An “extremist” Muslim group that works with the Labour Party’s leadership has made a racist attack on a moderate Muslim advising the government on integration.
Leaders of Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) labelled Sara Khan, the head of Theresa May’s Commission for Tackling Extremism, an “Oreo” – a biscuit which is brown on the outside but white in the middle.
The pejorative phrase is often used as a slur against people from ethnic minorities who support integration and oppose extremism, implying they are betraying the ethnic group they were born into.
According to a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation broadcast Monday night and previewed by The Times, a “senior member” of MEND was caught on camera using the racist term.
Furthermore, whilst sharing a platform with MEND at an event, the preacher Shakeel Begg insulted Muslims who support counterterrorism laws, calling them “house Muslims” in the undercover footage.
Mr. Begg has been found by the High Court to be an extremist and has appeared at MEND events numerous times. MEND says he is not a member and they do not endorse his views.
Despite their radical connection, MEND has trained police officers “about Islam”, advises local councils on policy, and many Labour MPs have long supported them. Last November, Jeremy Corbyn and others including Naz Shah MP spoke at the group’s launch of “Islamophobia awareness month”.
Cardiff MEND team teaching British Transport Police Wales about Islam & Islamophobia
— MEND Community (@mendcommunity) October 10, 2017
A report into the group published last year highlighted extensive connections to radical and anti-Semitic groups and speakers, and listed examples of MEND leaders condoning attacks on British troops and praising al-Qaeda terrorists.
Mend has strongly opposed counter-terror laws and pro-Western Muslims, as well as “regularly host[ing] illiberal, intolerant and extremist Islamist speakers at public events”, the report by The Henry Jackson Society think tank explained.
And last month, outgoing Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley compared MEND and Cage to Britain First and Anjem Choudary’s banned terror group Al-Muhajiroun.
He accused the group of “fostering grievances and isolation” and slammed their leaders for claiming “Islamophobia” in the UK is similar to the conditions for Jews before the Holocaust.
MEND has also enjoyed considerable influence over the UK’s police, and Mr. Ali and others from the group have worked with numerous forces and councils, training them about Islamic doctrine, Muslim grievance narratives, and so-called “Islamophobic hate crimes”.