic Baha’i beliefs
include the abolition of jihad, the its [sic] dangerous aims – the destruc concerning the beliefs of the Bahais,
oneness of mankind, the one-
tion of correct Islamic beliefs and the that they were intended to destroy
ness of all religions, the equality
of men and women. diversion of the Muslims away from it, Islam, in particular its firm stance

116
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against the worship of mankind [i.e. criminal, disbelieving sect and appeals
human beings], with the Bahai claims to them to oppose them and take pre
of Divinity and the authority to alter the cautions against them, especially since
law of Islam it is evident that they enjoy support
[…] from the colonialist nations whose aim
264. Note the assumption of uni-
The Academy warns the Muslims in all is the destruction of Islam and the
versal validity for the rulings of
corners of the world264 against this Muslims. this Saudi academy.

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The hijacking of British Islam

The North-West
of England
Didsbury Mosque and Islamic the mosque’s executive manager, was
Centre of Manchester recorded saying, ‘I very much doubt there
is anyone else here who has these extreme
Address: 271 Burton Road, West Didsbury, views… People know our opinions here
Manchester, M20 2WA and they know not to come here with
Telephone: 0161 434 2254 extreme views or they will get found out
Email: info@didsburymosque.com very quickly. If someone is going to recruit
Website: www.didsburymosque.com people for something like that, they are not
Charity Commission Registration No.: 327235 going to do it in a very public place like
Local MP: John Leech (Liberal Democrats) this.’267
Local Authority: Manchester City Council
Affiliations: MCB
Books found here included:

Points of Interest 14A. Khwateen Key Makhsoos
Masayel [The special problems
The Didsbury Mosque and Islamic Centre of females]
of Manchester lie within a converted Compiler: Saleh Bin al-Fouzan
church. The local MP, John Leech of the Translator: Dr. Raza Ul-Allah Muhammad
Liberal Democrats, holds regular advice Idrees Mubarakpuri
surgeries in the mosque on the second Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
Saturday of every month.265 The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
In May 2006, the mosque and Islamic Published: 2002
Centre served as the venue for the launch Language: Urdu
of the MCB’s report, ‘Voices from the This book was also found at the M.A. Al-
Minaret’, which called for the creation of Kharafi Centre in Camberley (see pages
a government-funded advisory body to 164-166)
assist mosques and imams in monitoring
their performance - claiming that this This Urdu publication issued by the Saudi
was necessary in the face of the ‘new and Ministry of Islamic Affairs – a translation
aggressive thinking’ that had been of a work by the eminent Saudi cleric,
spawned in the wake of the 7/7 terrorist Saleh Bin al-Fouzan – focuses on issues
attacks. relating to women. He draws on certain
In June 2006, the Manchester Evening verses in the Qur‘an to describe the posi-
News linked a man who had carried out a tion of women in society according to
265. ‘John Leech MP Contact
Details and Advice Surgeries’,
suicide attack on coalition troops in Iraq – Islam and the behavioural dictates that
John Leech, MP for Manchester Idris Bazis – with the Didsbury mosque, they must follow.
Withington, available at,
http://www.john-
citing the evidence of his former flat-mate In the following passage, the author
leech.libdems.org.uk/contact/. who was reported to have told the paper confirms that polygamy is permitted, even
Last accessed 10 July 2007.
that Bazis was a ‘regular worshipper’ at the encouraged under Islamic law:
266. Yakub Qureshi, ‘I lived with
the suicide bomber’, Manchester Didsbury mosque.266 This allegation was
Evening News, 29 June 2005.
subsequently rejected by the mosque’s With the relationship of marriage, Allah
267. ‘Mosque not used by terror
suspect’, Manchester Evening
leaders, who also denied that the mosque made boundaries for a man that he
News, 30 June 2005. was a base for extremism. Saad Essadeg, should have four wives.

118
The North West of England

In addition, the same volume makes clear These uneducated, narrowminded
what is expected of a woman once she is unbelievers and the followers of these
married: her real job is assumed to be in people believe that the female who
the house and there is a ban on her taking gets out of the house and works
up any other form of employment: alongside males has the same rights
as men. In this reality, these people
In reality, [allowing women to leave the have lost belief, faith, and human val
home] is the belief of females and the ues. On the other hand, a very com
enemies of humanity. When the female monly seen example [that women
leaves the home and works, she stands should not work] is that females during
equal to males and stands side by side their menstrual cycle, during pregnan
with them. In this way, those who leave cy, and during and after childbirth are
the boundaries of their homes give unable to perform hard work. If both
themselves the freedom to be relieved men and women work outside of the
from the responsibilities of the homes. home then who will take care of the
This way they give away their responsi children, who will feed the newborns
bilities and work [in the home] to others and toddlers, who will cook meals for
and they take away work [outside the the males when they come back home
home] from others. Because of this, the after work? If you hire a man to do all
peace of the family and home has been of this work and pay him then that
destroyed and at the same time the man will cause idleness. Because of
beauty of the established understanding this idleness, these females are step
between husband and wife is now gone. ping out of their houses and working.
It is replaced by misunderstanding and Females leaving their homes and
distance from each other. This situation beginning to work and following in
also causes separation, dilutes home life men’s footsteps is causing both loss of
and makes daily life miserable to live. human values and loss of faith at this
[…] time.

Didsbury Mosque. ©
Manchester Evening News

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Finally, in this extract he emphasises the ers (in Islam) remain committed to dic
importance of a woman covering herself tates of God Almighty:
and the dangers that are said to arise from
any failure to do so: A Muslim man needs to look down
respectfully to maintain his self
As said elsewhere, a lady is a complete respect as an expression of sanctity
woman and it is incumbent on her that as God Almighty is fully aware of
she keeps herself as much covered as whatever a man does. Muslim
possible; and, as ordained, she is to women too need to look downward
remain fearful of shamelessness so that respectfully to secure their chastity
she lowers her gaze; there is no room and cover all body parts, especially
for any doubt that she is not supposed the necklines, except the ones that
to exploit her (beauty of) eyes while are uncoverable, and do not expose
being aware of her body that can easily themselves to any one but their hus
lead to sacrilege and fights. Every jus bands or their children, brothers, etc.
ticeloving man must know of and – all close relations  or those chil
understand these facts. dren who are not required to observe
[...] purdah (veil), and not walk so ‘heavi
In conclusion, I maintain that it is ly’ that she (women) becomes dis
important that men and women believ cernible.

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The UKIM Cheetham Hill Road This work is an English version of a
Islamic Centre Mosque (Markazi book which comprises a collection of
Jamia Masjid Khizra) and Friday sermons by the South Asian
Madrassah Talim-ul-Islam Salafist (and founder of the Jammat-e-
Islami political party) Abu al-A‘la al-
Address: 425 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, Mawdudi. The sermons explain the
M8 OPF meaning of belief and of Islam itself, and
Telephone: 0161 740 3351 the book then goes into the main pillars
Email: manchesternorth@ukim.org of Islam: prayer [salah], fasting [sawm],
Website: http://www.ukim.org charity [zakat], pilgrimage [hajj] and
Charity Commission Registration No.: 250275 jihad. A key theme for the book is the
Local MP: Graham Stringer (Labour) belief that at the root of all the problems
Local Authority: Manchester City Council in the world today is the fact that power
Affiliations: MCB, MSF, UKIM, JI, MAB, IF, MET, is in the wrong hands.
IFE, FOSIS As this passage reflects, according to al-
Mawdudi, the aim of Islam is to build
God’s Kingdom on earth, not in the
Points of Interest Christian sense of an apocalyptic future,
but in reality through advancement of the
The Islamic Centre and Mosque on umma and rule by a Caliph:
Cheetham Hill Road in Manchester is
the Manchester North branch of the Briefly speaking, it would be enough to
United Kingdom Islamic Mission (see state that the real objective of Islam is
above entry on ‘Euston Mosque’ on pages to remove the lordship of man over
68-70 for further information on the man and to establish the kingdom of
UKIM). 268 God on earth.271 To stake one’s life and
268. ‘Fire team visits mosques’,
Connected with the Mosque and everything else to achieve this purpose Lancashire Evening Telegraph,
Islamic Centre is the Madrassah Talim- is called Jihad while Salah,272 fasting, 29 April 2005; ‘In flat siege
drama’, Manchester Evening
ul-Islam. According to Manchester City Hajj and Zakat273 are all meant as a News, 30 July 2005.

Council this also ‘comes under the preparation for this task. … 269. ‘Madrassa Talim-ul-Islam’,
Education in Manchester, avail-
umbrella of the UK Islamic Mission’ and able at, http://www.manchester.
‘follows a modified syllabus (devised by The root of all the evils you find in the gov.uk/education/diversity/ema/s
upp_schools/madrassa-eng.htm.
the UK Islamic Mission) for Islamic stud- world lies in the bad character of the
270. Ibid.
ies’.269 The stated aims of the school are, government.
271. This is an echo of the fol-
‘to provide Urdu and Arabic language […] lowing statement by Muhammad
teaching’ as well as ‘cultural and Islamic Therefore whatever evils there are in ‘Abduh (d. 1905), the first of the
great modern Salafi thinkers:
Education to 5 to 15-year-old children of the life of the people are either spread ‘the Islamic religion is based on
the quest for invasion, power,
[the] Pakistani community including a by the government itself or with its
expansion and glory. It is based
wider participation’.270 help, because the power required to on the opposition to every secu-
lar law (qanun) which contradicts
make anything prevail rests with the its own religious law (shari’ah)
government. As an example, you and the rejection of any authority
whose owner does not rise to
Books found here included: notice that adultery is openly indulged implement the principles of the
in and is carried on publicly in brothels. religious law’. (Muhammad
‘Abduh, ‘Al-nasraniyya wa’l-
15A. Fundamentals of Islam What is the reason? The reason is Islam wa ahluhuma’: Christianity,
Author: Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi nothing else except that adultery is not Islam, and their people).

272. The Salah is the obligatory
Publisher: Prof. Muhammad Amin Javed a crime in the eyes of those who hold
prayer, which is to be said and
Published; 2004 governmental power. … if they wanted performed five times a day.

Language: English to stop it, this evil could not be carried 273. Zakat is alms for the poor.

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on with such impunity. … You notice And the struggle to make this change is
that indecency and immorality are jihad:
increasing in the people. Why is it so?
This is merely because the govern How can it be considered correct to
ment has made arrangements to govern God’s subjects by any other
impart this very kind of education and law except that of God …
training to the people and it appreci […]
ates these models of morality and Nobody should have the power to
humanity which you witness. … You change this [religious] law or to amend
notice that blood shedding is going on it or to cancel it so that it may not be
extensively in the world. … This is just distorted due to the infusion of human
because the most wicked and mis ignorance, selfishness and improper
chievous from among the children of desires.
Adam are holding the reins of authority
and leadership of the nations of the This is the basic reform that Islam
world. wants to introduce. … The name of
[…] this striving is Jihad.
The pollution of people’s thoughts, the
degeneration of morals, the diversion This further section from al-Mawdudi’s
of human capacities and capabilities volume involves several unfamiliar words
into wrong channels, the prevalence of and concepts. Yet, it adds up to the
wrong concepts of business and deal notion that whatever a Muslim does in
ing, bad methods of living, the preva worship, whether that be through prayer,
lence of oppression and misdeeds and fasting, giving alms, or going on the hajj
destruction of God’s creation, all these pilgrimage, it means nothing without an
result from one thing: the keys of inner intent for jihad. Al-Mawdudi comes
authority and power being in wrong very close here to making jihad a sixth pil-
hands. lar of the faith (something argued by a
number of earlier jurists). The four com-
For al-Mawdudi, the first step towards ponents of worship just mentioned are
reform is to gain control of the government: four of the five pillars, with the testimony
of faith as the fifth. The meaning of jihad
So this is an obvious matter requiring here is quite clear: ‘So go ahead and fight,
no great thinking, that no scheme of and remove the rebels of God from the
reform for the people can be imple government and take over the powers of
mented without acquiring control of caliphate.’
the government machinery. Whoever
really wants to root out mischief and ‘Ibadaat’ [acts of worship] – a training
chaos from God’s earth and is gen course
uinely anxious to ameliorate the con
dition of God’s creation, it is useless These Salah [daily prayer], fasting,
for him to work as a mere preacher. Zakat [alms] and Hajj are in reality
He should stand up to finish the gov meant for this very preparation and
ernment run on wrong principles, training [for jihad]. … And when Islam
snatch power from wrongdoers and prepares its men in this manner, then it
establish a government based on cor tells them: ‘Now you are the most
rect principles and following a proper pious slaves of God on the surface of
system. earth. So go ahead and fight, and

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remove the rebels of God from the In this passage, he describes how
government and take over the powers Muslims are to launch an organised strug-
of caliphate.’ gle to take control of society. It is consid-
[…] ered unacceptable for Muslims to live
But now I tell you that all the ‘Ibadaat under the government of ‘disbelievers’.
of that person are meaningless in Jihad – the term for this struggle – is again
whose heart there is no intent of Jihad portrayed as a touchstone of belief:
and who does not keep in view this
purpose of Jihad. If you imagine that … it [Islam] desires that the law of God
by these meaningless ‘Ibadaat you should become the law by which peo
can win the favour of God, then on ple lead their lives. It demands, too,
going before Him you will yourself see that injustice be eradicated, that those
how much they have brought you evils which incur God’s anger be
nearer to Him. wiped out and that those virtues and
social values which are liked by God
Elsewhere, meanwhile, al-Mawdudi’s writ- be fostered.
ings show vividly how the conviction that
believers must not love non-believers leads to These aims cannot be realized so long
the belief that Muslims are superior to all as power and leadership in society are
other people: in the hands of disbelieving rulers and
so long as the followers of Islam con
Every Muslim personally believes and fine themselves to worship rites ….
you too must be surely believing alike, Only when power in society is in the
that a Muslim’s rank is higher that that hands of the believers and the right
of an unbeliever. God likes a Muslim eous, can the objectives of Islam be
and dislikes a Kafir [unbeliever]. A realized. It is therefore the primary duty
Muslim will get salvation from God of all those who aspire to please God
while a Kafir will not. A Muslim will go to launch an organized struggle, spar
to Paradise and a Kafir will go to Hell. ing neither life nor property, for this pur
pose. The importance of securing
15B. The Islamic Movement: power for the righteous is so fundamen
Dynamics of Values, Power and tal that, neglecting this struggle, one has
Change no means left to please God ...
Author: Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi
Publisher: The Islamic Foundation if anyone rebels against such a com
Published: 1984 munity, it is incumbent upon all
Language: English Muslims to fight him even though he
may profess belief in the unity of God
This volume is an English translation of and perform prayers and observe
one of the most significant works by al- Fasts.
Mawdudi, which was originally written in
Urdu. It is said to be ‘essential reading for Jihad is but another name for the
all those whose Islam, surrender to one attempt to establish the Divine order;
God, is not confined to their individual the Qur’an therefore declares it to be a
selves, or is not privatised, but which also touchstone of belief. In other words,
encompasses their societies. Put simply, it people who have faith in their hearts
is aimed at all those who have joined the will neither succumb to domination by
contemporary Islamic movement’. an evil system, nor begrudge giving

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their wealth and even their lives in the should in the main devote themselves
struggle to establish Islam. Those who to household duties in their homes and
show weakness in such situations cast men should attend to their jobs in the
doubt on the reality of their faith... socio economic spheres. Outside the
pale of the nearest relations between
The nature of their faith requires them whom marriage is forbidden men and
to concentrate all their efforts upon women have been asked not to mix
wresting leadership from unbelieving freely with each other and if they do
and corrupt men in order to entrust it have to have contact with each other
to the righteous … they should do so with purdah. When
women have to go out of their homes,
There must exist a godfearing com they should wear simple dress and be
munity devoted to the sole purpose of properly veiled. They should also cover
establishing and maintaining the sover their faces and hands as a normal
eignty of God on earth. course. Only in genuine necessity can
they unveil, and they must recover as
15C. Towards Understanding Islam soon as possible.
Author: Abu al-A‘la al-Mawdudi
Publisher: U.K.I.M. Dawah Centre Along with this, men have been asked
Published: 1998 to keep down their eyes and not to
Language: English look at women. And if somebody acci
dentally looks upon some woman, he
This is an English translation of a work by should turn away his eyes. To try to
al-Mawdudi by Khurshid Ahmad, a see them is wrong and to try to seek
founder and former chairman of the their acquaintance is worse…
Islamic Foundation (based at Markfield),
who is now Vice President of the Jamaat-e- Elsewhere, meanwhile, al-Mawdudi emph-
Islami. Al-Mawdudi, who wrote a preface asises the importance and centrality of
to this edition says: ‘My object in writing jihad – which is defined as a military act.
this book has been to provide all those – He outlines how, in certain circumstances,
Muslims and non-Muslims alike – who the obligation to jihad is to be considered
have no access to the original sources with as important a tenet of Islam as any of the
a brief treatise giving a lucid, comprehen- ‘pillars’ of the faith, such as daily prayers or
sive and all-embracing view of Islam’. fasting – the implication being that it
In this passage, al-Mawdudi advances a should be considered an unofficial ‘sixth’
very particular view of the position of pillar of the faith:
women:
Jihad is part of this overall defence of
Some of the injunctions of the law of Islam. Jihad means to struggle to the
Islam… are as follows: utmost of one’s capacity. A man who
exerts himself physically or mentally or
1. To preserve the moral life of the spends his wealth in the way of Allah
nation and to safeguard the evolution of is indeed engaged in Jihad. But in the
society on healthy lines, free mingling of language of the Shari’ah this word is
the sexes has been prohibited. Islam used particularly for a war that is
effects a functional distribution between waged solely in the name of Allah
the sexes and sets different spheres of against those who practice oppression
activity for both of them. Women as enemies of Islam.

