I have been sent a link to an astonishing leaked email which on the face of it appears to have been authored by Usama Hasan of the Quilliam Foundation asking for supporters to sign an open letter against the ‘hate preacher’ Haitham al-Haddad who is due to be one of the speakers at this week’s forthcoming “Family Retreat” event at Nottingham University.
Very worryingly, the email says that the aim of the open letter is to “embarrass the University of Nottingham” and to “Keep up the pressure on Haddad & his students & associated groups such as iERA – a number of their campus & public events have been cancelled over the past few years due to this kind of public pressure.”
I called Usama Hasan this morning to ask if the email was genuinely from him. He said ‘there is no open letter’. I asked him again specifically if the email itself was genuine but he said he was very busy and did not have time to discuss the matter and put the phone down.
Almost three years ago, a secret memo from the Quilliam Foundation to Charles Farr, the head of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, was leaked online. That memo exposed Quilliam’s Witchfinder role and how it was trying to brand mainstream Muslim organisations as being ‘Islamists’ and hence unworthy of engagement with the government: a stance that was naturally applauded by Zionists in parliament and the media who have no wish to see confident British Muslims (as opposed to meek and docile ones) playing a role in our public life.
Now, I hold no candle for Haitham al-Haddad or any of the other speakers. If they are preaching stuff that is objectionable then Usama or anybody else has every right to challenge their views openly via an open letter. That is a perfectly democratic way to hold people to account.
However, the email seems to strongly suggest that the true aim of the open letter is to pressure Nottingham University into cancelling the Family Retreat event. That is totally outrageous and cowardly. Whether you agree or do not agree with the undoubtedly conservative social message that the organisers of the Family Retreat event advocate (and I am pretty certain that they would regard my own views on evolution, gay rights, Salman Rushdie etc as being heretical!), as long as they are not breaking the law or inciting racial or religious hatred at their event, their activities are surely their own business.
There are a number of shady outfits including the Israel worshippers at Harry’s Place – whose motto is laughably Orwell’s admirable line “Liberty, if it means anything, is the right to tell people what they don’t want to hear” – now actively working to undermine Muslim groups and ban their events.
The leaked email is notable for a couple of additional reasons:
1. Usama – if, and it is a big if – he is indeed the author of the email – refers approvingly to a nasty blog TheIslamicFarRightInBritain.wordpress.com in which Haitham al-Haddad is listed. What the author of the email seems to overlook is that Usama’s own father, Suhaib Hasan, is also listed in the very same blog in its roll call of the ‘Islamic far right in Britain’.
2. The email – at the very end in the footnote – says that “Quilliam stands for religious freedom”.
You have to laugh, haven’t you?
This incident reminds me of an episode a few years ago when a couple of pretty young things from the Home Office came to see me to seek my assistance to curtail the public profile of certain Muslim groups. Still, this post has already been too long so I will write about that episode later this week, God Willing.
I hope Usama Hasan will take up this opportunity to clarify if he is the author of the leaked email. I will happily post his response below if he wishes.