Shiraz Maher has posted an article at the Hudson New York website titled “UK: Policework on Islamists Backfires”Salafists Consider Their Practices Mainstream” in which he reviews the controversy surrounding Robert Lambert, the former U.K. Special Branch police officer who is now the co-director of the European Muslim Research Center (EMRC). The article begins:
November 14, 2011 at 4:00 am The Islamist-liberal alliance, a traditionally powerful force in parts of British political life, has suffered a significant setback after serious allegations about one of its key figures recently surfaced. Robert Lambert is a former police officer in the Special Branch – a division of the British police service that is linked to national security, protection of VIPs, and known to work closely with the Security Service (also known as MI5, Britain’s domestic spy agency). In retirement Lambert has been closely associated with Islamists in the UK: he works at the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) in the University of Exeter, a center funded by front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood. Shortly after 9/11, when Lambert was still an operational police officer, he created the Muslim Contact Unit — a deeply controversial division with London’s Metropolitan Police — to cultivate links with extremists within the Muslim community. The idea behind it seemed sensible enough: the police would need to engage with difficult aspects of the community to build intelligence on individuals of concern. Yet, the unit was soon engaged in much more than just intelligence-gathering. Extreme Islamists were not only being actively partnered by the police; they were also being supported, bolstered and, in some cases, even funded. One example, the STREET [“Strategy to Reach, Empower, and Educate Teenagers”] project, founded by Abdul Haqq Baker, its current Managing Director, aims to help those young Muslims who may be susceptible to violent extremism. Baker is also Chairman of the Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, committed to propagating “the true call of understanding Islam, through the Quraan and Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wassalam [may peace be upon him]) upon the understanding of our pious predecessors.” In other words, the ethos of the mosque is Salafist, the most extreme form of Islam, an emulation of the spirit and ways of ‘al-Salaf al-Salih’ (the “pious predecessors”). Typically, Salafists advocate one of the most literal and austere forms of the religion, as well as a range of values that are not usually compatible with liberal democracy.
Read the rest here.
It should be noted that a previous post revealed that the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC) was launched with funds provided by the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood and that the organization’s advisory board includes members representing the Muslim Council of Britain, a part of the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood, a leading U.K. Muslim Brotherhood organization, and a founder of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Also on the EMRC board is John Esposito, who has at least a dozen past or present affiliations with global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas organizations. Previous posts have discussed an EMRC report on “Islamophobia” and an opinion piece written by Dr. Lambert for for Al-Jazeera asserting that Israeli Muslim Brotherhood leader Raed Salah has been “unfairly targeted by British authorities” as a result of the “long standing role of influential pro-Israel, neo-conservative lobby groups in Westminster and Washington.”