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This supreme sacrifice of life devolves the range of material covered in this report:
on all Muslims. If, however, a section of namely, that a woman’s ‘real job’ is in the
Muslims offer themselves for the Jihad, house. On this basis, it is argued, women
the community as a whole is absolved should refrain from taking up any other
of its responsibility. But if none comes form of employment:
forward, everybody is guilty. This con
cession vanishes for the citizens of an Islam does not require women to par
Islamic State when it is attacked by a ticipate in trade, the vocations or pro
nonMuslim power. In that case every fessions unless it is very necessary. As
body must come forward for the Jihad. we have seen earlier, the realm of
If the country attacked has not enough activities for which men and women
strength to fight back, then it is the reli are created requires a woman to look
gious duty of the neighbouring Muslim after her matrimonial home, bring up
countries to help her; if even they fail, children in a befitting manner and so
then the Muslims of the whole world on. If she is not neglectful of these
must fight the common enemy. In all duties, or she has reliable household
such cases, Jihad is as much a primary help available to look after her children
duty of the Muslims concerned as are and relieve her of some of her domes
the daily prayers or fasting. One who tic work, while at the same time she
shirks it is a sinner. His very claim to needs a little income to supplement
being a Muslim is doubtful. He is a hyp her husband’s earning, there is no
ocrite whose ‘Ibadah and prayers are a objection in the Shari’ah [religious law]
sham, a worthless, hollow show of if she goes out to work, but only with
devotion. the consent of her husband. ...

15D. Woman in the Shari’ah If the people employed are exclusively
Author: Abdur Rahman I. Doi women, there is no harm in accepting
Publisher: Ta-Ha Publishers a secretarial position.
Published: 1989
Language: English A Muslim woman can work in a factory
if it is run by women.
This volume offers a general discussion of […]
women in society, dealing in the main A woman’s trade and business must
with: marriage and sexual relations not take her to the marketplace where
(including the impermissibility of marriage she will have to intermingle with her
to non-Muslims); polygamy (including a male counterparts. ...
criticism of modernist approaches, which
argue that Islam permits only one wife); Women can learn and establish small
divorce; adultery (for which the prescribed scale cottage industries in their homes ...
punishment is stoning, but for which the
proof involves four eye-witnesses to inter- Furthermore, the author here declares that
course); family planning; abortion; legal a woman has no legal right to object to her
rights for women; female education; and husband disciplining her:
the economic rights of women. The trea-
tise ends with a critical overview of femi- 1. A wife must neither receive male
nism in Muslim countries. strangers nor accept gifts from
As this passage shows, the publication them without her husband’s
reflects a familiar theme that appears across approval.

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2. A husband has the legal right to Q. Is there a minimum age at which
restrict his wife’s freedom of move Muslims can marry, assuming they are
ment. He may prevent her from in a Muslim country?
leaving her home without his per
mission … A. There is no minimum age. The wali,
3. A refractory wife has no legal right guardian, of the children, male or
to object to her husband exercising female, has the right to conduct a
his disciplinary authority. Islamic law, marriage agreement on their behalf, as
in common with most other sys long as there is an interest for both
tems of law, recognises the hus parties. Suppose there is a young girl
band’s right to discipline his wife for whose father has passed away and
disobedience. she is being looked after by her grand
4. The wife may not legally object to father, and suppose there is a young
the husband’s right to take another boy of a similar age in her family, and
wife or to exercise his right of her grandfather wishes to see that she
divorce. will be in a secure home in the future
(i.e. a home within the family which he
15E. Questions and Answers about already knows), then he has the right
Islam to betroth her to the boy.
Author: Syed Mutawalli ad-Darsh,
Publisher: Ta-Ha Publishers However, we know that a young girl
Published: 1997 may not be given to her husband until
Language: English she is physically and emotionally able
to have a physical relationship with her
This book is a collection of short fatwas husband….
on subjects including religious obser-
vance, marriage, hijab, homosexuality, In Muslim countries nowadays, legisla
education, non-Muslims, trade and com- tion has been restricting the age for
merce, medicine, deaths and funerals, the marriage – normally 18 for the man
next life, jinn, and much else besides. and 16 for the woman. But even there
The author (who died in 1997), served they are not talking about legality from
for a time as imam at the Regents Park a Shari’ah point of view….
Mosque/Islamic Cultural Centre in
London. He was also Secretary to the UK Whatever limits are said to exist on marriage,
Shari’ah Council, a co-founder and these do not include polygamy. Rather, as
trustee of the charity, Muslim Aid, and a this next excerpt demonstrates, the author
patron of the Federation of Student gives clear permission for the person con-
Islamic Societies in the UK and Eire.274 In cerned to break British law:
some respects, this is a difficult book to
classify. Compared with more overtly Q. In what circumstances are Muslim
Salafi texts, for instance, it is more com- men permitted to marry more than one
mitted to fostering positive social rela- wife? I am interested in taking on
tions, and is informed by a good under- another wife – my first wife has given
standing of life in the UK. At the same her consent – but I am unsure if it is a
time, however, not a few of its contents good idea since polygamy is officially
give cause for concern. prohibited under British law.
274. ‘Syed Mutawalli Ad Darsh’,
Salaam Knowledge, available at, In the following passage, for example, the
http://www.salaam.co.uk/knowl- author asserts that there is no minimum age A. If you’re asking my advice, I would
edge/biography/viewentry.php?i
d=2161. for marriage in Islam: say that one wife is more than enough.

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One is quite a handful for any hus to have physical relationships outside
band, let alone two. But, if you feel marriage. If the husband is not physically
you can provide for both wives, then satisfied by his wife, then she may be
there is nothing stopping you from tak driving him to seek fulfilment elsewhere.
ing a second wife – least of all the law
in this country. Marriage in Islam does Elsewhere, homosexuality is strictly con-
not depend on the registry office – that demned and made subject to the same
is just a civil record. One extra wife is treatment as adultery:
no extra burden on a legal system that
allows you to have 10 girlfriends and Q: Islam is often said to be the religion
15 commonlaw spouses. best suited to human nature and
capable of fulfilling all needs both in
On the issue of relations within marriage, the present and in the future. Since
meanwhile – and particularly with regard sexual need is amongst the strongest
to the issue of spousal abuse – the author’s of human needs, then why does Islam
position is somewhat troubling. Hence, deny true homosexuals (those who
though the answer to the following ques- feel sexual attraction only to members
tion contains a ‘qualifier’ at the end, it still of their own sex) the opportunity to ful
leaves open the fact that, within terms of fil this need? And if this is so, can
Islamic law, a woman may not have Islam still be considered to be capable
recourse in cases of marital rape: of fulfilling all human needs?
A: When we speak about Islam as the
Q. I have heard it said that the concept religion which is best suited to human
of rape within marriage does not exist nature, we mean healthy meaningful
within Islam because the marriage con nature…. It is not suited to any deviant
tract itself grants consent. Doesn’t this or sick type of behaviour within human
give any wicked husband the right to society – and as such, if we speak about
force himself upon an unwilling wife? homosexuality, we need to ask ourselves
A. Yes, there is no concept of rape what sort of role does it perform in life?
within marriage. The contract of mar Is it only a matter of physical pleasure? –
riage states that the two partners have but this needs to be transformed into a
rights to a conjugal relationship. In a beneficial and harmonious way of
Hadith of the Prophet, blessings and expressing our relationships in this life.
peace be upon him, it is stated that a As far as homosexuality is concerned, it
wife should never deny her husband, does not fulfil the real basic need of
whenever she is approached. But at human society. If you reflect on male and
the same time, there are etiquettes female sexuality, it has a purpose; it fulfils
and decent norms of behaviour to be a need which is beyond satisfying physi
observed by the husband. cal desire. It replenishes the earth with
offspring – and not only in all human
There follows a very reasonable paragraph, society, but for all earthly creatures.
emphasising the need for ‘skill, care and Those who indulge in homosexuality do
understanding’ in the bedroom. But it is not consider the immoral implications of
followed by the next passage: what they are doing. During the men
strual period, Muslims are forbidden to
But at the same time, the wife should have physical relationships, as the
show due regard for the feelings of the Qur’an says so. This is natural.
person whom she has married. We Homosexuality is an act of humiliation
always insist that it is haram [forbidden] upon the person who is jumped on. This

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person loses all dignity and respect. It is very severe terms – the same way as
against human decency and manners. It for sodomy and adultery.275
has to be treated early – if a person has
been spotted, he needs to be treated in Finally, in a rare foray into more overtly
a rational way to make him more suit ‘political’ territory, the author effectively
able to fulfil, appreciate and enjoy the offers a justification for suicide bombing:
qualities which Allah has given him.
[…] Q. What is the position of a hunger
Q: How should Muslims perceive and striker in Islam? Is a fast to the death,
treat Muslims who are gay? for an Islamic cause, considered sui
cide or is it shahadah [martyrdom]?
A: We have to see that such a person
receives psychological treatment. A. The hungerstrike is a recent devel
Commenting about this issue recently, opment; it is the latest weapon in the
an Arab producer came across many arsenal of the oppressed in their fight
Muslim psychologists who were falsely for liberation against their enemies.
promoting the view that this is a natu Islamically speaking, however, this is
ral inclination. It is a psychological dis one weapon which we Muslims are
ease which must be treated as such. forbidden to use…. A hungerstrike to
Q. My cousin freely admits to being the death is considered suicide and is,
homosexual…We are a very close family therefore, forbidden.
and fear a split caused by a potential […]
feud… How can we persuade my cousin According to Islam, only that life which
to give up his current behaviour which has been taken on the battlefield, or in
we assume he did not freely choose? If a battlefield situation, qualifies for sha
he refuses, or says that he is incapable of hadah, martyrdom.
marriage, what can we do as a family in
practical terms? How can we explain his Hungerstrikers are often compared to
behaviour to other members of our family suicide bombers, such as Muslims from
and to our community? the Lebanon who drive jeeps packed
A: The issue at hand is not one of with explosives straight into Israeli mili
facesaving measures for his family…. tary bases. However, suicide bombers
What should be of greater concern is and hungerstrikers are, in fact, two very
(sic) the consequences of your different things. If a Muslim feels that
cousin’s actions in this life, and in the throwing himself against enemy lines or
hereafter. There is ample Islamic evi an enemy target will benefit his side, this
275. The punishments referred dence that homosexuality is unaccept is allowed, as the action is considered
to here are: flogging for the
able. There are many Hadiths which positive and will almost certainly cause
unmarried; execution, usually by
stoning, for the married. call for dealing with homosexuality in serious damage to his opponents.

128
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The Islamic Academy of Islamic territory); prisoners; booty;
Manchester treaties; and making Jews and Christians
dhimmi subjects.278
Address: 19 Chorlton Terrace, Off Upper Brook The sense of superiority towards unbe-
Street, Manchester, M13 9TD lievers that permeates the text is exemplified
Telephone: 0161 273 1145 in the traditional rules for dealing with Jews
Email: n/a and Christians who live under Muslim rule.
Website: n/a Under this system they are conferred the
Charity Commission Registration No.: 1068567 status of dhimmis. According to this system,
Local MP: Tony Lloyd (Labour) by submitting to Islamic rule, Jews and
Local Authority: Manchester City Council Christians are given the right to their lives
Affiliations: MCB, UKIM and property, in return for various forms of
treatment. At times in history these have
been implemented in such a way as to make
Points of Interest them consider whether conversion might be
a better course.
The Islamic Academy of Manchester Some of those rules are set out in the
enjoys links with the UK Islamic Mission following passage. Muslims must not be
(UKIM). In June 2005, for instance, the the first to greet non-Muslims; must not
Academy was included on a list of mosques trust them; not honour them; regard them
circulated by UKIM that were said to be as traitors; prevent them from building
participating in a national ‘open day’ of houses higher than those of Muslims; and
mosques that it was organising.276 stop them from building new places of
The Islamic Academy is listed on the worship in Muslim countries.
website of the Manchester City Council as Interestingly, the ruling forbidding
providing ‘children’s services’; the site Muslims to shake the hand of an unbeliev-
points not only to the religious services er raises the question whether the police-
offered by the academy, but also, to the woman who refused to shake hands with
availability of ‘religious and social advice’ Sir Ian Blair in 2006 did so because he was
and the existence of a ‘children’s school’.277 a man or because he was an unbeliever:279
276. ‘National Mosque Open
Day 2005: Sunday 5th June
Q: Please talk about the things which
2005’, UKIM, available online at,
Material found here included: are forbidden regarding them (the Jews http://www.ukim.org/MosqueOp
enDay2005/NMOD%20Participa
and the Christians); if one greets a nts%20List%202005.pdf. Last
16A. Al-as’ila wa’l-ajwiba al-fiqhiyya Dhimmi (Jew or Christian) or was greet accessed on 10 July 2007.

[Jurisprudence questions and ed by one … 277. ‘Children’s Services
Directory’, Manchester City
answers], Part III Council, available at,
http://www2.manchester.gov.uk/
Author: Abdul Aziz Al Muhammad al- A: It is forbidden to stand up for them
education/servicedirectory/serv-
Salman … or to have them sit at the front at ice-info.asp?id=1136.

Publisher: n/a gatherings, because that would be 278. A dhimmi is a Jew or
Christian who has entered into a
Published: 1409 (1988) mean honouring them; or it would covenant with the Muslims for
Language: Arabic mean treating them as equals to the the guarantee of his life and
property in return for the pay-
Muslims … It is also forbidden to ment of a poll tax known as
This Arabic volume by ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al- greet them first (before they greet jizya.

Muhammad al-Salman, an expert on you), because of the tradition narrat 279. ‘Muslim PC refused to
shake hands’, BBC News
Islamic law, looks at: the correct forms of ed by Abu Huraira: ‘Do not be first in Online, available at:
http://news.bbc.co.
animal slaughter; Islamic names; jihad; greeting the Jews and the Christians,
uk/1/hi/england/lon-
hijra (leaving the territory of unbelief for and if you meet them on the road don/6284347.stm.

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The hijacking of British Islam

push them to walk on the narrow side Ibn alQayyim said: I will demolish it,
of it …’ because building higher than Muslims is
corrupting … they must also be stopped
If he was first to greet someone think from building new churches and temples
ing he is a Muslim, and later he found in the land of Islam, or building a sanctu
out he is a Dhimmi, he must go back ary for the monk, or a place where they
and ask him to return back his greet congregate for prayers …
ing to him … If a Muslim meets a
Dhimmi on the road, he should not Finally, as this short exchange emphasises,
make way for him to pass, and he it is not enough simply to humiliate the
should force him to walk on the nar unbelievers:
row end of the road … It is also for
bidden to shake his hand … Q. Tell us about the value of jihad, its
rules, and its characteristics. [Tell us
Q: What is the ruling regarding taking also] why it represents the final stage
the Jews, the Christians, and the rest of all acts of worship...
of the unbelievers as guardians? …
A. The word jihad is derived from jahd
A: It is forbidden to take any of the [struggle], which is hard labour. It has
unbelievers as guardians been said ‘He put a strain on his ani
[…] mal when he put a load on it during a
He [the Prophet] said (peace be upon journey that was beyond its strength
him), the Christians and the Jews are to bear.’ … And the saying goes:
traitors, may Allah never support ‘Exert your efforts in the matter, i.e.
those who honour them. Omar said: stretch yourself to the limit’. God has
‘do not honour them when Allah has said: ‘Struggle with proper striving in
humiliated them, do not trust them God’s [path]’;280 and ‘They swore their
when Allah has called them traitors, strongest oaths to God’.281 And in
do not believe their words when Allah Shari’ah law, [it means] exerting efforts
has called them liars. Ibn Habeira said in the slaughter of the unbelievers.
‘it has been related that Ahmad [the
Prophet] used to close his eyes when 16B. Three Important Rules of
he saw a Jew or a Christian; he Religion
would say do not copy this action of Author: Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab
mine, because I have not found that Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
our predecessors did this, it is just The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
that I cannot look at someone who Published: 1998
lied about Allah.’ Language: Urdu
[…]
They must be forbidden from raising This Urdu text, published by the Saudi
their building over their Muslim neigh Ministry of Islamic Affairs, is a translation
bour’s building … because of this of a work by the founder of Wahhabism,
Tradition: ‘Islam is high and nothing Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab.
else is higher than it.’ The part of their In this short excerpt, the connection
280. Qur’an 22:78. building which is higher than their between worship and jihad – another com-
281. Qur’an 5:53, 6:109, 16:38, Muslim neighbor’s building must be mon theme of the material in this report –
and 24:53. Here, jahd serves as
demolished in order to remove their is made explicit, with jihad raised to the
an intensifier to the following
words ‘their oaths’. aggression. ‘pinnacle’ of Islam:

