UK: Study of extremist literature in British mosques

Agencies linked to the Saudi government have distributed extremist literature to mosques and Islamic centers in Britain, an independent think tank said Tuesday.

The Policy Exchange, timing its report to Saudi King Abdullah's state visit, said the material expressed a deep-rooted antipathy toward Western society, calling for violence against enemies of Islam, including women and gays who demand equal rights.

"Saudi Arabia is the ideological source of much of this sectarianism — and must be held to account for it," the study said. "Islamic institutions in the U.K. must clean up their act."

Abdullah, who depends on support from the same clerics known to inspire al-Qaida militants, has faced criticism for his support of Islamic extremists.

The king also has been dogged by criticism over Saudi Arabia's human rights record. Prime Minister Gordon Brown already is under pressure to use his visit to raise concerns about allegations that the regime is involved in torture and other abuses.

The Policy Exchange report, "The Hijacking of British Islam: How Extremist Literature is Subverting Britain's Mosques," describes 80 books and pamphlets collected at nearly 100 Islamic institutions, including leading mosques, in 2006 and 2007.

Experts in Islamic studies analyzed the material, some of which was translated into English from Arabic or Urdu.

Policy Exchange said the survey found radical material in about 25 percent of the institutions. They included some of the best-funded and most dynamic Muslim institutions in Britain — some of which are held up as mainstream bodies, the study said.

There were demands for gays to be killed and women to be subjugated, along with comments such as: "The Jews and the Christians are the enemies of the Muslim," the report said.

Some of the literature espoused the creation of a separate state for Muslims, governed by Sharia law, and urged individual Muslims "to feel an abhorrence" for Muslims considered to be practicing an insufficiently rigorous form of Islam.

"On occasion, this attitude of deep-rooted antipathy towards Western society can descend into exhortations to violence and jihad against the 'enemies' of Islam,'" the study said.

The study recommended that the government, councils, police and leaders should have nothing to do with mosques that continued to sell or distribute extremist literature.

Source: International Herald Tribune (English)

See also: "The Hijacking of British Islam" ( Policy Exchange, PDF)

2 comments:

Dr Gabriele Marranci said...

Dear all

I have just posted a comment on my Blog about the Policy Exchange's report on 'Hate literature' found in the UK mosques. Although, because of my research and study, I am very aware of the phenomenon, I am very disappointed at the level of the research and the lack of a serious methodology and research plan, which, at the end, invalidate all Policy Exchange's report.

I think that research on this topic should be conducted by experienced academics in the field as well as funded by apolitical research bodies. I think that this quite amateurish research and report has damaged the possibility of further serious research.

Best wishes

Gabriele

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