Groups like the iERA should be viewed no differently than the BNP

Those who believe in tolerance and pluralism should oppose groups like iERA with as much consistency as they oppose hate groups like the EDL and BNP.

Those who believe in tolerance and pluralism should oppose groups like iERA with as much consistency as they oppose hate groups like the EDL and BNP

A woman has been stoned to death in Pakistan.

And yet there is a charity in Britain that has promoted speakers who endorse this practice.

Our new report, Evangelising Hate, has exposed the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) as a Hate Group.

Over 40 pages we document the bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, supremacism, violent extremist ideas and hate speech promoted by the organisation, its leaders, speakers, advisors and affiliates.

It is unrelenting. The group has promoted clerics and speakers who say that ex-Muslims and gays deserve to be killed and that women who are ‘guilty’ of sex outside marriage deserve to be stoned to death. It has promoted the idea that domestic violence against women is acceptable, that non-Muslims are ‘kuffar’ and inferior to Muslims.

A string of racist anti-Semitic hatred runs through the rhetoric of iERA-promoted speakers and affiliates. Hatred, demonization, dehumanisation of non-Muslims and liberal Muslims who disagree with their interpretations of Islam is the norm. Two clerics promoted by iERA have said that Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is permissible, contrary to mainstream Islamic opinion. A leader of iERA has suggested criteria by which child marriage may be acceptable.

One evangelical activist who worked with a group affiliated to iERA has been killed in Syria fighting for the terrorist Jihadi group ISIS. One of their leaders, Hamza Tsortzis, used to be in the far-right fascist Hate Group Hizb ut Tahrir, and still appears on platforms alongside current leaders of that organisation.

They were banned from University College London (UCU) after attempting to impose gender segregation during one of their events.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and the full dimensions of iERA’s promotion of hatred and bigotry can be read in the report.

A member of the Ex-Muslims Forum has expressed how the apologia for bigotry and hate in the name of theocratic ideology that iERA proffer is morally degenerate:

“Imagine if someone said that they believed Muslims / Jews / black people deserve to be killed, but not right now. Only in an ‘ideal state’. That is exactly what they’re saying about ex-Muslims, gays and others. It’s as sinister and wicked as that. That’s what it boils down to”

We wrote the report because we were horrified by the hatred that was being promoted by iERA under the umbrella of it being ‘normative Islam’. As we say in the report:

“By describing the views of those associated with their organisation as ‘normative’ and ‘traditional’ religious observance, they aim to neutralise criticism. This allows them to deem any criticism as an attack on religion, rather than legitimate resistance to hatefulness carried out under the cloak of religion. In this way, the promoters of hatred depict themselves as victims of those who expose their hatred.”

The response by iERA has been predictable, and along the lines we described as their modus operandi.

In a darkly comical irony that demonstrates their unreformed hate, their press release response was signed by the ‘Head of Public Relations’, Saleem Chagtai, who believes that ex-Muslims and gay people deserve to be killed. They also claimed to be an organisation that engaged in charity work with Age Concern and Great Ormond Street hospital, which the Telegraph pointed out was a lie.

The report has proven to be timely. The Charity Commission is currently investigating iERA because of concerns over its governance, diligence and the
speakers it has promoted.

Evangelising Hate raises issues that everyone on the left should pay attention to.

Hate groups like iERA use the language of multiculturalism, diversity, tolerance and pluralism to camouflage their agenda and beliefs.

In doing so, they are essentially poisoning the well from which the left draws the water of its beliefs in equality and tolerance from. There is a reluctance by some to confront religious hate groups, but it is vital that we do so, because they seek to advance their cause by cynically using rhetoric that is parasitical to the values that the left believes in, but which they actively work against.

All those who believe in the liberal secular values of tolerance and pluralism, and who oppose fascism, should oppose groups like iERA with as much consistency as they oppose hate groups like the EDL or BNP.

Whilst nationalist extremism and hate is easy to identify, groups like iERA hide in plain sight by abusing the rhetoric and language of the liberal left.

Staying silent about this, or being inhibited from confronting it out of fear, allows it to prosper, and makes us complicit in our own abuse.

Al-Razi is a member of the Council of Ex-Muslims

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43 Responses to “Groups like the iERA should be viewed no differently than the BNP”

  1. SarahAB

    Good post. The responses from iERA/its supporters to your very detailed report have been very poor indeed.

  2. Mark

    iERA and the BNP/EDL have “strongly held beliefs.” However, it’s easy to challenge the beliefs of the BNP/EDL, but because iERA have beliefs based on “faith” many back away. It’s time for that sort of “respect” for faith to stop.

  3. Kevin T

    Why should the BNP be viewed “no differently” from a group that openly calls for people to be killed? The BNP may be unpleasant but it is like the Mickey Mouse Club compared to these people.

  4. swatnan

    Agree. Paradoxically there should be Zero Tolerence to groups that have a philosophy of intolerence. I’m quite comfortable with that as libertarian.

  5. Sparky

    The last Labour government is to blame for this. Firstly their policy of mass immigration which brought people like this into the UK. Secondly their creation of a politically-correct environment in which anyone who spoke out was accused of racism.

    Of course, Ed Miliband has now said “it isn’t racist to be concerned about immigration”. Jack Staw has admitted Labour were wrong on immigration. Tony Blair’s former speechwriter Andrew Neather, has now admitted that there was a secret manifesto for mass immigration in order to make Britain multicultural and to provide a bigger voter base for the Labour Party. These plans were not disclosed prior to the 1997 election.

    So there you have it: Labour concealed its real plans, smeared opponents with accusations of racism, and have now admitted they were wrong on immigration.

  6. Matthew Blott

    You’re talking crap and just sound like a bigoted moron. The Satanic Verses controversy happened nearly ten years before Labour were in power.

  7. roggy1

    Sparky considers a day wasted if it hasn’t been used to make an insane attack on the Labour government in the comment section of an unrelated story.

  8. Michael Simpson

    Yep, absolutely. Hope not Hate identify Hizb ut Tahrir and the Al-Muhajiroun as hate groups, though I’d imagine the far right would be either ignorant to this, or if not, ignore it.

  9. Michael Simpson

    Dunno about that. Some members of Britain First, who are the fag end remnants of the BNP, threatened to kill me after I reminded them that they weren’t welcome in London.

  10. Mandala

    Yup, the BNP have a proud history of stoning women to death, wearing masks and throwing bricks at bystanders. Well reported.

  11. Dave Roberts

    I’ll check, but to my recollection most of the Labour leadership of the day refused to support Rushdie. I’ll be back.

  12. Dave Roberts

    Can we have details Michael?

  13. Sparky

    I’ve taken this from Wikipedia as a summary. I invite you to do your own research into Andrew Neather.

    “Andrew Neather — a former adviser to Jack Straw, Tony Blair and David Blunkett — claimed that Labour ministers had a hidden agenda in allowing mass immigration into Britain, to “change the face of Britain forever”.This alleged conspiracy has become known by the sobriquet “Neathergate”.

    According to Neather, who was present at closed meetings in 2000, a secret Government report called for mass immigration to change Britain’s cultural make-up, and that “mass immigration was the way that the government was going to make the UK truly multicultural”. Neather went on to say that “the policy was intended — even if this wasn’t its main purpose — to rub the right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date”.[75][76][77]

    This was later affirmed after a request through the freedom of information act secured access to the full version of a 2000 government report on immigration that had been heavily edited on a previous release.[78] The Conservative party demanded an independent inquiry into the issue and alleged that the document showed that Labour had overseen a deliberate open-door ­policy on immigration to boost multi-culturalism for political ends.”

    There’s nothing “insane” about this. I’m highlighting what went on between 1997 and 2010.

  14. Sparky

    Yes, I remember it. Keith Vaz was out in the streets of Leicester calling for the book to ‘banned’.

  15. Dave Roberts

    You are correct Sparky. The matter is discussed ” The Diversity Illusion” by Ed West. Specifically on page 24 this appears. ” As Andrew Neather later told David Goodhart, the editor of Prospect magazine, for a BBC radio programme, diversity was part of the ‘ leftist language of social justice’ and they saw ‘ethnic minorities as the standard bearers of the sort of social justice rather than the working class and traditionally the white working class. And that’s something that emerged in this country in the 80s and 90s.

    On the same programme Ed Owen, a former adviser to Jack Straw, said: For some in the Labour Party,and perhaps for understandable historical reasons, the very notion of having an immigration policy was regarded as a rather unsavoury feature and would then be dismissed as cow-towing to the right or whatever. And so there wasn’t enough space, I think in retrospect, for people who were thinking about this issue in a very serious way to think and to articulate. That space was severely restricted”.

    As far as I know these statements have yet to be challenged.

  16. Enoch_Power

    Well, that makes a change! A left-wing rag daring to challenge Islamic practices. Albeit with the typical caveat of comparing “extremist elements” to the BNP. Proof positive that even a “negative” will be turned into a “positive” for the ethnocidal Left.

  17. Mandala

    Yeah, there were about 400 skinheads, all with “death before dishonour” tattoos and swastika t-shirts, and they threatened him with baseball bats and etc etc.

    You expect that lying little creep to report anything? He’d have been in touch with the police if someone said a banned word in a pub joke.

  18. Mandala

    Ignorant of Typical Muzi Behaviour, huh? Here’s some TMB to educate your progressive student mind:

  19. Mandala

    I’m sure the chaps in the NF are as heartbroken as a One Direction fan in finding out they don’t even get a mention.

  20. Michael Simpson

    No, ignorant that the diversity campaigning group Hope not Hate recognise these organisations as hate groups. So you actually prove my point you dimwit.

  21. Michael Simpson

    I have been in touch with the police, have a crime reference number, and am part of an ongoing investigation, hence why I’m not going to reveal any further details. So that’s the second time in a minute I can call you out as a dimwit.

  22. Mandala

    You almost called him a racist! That’s always a sign of knocking over the King and admitting defeat.

  23. Mandala

    Well you can’t argue with that.

  24. Mandala

    Did you actually read my post?

  25. Mandala

    Now chant racist repeatedly, retard.

  26. Michael Simpson

    Here’s what I know about myself. If a tragedy ever did befall this country, and some authoritarian Government did rise up and curb basic freedoms – and I mean real freedoms, rather than some half-baked nonsense about Sharia Law which despite being ‘all prevalent’ in your common bigot’s eyes, still allows you to liberally express your views all over the internet without retribution – I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from speaking my mind, and would be hidden from light and the passage of time in a cell under the city streets, or an undisclosed camp somewhere, or hurled out of a plane as it buzzed anonymously over the sea. I’m proud of this thought.

    You, on the other hand, would no doubt make an exemplary useful idiot, mumbling on about queen and country as you smashed up some Sikh shop owners window (they all look the same to you, I’m sure), and marching down the street in your little uniform and your boots all glowing with pride for finally being able to be part of something.

  27. Mandala

    Wow! One nerve – direct hit.

  28. Michael Simpson

    Is that the best you’ve got?

  29. Mandala

    No lectures today? Early start at 2?

  30. Michael Simpson

    It’s funny coming from a generation where nearly 50% of young people go to university and having some tool think they somehow reflect the British public by virtue of their dunce status.

  31. Mandala

    Some tool? Correct.

  32. Rob Marchant

    It is also to be noted that the Tory government hung Rushdie out to dry, as Nick Cohen describes in “You Can’t Read This Book”.

  33. Michael Simpson

    You’re rather precious aren’t you? I called you a dimwit and a useful idiot, but nowhere have I called you a nazi.

  34. John Morgan

    At long last the political classes seem to be “getting it”. Why has it taken so long to come to such a self-evident conclusion – militant Islam recruits from mainstream Muslim society because its deluded, childhood-brain-washed victims are the easiest cannon-fodder to recruit on the planet. The task of reversing this perilous situation rests with ensuring a secular education for every youngster. Just teach them to think and reason – just a little bit.

  35. carpetburn

    the guy in the photo looks like david cameron with a dyed ginger beard!

    are you cameron are you cameron are you cameron in disguise?!

  36. Mandala

    What uniforms and boots were you referring to then?

  37. Gareth Stone

    Good to see Left Foot Forward doing work like this.

    Looking forward to seeing UAF picketing iERA with the same enthusiasm they do the EDL and BNP 🙂

    That will definitely happen.


  38. saira

    What a pathetic load of crap written in this article. IERA are spreading peace and tolerance, no wonder haters like you can’t handle it.

  39. Tim Hall

    An excellent post. I must add the caveat, however, that the evil under discussion here (for such it is) makes the BNP pale. Let us not forget that at its peak 60% of BNP votes used to be given to Labour.

  40. Jem James

    Haven’t the BNP and affiliated thug groups killed, maimed, injured and threatened many people over the years ? Are you denying this ?

  41. Mandala

    Not to mention eaten Robertson’s jam without blubbing.

    Any references BTW, aside from Gerry Gabels’s Searchlight?

    Also what affiliated groups? The fictional ones that Hope not Hate etc carry around inside their pretty vacant little heads or the ones you’re about to invent?

    Did you know why the Anti Nazi League (ANL) had to change their name to Unite Against Fascism (UAF)? It was because they had bad intel on a BNP meeting at a working men’s club. They primed the local Muslims and organised a day of hate. They chained the doors shut and set fire to the place, hoping to burn alive everyone in there. This is something they recently threatened to do to a UKIP HQ.

    Bad move. It was in fact a children’s birthday party. There was no comeback to that, no way the 4th estate could spin such an odious action into a positive so a name change was in order.

    Your statement about us having multiple names shows you to be of the same mindset. In your heart you know you’re wrong, hence the need for sockpuppets and your projection that we too need to hide behind a myriad of faux organisations. I’m sure your genius will out us all at some point but just to get started, here’s two names: Ransak & Smersh.

  42. tamimisledus

    islam in the character of *allah*, who is the prime protagaonist in the koran, promotes unremitting hatred towards non-muslims.
    All muslims without exception worship *allah*, the god of hate.

  43. tamimisledus

    Some of the elements of the koran which is the message of *allah* to all muslims which promote “Hatred, demonization, dehumanisation of non-Muslims”. (btw non-muslims includes all those non-muslims at left foot, NO exceptions)

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