130
The North West of England

The substance of this religion is submis soldiers, and claims that this originates
sion (to God) and its pillar is salat282 and within Islam itself:
its highest, noble dignity and pinnacle is
jihad for Allah. The necessity for military training accord
ing to the basic principles of Islam ...
16C. Dawr al-talaba fi bina’ mustaq-
bil al-‘alam al-islami [The role of As regards military training in the
the students in building the Islamic countries, since you have wit
future of the Islamic world] nessed in some battles that some of
Author: Abu’l-A ‘la al-Mawdudi the soldiers and officers belonging to
Publisher: Dar al-Qur’an al-Karim the army (perform) brave actions; and
Published: 1980 you have observed in them powerful
Language: Arabic feelings for the holy jihad, and an
impulsive longing to sacrifice them
This short treatise examines the role selves in the path of God, and an
played by students in the advancement of astonishing readiness to defy death.
Islam. The author discusses ‘the Islamic But the source of all this sort of educa
umma’ as distinct from ‘the Islamic lands’ tion is not to be found in military train
– emphasising that his concern is with ing schools. The source of this sort of
Muslims the world over, rather than in education is only to be found in the
any specific geographical location. bosoms of Muslim mothers who recited
Attention is given to: the need to pass a in the souls of these brave mujahidin
cultural heritage from one generation to the names of God and His Prophet
the next; the basics of Islam; the need for (while they were still) in the softness of
a struggle to preserve these basics; the their youth. Or its roots are the Islamic
harm caused to Islamic culture by non- society, whose eternal remnant of
Muslim countries; and the supposed whose traditions were drawn on he
spread of ‘treachery’ in society. hearts of these heroes: the concept of
In this arresting passage, the author God, the concept of the Prophet, the
praises the inculcation of ‘an impulsive concept of the holy jihad, and the con 282 Salat – Urdu form of the
Arabic salah: the five daily oblig-
longing to sacrifice themselves’ in Islamic cept of martyrdom in the path of God. atory prayers.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 131
The hijacking of British Islam

The Muslim Student Centre, which I didn’t sense provocation rising
University of Manchester (The from Friday sermons… we witnessed ser-
‘McDougall Mosque’) mons which had a strong fragrance of
racism, separatism, extremism and dis-
Address: University of Manchester, Burlington crimination against women’.286
Street, Manchester, M13 9PL Beyond this, Al-Fassi’s account
Telephone: 0161 275 4960 described the gender segregation which she
Email: n/a claimed was ingrained within the
Website: n/a University’s Islamic Society - despite the
Charity Commission Registration No.: n/a fact that the organisation’s activities ‘were
Local MP: Tony Lloyd (Labour) carried out in the courtyards of the cam-
Local Authority: Manchester City Council pus, one of whose statutes forbids discrim-
Affiliations: none ination among students on the basis of
gender, race, descent or religion’.287
Meanwhile, she even discussed the
Points of Interest prominence of intolerant literature within
the institutions and the effect it had on
The Muslim Student Centre at the the students, noting, ‘On the sidelines of
University of Manchester is also known as these meetings, one could find religious
the ‘McDougall Mosque’; it is the latest pamphlets with fatwas on issues of how to
‘temporary’ solution to the issue of Muslim act towards a non-Muslim, towards a
prayer room provision at the university. It woman, and other controversial daily
is one of the venues used by the Islamic issues, translated into every language –
Society of Manchester University, which English in particular. These pamphlets
was set up in 1962.283 carried the imprimatur of the Councils of
The Islamic Society has been at the cen- the most prominent 'ulama in Islamic
283. ‘Prayer Room Project – A tre of a growing number of controversies as countries, whose opinions determine
Success’, The Islamic Society – to its activities. In 2002, for instance, the much in the way of standards of behav-
University of Manchester Islamic
Society, 4 March 2006, available Islamic Society pushed for the Manchester iour and legal opinion’.288
at, http://www.manchesterisoc.
com/news/archive/. Last
University Students’ Union to pass a
accessed 10 July 2007. motion boycotting Israeli goods - a motion
284. Donald MacLeod & Polly that was only narrowly defeated on that Books found here included:
Curtis, ‘Waiting for the boycott
to bite’, The Guardian, 2 May
occasion.284 Five years later, in March
2005. 2007, the University Students’ Union did 17A. Fatawa wa Adhkar li-Itihaf al-
285. Yaakov Lappin, “Terror uni- pass a motion associating it with the Akhyar [Religious Edicts and
versity” in West Bank twinned
with Manchester University fol- Students’ Union at the controversial al- References/citations - a special
lowing anti-Israel motion’,
Najah University in the West Bank.285 gift for making informed choices]
Ynetnews.com, 19 March 2007,
available at, http://www.ynet- More broadly, there have been other Authors: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz
news.com/articles/0,7340,L-
3378597,00.html. See also,
accusations as to the growing prevalence of and Muhammad bin Saleh al-‘Uthaimin
‘Going beyond campus’, extremism in Manchester University. In Publishers: n/a
University of Manchester
Students’ Union, available at,
August 2006, Dr. Hatoon Ajwad Al-Fassi – Published: 1413 (1992)
http://www.umsu.manchester.ac. who took a PhD in Middle Eastern studies Language: Arabic
uk/unionbeyond.shtml.
at the University of Manchester between Free gift. Not for sale.
286. Hatoon Ajwad Al-Fassi, Al-
Iqtisadiyya, 21 August 2006, 1995 and 1998 – wrote a piece for the
available at, http://www.aleqtisa-
Saudi online daily, Al-Iqtisadiyya in which This work, a collection of rulings from two
diah.com/article.php?do=show&i
d=2979. she discussed her own experience of of the most prominent Saudi clerics (both
287. Ibid. extremism when a student. Al-Fassi of whom are now deceased), begins with a
288. Ibid. recalled, ‘I cannot recall a single week in denunciation of Jews and Christians.

132
The North West of England

There follows a discussion of: making vis- self, still it is forbidden for the Muslim to
its to graves and shrines (forbidden); be pleased with the practices of unbelief
women visiting graves and attending funer- or to congratulate others for them
als (forbidden); women covering their faces […]
and hands; marrying (or staying with) a Even if they congratulated us during
man who does not pray (the wife should their holidays, we do not reciprocate
consider him as a stranger to her); women because these are not our holidays
wearing tight clothes (forbidden); and the and because God is not pleased with
right sort of drum to play at weddings. their holidays …
In this passage, the authors assert that any
type of formal kindness between Muslims For the Muslim to accept their invitation
and the followers of other faiths is unaccept- to these events is forbidden, because it
able. To congratulate a Christian for bowing is worse than congratulating them since
down in front of the cross is worse than con- you are participating with them. It is also
gratulating him for having committed mur- forbidden for the Muslims to imitate the
der or fornication. Even if Jews or Christians unbelievers by throwing parties during
congratulate Muslims on their religious holi- these occasions …
days, this must not be reciprocated:
A key aspect of this attitude towards Jews
Congratulating the unbelievers on the and Christians is a belief that they are
occasion of Christmas, or for other always busily plotting against Islam:
religious occasions is a forbidden act
by consensus as has been related It is not a secret to anyone how these
from Ibn alQayyim … He said: ‘as for people of error from among the Jews
congratulating him on the occasions of and Christians and others have plotted
unbelief specific to him is forbidden by against this religion. They have
consensus, such as congratulating expended their time and money in
them on their celebration and fasting order to defame this faith and put
by saying ‘have a blessed celebration’ doubts in the minds of Muslims.
or other terms. If the person who is
congratulating did not become a dis 17B. Al-wala and Al-bara in Islam
believer because of that, he would [Loyalty and Enmity in Islam]
have at least have committed a forbid Author: Saleh Bin al-Fouzan
den act. It would be as if he was con Publisher: Cooperative Office for Call and
gratulating him for prostrating to the Guidance in Al-Batha (under the supervision
cross, and that is more sinful and of The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, The
spiteful to God than congratulating him Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
for drinking alcohol, or killing a soul, or Published: 1998
fornicating and other acts …’ Language: English

As for congratulating the unbelievers In this volume, the author, a leading Saudi
during their religious holiday is forbidden cleric, starts by defining loyalty and enmi-
and is on a similar standing with what ty, and enumerates the signs of loving
has been mentioned above by Ibn al unbelievers (a practice which is to be dis-
Qayyim, because it contains an accept couraged), the signs of loving believers
ance of their way and practices of unbe (which is to be encouraged), and the types
lief. He is accepting it for them, even of people whom it is obligatory to love. He
though he does not accept it for him concludes that ‘Those who should be

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 133
The hijacking of British Islam

hated completely without any love at all. believers in their specific traditions,
Those are the non-believers, the hypocrites their worshipping, their morals (such
and the polytheist [sic]’. as shaving their beards), speaking their
In the following passage, the author language except for necessary pur
draws on the theme of the utter incompat- poses, wearing their clothes and eat
ibility of Muslim and western society, to ing and drinking like them or any other
emphasise that Muslims are not allowed to way of imitating them….
use the western solar calendar (an echo of a
similar call issued in a Saudi ‘first-grade’ Those who should be hated complete
textbook found at the King Fahad ly without any love at all. Those are the
Academy in west London – see pages 51- nonbelievers, the hypocrites and the
58): polytheist.

Signs (indications) of loving the non 17C. Man tashabbaha bi-qawm fahuwa
believers… Using their date (calendar) minhum [Whoever imitates a peo-
as it represents their religion marking ple becomes one of them]
the birth of Jesus in remembrance of Author: Dr. Nasir ibn ‘Abd al-Karim al-‘Aql
Jesus’ birthday: This is not from the reli Publisher: The Office of Da‘wah in Britain
gion of Jesus but they innovated it. So Published: n.d.
using this date is joining them in their Language: Arabic
religion and belief.
This Arabic language volume was pub-
Elsewhere, meanwhile, he asserts that lished by the Saudi-funded ‘Office of
even calling non-believers ‘brothers’ is Da‘wah in Britain’.
ruled out: In the following passage, the author
expresses his disapproval of celebrating
You even hear lots of people, who are even national holidays. Along with prohi-
counted as preachers for Islam, call the bitions on honouring a national flag and
nonbelievers brothers – a very danger rejection of citizenship as a basis for soli-
ous word. darity, this sort of injunction places great
obstacles in the way of Muslims integrating
More generally, the main thrust of this lit- into mainstream western society:
tle work (as identified in the title) is repeat-
ed all the way through: Holidays like birthdays, national holi
days, organised celebration estab
One of the major aspects of Islamic lished by the nation which take place
Creed is that every Muslim must once a year or once a month; all
have love and loyalty to all Muslims these fall under the matter of imitation
(this is called alWala) and [i.e. are imitation of the nonbelievers,
dislike/hate every nonbeliever (this which is utterly condemned].
is called AlBara)….
Furthermore, imitation of the non-believ-
Allah (SWT) made it forbidden on the ers is again deemed dangerous because
believers to have the nonbelievers as non-Muslims are inherently corrupt:
friends even if they are very close rel
atives to them…. We can say that there are many reasons
for speaking against imitating the unbe
So it is forbidden to imitate the non lievers … Firstly: the deeds of unbeliev

134
The North West of England

ers are built on misguidance and cor […]
ruption, that is the root of the deeds of Fourth: Imitation most of the time
the unbelievers whether you like their produces liking the unbelievers, and
deeds or not, and whether its corruption then liking their religion, traditions,
was obvious or hidden. The deeds of manners, deeds, and the corruption
the unbelievers are built on misguid and falsehood they are on.
ance, deviance, and corruption of their […]
beliefs, traditions, worship, holidays, and Fifth: Imitation will produce love,
in their manners. Good deeds are an closeness and guardianship between
exception if found with them. those imitating each other.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 135
The hijacking of British Islam

Islamic Educational Society advance the Islamic faith through the provi-
(Masjid-e-Noorul Islam) sion of a wide range of spiritual, educational
and social services enriched with Islamic val-
Address: 108-110 Audley Range, Blackburn, ues that fulfil the needs of our members and
BB1 1TF the wider community.’ It also speaks of
Telephone: 01254 261 573 becoming, ‘a centre of excellence for Islamic
Email: n/a learning and practice providing a beacon for
Website: http://www.masjid-e-noorul-islam.com/ both Muslims and other faith communities
Charity Commission Registration No.: 526572 who wish to gain a deeper knowledge and
Local MP: Rt. Hon. Jack Straw (Labour) understanding of Islam.’294
Local Authority: Blackburn with Darwen Borough The Islamic Educational Society runs
Council the Al-Islah private girls school, for ages
289. ‘List of MCB Affiliates – Affiliations: Blackburn Council of Mosques (BCM), 11-16 (affiliated to the Association of
March 2005’, The Muslim
Council of Britain, available at, Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM), MCB, Muslim Schools UK). This opened in
http://www.mcb.org.uk/affili-
AMSUK 1995 and occupies the first floor of the
ates.php. Last accessed 10 July
2007. mosque; it was the subject of a BBC Radio
290. ‘Executive Members’, 4 programme, Qur’an and Country: Inside
Lancashire Council of Mosques,
available (cached) at,
Points of Interest a Muslim School, in 2000.295 Speaking to
http://66.102.9.104/search?q=ca that programme, the school’s head teacher,
che:SLg8Ow7dSUoJ:www.lan-
cashiremosques.com/execu-
The Islamic Educational Society of Nizamuddin Makda, had emphasised that
tive_members.asp+Salim+Mulla Blackburn, also known as the Masjid-e- the school’s mission was to ensure that
&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7. Last
accessed 10 July 2007; ‘Islamic Noorul Islam, was founded in 1967 and children were educated ‘morally and aca-
& Muslim Associations, Schools, adjoins the town’s Noor ul-Islam demically’.296 The programme’s producer
Groups & Charities around
Greater Manchester’, Mosque.289. It is part of the Lancashire also noted the ‘good’ GCSE results
Manchester Islamic and Muslim
Mosques & Organisations in
Council of Mosques and shares premises achieved by the school and said that,
Greater Manchester, available at, (and is presumably also a member of ) the despite accusations that Muslim schools
http://www.manchester2002-
uk.com/worship/worship8a.html.
Blackburn Council of Mosques.290 were ‘too narrowly focused and not equip-
Last accessed 10 July 2007. In June 2006, the mosque caused local ping children to live in modern Britain…
291. ‘Mosque gets go-ahead controversy over its plans to build a larger over the three days we spent recording at
despite objections’, Lancashire
Evening Telegraph, 26 June facility on the opposite side of the road al-Islah, the impression we got from the
2006, available online (via the from its present location. The proposal for students we spoke to was that they are very
Preston Citizen) at,
http://archive.prestoncitizen.co.u the new building was only narrowly aware of their potential role in the world’
k/2006/6/26/911675.html.
approved by a divided planning committee and ‘they do not regard the Islamic values
292. Ibid.
of the local council, which gave the go- and discipline they are being taught as lim-
293. ‘Masjid-e-Noorul Islam,
Blackburn, Lancashire: Islamic
ahead despite receiving some 92 letters of iting their horizons. In fact, just the oppo-
Educational Society’, available objection and being advised by officers to site’.297
at, http://www.masjid-e-noorul-
islam.com/index.aspx. turn it down.291 Speaking in the wake of
294. Ibid. the council’s decision, the vice-chairman of
295. ‘Al-Islah Schools’, the Society, Ibrahim Wadee, was recorded Books found here included:
Association of Muslim Schools
saying that the new construction was like-
UK, available at, http://ams-
uk.org/index.php?option=com_c ly to cost between £1million and £1.5mil- 18A. Islam: Beliefs and Teachings
ontent&task=view&id=125&Itemi
d=243&sid=15; Linda Pressly,
lion, though at the time planning permis- Author: Ghulam Sarwar
‘Islam underpins schools’ les- sion was received only £300,000 had been Publisher: Muslim Educational Trust
sons’, BBC News Online, 24
November 2005, available at,
raised.292 The Society is currently running Published: 2004
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/edu- an appeal to raise £1.2 million to fund the Language: English
cation/4467370.stm. Last
accessed 10 July 2007. new building.293
296. Ibid. According to its website, the purpose of This work - cited by the ex-Islamist, Ed
297. Ibid. the Islamic Educational Society is, ‘to Husain as a key introductory text on his path

136
The North West of England

towards extremism – is a well-produced and That would destroy the social balance.
comprehensive overview of Islam.298 Society would not prosper but would
According to the author, this is a seventh instead have insoluble problems such
revised edition of the book, which has been as broken marriages, children born
printed in English since 1980. It is mainly outside marriage and the breakup of
aimed at school pupils aged 11-16, and cov- family life. These problems are already
ers briefly ‘the essential aspects of Islam’ rife in western society. Schoolgirl preg
including the Divine Unity, fate, prophet- nancies, an increase in abortions,
hood, angels, the books of God, the Qur’an, divorce and many other problems
death, the afterlife, Islamic duties, prayer and have resulted from a permissive out
fasting. There then follow passages on: shar- look and the socalled freedom of
i’ah law; social life; the Islamic economic sys- women championed by feminists.
tem; and the Islamic political system. Finally,
the author presents selected verses from the Throughout history, men and women
Qur’an, together with selected Hadiths and a have never been treated the same.
list of Muslim countries of the world. The Islam has given women the right posi
book, continues the author, is ‘increasingly tion and has not attempted to violate
used in maintained schools in England to divine laws. Other religions and man
teach Islam as part of the Religious Studies made systems have failed to define
curriculum’, and also ‘motivated a number of the exact and appropriate role of
non-Muslims to come to the eternal bliss of women. In the West, women have
Islam’. The author makes use of a wide range been reduced almost to a plaything of
of sources, including prominent Jamaat-e- enjoyment and fancy. Women have
Islami members such as Abu al-A’la al- tended to degrade themselves proba
Mawdudi and Khurshid Ahmad, as well as bly unwittingly in modern times for the
Muslim Brotherhood ideologues such as sake of real or imaginary equality. They
Sayyed Qutb. have become objects of exploitation
In this passage, the author, Ghulam by men and the slogans of liberty and
Sarwar (founder of the Muslim equality have virtually reduced them to
Educational Trust), expresses the idea that playful commodities. … They have nei
total equality between the sexes is against ther gained liberty nor achieved full
nature, and would have terrible conse- equality; rather they have lost their nat
quences for society if indulged.299 The ural place in the home.
problem is framed in terms of the exploita-
tion of women by the West: The natural balance, fairness and mutu
298. See Ed Husain, The
ality have been disturbed. The outcome Islamist: Why I joined radical
Allah has not made man and woman has been horrendous for social peace Islam in Britain, what I saw inside
and why I left (London, 2007),
identical, so it would be against nature and stability. The natural peace at home pp. 20-3.
to try to have total equality between a cannot be restored unless the exploita 299. For more on the Muslim
man and a woman. Educational Trust, see page 183.
tion of women stops.

www.policyexchange.org.uk • 137
The hijacking of British Islam

Islamic Cultural Centre Publisher: Azhar Academy Ltd
(Jaame Mosque – Central Published: 1998
Mosque of Blackburn) Language: English

Address: Cumberland St, Blackburn, BB1 1JP This compilation work explains in very
Telephone: 01254 608 683 simple language the major aspects of belief
Email: info@jaamemasjid.org and practical implementation of belief in
Website: http://www.jaamemasjid.org the everyday life of the believer.
Charity Commission Registration No.: n/a In this passage, the reader is instructed
Local MP: Rt. Hon. Jack Straw (Labour) that cross-dressing - which in this context
Local Authority: Blackburn with Darwen presumably means jeans for women and
Borough Council long hair for men - is strictly prohibited.
Affiliations: LCM, MCB Women may not cut their hair short, and
men may not shave their beards:

Points of Interest … the Curse of Allah is upon such men
who emulate (copy) women (in dress
300. Lancashire Evening
Telegraph, 22 August 2000, cited Blackburn’s Jaame Mosque – the town’s and appearance) and the Curse of Allah
in ‘British Muslims Monthly Central Mosque – was established in 1962 is on such women who emulate (copy)
Survey for August 2000 Vol. VIII,
No. 8’, available at, close to the town’s Audley Range.300 It is part men (in dress and appearance).
http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/bmm
of the Lancashire Council of Mosques.
s/2000/08August00.asp.

301. ‘Madresah T’aleemul
Connected with the Mosque is the Women should grow their hair long and
Islaam’, Jaame Masjid Central ‘Madresah T’aleemul Islaam’, which aims plait them. To shave the head or to cut
Mosque of Blackburn, available
at, http://www.jaamemasjid.org/
to provide, ‘the best Islamic education for the hair short is forbidden for women.
madresahtaleemulislaam.html. our future generations’; its slogan is, ‘work-
302. Lancashire Evening ing towards building a healthier Islamic The shaving of the beard is forbidden.
Telegraph, 22 August 2000, cited
in ‘British Muslims Monthly environment’.301 The size of the beard should be at
Survey for August 2000 Vol. VIII, In August 2000, the mosque played host to least a fist’s length all round.
No. 8’, available at,
http://artsweb.bham.ac.uk/bmm Sheikh Abdur-Rahman al-Sudais – Imam of
s/2000/08August00.asp.
the Ka‘ba Mosque in Mecca (who later opened Elsewhere, this same volume provides a
303. ‘Fazilatus Shaikh Imamul
Haram Dr Abdur Rahman As
the East London Mosque’s London Muslim view on the ‘proper’ Muslim response to
Sudais visit 2002’, Jaame Masjid Centre).302 The Sheikh subsequently made western banking systems - one that will
Central Mosque of Blackburn,
available at, http://www.jaam
repeat visits in both 2002 and 2004.303 effectively require the individual Muslim
emasjid.org /shaikhsu- According to the mosque’s website, other to decide between the secular and the
dais2002.html; ‘Fazilatus Shaikh
Imamul Haram Dr Abdur prominent visitors have included ‘Abd Allah Islamic system. Again, such an injunction
Rahman As Sudais visit 2004’, ibn ‘Abd al-Muhsin al-Turki, Secretary-General carries serious implications for Muslim
Jaame Masjid Central Mosque
of Blackburn, available at, of the Saudi-based Muslim World League (for integration inot western society:
http://www.jaamemasjid.org
more on this organisation, see page 26) and
/shaikhsudais2004.html.

304. ‘His Excellency Dr Abdullah
Sheikh Abdul Mohsin Al Qasim, the Imam of All forms of this interest (whether bank
Bin Abdul Mohsin Al Turki’, Medina mosque in Saudi Arabia.304 loans, overdraft facilities, mortgages,
Jaame Masjid Central Mosque
of Blackburn, available at,
hire purchase, fixed deposits to gain
http://www.jaamemasjid.org/drtu interest) is Haraam and a major sin.305
rkiimagegallery.html; ‘Fazilatus
Shaikh Imamul Haram Masjid E Books found here included:
Nabawi (S.A.W) Dr Shaikh Abdul 19B. Bahishti Zewar: Heavenly
Mohsin Al Qasim visit in 2004’,
Jaame Masjid Central Mosque 19A. Ta’leemul Haq: An Authentic Ornaments – Complete Twelve
of Blackburn, available at,
Compilation of the Five Parts
http://www.jaamemasjid.org/ima
mofmadina.html. Fundamentals of Islam Author: Maulvi Ashraf Ali Thanvi
305. Haram - prohibited. Author: None Listed Publisher: Idara Isha’at-e-Diniyat (P) Ltd

138
The North West of England

Published: 2005 Publisher: Jamiatul Ulama Taalimi Board
Language: English Publisher: 1417 (1996)
Language: English
This book is a revised version of an English
translation of a book originally written in This booklet – intended for children -
Urdu by an important nineteenth and twenti- explains, in a very simple way, basic con-
eth century Deobandi scholar, Maulvi Ashraf ducts of behaviour – both personal and
Ali Thanvi. The book is subtitled ‘Why Islam towards others. It is mainly based on the
and not other religions and ideologies’ and Qur’an and the Hadith.
comprises twelve parts of a ‘complete book on Here, in this passage, it offers a perspec-
Islam dealing with the noble life of the Holy tive on what constitutes appropriate gen-
Prophet, the tenets of Islam in their serial der relations that is highly antithetical to
order, Muslim personal law, Islamic way of the social norms of western society.
life, customs and traditions etc. in detail and in According to the author, men and women
easy-to-understand language’. To this end, it cannot walk closely together, and a woman
covers most aspects of Islamic observance, has to talk to men (if she is forced to) in a
including: duties such as prayer, fasting, and curt manner:
performing the pilgrimage; marriage and
divorce; inheritance; and social behaviour. Men and women should walk apart. A
The following passage reflects a com- man is prohibited to walk so that his
mon theme throughout much of the mate- shoulders brush against a strange
rial covered here: the high anxiety over woman. A man is forbidden to walk
anything that might bring innovation between two women.
(bid‘ah) and therefore ‘corruption’ into the
faith. Innovation is assumed to exist in Women should walk in public without
numerous forms. The following passage attracting the attention of male
taken from this work identifies three, relat- strangers: they should be veiled
ing to graves, unveiling, and listening to or before they step out of the house
playing musical instruments: out of absolute necessity. They
should not wear ornaments that pro
Bid’at (Heresy) and Bad Customs duce a tinkling sound. They should
avoid the use of perfumes before
The following acts are Bid’at:— going out and they should tread
5. To organise and hold fairs on the softly.
graves of saints … and to visit them […]
by the women If a woman has to talk to a man she
[…] should not talk sweetly or coquettishly
11. Appearing unveiled by women but in a straightforward and curt man
without bashfulness before inlaws ner, lest the man be led to harbour
and other cousins. lustful thoughts.
[…]
12. To listen [to] music or play musical 19D. Tas-heelul Akhlaaq Wal Aadaab
instruments … [Morals and Manners Made
Easy], volume 6
19C. Tas-heelul Akhlaaq Wal Author: None Listed
Aadaab[Morals and Manners Publisher: Jamiatul Ulama Taalimi Board
Made Easy], volume 5 Publisher: 1418 (1997)
Author: None Listed Language: English

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The hijacking of British Islam

This book, from the same series as above, book) would have served better in terms of
also describes basic conducts of behaviour, comprehension. More broadly, in all of the
drawing on the Qur’an and the Hadith. extracts from this text, it is worth noting
This volume is focused mainly on family the extremely poor quality of the English
ties. used here in a book meant to instruct
In the following passage, the author young children:
decrees that only Muslim dress is to be
worn.306 For a man, even low trousers can Allah Ta’ala has bestowed a special
be enough to send him to hell: and superior life upon Nabi (Sallallahu
Alayhi Wa Sallam) granting him life in
Men should wear their pants (lower his Mubarak Qabr. His Mubarak body
garments) above the ankles. is protected from decomposition and
[…] this belief is termed ‘Hayaatun Nabi[‘]
Those men who wear their pants … (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam).
below their ankles will on the Day of
Qiyamat,307 have fire on their ankles and Children are warned against practices that
Allah Ta’ala shall not look at them with are common to the popular Islam of South
mercy. Asia, including Sufi practices:
[…]
Muslims should distinguish themselves Some examples of Bid’at [bid‘a, hereti
in dress from other nations. They cal innovation] are:
should not imitate nonMuslims in their a) to observe such ceremonies and
dress or in any other way. commemorations which have no
sanction, nor have they been grant
19E. Tas-heelul Aqaa-id [Beliefs ed any status in the Shariah as well
Made Easy] volume 7 as regarding those who do not par
Author: None Listed ticpate in these functions, as sin
Publisher: Jamiatul Ulama Taalimi Board ners.
Publisher: 1418 (1997) b) to build upon graves, to place domes
Language: English and structures over or to unnecessari
ly raise the grave in excess of the
This basic textbook offers a series of Shar’ie [legal] requirement.
short lessons (fourteen in all) on God, c) to place decorations, lights and
unbelief, prophethood, Muhammad, sheets over graves.
innovation, good deeds, sin and repen- d) to observe three days, seven days,
tance, the Companions of the Prophet, and forty days ceremonies and
the first four Caliphs, imitation (of feasting on the death of family
unbelievers), and the signs of the Day of members.
Judgement. The English text includes
many Arabic words and phrases and it is 19F. Tas-heelul Aqaa-id [Beliefs
worth remembering that this kind of Made Easy] volume 8
book is aimed explicitly at children – Author: None Listed
something which makes its uncritical Publisher: Jamiatul Ulama Taalimi Board
presentation of certain ‘facts’ all the Publisher: 1418 (1997)
306. One problem with this con- more noteworthy. Language: English
dition, of course, is that there is
no single ‘Islamic style’ of dress.
The following passage shows an almost
307. Day of Qiyamat – Day of
obsessive concern for the use of Arabic This basic textbook is made up of ten
Judgement. terms when English (the language of the lessons on the following themes: baseless

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interpretation; unbelief; things that numerous ways in which someone can
make one an unbeliever; the Traditions; become an unbeliever:
Sunni Islam; the essentials of different
religions; innovation; matters in the To utter a kufr [unbelief] statement in jest,
celestial sphere (the Throne of God or to laugh at a joke made about Islam.
[kursi] etc.), creation and evolution (this
section is Creationist and simplistic), To act in accordance with a kufr prac
and Qadyanism. All issues are intro- tice such as wearing a cross, bowing
duced in brief, followed by worksheets. down to, or standing respectfully
Again, as with the above text, this book before an idol.
is aimed at children and thus meant to
carry an educative purpose. To believe that all religions today are
In this passage, some practices of popu- True, and are sufficient for salvation in
lar and Sufi Islam are condemned as base- the Hereafter.
less. Once more, as with the above text, the
quality of the English leaves much to be Finally, after unbelief and the association of
desired: partners with God, the thing most hated in
Islam is innovation (bid‘ah). Among the
[It is heretical] to claim that it is per things treated as innovation is:
missible to perform an act of worship
for the pleasure of the creation as Having love for nonIslamic customs.
well [as God]. Example, some people When people become involved in the
believe it permissible to perform sajda false ways of nonMuslims, they then
[prostration] to saints and to the attempt to introduce these very cus
graves of saints, or to make Tawaaf toms into Islam by giving them as
around the grave of saints. Such acts Deeni [religious] guise. Depending
of shirk have no sanction in the upon the influence of the kuffar
Shari’ah. amongst whom they are living, differ
ent types of innovation acts are intro
Here, the author outlines some of the duced into Islam.

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The hijacking of British Islam

Central Mosque of Rochdale Nation: belief and family’. The book is
(Markazi Jamia Masjid) divided into two sections accordingly.
The author begins by outlining the hon-
Address: Mere Street, Rochdale, OL11 1HJ ours bestowed by Islam on women, as
Telephone: 01706 645 135 maidservants, daughters, wives, and
Email: n/a beyond; in each instance, their rights are
Website: n/a listed. In the second part he then pro-
Charity Commission Registration No.: n/a ceeds to enumerate the many enemies
Local MP: Paul Rowen (Liberal Democrat) bent on corrupting Muslim women. The
Local Authority: Rochdale Metropolitan signs of their treachery are made known,
Borough Council and include: magazines; the spread of
Affiliations: unknown deviant ideas; the breaking down of
boundaries between Muslims and non-
Muslims; calls for female emancipation;
Points of Interest and the call for gender equality. The
tract ends with a short, critical history of
The Markazi Jamia Masjid Central feminism.
Mosque on Mere Street, Rochdale, was The ‘enemies of women’ discussed
constructed only recently and utilises here are said to include the Jews and
modern architectural design based on Christians. With regards to the former,
the model of the Al-Aqsa mosque in part of modern Muslim anti-Semitism is
Jerusalem.308 the belief that Jews lurk behind every
In May 2007, the local MP, Paul sinister plot in the world, because they
Rowen, presented the Imam of Rochdale (as explained in the infamous forgery,
Central Mosque, Hafiz Ikram, with an The Protocols of the Elders of Zion) want
award for ‘Services to the Community’ at to rule the world. This work draws heav-
the annual ‘Rochdale Sport For All’ ily on such strains of thinking. Thus,
awards.309 At the event, Rowen and oth- Zionism is not treated as simply a Jewish
ers detailed Ikram’s services to young nationalist movement, but as part of the
people over the past thirty years.310 wider Jewish plot, of which Freemasons
and others are also part. The author
actually quotes from The Protocols, and
Books found here included: ‘reveals’ that the true nature of the
Jewish plot lies in the spread of western
20A. Al-mar’a wa kayd al-a‘da notions of freedom and equality:
[Women and their scheming
enemies] This was written in the First Protocol
Author: Abdullah bin Wakil al-Sheikh of the Elders of Zion:
Publisher: The Office of Da‘wah in Britain
308. ‘Heritage open days’, Published: 1412 (1991) In the past, we were the first of
Rochdale News, 17 September
2004, available online at, Language: Arabic those who were calling for freedom,
http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/
This book was also found at Al- brotherhood, and equality. The igno
News/news.asp?ID=245. Last
accessed 10 July 2007. Manaar, London (see pages 31-57) rant ones everywhere started repeat
309 ‘Sport For All annual awards ing such slogans without thinking or
day’, Rochdale News, 17 May
2007, available online at,
This is a short pamphlet that aims to awareness. The call for freedom,
http://www.rochdaleonline.co.uk/ point out the two major issues through equality, and brotherhood attracted
News/news.asp?ID=3382. Last
accessed 10 July 2007. which, the author says, ‘the enemies many to join our ranks all over the
310. Ibid. managed to operate to ruin the Islamic world – with the help of our helpers

142
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Central Mosque of Rochdale. © Greater Manchester Weekly News

– whole generations started to carry earth. Therefore we must empty the
our banner with enthusiasm and idea of God from the minds of the
great care. Christians (I say, and the Muslims
too), and fill their minds with num
In the Fourth Protocol: ‘The word bers and material desires.’
freedom continuously bids society
against all powers, even with the Finally (and unsurprisingly given the
power of nature, and the power of title of this volume) Jews are also viewed
God himself. Although freedom does as the greatest enemies of women:
not contain any harm – and it is
found in many countries without dis The enemies of women are also the
turbing the good life of a nation – if it enemies of men, there is no distinc
was based upon religion, and on tion. They are four types:
fearing God, on brotherhood
between people which is stripped of 1. The Jews: They are of all people
the idea of equality which contra the keenest on corrupting humani
dicts the laws of creation. These ty, and on destroying their beliefs
laws which stated the need for obe and values. The reason why they
dience, when the nation adopts work so hard to corrupt humanity
them it will obey the religious men of is that they cannot see an exis
God, and they will live happy and in tence for themselves except
peace. He will submit to the all car through the destruction of others,
ing hand which rules over all on or corrupting them. That way they

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The hijacking of British Islam

will live like slaves for them as bration of Mother’s Day is deemed to
they say. cause offence:

20B. Fatawa al-mar’a [Religious Question: Every year people here
Edicts concerning Women] celebrate Mother’s Day on the 21st
Authors: Muhammad ibn Salih ibn of March,312 is this permissible or for
‘Uthaimin and ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al- bidden?
Rahman al-Jibrin Answer: All the celebrations which
Publisher: The Office of Da‘wah in Britain are contrary to the legal celebrations
Published: n.d. are innovated celebrations which
Language: Arabic were not known by our righteous
predecessors. It might be that its ori
This book, published by the Office of gin is with the nonMuslims, that
Da’wah in Britain, contains a variety of would make it an imitation of the
rulings relating to women’s issues, from enemies of Allah along with it being
two senior Saudi clerics.311 It demon- an innovation … therefore we want
strates that for those who view all of to say that regarding the Mother’s
311. For more on the Office of western society as antithetical to living a Day celebration, it is not permissible
Da’wah in Britain see pages
182-183 truly ‘Islamic’ life, even the most minor to do anything in terms of celebrat
312. The date has the additional aspects of that society are described as ing the ceremonies of such occa
connotation of being New Year’s
Day for Iranians and for mem-
being beyond the pale. sion, like showing happiness, or giv
bers of the Baha’i religion. In this passage, for instance, the cele- ing gifts and the like.

