U.K. media is reporting that the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) has placed sympathizers in elected offices including gaining significance influence over a local government council. According to a report in the Telegraph:
The Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) — which believes in jihad and sharia law, and wants to turn Britain and Europe into an Islamic state — has placed sympathisers in elected office and claims, correctly, to be able to achieve “mass mobilisation” of voters. Speaking to The Sunday Telegraph, Jim Fitzpatrick, the Environment Minister, said the IFE had become, in effect, a secret party within Labour and other political parties. “They are acting almost as an entryist organisation, placing people within the political parties, recruiting members to those political parties, trying to get individuals selected and elected so they can exercise political influence and power, whether it’s at local government level or national level,” he said. “They are completely at odds with Labour’s programme, with our support for secularism.” Mr Fitzpatrick, the MP for Poplar and Canning Town, said the IFE had infiltrated and “corrupted” his party in east London in the same way that the far-Left Militant Tendency did in the 1980s. Leaked Labour lists show a 110 per cent rise in party membership in one constituency in two years.
In a six-month investigation by this newspaper and Channel 4’s Dispatches, involving weeks of covert filming by the programme’s reporters:
- IFE activists boasted to the undercover reporters that they had already “consolidated … a lot of influence and power” over Tower Hamlets, a London borough council with a £1 billion budget.
- We have established that the group and its allies were awarded more than £10 million of taxpayers’ money, much of it from government funds designed to “prevent violent extremism”.
- IFE leaders were recorded expressing opposition to democracy, support for sharia law or mocking black people. The IFE organised meetings with extremists, including Taliban allies, a man named by the US government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and a man under investigation by the FBI for his links to the September 11 attacks.
- Moderate Muslims in London told how the IFE and its allies were enforcing their hardline views on the rest of the local community, curbing behaviour they deemed “un-Islamic”. The owner of a dating agency received a threatening email from an IFE activist, warning her to close it.
- George Galloway, a London MP, admitted in recordings obtained by this newspaper that his surprise victory in the 2005 election owed more to the IFE “than it would be wise – for them – for me to say, adding that they played a “decisive role” in his triumph at the polls.
According a report by the Center for Social Cohesion, the IFE operates out of the East London Mosque and shares many of the same trustees and senior management which includes Muhammad Abdul Bari, also the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The CSC also reports that In October 2003, IFE invited Anwar al-Awlaki to speak at its ‘expoislamia’ event. Anwar al-Awlaki is the pro al-Qaeda imam based in Yemen whom the Fort Hood shooter had been in contact. It should also be noted that the London Islamic Center, an $18 million facility built in 2004 that houses the Islamic Forum of Europe and its associated East London Mosque, also contains the offices of Muslim Aid, a charity that has been tied to Hamas fund-raising.
The IFE is a frequent sponsor of events associated with the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood.