It pains me to write this. I have been a member of the Reform Synagogues Movement for decades but I can remain silent no longer in the face of its apparently willing collaboration with Citizens UK (of which much more below). I have little doubt that there are many members of other religious communities who are similarly affected by what they are witnessing to be able to identify with my great unease.
I would invite you to look at this video which gives a flavour of the influence that Citizens UK has over the Movement for Reform Judaism and very likely over other religious bodies, particularly in terms of support for Citizens UK’s open borders policy.
Particularly worrisome here is the deliberate use of emotional argument, for the main thrust of this attempt to tug at the heartstrings by the employment of fundamentally flawed comparisons of Syrian migrants with Jewish refugees during WW2. Of course the speaker is not comparing like with like. She is an intelligent woman and must know that so why then is she doing it? Most of us know and there is ample evidence that the majority of Jewish refugees in WW2 became productive citizens of the countries which gave them shelter, rather than behaved like far too many of the mostly adult male immigrants from Syria and elsewhere in the Muslim world, who rioted, raped or stole and exhibited the sort of exaggerated self-entitlement which alienated the citizenry of their host countries, see here , here , here and here.
As we have witnessed, there are sufficient common sense and public safety grounds, easily accessed from witnessing the experiences of other countries in Europe, for the UK government to impose sensible, monitored limits on immigration from Muslim war zones rather than accept it en masse and without question. Too many “Syrian refugees” are anything but. Syrian they may be but we cannot know how many are active sympathisers with Daesh. At best most of these are economic migrants, which should alert us immediately to alter the lens through which we are examining this issue. Most of them are also adult males rather than the wide-eyed and tearful children who were used initially to try to blackmail us emotionally, and very few women and children accompany them. I believe we can be forgiven for holding grave reservations about having in our midst the sort of men who might be willing to abandon their families and children to starve, or worse we are told, in pursuit of their own safety, if indeed that is what they have done, rather than been talked into hijrah as a way of pursuing jihad.
You may or may not agree with me that there is more than enough homegrown useful idiocy to suffice in religious leaders in the UK in respect of their mindless support for these particular Islamic enterprises, but even if you do agree , please believe me that much, much more is in the offing if it is allowed to continue unchecked. The latest source of those ideas and Citizens UK, the organisation responsible for promoting them, is disturbingly tenacious and the implications of that for religious and civic bodies may be unpleasant and far-reaching:
I chose to begin by referring to the relationship between the Movement for Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism with Citizens UK not because I believe that the Reform Movement are particularly important dupes but rather because they are typical. We can just as easily use this behaviour as a template for Citizens UK’s conduct towards other faith groups.
Religious leaders of all stripes signed an open letter to The Guardian in support of open borders and unfettered immigration from war-torn Muslim countries. You may be forgiven if you thought along the lines of “Well they would, wouldn’t they?” and left it at that, but there is much more to this than meets the eye. My main concerns are about any “official” Jewish or Christian or other support for entities which are linked to and/or funded by, or are a front for others which are sworn to eradicate them. These should be approached with as much suspicion as can be mustered. This should be the case especially when one such entity is Citizens UK and has proven Islamist links.
In the light of that letter, I need hardly describe the double standards which prevail also in respect of the deafening silence from the established Christian churches in the face of Muslim persecution of Christians.
(A weather eye should be kept on the effects on Jews of such open support for the activities of Citizens UK by their dangerously wrong-headed Jewish leaders. Jew-hatred, always a light sleeper, has awoken and is growing again. An increasingly vociferous number of Jew-haters believe that Jews are actively working to undermine western societies by encouraging immigration from muslim countries. Readers may judge for themselves whether or not Jewish leaders’ useful idiocy for Citizens UK feeds into this delusion).
On the surface, however, Citizens UK seems harmless enough. From its page:
“Citizens UK organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good. We are the home of community organising in the UK, with diverse civil society alliances in London, Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Birmingham, Wales and Leeds.