144
Yorkshire

Yorkshire

Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, Compiler: Muhammad bin Salih al- ‘Uthaimin
Bradford Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Address: 5 Camden Terrace, Bradford, BD8 7HX Published: 2003
Telephone: 01274 661 072 Language: Urdu
Email: info@mjah.org This book was also found at the Darul
Website: http://mjah.org/ Islam Mosque, Bradford (see pages 146-7)
Charity Commission Registration No.: 1017116
Local MP: Marsha Singh (Labour) According to this publication, issued by
Local Authority: City of Bradford Metropolitan the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, even
District Council respecting other religions may be enough
Affiliations: MCB to render a Muslim open to a sentence of
death:

Points of Interest This is our belief, that any Muslim
who recognises a religion besides the
Bradford’s Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith is Islamic religion, for example Judaism,
the town’s local branch of the broader Ahl- Christianity, etc. as reliable, cred
e-Hadith movement that is headquartered itable, or respectable, that Muslim is
in Birmingham (see pages 107-109). not a believer. He/she should ask for
forgiveness (from Allah). If he/she
repents that is better for him/her.
Books found here included: Otherwise, based on this, that person
will be considered to have left Islam.
21A. ‘Aqidat ahl al-Sunna Wa-al- That person will be killed because
Jama’a [Belief of the Followers they are guilty of accusing the Qur’an
of the Prophetic Path] of falsehood.

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The hijacking of British Islam

Darul Islam Mosque (Masjid the following passage shows, the ‘unbeliev-
Nimra), Bradford ers’ are taken to include those who do not
follow a Wahhabite version of Islam – a
Address: 9-10 Hanover Square, Bradford, definition which would incorporate many
BD1 3BX Muslims in the UK (mainly those from
Telephone: 01274 733 439 South Asia) who define themselves as Sufis
Email: n/a and followers of one form or another of a
Website: n/a more mystical style of Islam:
Charity Commission Registration No.: n/a
Local MP: Marsha Singh (Labour) [The following is unbelief]: to claim that
Local Authority: City of Bradford Metropolitan there are great saints [called Qutb in
District Council Sufi terminology, which literally means
Affiliations: MCB axes (of creation)] who have control
over what happens in the universe,
even if this claim is accompanied with
Points of Interest the admissions that Allah, the Soverign
[sic] Lord exists. People who have this
The Darul Islam Mosque sits in the most- belief are in a worse condition than the
ly-residential Hanover Square, in the idol worshippers before Islâm …
Manningham area of Bradford. Since its
founding it has maintained a low-profile 4. Or the statements of some Sufis
and little is known about it. that Allah pervades in His creation …

22B. ‘Aqidat ahl al-Sunna
Books found here included: Wa-al-Jama’a [Belief of the
Followers of the Prophetic Path]
22A. The Pillars of Islam and Iman Compiler: Muhammad bin Saleh al-
[faith] and what every Muslim ‘Uthaimin
must know about his religion Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
Author: Muhammad ibn Jamil Zino The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Translator: Dar-us-Salam Publications Published: 2003
Publisher: Dar-us-Salam Language: Urdu
Published:1996 This book was also found at the Markazi
Language: English Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith Mosque, Bradford
(see page 145)
This publication is an English translation
of an Arabic book, which discusses the According to this publication, issued by
main pillars of Islam and belief: the con- the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, even
cept of Unity, purification, prayers, charity, respecting other religions may be enough
fasting, hajj, transactions, mutual relations, to render a Muslim open to a sentence of
morals and manners. The book is said to death:
be addressed to the common people, with
its distinctive feature being its ‘simplicity’. This is our belief, that any Muslim who
Particular focus here is placed on the recognises a religion besides the
line between those who constitute ‘believ- Islamic religion, for example Judaism,
ers’ and those who are ‘unbelievers’. As Christianity, etc. as reliable, creditable,
elsewhere, it is not simply a question of or respectable, that Muslim is not a
Muslims versus non-Muslims; rather, as believer. He/she should ask for forgive

146
Yorkshire

ness (from Allah). If he/she repents sidered to have left Islam. That person
that is better for him/her. Otherwise, will be killed because they are guilty of
based on this, that person will be con accusing the Qur’an of falsehood.

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Edinburgh

Islamic Centre of Edinburgh (ICET) The opening of the Islamic Centre saw
the issuing of several of the books under
Address: 50 Potterow, Edinburgh, EH8 9BT examination here (many of which were
Telephone: 0131 667 1777 found at locations beyond Edinburgh).
Email: info@icet.org.uk This would appear to indicate that this
Website: http://www.edmosque.com or event was used to disseminate a wide range
http://www.discoverislam.com/col/htm/links/links.htm of material – much of which appears to
Charity Commission Registration No.: SC029809 have been printed at the mosque attached
Local MP: Rt. Hon. Gavin Strang (Labour) to the centre itself (several list Masjid
Local Authority: City of Edinburgh Council; Khadim al-Haramayn al-Sharifayn – the
313. ‘Planning the Mosque and Scottish Executive name of the Edinburgh mosque – as their
the Centre and General Plans for
the Site’, Edinburgh Central Affiliations: MCB, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia distributor).
Mosque, available at, More recent visitors to the mosque and
http://www.discover-
islam.com/col/htm/about/plan- Islamic Centre have included the Rt. Hon.
ning.htm. Last accessed 10 July
2007; ‘Financing the Project’,
Points of Interest Jim Wallace who visited while still Deputy
Edinburgh Central Mosque, First Minister of Scotland and leader of the
available at, http://www.discov-
er-islam.com/col
The Islamic Centre of Edinburgh adjoins Scottish Liberal Democrats (prior to his res-
/htm/about/finance.htm. Last the city’s King Fahd Mosque, which provides ignation from both posts in 2005).319
accessed 10 July 2007.
prayer facilities for some 1200 people and
314 ‘Financing the Project’,
Edinburgh Central Mosque, cost ‘more than three million pounds’ to
available at, http://www.discov- build.313 The mosque’s own website notes Material found here included:
er-islam.com/co
l/htm/about/finance.htm. Last that construction was plagued by a variety of
accessed 10 July 2007.
problems, particularly ‘financial difficulties’. 23A. Al-‘aqida al-sahiha wa ma
315 Ibid.
These were only resolved with the support of yudaduha, wa risalat al-ma‘iyya
316 ‘McLeish speaks at opening
of Edinburgh Mosque and
King Fahd of Saudi Arabia who provided a [Correct beliefs, what opposes
Islamic Centre’, The Scottish contribution ‘amounting to 90 percent of them, along with the treatise of
Office, 31 July 1998, available
at, http://www.scotland. the total cost of the project’.314 Moreover, the Divine Presence]
gov.uk/news/releas98_2/pr1540. since building work was completed, the Author: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz
htm. Last accessed 10 July
2007. mosque claims to have benefited from the Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
317 ‘Official visits to the ‘unceasing patronage’ of Prince (now King) Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Edinburgh Central Mosque’,
Edinburgh Central Mosque,
Abdullah and Dr. ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abd al- This book claims to be, ‘A Gift from the
available at, http://www.discov- Muhsin al-Turki, the current Secretary- Servant of the Two Sanctuaries [King of Saudi
er-islam.com/col/htm/
gallery/Official%20visits/index.ht
General of the Muslim World League.315 Arabia] on the Occasion of the Opening of
m. Last accessed 10 July 2007. The Mosque and Islamic Centre were King Fahd Mosque and Islamic Centre of
318 ‘Islamic center and mosque opened in July 1998 in a ceremony Edinburgh, Scotland. To be distributed for
opened in Edinburgh, Scotland’,
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, presided over by Henry McLeish, then free, not to be sold’.
Washington D.C., 3 August Minister of State at the Scottish Office.316 Published: 1419 (1998)
1998, available at,
http://www.saudiembassy.net/19 Also present on that occasion were the Language: Arabic
98News/News/IslDetail.asp?cInd
Saudi Arabian Minister of State, Prince This book was also found at al-Manaar
ex=1511. Last accessed 10 July
2007. Abdul Aziz, the Saudi Ambassador, the (The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre,
319 ‘Official visits to the then Secretary of State for Scotland, London) (see pages 31-37); Birmingham
Edinburgh Central Mosque’,
Edinburgh Central Mosque,
Donald Dewar and Eric Milligan, Lord Central Mosque (see pages 105-106);
available at, http://www.discov- Provost of Edinburgh.317 News of the cen- Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith, Birmingham
er-islam.com/col/htm/
gallery/Official%20visits/index.ht tre’s opening was carried on the website of (see pages 107-109); and the Madinah
m. Last accessed 10 July 2007. the Saudi Arabian embassy in the US.318 Mosque, Oxford (see pages 150-153).

148
Edinburgh

This book, written by one of the leading Prophet (pbuh)320, is better than his
Saudi scholars of his day, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin guidance; or that the laws of some
‘Abdullah bin Baz (d. 1999), stands as a state- one else is better than his laws … is
ment of Wahhabite belief. It is essentially a an unbeliever.
theological treatise on belief and faith, in [...]
which the distinction between the true 9. Whoever believes that some people
believer and the non-believer is clarified. Ten have the right not to follow the law of
matters (nawaqid) that invalidate one’s faith Muhammad (pbuh).
are listed within its pages.
The book opens with a discourse on cor- The author provides a list of things that can
rect belief, which is said to come through nullify someone’s faith. He ends with the fol-
faith in God, his angels, his books, his lowing, ruling out any acceptance of secular
prophets, the Day of Judgement, and fate. legal systems:
The author then examines the following
themes: the shahada (the profession of faith); Among those who belong in section
God as the Creator; God’s names and attrib- four (above) are those who believe
utes; belief in angels; belief in the prophets; that the statutes and laws which the
belief in the finality of Muhammad (as the masses (the people) enact are better
last prophet); belief in the Last Day; and than the legal system of Islam, or
belief in fate. Faith in God is said to involve that the Islamic system does not fit
love for Muslims and hatred of unbelievers. readily within the twentieth century,
The Sunnis are held up as ‘the Saved Sect’. or that it causes divisions among the
Marxism is described as a dangerous false- Muslims, or that it is confined to the
hood. The author also condemns Sufism relationship between a man and his
alongside long extinct Muslim sects like the Lord without playing any part in other
Jahmiyya and Mu‘tazila. Stress is laid on the aspects of his life. In section four too
need to worship God alone, and on the you will find those who think that
means available for defeating the enemies of enforcement of God’s decree in cut
Islam. ting off the hand of the thief or ston
In the following passage, the author ing the proven adulterer does not suit
declares that by obeying human laws, over the present age. In the same catego
and above God’s injunctions, a Muslim ry we also find those who believe it is
becomes an apostate and therefore liable to permitted to judge by something
the death penalty: other than the law of God, whether in
everyday matters or crimes or any
… The scholars have mentioned that a thing else, even if they do not think
person may become apostate for many that doing so is better than judging
reasons which can nullify his faith. These according to the shari’ah. This is
reasons would make someone’s blood because they have thus made per
permissible to spill [to be killed for apos missible what God has forbidden in
tasy] and his wealth permissible to be all things; and anyone who permits
usurped, because he is no longer a what God has forbidden, of what is
Muslim. We will mention some of the known of the religion by necessity,
worst and the most prevalent causes for such as fornication and drinking alco
turning someone into an apostate hol and usury, and judging by any 320. Pbuh is an abbreviation of
[…] thing but God’s law – such a person the English formula ‘Peace be
upon him’, the standard form
4. Whoever believes that the guidance is an unbeliever by the general agree appended to Muhammad’s
brought by someone other than the ment of all Muslims. name.

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Southern England

Madinah Mosque (The ‘Stanley This book was also found at Al-Manaar
Road Mosque’), Oxford (The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre,
London) (see pages 31-37); the Islamic
Address: 2 Stanley Road, Oxford OX4 1G Centre of Edinburgh (see pages 148-149);
Telephone: 01865 243 142 Birmingham Central Mosque (see pages
Email: n/a 102-106); and Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-
Website: n/a Hadith, Birmingham (see pages 107-109).
Charity Commission Registration No.: n/a
Local MP: Rt. Hon Andrew Smith (Labour) This book, written by one of the leading
Local Authority: Oxfordshire County Council; Oxford Saudi scholars of his day, ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin
City Council ‘Abdullah bin Baz (d. 1999), stands as a
Affiliations: Unknown statement of Wahhabite belief. It is essen-
tially a theological treatise on belief and
faith, in which the distinction between the
Points of Interest true believer and the non-believer is clari-
fied. Ten matters (nawaqid) that invalidate
The ‘Stanley Road Mosque’ was founded in one’s faith are listed within its pages.
Oxford in 1984.321 Attached to Oxford’s The book opens with a discourse on cor-
Madinah Mosque is the Muslim Welfare rect belief, which is said to come through
House. Since 2001, the mosque has been faith in God, his angels, his books, his
one of six ‘incident reporting centres’ set up prophets, the Day of Judgement, and fate.
by the police to report racist attacks.322 In The author then examines the following
May 2005, the Oxford Mail reported the themes: the shahada (the profession of faith);
outcome of a seven year internal dispute over God as the Creator; God’s names and attrib-
who should control and run the mosque.323 utes; belief in angels; belief in the prophets;
belief in the finality of Muhammad (as the
last prophet); belief in the Last Day; and
Material found here included: belief in fate. Faith in God is said to involve
love for Muslims and hatred of unbelievers.
24A. Al-‘aqida al-sahiha wa ma The Sunnis are held up as ‘the Saved Sect’.
yudaduha, wa risalat al-ma‘iyya Marxism is described as a dangerous false-
[Correct beliefs, what opposes hood. The author also condemns Sufism
them, along with the treatise of alongside long extinct Muslim sects like the
the Divine Presence] Jahmiyya and Mu‘tazila. Stress is laid on the
Author: ‘Abdul ‘Aziz bin ‘Abdullah bin Baz need to worship God alone, and on the
Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs, means available for defeating the enemies of
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Islam.
This book claims to be, ‘A Gift from the In the following passage, the author
Servant of the Two Sanctuaries [King of declares that by obeying human laws, over
Saudi Arabia] on the Occasion of the and above God’s injunctions, a Muslim
321. ‘Worshippers suffer split’,
Oxford Mail, 9 July 2004. Opening of King Fahd Mosque and Islamic becomes an apostate and therefore liable to
322. ‘Six racial incident centres Centre of Edinburgh, Scotland. To be dis the death penalty:
set up in city’, Oxford Mail, 9
tributed for free, not to be sold’
October 2001.

323. ‘Mosque Court battle ends’,
Published: 1419 (1998) … The scholars have mentioned that a
Oxford Mail, 9 May 2005. Language: Arabic person may become apostate for many

150
Southern England

reasons which can nullify his faith. These because they have thus made permis
reasons would make someone’s blood sible what God has forbidden in all
permissible to spill [to be killed for apos things; and anyone who permits what
tasy] and his wealth permissible to be God has forbidden, of what is known
usurped, because he is no longer a of the religion by necessity, such as
Muslim. We will mention some of the fornication and drinking alcohol and
worst and the most prevalent causes for usury, and judging by anything but
turning someone into an apostate God’s law – such a person is an unbe
[…] liever by the general agreement of all
4. Whoever believes that the guidance Muslims.
brought by someone other than the
Prophet (pbuh)324, is better than his 24B. Tanbihat ‘ala ahkam takhussu
guidance; or that the laws of some bi’l-mu’minat [Warnings regard-
one else is better than his laws … is ing laws related to believing
an unbeliever. women]
[...] Author: Saleh Bin alFouzan
9. Whoever believes that some people Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
have the right not to follow the law of The Kingdom Saudi Arabia
Muhammad (pbuh). Published: 1419 (1998)
Language: Arabic
The author provides a list of things that can This book was also found at Birmingham
nullify someone’s faith. He ends with the fol- Central Mosque (see pages 102-106); the
lowing, ruling out any acceptance of secular Salafi Mosque, Birmingham (see pages
legal systems: 110-117)

Among those who belong in section In this volume, published by the Saudi
four (above) are those who believe that Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the carefully
the statutes and laws which the mass delineated gender roles for the separate
es (the people) enact are better than sexes are outlined. The author, Saleh Bin
the legal system of Islam, or that the al-Fouzan, is a member of the Saudi
Islamic system does not fit readily Council of Senior Religious Clerics, the
within the twentieth century, or that it Fiqh Committee of the Muslim World
causes divisions among the Muslims, League, the Permanent Committee of
or that it is confined to the relationship Jurists, and the Committee for the
between a man and his Lord without Supervision of Missionaries, and the
playing any part in other aspects of his Permanent Committee for Islamic
life. In section four too you will find Research and Fatwas.
those who think that enforcement of Here he provides an exposition on the
God’s decree in cutting off the hand of various laws relating to women including:
the thief or stoning the proven adulter the place of women in Islam; how to treat
er does not suit the present age. In the one’s hair and eyebrows; teeth (there
same category we also find those who should be no gaps); tattooing (which is
believe it is permitted to judge by forbidden); and menstruation and child-
something other than the law of God, birth (including prohibitions on facing
324. Pbuh is an abbreviation of
whether in everyday matters or crimes Mecca or touching the Qur’an during the English formula ‘Peace be
or anything else, even if they do not these periods, because of ritual ‘uncleanli- upon him’, replacing the Arabic
Sala’llah ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘May
think that doing so is better than judg ness’). In addition, there are injunctions God bless him and give him
ing according to the shari’ah. This is on: clothing and veiling; rules affecting a peace’.

