By Stephen Pollard
February 23, 2010
So you want to set up an inquiry into how an (alleged) Islamist terrorist escaped notice at the your university. Who do you appoint to the panel?
If you're Malcolm Grant, Provost of UCL, and the subject matter is Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's time at UCL, the answer is: the past President of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, an educationalist, an expert in software systems engineering, a former planning solicitor, the Director of Strategy and External Relations for the British Council and a specialist in Pigment Analysis and Ceramic Petrology.
Oh, and yes, you've also asked an expert in Islamism, if by that you mean expert practitioner: Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
As Harry's Place puts it:
Imagine that this was an inquiry into what caused the wannabe neo Nazi bomber, Neil Lewington, to become a terrorist. Would somebody like Nick Griffin be appointed to help the great and good explore why he did it?
Dr Abdul Bari’s career has demonstrated that he is at the very heart of a politics which is close to the extremist and terrorist political parties, Jamaat-e-Islami and Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood. For decades, he has been an office holder in institutions which have promoted a theocratic and jihadist worldview.
Now, University College London is turning to Bari, to explain why an attendee at his mosque took all that talk of political violence seriously enough to want to visit mass murder on a defenceless civilian population.
That’s the problem in a nutshell, really.
It's shocking. Truly shocking.