“We develop the leadership capacity of our members so they can hold politicians and other decision-makers to account on the issues that matter to them.
“Community organising is democracy in action: winning victories that change lives and transform communities.”
Delve a little deeper, however, and there is much that should cause one concern. Citizens UK has its fingers in many pies:
First, some background:
It is apparently associated with London Citizens, which appears to be the crucible in which Citizens UK was forged, and which, according to the Gatestone Review:
“…receives tens of thousands of pounds from the government every year, [and] is a coalition of faith groups that include extremist Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood organizations. London Citizens’ deputy chairman before 2014 was Junaid Ahmed, an Islamist activist who describes Hamas founder and leader Ahmed Yassin as a “hero” and has said that, “Every single [Palestinian] resistance fighter is an example for all of us to follow.”
Citizens UK’s members are active in encouraging demonstrations at home and abroad for open borders and work within communities and even in schools to encourage councils to take in more and more “refugees” from war torn Middle Eastern countries, and, more disturbingly, some of Citizen UK’s trustees have links to Islamist groups and to other less than wholesome entities:
One such trustee is Farooq Murad who, according to the Citizens UK page, has worked as a management and training consultant. He has developed and delivered regeneration solutions in the fields of education, training and employment. He has also delivered community leadership and cross cultural training programmes for government departments and voluntary sector. He was the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (2010-14) and Chairman of Muslim Aid (2004-08) Muslim Aid, according to Andrew Gilligan in the Daily Telegraph:
“… The charity Muslim Aid, which is also under Charity Commission investigation after “irregularities” in two of its overseas field offices, received £1,263,000 in Gift Aid from the Government in 2013. The investigation is not Syria or terrorist-related. However, Muslim Aid has admitted funding organisations closely linked to the banned terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and is itself banned in Israel as a funder of terrorism. It is closely linked to the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe, which wants to create a sharia state in Europe. .. “
Murad has also served as a constituent member of World Economic Forum at Davos.
Another trustee is Dr Manazir Ahsan MBE, who has been Director of the Islamic Foundation since 1985 and edits the Muslim World Book Review. He has authored over half a dozen books and many articles on aspects of Islam. He is Co-Chair of the Interfaith Network and Chair of the Inter Faith Relations Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). Dr Ahsan was awarded an MBE in the year 2000 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in recognition of his contribution to Interfaith and Community activities.
However, carefully omitted from his biography on the Citizens UK page is the fact that he is also a leading British Islamist who helped to coordinate the riots in the UK against Salman Rushdie over his book, “The Satanic Verses.” Manazir Ahsan was also founder of the UK Action Committee on Islamic Affairs, which organised book burnings and protests, and called for the book to be banned and Rushdie to be prosecuted. Rushdie is still at risk of harm. Ahsan has never yet recanted.
The dealings of the The Islamic Foundation are hardly above reproach either.
A third trustee is Saleem Kidwai OBE. He is an accountant who began his private practice 29 years ago and has seen it develop into a business with over 1,300 clients and 18 staff. He is the founder and Chief Executive of the Ethnic Business Support Programme, which has been running for the last seven years. Most interesting for our purposes is that Saleem is also a trustee of Muslim Aid , (which as I wrote above was under investigation by the UK Charities Commission and has links with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad) He is also Secretary General to the Muslim Council of Wales. His diverse experience also includes being part of the CBI Wales Executive Committee and previous board membership of the Cardiff & Vale NHS Trust. He is known to have had links with CAGE in 2011.
There are other trustees, but the most obvious commonalities between the three mentioned above is that all are implicated in links with Islamist terror organisations. So far I have not been able to find even a hint of their dissociating themselves from the views of those bodies publicly or privately, much less condemning them or apologising for ever having allowed themselves to be linked with them. Even their current director, Neil Jameson, is on record as saying that he is proud of Citizens UK’s connections with the infamous East London Mosque, and had no criticism of his former colleague in London Citizens for the latter’s supporting of Hamas.