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woman’s prayers; the preparation of dead it is clear that a large range of occupations
women for burial; fasting; performing pil- are forbidden:
grimage (hajj and ‘umra); marriage (the
ethos being that a woman’s work is in the Those Muslims who have a sickness
house); the obedience of a wife to her in their hearts, they want the woman
husband (which is deemed compulsory to be cheap merchandise, in the mar
and she is forbidden from rebelling); ketplace of the people of lowly
divorce; widowhood; and laws that pro- desires and satanic tendencies, to be
tect a woman’s honour. uncovered merchandise in front of
As the following passage reflects, al- their eyes, where they can enjoy her
Fouzan believes there are to be clear limits beauty or even do with her what is
to what a woman can do, which emphasise worse.
that her position, first and foremost,
should be in the home: That is why they wish that she left the
house to join the men, to be with them
We do not forbid a woman to do side by side in their jobs; to serve men
things outside her house, provided this as a nurse in the hospital, as a flight
is in conformity with the following attendant, as a student, as a teacher in
rules: a coed school, as an actress in the
theatre, or as a singer and announcer in
1. She must have a need to do these the different media outlets, unveiled and
things (or society must need them seductive through her voice and
to be done), provided no man can appearance. The pornographic maga
be found to do them. zines are using the pictures of seductive
2. This must be done after she has naked girls, as a means to sell and pro
completed her housework, which is mote their magazines. Some merchants
her basic work. and factories also use these pictures to
3. This work must stay within her limi sell their merchandise; they put these
tations, such as teaching women, pictures on their merchandise and
or doctoring or sicknursing products.
women, and (must take place) in
segregation from men. Because of this false way of doing
4. Thus, there is no prohibition – things, the woman quits her real job in
indeed it is a duty for women – to the house. She forces her husband to
teach their religion, and there is no hire foreign servants to raise their chil
prohibition on her teaching those dren, and organise their home affairs,
matters of her religion for which she which causes lots of problems and
has a need. The teaching must be brings great evil.
done among women. There is no
harm in her attending classes at the Beyond this, al-Fouzan emphasises that
mosque or somewhere similar, but women are forbidden from driving in a car
she must stay hidden and be kept with a man (as in a taxi) or attending a
away from men. male doctor:

Elsewhere, al-Fouzan reserves considerable A woman riding in a car with a man
antipathy for women who decide to take unchaperoned is an obvious blamewor
up any work outside the home; and if she thy act... It entails many corruptions
should succeed in attaining employment, which cannot be taken lightly. A man

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Southern England

who accepts his women to do this is of the most important aspects of western
not a real man and his faith is weak. civilisation:
[…]
Some women and some of their … listening to music, singing and for
guardians take the matter of women bidden instruments which distract the
visiting male doctors lightly; they use heart from the Qurán and makes it [the
the excuse of their need for treat heart] intent on deviation and disobe
ment. This is a grave sin, and a great dience … it is a recipe for homosexu
danger … ality and fornication. Through it the
lover gets his utmost desire (sexual
In addition, the following ruling declares intercourse) from his beloved … As for
that listening to singing can turn women women who listen to music, it is of the
into prostitutes. Here, what amounts to an greatest forbidden acts, and most cor
obsession with music solely as a path to rupting of religion … how many
‘homosexuality and fornication’ acts as a women became prostitutes because
bar to Muslims taking a fuller part in one they listened to singing.

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The hijacking of British Islam

Muslim Education Centre (MEC), Material found here included
High Wycombe
25A. Women Who Deserve to Go to
Address: Muslim Education Centre, Totteridge Hell
Drive, High Wycombe HP13 6UH Author: Mansur Abu’l Hakim
Telephone: 01494 522 786 Publisher: DarulIshaat
Email: afridi45@otmail.com Published: 2004
Website: n/a Language: English
Charity Commission Registration No.: 1076268 This book was also found at the East
Local MP: Paul Goodman MP (Conservative) London Mosque (see pages 38-50).
Local Authority: Buckinghamshire County
Council, Wycombe District Council This short study, published by the Karachi
Affiliations: Unknown based Darul-Ishaat publishing house, is
available in the UK from the Azhar
Academy Ltd book suppliers. It is an
Points of Interest English translation of an eschatological
book in Arabic and deals with different
The Muslim Education Centre (MEC) in kinds of conduct that are said to lead
High Wycombe is run by the Markaz ud- women to hell. The book is dedicated to
Dawah, which registered with the charity every Muslim woman and is divided into
commission in 1999.325 three chapters. Chapter one explains that
Elsewhere, this is described as the home most of the inhabitants of hell are women,
325. ‘Markaz ud-Dawah’, Extract of the ‘Wycombe Deoband Mission’.326 and gives details of their types (see below).
from the Central Register of
Charities, available at, And there are clear links between the MEC Chapter two is a Dante’s Inferno style tour
http://www.charity- and the Deobandi movement. The Centre of hell and its inmates. Chapter three
commission.gov.uk/registered-
charities/showcharity.asp?rem- has previously played host to lectures from, recounts the fate of ‘historical’ women who
char=&chyno=1076268.
amongst others, Sheikh Mawlana Hafiz went to hell, such as Noah’s wife, Lot’s
326. ‘Sala@m – The Muslim por-
tal for jobs, shopping, notices,
Hasan Ali, a Deobandi cleric based at wife, Umm Jamil (a pagan woman of the
news, education, knowledge’, Dewsbury’s Darul Uloom seminary.327 Prophet’s time), Salome and Herodias
available at, http://www.salaam
.co.uk/mosques/search-
In August 2006, it was reported that five (‘Salume and Hirodiya’). The book claims
mosque.php?orgcode=10612. men arrested in connection with the alleged its purpose is to awaken women to reality,
327. See, for instance, airline plot were believed to have wor- serving as a ‘guiding light in this difficult
‘Judgement Day’, Muslim Eye –
UK Islamic Events & Notices, shipped at the Muslim Education Centre.328 hour of trial and during the great signs of
available at, http://www.muslim-
In response to those arrests, the Centre put the Last Hour, that we have observed with
eye.net/islamic-events-
080705.htm; its name to a statement (along with several our eyes’, so they may be ‘cautions [sic] and
328. Dominic Kennedy & other organisations) that was released in the not misled by mischievous promise of a
Hannah Devlin, ‘Disbelief and
shame in community of divided
name of the Muslim community in the area. liberated life’.
faith’, The Times, 19 August It condemned any illegal acts that had been In this kind of literature, stereotypes of
2006, available at,
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ committed and stressed that ‘the Muslim women and female behaviour abound. A
tol/news/uk/article613756.ece. community is an integral part of British soci- well-known Prophetic Tradition (Hadith)
329. ‘Statement of High ety and the actions of a few, should not be says: ‘I looked at Hell and saw that the
Wycombe Muslims’, Wycombe
Islamic Society, 10 August 2006, allowed to jeopardise this’.329 majority of its inhabitants were women’.
available at, http://www.wise-
web.org/wise/pdf/STATE-
Furthermore, the local MP, Paul The author relates this here as an illustra-
MENTOFHIGHWYCOMBEMUS- Goodman, stated at the time, ‘I’ve been to the tion of female deficiency:
LIMS.pdf?PHPSESSID=264ce52
53dfb71dcdaac7a213472fed7.
centre twice by invitation. My experience of it
330. Sitala Peek, ‘MP defends
has been positive. When I last went, children The Prophet found that most of its
Muslim centre against extremism were specifically being instructed in relation [hell’s] dwellers are women. He said to
claims’, This is Local London, 31
August 2006. to growing up as good British citizens’.330 an assembly of women, ‘Accustom

154
Southern England

yourselves to give charity even if you boasted that they had converted many
have to give your jewellery because to atheism.
you outnumber men in Hell. You curse
too much and show ingratitude to your As to how women can avoid hell, the book
husband. And I have not seen anyone contains various prescriptions that they
as deficient in religion and in intelli must follow if they are to save themselves.
gence as women yet they gain an Foremost among these is the demand that
upparhand [sic] over men. women should veil themselves. Not veiling
properly is said to negate the value of all
Furthermore, the women in hell are said to the other good deeds of Islam – and to
fall into several categories, as follows: endanger both the woman concerned and
her male ‘guardian’:
Some Kinds of Women Who Will Go
to Hell [Women who uncover some portions
of their bodies and cover others…]
1. The Grumbler This kind of woman lays claim to piety
… the woman who complains though she neglects the veil. We read
against her husband every now and in the foregoing Hadith that neglect of
then is one of Hell. the veil effaces [sic] the advantage of
[…] pious deeds like fasting, prayer, Hajj,
2. The Woman Who Adorns Herself Umrah,331 zikr332 and others. In fact, the
[…] guardian of a woman who does not
3. The Woman Who Apes Men, cover her body is also a fleshpedlar
Tattoos, Cuts Hair Short and Alters [sic] who will not be admitted to
Nature. Paradise on whose gates will be
[…] inscribed, ‘Cuckolds are disallowed
4. Women Who Kill Animals and Birds entry.’ A cuckold is one who does not
There are women who are careless in insist on modesty of his wife. What
looking after pets. They neither feed can be more immodest for a man than
them nor allow them to look for their to let his wife move about unveiled?
food themselves.
Just as not veiling cancels out all pious acts,
Elsewhere, the feminist movement is disobedience to one’s husband has the
derided, with the author explaining that it same effect:
was the creation of Jews and Christians in
order to lead Muslim women astray: If a woman obeys her husband, offers
salah333 five times a day, keeps fast in
In the beginning of the twentieth cen Ramadan, observes what Allah has
tury, a movement for the freedom of enjoyed and forbidden then by Allah’s
women was launched with the basic will she will enter paradise.
objective of driving women towards
aberrant ways. This was patronised by On the other hand, she who is dis 331. The ‘umra is a lesser pil-
grimage to Mecca, distinct from
Jews and Christians who made known obedient to her husband will enter the hajj.
that their ambition was to lead astray Hell even if she is careful about salah, 332. Zikr (more correctly, dhikr)
the aliens [sic] who were very devoted fasting, and other duties to Allah. A is remembrance of God through
chanting and reciting.
to their religion so that they keep away woman’s entry into Paradise is
333. i.e. the obligatory prayer to
from their religion and feel shy to dependent on her husband’s pleas be said and performed five times
a day.
describe its salient features. They ure.

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The hijacking of British Islam

25B. Twenty Lessons for Muslim And while there, a woman’s top priority is
Women to be keeping her husband happy:
Compiler: Maulana Muhammad Aashiq Elahi
Publisher: Private Publisher, Karachi The Prophet said: ‘You [women] curse
Published: 2000 a lot and are not obliging to your hus
Language: English bands.[‘] In another Tradition the
Prophet commanded that a woman is
This is a short, but very detailed assort- mostly ungrateful even if her husband
ment of teachings and rulings. It is part of has been gentle for a long time and
a series that aims to provide ‘teaching for disregards him for trivial displeasure.
women’ in the hope that it will ‘help to The Prophet also said: ‘Allah will not
uplift the know how of the basic require- look towards a woman (due to His
ments of the religion’. Divided into 24 anger) who is ungrateful to her hus
chapters, subjects include: prayer; band, although she is dependent on
supererogatory prayers; alms-tax (zakat) him.[‘]
with detailed rulings on how many grams Some women curse a lot, often use
of gold or silver are payable under which abusive language to others, has [sic] ill
circumstances; the hajj pilgrimage; the feelings for others as if Allah wishes to
fast of Ramadan; retreats (i‘tikaf); learn- seek her advice.334
ing and teaching Islam; a list of 45 books
found to be useful for this last purpose; In terms of dress, meanwhile, the author
rearing and educating children; remem- asserts that Muslim women should not
brance of God; human rights; public serv- wear the dress of unbelievers, or adopt the
ice; rights of and obedience to parents; Hindu style of wearing a sari:
the rights of husbands; the rights of
neighbours; sincerity of intention; control Further the Muslim women of the
of speech (lies, tale-bearing, singing, present age imitate infidel women and
back-biting all are forbidden); lawful the dress which these ladies
food; dress and ornaments (including the (Christians, Hindus etc.) wear.
‘different aspects of being naked though Remember, to wear the dress of aliens
fully dressed’); the veil; injunctions that is a grave sin…. If a sari (hindu dress)
women should not see men (‘even a blind is worn it should be long enough and
person’); that women should remain in the allied clothes should also be such
the house; on the reformation of society that no part of the body is bare. These
(through avoidance of short stories, nov- days the style of wearing Sari is such
els, radio, TV, theatres, and cinemas); that a woman’s bare back and a por
enjoining the right and forbidding the tion of the stomach can vividly be
wrong. seen. This is a vice and even your
In this excerpt, the author emphasises brother or father should not see these
that a woman should stay in the house: parts of the body.

Women should remain in the house: On another subject, it is apparently not
The Prophet has said: ‘A woman enough to condemn listening to secular
should be kept behind the curtains, if music. Even listening to recordings of
she comes out of it, the Satan follows Qur’an recitation is ‘an insult’:
her.’ This Hadith indicates that women
334. The meaning of this last
phrase is unclear, due to the
should be kept away from men. The If one has a Radio, listen [to] the News
poor quality of the English. Satan keeps misleading them. or Religious programmes. Avoid listen

156
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ing to music and other rubbish relayed Britain. This is followed by a chapter on
to corrupt the society….Two or three the social position of ‘Western Women’
decades ago there used to be an today, in the course of which consideration
appliance which was known as is only given to negative isues, including
Gramophone on which Records were abortion, rape, marriage, divorce, single
played. The Records were mostly of parents, health problems, alcoholism,
music or of the Recitation of Qur’an. smoking, and pornography. Chapter 3
To listen to such Records of recitation takes up the subject of Muslim women,
is an insult of the Holy Book. covering the ‘spiritual equality’ of the sexes
under Islam, as well as Islamic marriage,
The musical heritage of Muslims from a motherhood, polygamy, divorce, modesty,
Sufi or related background is likewise con- and economics. The last chapter is a criti-
demned: cal but quite well-informed survey of the
feminist movement, based on western
The kind Prophet has said: ‘that I have studies and it covers Marxist, liberal, and
been sent by Allah as merciful and a radical forms of feminism, sexual libera-
Reformer of all the worlds and Allah tion and ‘the Tyranny of Beauty’ (citing
has ordered me to destroy all the Naomi Wolf ). In addition, there is a bibli-
musical Instruments, the Cross ography and a glossary.
(respected by Christians) and the roots In the following passage, the author out-
of illiteracy. Alas, the claimants of love lines strict regulations governing men and
for the Prophet have engaged them women:
selves vehemently with music.
Surprisingly they listen [to] the praise The free mixing of men and women
of the Prophet through couplets on from the time they become sexually
musical instruments. The musical aware to the time they are no longer
instruments which the Prophet came sexually active is prohibited. On the
to destroy are used for his praise. face of it, this may appear rather
harsh, but if we examine the effects of
25C. Islam: the choice of thinking unrestricted contact between the
women sexes, the person who is blessed with
Author: Ismail Adam Patel understanding and insight will soon
Publisher: Ta Ha Publishers, London see the wisdom behind this restriction.
Published: 1997 Today, in the Western world, every
Language: English type of crime that results from free
mixing of the sexes is on the increase.
The author of this volume is a member of
the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). The Elsewhere, the total covering of women is
book aims to ‘clarify what is arguably the taken to confer dignity and independence
most frequently discussed aspect of my on them:
faith: the position of women in Islam’. It
seeks to provide a ‘positive understanding The main aim of hijab [total covering
of why women are embracing Islam in of a woman] is to restrain individuals
increasing numbers’, and claims that out of of the opposite sex from being unduly
every ten ‘new’ Muslims, seven are women. attracted to one another. However,
The book is divided into four chapters. hijab has numerous secondary
It starts by offering a ‘cross-cultural per- advantages that bring benefits to
spective’ that goes from ancient Greece to women. It gives women their own

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identity and their own sphere, which The following passage comes from a dis-
exists parallel to that of men. Women cussion about the nature of jihad and mar-
are thus freed from the strain of tyrdom:
Westernstyle social pressure in
which women are expected to look Q. We hear a lot of talk about Jihad
impeccable and sexually attractive at these days, like the Afghanistan
all times, and they are relieved of the Jihad, the Kashmir Jihad. Then, we
‘necessity’ of spending large amounts have the proliferation of shaheeds
of time and money in visiting beauty [martyrs] in our society with political
parlours and applying chemicals, parties and activist groups claiming
lotions, potions and scents to their shahadah [martyrdom] for those dead
bodies for the purposes of gratifying from among their ranks. All this is
men. Above all, it allows Muslim very confusing. We seem to have lost
women to have an identity, an ability the yardstick which could help us
to express their personality and intel distinguish between Jihad or bilateral
lect of their own, independently of hostility, shahadah or natural or
men’s whims and desires. crimeoriented death and straight
selfruination. Please help us with
25D. Contemporary Fatawa your advice.
Author: Justice Mufti Muhammad Taqi
Usmani A. The first subject requires a larger
Publisher: Azhar Academy, London frame of discussion where we have to
Published: 1999 determine what becomes Jihad, and
Language: English when, and what conditions are binding
therein.… As for Shahadah, the rule is
This is a lengthy collection of contempo- that one who lays down his life fighting
rary fatwas, in which the author in the way of Allah is Shaheed.
responds to questions on various aspects
of shari’ah. Part of these were posed by As for the ‘proper’ behaviour for women,
readers of the English language monthly the author draws on familiar restrictive
journal, Albalagh International, which is themes that have appeared elsewhere in
produced by the Darul Uloom in this report. For instance, women may not
Karachi. The author, Justice Usmani, shake hands with male strangers:
previously sat for 20 years as a shari’ah
judge in Pakistan’s Supreme Court and is Q. Muslim women living in Western
one of the most prominent Deobandi countries have to shake hands with
clerics.335 The book is introduced by M. male strangers who sometimes visit
S. Omar, writing on ‘The Islamic their offices or schools. Similarly there
Message’ and the ‘Principles of Fatwa’. are occasions when Muslim men get
There then follow eight chapters giving into nogo situation when they have to
religious rulings on a vast range of sub- shake hands with female strangers. In
jects. These include: obligatory prayer; the event of a refusal to do so, the likeli
335. He was the focus of much
alms-tax; fasting; the hajj and ‘umra pil- hood of harm coming from them is not
of the recent research done by
The Times into the activities of grimages; family law; economics; inheri- that remote. Does the Shari’ah of Islam
the Deobandi movement in the
UK. See, for instance, Andrew
tance and religious endowments (waqf, permit a handshake in this situation?
Norfolk, ‘Our followers ‘must live pl. awqaf); the duties of women; bank-
in peace until strong enough to
wage jihad’’, The Times, 8
ing; conversion, translating the Qur’an, A. Women shaking hands with male
September 2007. jihad; and martyrdom. strangers and men shaking hands with

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female strangers is not permissible ment without a Mahram is not per
under any circumstances. This position missible.
is fully supported by clear statements
in the noble Ahadith and all jurists con 25E. Aqaaidul Islam [Beliefs in Islam]
cur on this being impermissible. Author: Moulana Idris Khandelvi
Publisher: None listed
And a woman may not travel alone, even if Published: 2001
she has a serious, or important reason for Language: English
doing so:
This book offers a straightforward run-
Q. Many Muslim women travel to dis through of ‘the original [beliefs] of the
tant countries for education or employ Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat’, aiming to fight
ment. They neither have a legal that which is ‘fabricated’ and ‘fallacious’ in
Mahram336 with them nor do they have the present era. The author is a Deobandi
female acquaintance on the trip. What cleric from Pakistan, who was at the Darul
is the ruling of the Shari’ah under this Uloom in Karachi for many years. He is
situation? Is it permissible for them to also a descendant of Maulana Muhammad
travel alone? Ilyas Khandelvi, the man who established
the Tablighi Jamaat movement. Here, the
A…. there is a report… that the Holy author outlines what he understands to be
Prophet said: the basic beliefs, covering God, prophet-
‘Let no woman travel for more than hood, angels, heavenly books, the Day of
three days (being the equivalent of 48 Judgement, the Hereafter, the
miles in accordance with legally cov Companions of the Prophet, faith, Islam,
ered distance) unless her husband or unbelief, the Caliphate, and Islamic gov-
her Mahram is with her.’ ernment.
As the following passage illustrates, the
In the hadith quoted above, women author lays the basis for the overthrow of a
have been clearly forbidden from trav government not deemed sufficiently
elling alone. The majority of jurists Islamic. Furthermore, democratic govern-
have based their arguments on this ments are singled out as un-Islamic:
very hadith when they ruled that trav
elling without a legally recognised For a government to be classified as
Mahram is not permissible even when an Islamic government, this condition
intending to perform the obligation of is added that it must openly profess
Hajj. Compared to this, education and and proclaim that it Mazhab [religion] is
employment are objectives not that Islaam.337 It is not not sufficient to be
crucial, for Muslim women have not regarded as a Muslim country if the
been obligated to fulfil such needs. ruler is a Muslim. The mazhab (rules of
This is because the Shari’ah of Islam the government)338 of that country 336. A mahram is a man who
cannot marry a woman (her
itself place the responsibility of a must be declared Islaamic. Until the father, brothers or sons) and is,
therefore, not considered a sex-
woman’s total maintenance on her government does not declare that it is
ual risk to her.
father before her marriage, and on Islaamic, i.e. it rules in accordance to
337. The use of double aa, ee,
her husband after the marriage, and the Laws of the Shari’ah, then such a oo etc. is typical of Salafi publi-
cations.
has not allowed women to leave the government is not classified as an
338. An unusual definition of
house without some urgent or press Islaamic government. mazhab (madhhab). The term is
ing need. Therefore, this mode of Like nowadays, we have the glut of mainly used for the four main
law schools of Sunni Islam and
travelling for education and employ national, democratic, etc. govern the main schools of Shia Islam.

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The hijacking of British Islam

ments. Such governments are not the only religion adaptable to modern
Islaamic governments. Those govern ideas); a critique of the (progressive)
ments that do not give preference to Pakistan Institute of Islamic Research
the Law of Allaah Ta’la [God the (then headed by the liberal academic
Exalted] and they say they are a gov Fazlur Rahman); a critique of new inter-
ernment for the people by the people pretations of Islam; a further attack on
(National governments, etc.), such modernists (including those who tried to
governments are not Islaamic govern take the task of Qur’an and Hadith inter-
ments, but they are rather govern pretation out of the monopoly of the
ments of kufr [unbelief]. Muslim religious scholars); science and
The Khalifah [Caliph] of Islam is the Islam; and space exploration (money
deputy of Nabi Muhammad [the would be better spent on curing problems
Prophet Muhammad]… As the deputy on earth). The book ends with a discourse
of NabieKareem [the Noble on aggressive and defensive jihad (both
Prophet], he is supposed to rule deemed to be permissible today).
strictly according to the Shari’ah. If Realisation of the dual nature of moder-
any country professes by tongue only nity results less in a rejection of its more
that they are a Muslim country, but brutal effects than its moral outrages.
they consult with irreligious people These are not always well understood. The
and implement such laws and benefits of modernity are understood in
statutes that are against the Qur’an, material terms (and are deemed accept-
Sunnat [Sunna] and the Ijma [consen able), but there is little understanding of
sus] of the Ummat [Muslim communi the real nature of Enlightenment values
ty], then such a government is a gov and progress in areas like human rights,
ernment of hypocrisy. The leaders of democracy, women’s rights, and other less
such governments are very akin to material benefits.
the kuffaar [unbelievers]…
Such leadership is poisonous to the However, in its own sphere it remains
[religion] of Islaam. It is Fardh [fard: a a reality that whereas modernity has
duty], according to the Shari’ah and elevated man’s material status to great
rational reasoning, to vehemently heights, given him newer inventions
oppose and thwart such a govern and provided him with better means of
ment, provided one has the surety a comfort and ease in life, it has, at the
good possibility to establish another same time, caused man to suffer from
proper Islaamic government after the many depravities and led him to many
removal of the deviant one. disastrous ends. It is due to the same
modernity that human history is full of
25F. Islam and Modernism Pharaohs and Shiddads339 who were
Author: Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani not contented with any limit of power
Publisher: DarulIshaat, Karachi and authority. Their lust for authority
Published: 1995 took them to the extent of claiming
Language: English deification to them [sic]. The same
modernity gave birth to Hitler and
This is another book by the prominent Massolini [sic] whose ever increasing
Deobandi cleric, Justice Muhammad Taqi urge for ever expanding territorial
339. Shiddad or Shaddad was
the king of the city ‘Iram of the Usmani. This volume covers a variety of boundaries demanded a new piece of
Pillars’, mentioned in the Qur’an.
topics: Islam and modernity; Islam and the land every day. It is the same moderni
His adventures are recounted in
the Thousand and One Nights. Industrial Revolution (Islam is held to be ty that has engulfed the whole world in

160
Southern England

the tornado of nudity and obscenity, getic attitude [sic] simply for the objec
and has provided an excuse for forni tions coming from nonMuslims. No
cation, and more so it has led, under single person has ever been forced to
thunder claps to the passage of a bill accept Islam nor is it permitted, other
in the British House of Commons to wise the Islamic institution of ‘Jizyah’342
legalise homosexuality. It is in the would have been meaningless.
shadow of the same modernity that Muslims’ sword [sic] has, however,
Western women are openly displaying been raised to established the grandeur
banners on the street demanding of Islam. If anybody wants to stay in the
legalisation of abortion. And it is the darkness of disbelief, he may do so,
same modernity which is providing but the rule of Allah must prevail in the
argument for justifying marriage with world created by Him. Muslims wage
true sister, daughters and other blood Jehad to raise the name of Allah and to
relations.340 subdue His rebels. Why should we feel
shy in expressing this fact before peo
Despite his seeming moderation, the same ple whose entire history is full of blood
author has a positive view of jihad in the shed [sic] for colonialism, and who have
modern age. The following passages are massacred millions of people simply to
from a correspondence with Sayyid Badr satisfy their lust and greed.’
al-Salam, living in Jeddah. The first section
is from Badr al-Salam’s letter: I wish to make two submissions to
you about this critique. Firstly in my
… my view is that the real job of opinion it is wrong to deduce from [a
Muslims is preaching of Islam through previous citation] that […] only defen
out the world rather than attaining a sive Jehad [sic] is permissible, while
power for total elimination of unbeliev he has also written that ‘Jehad is the
ers from the earth and establishing an name of protection of self determina
Islamic State everywhere (which is the tion’ which can include every offen
view of Moulana Moududi) [sic]. 341
sive Jehad. Moualana Thanavi
However attempts (through Aggressive [Thanvi] has stated:
Jehad) [sic] must be made against
hostile and noncompromising non ‘Jehad is meant to defend Islam and
Muslim states to subdue them in order protect self determination…. With this
to be safe from their mischiefs. it should not be thought that initiative
You [Usmani] have commented, for Jehad should not be taken. The
‘From these sentences it appears that purpose of an initiative itself is this
only Defensive Jehad [sic] is permissible defense and protection because there
while the real purpose of Jehad is prop is great chance of resistance. It is for
agation of Islam’ which means ‘To checking this resistance that Jehad is
establish the supremacy of Islam and obligated. In short the defense that 340. It is not clear which coun-
try, if any, has proposed such
damage the authority of the infidels’. provides a motive for Jehad is general legislation.
For this purpose taking initiative for [sic] against defense for existing situa 341. Abu al-A’la al Mawdudi.
Jehad is not only permissible but at tion [sic] and defense for anticipated 342. Jizyah is the poll tax
times obligatory and a means for resistance in future.’ payable by Jews and Christians
to Muslim rulers.
reward from Allah. Apart from the [...]
343. Pbuh is an abbreviation of
Qur’an and traditions the entire history Moulana Abdul Shakoor must have the English formula ‘Peace be
Upon Him’, the standard form
of Islam is full of such Jehads. We need been aware of many Aggressive
appended to Muhammad’s
not make excuses and adopt apolo Jehads of the Holy Prophet (PBUH),343 name.

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The hijacking of British Islam

and hence he cannot call such Jehads authority is established in the world, it
as [sic] unlawful. has led to developing a universal feel
[...] ing which forms a greater obstacle
I certainly do not mean that than the greatest legal binding [sic] in
Aggressive Jehad should never be the way of a free propagation of Islam.
done. Rather, I believe that Jehad is
obligatory against hostile, noncom For this reason the most important
promising, nonMuslim states if purpose of Jehad is to break this
Muslims have enough power to carry grandeur so that the resulting psycho
it out, so that their force is broken logical subordination should come to
and they do not obstruct the preach an end and the way of accepting the
ing of Islam. Aggressive Jehad is not Truth become smooth. As long as this
advisable against those nonhostile grandeur and domination persists [sic]
and compromising nonMuslim states the hearts of people will remain sub
who allow preaching of Islam in their dued and will not be fully inclined to
territories particularly these days accept the Religion of Truth. Hence
when territorial subjugation is general Jehad will continue. The Qur’an said:
ly condemned in the world, contrary ‘Fight those who do not believe in God
to the times when capture of land or in the Last Day, who do not forbid
was common. The Aggressive Jehads what God and His Prophet have for
of the major part of Islamic history all bidden, who do not accept the
belong to the same period. However, Religion of Truth, from among those
Muslims must attain their martial who have been given the Book [i.e.
superiority and keep expanding it so Jews and Christians], until they pay
that nonMuslim states remain sub the jizya tax freely and are brought
dued ‘for fear of Jehad’, to say noth low.’
ing of actual Jehad. Here, killing is to continue until the
unbelievers pay Jizyah after they are
In his reply, Usmani takes a much less humbled or overpowered. If the pur
restrictive view of the grounds for fighting pose of killing was only to acquire per
jihad against a non-Muslim state: mission and freedom for preaching
Islam, it would have been said ‘until
[Reply from Usmani] Whatever you they allow for preaching Islam’. But the
have written about Jehad [sic] can be obligation of Jizyah and along with it
summarized as this ‘If a nonMuslim the mention of their subordination is a
state allows for preaching Islam in its clear proof that the purpose is to
country, Jehad against it does not smash their grandeur….
remain lawful.’ If this is what you
mean, my humble self does not agree Do we find an example that the
with it. Obstruction in the way of Prophet (PBUH) and his companions
preaching Islam does not mean only a ever sent any missionary groups in
legal obstacle, but greater power or other countries before Jehad and wait
domination of a nonMuslim state ed for their reaction to allow or disal
against Muslims is by itself a great low the missionary work? …in my
obstacle in the propagation of Islam. humble knowledge there has not been
There are no legal restrictions in most a single incident in the entire history of
of the countries today on preaching Islam where Muslims had shown their
Islam, but since their grandeur and willingness to stop Jehad just for one

162
Southern England

condition that they will be allowed to Publisher: Islamic Book Service, New Delhi
preach Islam freely. On the contrary Published: 2001
the aim of Muslims as declared by Language: English
them in the battle of Qadsia
[Qadisiyya]344 was, ‘To take out people This volume offers a detailed overview of
from the rule of people and put them the laws relating to marriage, with diver-
under the rule of Allah.’ sions to ancient Arabia and Roman law.
[He then quotes his father, Mufti The writer is a Professor of Law, and he
Muhammd Shafi‘ Usmani] ‘… Jehad fills the text with references to Roman rul-
[sic] against the enemies of Islam is ings. However, the text is generally well-
obligatory on Muslims until the danger informed, even if the constant references to
of their mischief or evildoings is over, non-Muslim legal systems make for some
and the domination of Islam is estab complication. There is a general account of
lished over all other religions. Since the Qur’an, the Hadith literature, and the
this will occur only near the end of the founders of the four main law schools
world, the command of Jehad remains (Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki, and Shafi‘i).
till the last day.’ This is followed by a discussion of the legal
Aggressive Jehad is lawful even aspects of Islamic marriage (nikah), invalid
today for the purpose it was lawful in marriages, dowries, and finally, the types of
those days [early Islam]. Its justification divorce.
cannot be veiled only because the As this passage reflects, divorce remains
peaceloving inventors of Atom Bombs the husband’s prerogative:
and Hydrogen Bombs label it as
‘Expansionism’ and resent those who Under the Muslim Law divorce is an
have put the chains of slavery around arbitrary act of a husband and he may
the necks of the people of Asia and divorce his wife at his pleasure with or
Africa. They are still bleeding under without her consent. Divorce may be
those heavy chains. verbal only and no special expressions
are necessary; it suffices, if it denotes
344. A historic battle in 636 at
25G. Woman in Islamic Sharia: Laws a clear intention to dissolve the mar which an Arab army defeated a
large Iranian army, precipitating
of Marriage and Divorce riage and writing is not necessary to
the collapse of the Sassanid
Author: AlHaj MuhammadUllah the legal validity of divorce. Empire.

