By Jonathan Hoffman
October 13, 2011
The MEMO meeting in the House of Commons on Tuesday night (“The Cold War On British Muslims”) has been well covered by Tom Wilson on Harry’s Place and by Richard Millett.
I was there too and found the meeting profoundly depressing and not only because Parliament played host to such an anti-intellectual event. The fact is that there are reasons for British Muslims to be under closer surveillance by the security services than Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians or Plymouth Brethren. Namely, the July 2005 bombings that were detonated by British Muslims; the ‘underpants bomber’ Abdulmutallab who was President of UCL Islamic Society; the failed nightclub bomb in Haymarket in June 2007; the failed plot to blow up airliners in August 2006; and many other similar incidents and arrests.
But instead of squarely facing up to the issues of extremism all we got was conspiracy theorising and scapegoating. First Dr Daud Abdullah, the director of MEMO, said darkly “we are speaking of a network”.
And who is that network? Why, two think tanks: Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC). They according to Abdullah were responsible for increasing the pressure on Muslims, in particular for the government’s reassessment of the “Prevent” programme which was said to have increased surveillance of Muslims.
(In fact the reassessment is supposed to address the situation whereby ‘Prevent’ was giving a platform to extremists in the mistaken view that militant Islamists were an antidote to Al Qaeda (in reality they are a conveyer belt to Al Qaeda)).
And then came the bizarre ‘join the dots’ Danse Macabre. Professor David Miller and two colleagues spoke about their study “The Cold War On Brisih Muslims” which was launched at the meeting. The Report looked at the funding of Policy Exchange and the CSC. Both draw on a wide range of funders. Policy Exchange is funded inter alia by the Peter Cruddas Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Lord Ashcroft and Richard Briance. The CSC is financed by the John Templeton Foundation, the Nigel Vinson Charitable Trust and the New Heritage Foundation.
But if you had been at the presentation you would not have realised that the range of funders for these two thinktanks was so broad. You would think that they were funded entirely by pro-Israel Jewish businessmen. Thus we got from Tom Mills only a cursory reference to the Peter Cruddas Foundation (the largest funder of Policy Exchange). The only funders Mills seemed to be interested in were those with an Israel connection. So we were treated to a forensic dissection of the Israel- and Jewish Community-related philanthropy of the Charles Wolfson Family Trust, the Rubin Foundation, the Stanley Kalms Foundation and the Traditional Alternatives Foundation.
Obvious takeaway message: Muslims are being victimised by certain think tanks – in particular by the policies they recommend. Those think tanks are funded by rich Jewish businessmen who also fund Israel-related causes. So the sources of the victimisation of Muslims are pro-Israel rich Jewish businessmen.
If the possible social consequences of indoctrinating young Muslims with this drivel was not so tragic, this malicious ‘join the dots’ parlour game played out in the Palace of Westminster would be laughable.
But as it is, it is an utter disgrace - and to have a Professor at a UK University associate himself with it and preside over such a presentation is unspeakable.