Another, more sinister commonality is their failure to dissociate themselves from the contempt, even hatred for people of other faiths, and Jews in particular, which is a a foetid seam particularly throughout extremist Islam. For example, the Inter Faith Network, co-chaired by Dr Manazir Ahsan above, is hardly a beacon of interfaith values in this respect. In July 2013 a delegate to an IFN conference in Birmingham UK told the other delegates that he had heard a senior IFN official claim that “Jews were a disease”. The delegate also denounced a number of IFN member bodies for their collaboration with signatories to the Istanbul Declaration, a document calling for attacks on British troops and Jewish communities.
Most disturbing of all, however, is the existence of the Commissioners, openly referred to on Citizens UK’s page. True, they include a respectable sprinkling of non-Muslim names but they are quite open that they exist in order to promote Muslims’ entry into influential areas of society. Set against the backgrounds of their trustees (see above) we could be forgiven for concerns that they may well be trying to implement and fulfil in the UK the promise of the Muslim Brotherhood to its followers the US as it set out in its Ten Year Plan for the United States:
“……. that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands … so that … God’s religion [Islam] is made victorious over all other religions…”
So, as well as links with, and evident sympathy for supremacist, violent Islamist entities, we find that some of Citizens UK’s trustees are associated with organisations which are either open in their Jew-hatred (and where that exists it is more than likely that other hatreds exist also) or have not tried particularly hard to hide it. That being the case it beggars belief that Jewish or Christian bodies should be associated with them, officially or otherwise. For these are not “reformed characters.” They have never apologised publicly for their hypocrisy or recanted their anti-Jewish views or condemned Muslim persecution of Christians and others. One cannot even argue that all this is in the past, so why have Christian, Reform Jewish and other faith bodies exhibited such indecent haste to make common cause with Citizens UK, the body which appointed them?
My own theory is that these leaders support Citizens UK and its policies and tacitly condone its Islamist links because they are actually in the grip of a much deeper, more entrenched form of cognitive dissonance than were the mythical couple I described in another of my published articles entitled “How Islam Fascinates the West.”
I used Joe and Jane Public in that article to illustrate how Islamism ensnares the naïve and unwitting and uses them as useful idiots in order to bed in its ideas in the general population. We now see that not only has nothing changed but that matters have got worse. Extremist Islam has, unfortunately, become more emboldened. It has upped its game and is ensnaring actual gullible religious leaders too, and those leaders expect their flocks to follow blindly wherever they lead.
In the light of all that, I believe that those of us who are mindful and not susceptible to extremist Islam’s fascination trance have a duty. We should lose no time in naming and shaming those religious leaders, and even insist that they resign from office if necessary, if we are to protect their communities from the inevitable results of those leaders’ dangerous naivete.
There is also an argument for taking action which will benefit those Muslims who want little more than to earn a living and look after their children, and contribute to wider society, but who are too afraid to speak out. Their interests cannot be best served by allowing the influence of Citizens UK to spread unhindered.
I will close with an excerpt from the sermon, delivered in 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia by Rabbi Shalom Lewis to his congregation at the Jewish New Year. Transcripts of it went viral. Readers may judge for themselves how prescient were his words:
“.. Everything we are. Everything we believe. Everything we treasure, is at risk.
“ The threat is so unbelievably clear and the enemy so unbelievably ruthless how anyone in their right mind doesn’t get it is baffling. Let’s try an analogy. If someone contracted a life-threatening infection and we not only scolded them for using antibiotics but insisted that the bacteria had a right to infect their body and that perhaps, if we gave the invading infection an arm and a few toes, the bacteria would be satisfied and stop spreading.
“Anyone buy that medical advice? Well, folks, that’s our approach to the radical Islamist bacteria. It is amoral, has no conscience and will spread unless it is eradicated. – There is no negotiating. Appeasement is death…”