A group associated with former London mayor Ken Livingstone known as Pro London (Progressive London) has announced a conference titled “A progressive agenda to stop the right in 2010” to be held January 30. The announcement describes the conference as follows:
Progressive Agenda to Stop the Right in 2010 is a conference that will bring together leading figures in London and beyond to discuss the most important issues for progressive politics in 2010, nationally, internationally and in London. The ideas, alliances and policies we need to move forward, and how we stop the right from winning. Join the debate. Progressive London was initiated by Ken Livingstone in 2008 as a cross-party, multi-community forum involving politicians, artists, trade unionists, bloggers, community activists and campaigners to promote social progress in the capital.
Conference speakers include a mix of U.K. politicians, far leftwing groups, and Muslim Brotherhood figures including:
- Mike Tuffrey – Leader, London Assembly Liberal Democrats
- Sadiq Khan MP, Minister of State for Transport
- Kate Hudson – Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
- Professor Tariq Ramadan
- Dr Abdul Bari (Muslim Council of Britain)
- Anas Altikriti – British Muslim Initiative
Tariq Ramadan is perhaps best described as an independent power center within the global Brotherhood with sufficient stature as the son of Said Ramadan, and the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood to challenge positions taken by important Brotherhood leaders. His statements and writings have been extensively analyzed and he has been accused by critics of promoting anti-Semitism and fundamentalism, albeit by subtle means. On the other hand, his supporters promote him as as example of an Islamic reformer who is in the forefront of developing a “Euro Islam.” Ramadan is currently professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Theology and senior research fellow at St. Antony’s College (Oxford), Dohisha University (Kyoto, Japan) and at the Lokahi Foundation (London).
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is a U.K. umbrella group dominated by groups tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood. The British Muslim Initiative (BMI) is an offshoot of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), another U.K. Brotherhood group, and appears to be continuing the MAB’s prior alliances with U.K far-left groups. Anas Al-Tikriti, the leader of the BMI, is the son of Osama Al-Tikriti, one of the leaders of the Iraqi Islamic Party.
Galloway is a far-left British M.P. who was expelled from the Labor Party over incendiary comments made at time of the 2003 Iraq War. He subsequently formed the Respect Coalition which prior to a 2007 split included the Socialist Workers Party and members of the Muslim Association of Britain and Muslim Council of Britain, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood in Britain. The Respect coalition was the sponsor of the February 2003 anti-Iraq war demonstration in London, reported by police to have been the largest demonstration ever held in the U.K. A previous post discussed the 2007 falling out between Galloway and the Socialist Workers Party and the speculation that the difficulties stemmed from Galloway’s desire to focus more on developing a Muslim constituency. At that time, Galloway launched a new movement called Respect Renewal which helped to elect Mr Galloway as a Respect MP. Galloway has been a long-time supporter of Palestinian causes and another previous post discussed his participation in a fund-raising event for a Bahraini charity that is part of the Union of Good, a worldwide coalition of charities headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and which has been designated by the U.S. in connection with its funding of Hamas.Galloway was recently banned from entry into Canada on the same grounds.