The government watchdog which inspects police forces’ ability to deal with terrorism has admitted that it employed a notorious supporter of Islamic extremism for nearly two years, despite doing background checks on him before they hired him.
By day, the Sunday Telegraph has reported, Mouloud Farid worked at the London offices of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the official regulator of England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s 44 police forces.
By night under the name Abdullah al Andalusi, he criticised his government paymasters who he said want to destroy Islam; preached that ISIS is “no different to Western armies; and taught that “kaffir”, or non-Muslims, “will be punished in hell”.
Farid also heads up the Muslim Debate Initiative (MDI), and in that capacity had appeared numerous times in the media to speak on behalf of the Muslim community, arguing that Muslims in Britain are being discriminated against and oppressed.
HMIC employs fewer than 150 staff, all of whom are given privileged access to highly sensitive and classified police and intelligence information to carry out their inspections. As such, Farid would have been vetted before being appointed to his post.
But despite his involvement with the MDI being a matter of public record – he is listed with Company’s House as the organisation’s director – HMIC not only failed to discover his extremist links, they even promoted him to a more senior role.
“This man’s unsuitability for sensitive work should have been obvious from the start,” said Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr. “There is a lack of understanding of different strains of Islam in the civil service. I will be asking why the systems designed to prevent this did not work.”
It was only when he was spotted doing a television interview defending Islamic extremism that his bosses discovered his extra-curricular activities and suspended him. He later resigned from his post.
His former employers say that Farid was not given access to classified information, but a former colleague at the MDI who wishes to remain anonymous has told the Telegraph that that is not true.
“His work did involve security areas. He said he had a role in overseeing the police response to terrorism and there were areas he couldn’t talk about. He would discuss the reports that HMIC were working on and the data they needed to present.”
“His story is so odd and so scandalous in many respects. He had these two completely incompatible lives that went on for years. He despised Britain, yet worked for the British government. He would talk about the right of oppressed people to take up arms against the oppressor and yet he was overseeing the police.
“Opportunities came along to do dawah [preaching] as a full-time job, but he was never tempted to do that because he had a stable income and pension with the civil service.”
Farid has previously said that he does not support terrorism, regarding it as un-Islamic. But, as a regular on the extremist lecture circuit he is closely associated with the extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir which supports the establishment of the Islamic caliphate.
But in a recent blog post on his website, Farid argues that this belief is not extreme but belongs to mainstream Islam, as does “belief in the Sharia, including marriage, modesty and belief in a unified Ummah.
“These very same views come from Muhammad (saaw) himself – where do they think Muslims got these views from the first place?” he asks.
He is also a supporter of Cage, an organisation that lobbies on behalf of Islamic terrorists which earlier this year sparked outrage when it’s leader Asim Qureshi defended London-raised Mohammed Emwazi when he was outed as the ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi John’.
Qureshi described Emwazi as “extremely kind, extremely gentle and the most humble young person I ever knew.”
Farid has spoken at a number of Cage events, including three in the last ten months alone, claiming at one of the meetings, held last September, that the British government was waging a “war on Islam” by forcing Muslims to eat non-halal meat. Like Cage, Farid also fiercely supports the rights of Muslims to travel to Syria to fight with Islamic State.
After Islamic State took over large portions of Iraq and Syria last year, he wrote: “most Muslims would be jubilant at the return of the caliphate [Islamic state], which is a vital obligation upon Muslims that has been conspicuously missing for so long.”
Although he criticised IS fighters for killing civilians, he said that the West had “no basis to judge Islamic State” as “IS are no different to Western armies and even some of the ‘founding fathers’ of Western nations… IS’s crime is being actually a good student of the West, right down to their corporate structure and organisation and ability to use social media.”
He added: “those who reject IS merely because IS’s school of thought is disagreeable to them should remember that Islam permits difference of opinion. To reject something as outside the fold of Islam, due to it being a different school of thought to one’s own, makes one a purveyor of disunity among Muslims.”
He has used his blog to defend his actions in working for HMIC whilst criticising the government, accusing the government of persecuting Muslims.
“Are Muslims not entitled to criticise the government without facing a loss in their earnings? Surely someone can hold political views without their professional service being suspected of a conflict of interest?” He asked.
“Many socialists work in the civil service (they’re even predominate in the Civil Service workers union PCS), and are outspoken about government policies, yet it is Muslims who are suspected of ‘conflict of interests’.“
A spokesman for HMIC has said: “Mr Farid was investigated for gross misconduct by taking part in public activity that compromised his impartial service to government, thereby breaching the Civil Service Code. He was suspended immediately whilst investigations were ongoing.”