Search Donate

Show results for
  • News
  • Videos
  • Action Alerts
  • Events
  • Resources
  • MEND

Claims against Scouts founded on work of Islamophobic organisation

Claims against Scouts founded on work of Islamophobic organisation

Categories: Latest News

Thursday February 07 2019

The Telegraph released an article reporting that a second Muslim scout has been suspended following a Telegraph investigation alleging that some mosques hosting scout groups have potential links with extremism.

Hussain Al Rawni, who manages the 304th Birmingham Scout group in conjunction with the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) has been linked with extremism on the grounds of gender segregation. The article also alleges that he has links with the Muslim Brotherhood, although it does not provide any evidence citing this alleged link.

One of the reasons prompting investigations into Muslim scout organisations is the concern that young female scouts are advocating the hijab, however, it is unclear how or why this is problematic. A primary principle of so-called British values is mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and those with none and yet Muslim girls and women seem to be excluded from such liberties.

Further allegations against scout leaders include encouraging members to be “Muslims first.” However, many people from Christian, Jewish and other religious backgrounds consider religious identity as tremendously important in guiding their values – and yet it is not an issue for concern and this religious identity in no way precludes nor undermines a “British” identity.

In addition, the ‘duty to God’ is a primary principle upheld and developed by the scouts – a fact that has been conveniently overlooked by the author of the article. It appears that the aim is merely to perpetuate the fear of Muslims as ‘Other’ – a group that fundamentally conflict with “Britishness” and is an attempt to smear British Muslim organisations such as the Muslim Association of Britain and the subsequent scouting groups.

Nikita Malik, Director of the Centre on Radicalisation and Terrorism of the Henry Jackson Society, states “The MAB has been a long-time proponent of Islamism in the UK and should not be in a position to host a Scout group. Hussain Al-Rawni, its scout leader in the UK, has a social media presence that propagates support for the network, and promotes dangerous terror-denying conspiracy theories and praises anti-Semitic organisations. This man should categorically not have access to children.” Nonetheless, no evidence was used to support these claims.

The sole source of the Telegraph’s investigation is the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), a group accused of being a “far-right, deeply anti-Muslim racist organisation…utilised as a propaganda outfit to smear other cultures, religions and ethnic groups”, not by a natural adversary of the organisation but rather a person who helped found HJS, Mr Matthew Jamison. The quote continues: “the far-right anti-Muslim racist nature of the HJS has helped to lay the intellectual groundwork for much of what President Trump and his Breitbart reading “alt-right” movement is attempting to do against Muslim people”.

The Director of HJS, Alan Mendoza, in June 2011 made the claim that “the European Muslim population has doubled in the past 30 years and is predicted to double again by 2040” and that “it has been difficult for European countries to absorb immigrants into their society given their failure to integrate newcomers”. The argument was later proven to be false, and nothing more than a “hyperbolic and inflammatory claim” largely based on data manipulation.

The Associate Director, Douglas Murray, has also made a string of Islamophobic comments in the past, such as advocating the need to restrict Muslims entering the UK, and that Muslim communities have enjoyed too many privileges whilst White Britons are silenced, thus fuelling negative stereotypes that Britain is slowly being “overrun” by Muslims as a separate ethnic group.

Beyond the comments made by senior HJS figures, it is also worth noting that in 2014, HJS was removed from the All Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) on homeland and international security for failing to “make available on request a list citing any commercial company which had donated more than £5,000 either as a single sum or cumulatively in the last 12 months”. They have also been condemned by a number of bodies such as Operation Black Vote and the National Union of Students.  It is ironic that The Telegraph is accusing groups of being ‘extremists’ whilst basing their accusation on research from a group that has been publicly outed for entertaining an Islamophobic and far-right agenda.

The article also claimed that the MAB was asked to comment but failed to respond. However, MAB firmly denies that the Telegraph (or any other media outlet) requested comment on this matter. In response to the accusations, the MAB have said they are “proud of its efforts in supporting community and youth groups, and The Telegraph’s unsubstantiated claims are nothing more than dog-whistle Islamophobia.”

They added: “Whilst MAB consults with its solicitors and all parties concerned, it is interesting that the Telegraph continues to quote and refer to discredited, disreputable and totally unreliable sources such as the Henry Jackson Society who, among many other accusations, were expelled from Parliament due to lack of transparency. MAB takes such accusations seriously and reserves the right to reply to this poor and wholly inaccurate article, and will do so upon the conclusion of its consultations.”

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter

Get all the latest news from MEND straight to your inbox. Sign up to our email newsletter for regular updates and events information