According to a ‘survey’ by the hitherto unknown Centre for Islamic Pluralism (CIP), two-thirds of Muslims do not want Shari’ah laws introduced in the UK on civil matters such as marriage. Well at least that’s the ‘estimate’!
This report has been picked up by the usual suspects in the media, Daily Express and the Spectator. Reading the ‘article’, rather than the ‘report’ on this survey - the ‘report’ will be published next year by Irfan al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz - I was shocked to see the attacks on Dr Rowan Williams and the Lord Chief Justice.
The opening gambit is, “Don’t believe the Lord Chief Justice any more than the Archbishop of Canterbury”, and “Who is Rowan Williams? His comments were unimportant; he is not a political leader like Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.”
In this ‘survey’ we are told, “Soon after Archbishop Williams gaffe the Centre for Islamic Pluralism conducted a field survey of attitudes towards sharia in the main Muslim communities in Britain.”
Since we have to wait a whole year before they publish this ‘report’. I do hope that they mention which independent company carried out the work for them. Not to mention the methodology applied, and that they pubslish the findings in a glossy report! Afterall, it is earth-shattering news that ‘65%’ of Muslims don’t wish to have the Islamic Marriage rites recognised by English law.
It seems CIP is a lot more ominous (or should that have been odious) than just a ‘centre for pluralism’, I took a tour of their website and it seems that they were founded in 2004 in Washington and their mission statement reads ‘CIP is a think tank that challenges the dominance of American Muslim life by militant Islamist groups.’ One of their projects is ‘WahhabiWatch’ - forerunner to the Quilliam Foundation it seems.
Stephen Schwartz, is apparently a self-declared neocon who strongly supported the invasion of Iraq. There is also questionable links to Islamophobes like Pipes and others. Whilst Irfan al-Alawi is of the “Tablighi are not moderate Muslims, they are a separatist movement,” and “Qaradawi has been banned from the US since 1999…why should the British government allow him to come here?” school of thought.
Both Scwartz and al-Alawi have extreme antipathy towards anything that is not of the Hisham Kabbani ilk of Sufism, yes the very same Hisham Kabbani of the Sufi Muslim Council. When I say extreme I truly mean it - Schwartz harbours the belief that Hamza Yusuf Hanson is a 'secret jihadist'!
Alawi and Schwartz also state, “We visited Birmingham, Manchester, Bolton, Bradford, Sheffield and Leicester, in addition to ongoing and extensive investigations in London’s East End.”
‘Ongoing and Extensive’ - ‘East London’
Surely someone in the East end must know one person that they have interviewed, please do share with us! Hmm, Centre for Islamic Pluralism, more like ‘Rand Muslim’!
This was originally written for the IFE Blogsite.