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The hijacking of British Islam

The M. A. Al-Kharafi Islamic bers of the public in the interest of social
Centre (The Camberley Mosque) welfare and with the object of improving
the conditions of life of those members
Address: 282 London Road, Camberley, Surrey of the public for whom the facilities are
GU15 3JP intended…’
Telephone: 01276 670 717
Email: info@camberleymosque.co.uk In keeping with the second objective here,
Website: http://camberleymosque.co.uk/ the centre offers Saturday afternoon
Charity Commission Registration No.: 1054503 schooling for boys and girls, in English,
Local MP: Michael Gove MP (Conservative) Maths and Science as well as ‘Children’s
Local Authority: Surrey County Council, Surrey Islamic Classes for Learning Quran
Heath Borough Council Recitation and More...’347
Affiliations: MCB

Material found here included:
Points of Interest
26A. Deen-e-Haq [Religious Rights
This institution was previously known as the [in Islam]]
London Road Islamic Centre but has been Author: SheikhAbdur Rahman bin Hamad
renamed in memory of the father of a Kuwaiti AlAmr
businessman whose family is one of the Publisher: Ministry of Islamic Affairs, The
mosque’s main benefactors.345 Now called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
M.A. Al-Kharafi Islamic Centre, it is man- Published: n/a
aged by the Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey Language: Urdu
Bengali Welfare Association. According to the
mosque’s website, ‘Activities are run by the In this text, published by the Saudi
permission of the Bengali Management Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the author pro-
Committee. Almost all of the activities are vides some translations and interpretations
planned, run and organised by members from of Qur’anic verses, together with his own
the Non-Bengali Community members. thoughts and philosophy on the subject of
However the management gives approval to Islamic beliefs and rights, as well as non-
allow those activities based on their own inter- conformist practices.
ests and judgement.’346 In the passage that follows, the author
According to the charity commission asserts the absolute primacy of Islamic law
website, with whom the Berkshire, and claims that any Muslim cannot accept
Hampshire and Surrey Bengali Welfare any decision that runs counter with it,
Association registered in 1996, the associa- without becoming an ‘infidel’:
tion sets as its objectives:
QalmaeShahadat (the verse….’La
a) ‘To advance the Islamic Faith in accor- ilahaillAllah’), when accepted, needs
345. ‘History of the Centre’, dance with the teaching of the Holy to be believed in so that it is known
Camberley Mosque, available at,
Quran and Hadith according to the that governance/administration and
http://www.camberleymosque.c
o.uk/user_pages/page.asp?art_i belief of ahle-sunnant-wal-jamat… creation of judicial law are the domain
d=201/.
b) To advance the education of Bengali of God only and it is not
346. Ibid.
children by the provision of mother acceptable/correct that any human
347. ‘Madrassah for Children’,
Camberley Mosque, available at, tongue classes and English classes being makes any law which is repug
http://www.camberleymosque.c c) To provide facilities for recreation or nant to His Supreme Law. In the same
o.uk/user_pages/page.asp?art_i
d=172. other leisure time occupation of mem- way, it is not correct for any Muslim to

164
Southern England

give a decision against God’s ruling God Almighty has ordained that the
and nor is he supposed to accept any Muslims must use all resources at their
thing contrary to verdicts under Islamic command to face the enemies of God
Law (Shari’ah). So, no one has the so that Islam and Muslims can be
right to call a ‘haram’ (forbidden) as defended and the enemies get scared
‘halal’ (permitted). Any one (doing so) and disillusioned.
will be called a ‘kafir’ (infidel) who […]
repudiates wilfully the Supreme Law or The Muslims are ordained to first invite
finds as acceptable a verdict or ruling the nonbelievers and sinners to
outside the limits of Shari’ah. embrace Islam, and if they refuse to
do so they be asked to pay Islamic
In a further passage, the author emphasis- taxes and honour Islamic laws; and if
es that shar‘ia law is to be taken in its they still refuse to obey, then they are
totality. There can be no compromise on to be wiped out to put an end to their
matters such as the enforcement of capital sins and perpetration of torture so that
punishment, or the cutting off of thieves’ the religion (Islam) of God Almighty
hands: remains supreme.

Those who are critical of Islamic expla 26B. Khwateen Key Makhsoos
nations and Shari’ah compulsions Masayel [The Special Problems
should be mindful of the fact that (He) of Females]
formulated those laws/rules which are Compiler: Saleh Bin alFouzan
not ordinary and bear wisdom and He Publisher: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
is fully knowledgeable of His creations’ The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
ways and conditions. And, at the Published: 2002
same time, He is the one who offers Language: Urdu
mercy and blessings on them. This book was also found at the
Therefore, the relevant punishments Didsbury Mosque in Manchester (see
are imposed by Him as an alternative pages 118-119)
to the sins of Muslim criminals and He
has in this way secured the (Muslim) This Urdu publication issued by the Saudi
society from those and other sins. Ministry of Islamic Affairs – a translation of
Those who object to the (capital) a work by the eminent Saudi cleric, Saleh
punishment of the murderers and dis Bin al-Fouzan – focuses on issues relating to
memberment of hands of thieves are women. He draws on certain verses in the
actually opposed to cutting of the Qur‘an to describe the position of women in
crime whereas if this is not done, the society according to Islam and the behav-
cancer of crime would take roots in ioural dictates that they must follow.
the whole society, which then could be In the following passage, the author
totally destroyed. But, the same peo confirms that polygamy is permitted, even
ple, on the other hand, encourage encouraged under Islamic law:
killings and extreme violence and
spilling of blood for their own conceit With the relationship of marriage, Allah
and motives. made boundaries for a man that he
should have four wives.
Elsewhere, the issue of Muslim relations
with non-Muslims is portrayed in stark In addition, the same volume makes clear
terms: what is expected of a woman once she is

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The hijacking of British Islam

married: her real job is assumed to be in man will cause idleness. Because of
the house and there is a ban on her taking this idleness, these females are step
up any other form of employment: ping out of their houses and working.
Females leaving their homes and
In reality, [allowing women to leave the beginning to work and following in the
home] is the belief of females and the footsteps of men is causing both loss
enemies of humanity. When the female of human values and loss of faith at
leaves the home and works, she this time.
stands equal to males and stands side
by side with them. In this way, those Finally, in this extract he emphasises the
who leave the boundaries of their importance of a woman covering herself
homes give themselves the freedom to and the dangers that are said to arise from
be relieved from the responsibilities of any failure to do so:
the homes. This way they give away
their responsibilities and work [in the As said elsewhere, a lady is a complete
home] to others and they take away woman and it is incumbent on her that
work [outside the home] from others. she keeps herself as much covered as
Because of this, the peace of the fami possible; and, as ordained, she is to
ly and home has been destroyed and remain fearful of shamelessness so that
at the same time the beauty of the she keeps her eyes down; there is no
established understanding between room for any doubt that she is not sup
husband and wife is now gone. It is posed to exploit her (beauty of) eyes
replaced by misunderstanding and dis while being aware of her body that can
tance from each other. This situation easily lead to sacrilege and fights. Every
also causes separation, dilutes home justiceloving man must know of and
life and makes daily life miserable to understand these facts.
live. [...]
[…] In conclusion, I maintain that it is
These uneducated, narrowminded important that men and women believ
unbelievers and the followers of these ers (in Islam) remain committed to the
people believe that the female who dictates of God Almighty:
gets out of the house and works
alongside males has the same rights A Muslim man needs to look down
as men. In this reality, these people respectfully to maintain his selfrespect
have lost belief, faith, and human val as an expression of sanctity as God
ues. On the other hand, very com Almighty is fully aware of whatever a
monly seen example [that women man does. Muslim women too need to
should not work] is that females during look downward respectfully to secure
their menstrual cycle, during pregnan their chastity and cover all body parts,
cy, and during and after childbirth are especially the necklines, except the
unable to perform hard work. If both ones that are uncoverable, and do not
men and women work outside of the expose themselves to any ones but
home then who will take care of the their husbands or their children, broth
children, who will feed the newborns ers, etc. – all close relations  or those
and toddlers, who will cook meals for children who are not required to observe
the males when they come back home purdah (veil), and do not walk so ‘heavi
after work? If you hire a man to do all ly’ that you (women) becomes dis
of this work and pay him then that cernible.

166
Conclusions and policy recommendations

West and Islam. For him, and for thinkers
Conclusions that have followed him, there is no choice
for a Muslim: to be identified 100% with
and policy Islam, or to be named (and quite possibly
be killed) as an apostate. Sheikh ‘Abd Allah
recommendations Yusuf Azzam (d. 1989), for example,
Osama bin Laden’s mentor and one of the
Conclusions founders of modern jihadism, studied with
followers of Qutb and imbibed his thought
Within the literature presented here, a – in particular his concept of a clash of
number of key themes emerge. Four of the civilisations between Islam and the West.
books, for instance, carry either the Arabic The link between the concept of Loyalty
title Al-wala’ wa’l-bara’ or the English and Enmity and the fighting of jihad
equivalent Loyalty and Enmity.348 requires further investigation.
Essentially, this is an ethical position Jihad or holy war is one of the most con-
demanding loyalty to the good and distaste troversial topics in Islam and one that
for the bad. It calls on the individual occurs within the range of material under
Muslim to have feelings of identity with examination here. Some argue that the 348. See, Abdullah Al-tarifi, Al-
wala’ wa’l-‘ada’ fi ‘alaqat al-
his fellow believers and with all that is meaning of the word is ‘struggle’ and that Muslim bi-ghayr al-Muslim
[Loyalty and enmity concerning
authentically Islamic on the one hand, it has merely spiritual implications. Others relations between Muslims and
whilst maintaining abhorrence of all non- claim that the historical record is awash non-Muslims] – collected from
both Al-Manaar (The Muslim
believers, hypocrites, heretics, and all that with examples of physical jihad, some Cultural Heritage Centre),
is not Islamic on the other.349 Across the defensive, some offensive - all of them London and The Office of
Dawaa in Britain, London;
centuries, some Muslim theologians have aimed at the protection or spread of Islam Muhammad Qatani, Al-wala’
argued that believers should not look on as a religio-political force.350. What is sig- wa’l-bara [Loyalty and enmity]
according to the ‘aqeedah
the followers of other religions with any- nificant is that when many of the writers [belief] of the Salaf [Righteous
thing other than contempt. That attitude, mentioned here touch on jihad, they do so Companions] – collected from
the Al-Muntada Al-Islami Trust,
which passes mere indifference and often in a matter of fact way - regarding it as per- London; and Saleh Bin al-
Fouzan, Al-wala and Al-bara in
becomes active hatred, recurs in the docu- fectly normal. Islam [Loyalty and enmity in
ments we have examined. Readers are Another important jihad-related idea Islam] – collected from The
Muslim Student Centre, the
urged to loathe Jews, Christians, and athe- that also occurs within the literature exam- University of Manchester.
ists, are told not to imitate non-Muslims in ined here is that of hijra. Hijra means ‘emi- 349. There is a link between the
their dress or customs, and are admonished gration’, and always carries echoes of the term wala’ and the word awliya’
in a well-known Qur’anic verse:
against westernisation (taghrib). emigration or flight of Muhammad and his ‘O believers. Don’t take the
Why is this so important? Because these companions from Mecca to Medina in the Jews and the Christians for your
friends [awliya’]; they are friends
attitudes lie at the centre of the modern year 622. That emigration came to mark to one another; if any of you
takes one of them for a friend,
hardline, Wahhabite/Salafi version of the beginning of the Islamic calendar
then surely he is one of them;
Islam. Too often it acts as an ideological (which is usually designated by the abbre- surely God does not guide the
people of injustice’ (5:51). Much
bridge to violent jihadism. In the middle viation A.H., for ‘Anno Hegira’, the Year of debate centres on the interpreta-
of the last century, an Egyptian Islamist the Hijra). It also marked the beginning of tion (and translation) of the word
awliya’. Some prefer to render it
thinker, Sayyed Qutb (d.1966) put into a regrouping of Muslim forces in Medina. as ‘guardians’ or ‘trustees’.
vivid language what has remained the Having been hounded out of Mecca by his Others consider it tantamount to
obeying a non-Muslim govern-
extremist worldview. Qutb was deeply con- pagan opponents, Muhammad won con- ment.
cerned by what he saw as a struggle verts and built up an army in Medina, 350. A good introduction to the
concept and its practice, espe-
between true knowledge (i.e. Islam) and which he later used to return to Mecca.
cially in modern times, is
ignorance (all that is non-Islam or anti- The concept of making an emigration, Rudolph Peters’s classic study
Islam and Colonialism: The
Islam). The fullest expression of this strug- therefore, has a long heritage and is Doctrine of Jihad in Modern
gle was, he believed, the war between the extremely common today. It demands that History, (The Hague, 1979).

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The hijacking of British Islam

the believer undergo a literal and spiritual sparked off a nationwide debate. There
withdrawal from the contamination of sur- have been similar controversies over
rounding society. schoolgirls insisting on wearing the jil-
This translates to an attitude of aloof- bab.352 Elsewhere, many human rights
ness from surrounding society, a preference activists are concerned about the preva-
for ghettoization, separation, and conver- lence of female genital mutilation in some
sion. In line with this, many of the extracts Islamic countries and, as an underground
quoted here warn Muslims against making practice, here in the UK.
friends with Jews and Christians, attending Sexuality, broadly defined, remains a
their celebrations, working with them, and great problem. What most causes concern
so on. More generally, there is an insistence for modern western observers are the
on regarding Muslims as the superiors of punishments associated with breaches of
all others. the strict sexual code, leading to floggings
Such views inevitably create practical and executions for adultery or homosexu-
problems for Muslims living in the West. ality in countries that claim to follow
They have to find jobs, their children have strict Islamic law codes such as Iran or
to go to school, they have to negotiate a Saudi Arabia.353 Homosexuality, in partic-
host of daily situations calling for some ular, remains an issue of major difficulty;
sort of accommodation with the West. for as the literature presented here
Most Muslims do that without difficulty; reflects, it continues to be discussed in a
but those who read texts like those present- manner that runs counter both to modern
ed above may find themselves pressurized psychology (which no longer defines it as
not to compromise and to instead to pur- an illness in need of treatment) and legis-
sue entirely separate, purely ‘Islamic’ lives. lation (which no longer treats it as a crim-
Much of western society is deemed sinful, inal offence). It is thus emblematic of the
hateful, out of bounds, inimical to desire to create two parallel spheres of
Muslims. All of this adds up to a level of existence – one ‘Islamic’, the other
negativity that would make life for ‘Western’ – in which two entirely differ-
Muslims in non-Muslim countries barely ent forms of normative behaviour and
liveable; it can also help stimulate a mind- social conduct apply; fuelling a sense of
set rooted in a kind of ‘clash of civilisa- separation and, ultimately, mutual hostil-
351. In 2004, a pan-European
police task force was set up to tions’ approach which sees ‘Islam’ and ‘the ity.
combat ‘honour killings’.
West’ as inherently incompatible. The significance of all this, it is worth
Following on from this, the
Metropolitan Police have also A key area of contention, for instance, emphasising, is not that all of the passages
now opened files going back ten
years, believing many
surrounds the portrayal of Muslim women reproduced here themselves condone or
‘manslaughters’ to have, in fact, in such literature and how their treatment incite terrorism; rather that they provide a
been ‘honour killings’. See, for
example, ‘Europe tackles “hon-
under some Islamic societies differs from cultural hinterland – couched in religious
our killings”‘, BBC News Online, that in western societies - an issue that has terms – into which the minority that is
22 June 2004, available at,
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europ gained growing prominence in recent sympathetic or prone to violence can
e/3828675.stm. times. Currently, for instance, there has move. They inculcate disgust for and sep-
352. See, for example. been much debate over the prevalence (or aration from the ‘kuffar’, creating an ide-
‘Schoolgirl wins Muslim gown
case’, BBC News Online, 2 otherwise) of ‘honour killings’ within sec- ological space that can be exploited by
March 2005, available at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/eng-
tions of Britain’s Muslim community and others. How each individual jihadi arrives
land/beds/bucks/herts/4310545. other minority groups here.351 Last year, at that point is beyond the scope of this
htm.
meanwhile, the challenge posed to women study. But one cannot ignore the testimo-
353. On this phenomenon, see
my article in Middle East
wearing niqabs by the then Commons ny of Deputy Assistant Commissioner
Quarterly, Fall 2006, at: Leader (and now the Secretary of State for Peter Clarke of New Scotland Yard’s
http://www.meforum.org/arti-
cle/1000. Justice and Lord Chancellor) Jack Straw, Counter Terrorism Command - that five

168
Conclusions and policy recommendations

of the publications featured in this report ble progress has been made by the Saudis in
were found by the Metropolitan Police their efforts to close down the export of
during investigations into acts of terror- extremist ideology outside the Kingdom.354
ism since 9/11. Indeed, the Commission received vague and
at times conflicting messages from the
Saudis on the issue of which government
Policy Recommendations department within the Kingdom was
responsible for materials sent abroad. In
1) The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia must come addition, the Commission reported that it
clean about the publication and dissemination was unable to establish whether a formal
of this maaterial abroad - and the British mechanism existed within the Saudi system
Government must demand transparency. for reviewing and revising such materials. As
it observed: ‘There is very little transparency
The shadow of Saudi Arabia falls heavily in the process of textbook revision, curricu-
across these pages. Altering the message lum reform and teacher training efforts.
coming out of certain Islamic institutions Moreover, there is evidence that intolerant
in this country requires a change to the and inflammatory elements remain in text-
input. It is crucial that the root source of book