Godson v Bunglawala on al-Jazeera

YouTube - Riz Khan - Has Islam been hijacked in the UK? - 31 Oct 07

This is a debate between Dean Godson of Policy Exchange, which published the report on “hate literature” in mosques last week, and Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain. Inayat Bunglawala puts up a generally robust defence, but I wonder why he insists, in his objection to Denis MacEoin as the author of the report, on concentrating on his letters to newspapers praising Israel? As I’ve pointed out here in the past, MacEoin has written letters on at least two occasions attacking the rights of Muslim women to wear Islamically-mandated clothing such as headscarves and long coats (jilbabs), in one instance claiming that they were not religiously mandated at all, apparently thinking he knew better than most Muslims what the Islamic ruling on this matter is. Surely Bunglawala should have found out his attitudes to Muslims’ liberties in this country as well as to a Muslim cause overseas?

Dean Godson’s claim that this literature occurred in some of our supposedly “most prestigious Islamic institutions of learning” is laughable. The handful of “flagship” mosques like Regent’s Park, East London and so on are merely the well-known ones which have received funding from Saudi Arabia, rather than those which were built up by the local immigrant Muslim populations and which have a greater degree of independence. It was those few mosques which disrupted this past Eid by following the baseless Saudi declaration that the moon had been sighted; most Asian-run mosques held their Eid the next day. What makes them more prestigious anyway - the fact that they have a cafe and a bookshop, are well-known and receive visits from politicians now and then? The three holy mosques aside, a mosque is a mosque is a mosque!

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