Anjem Choudary Associate, Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, Banned from Involvement in Schools

A convicted terrorist has been banned from being involved in the running of schools in order to protect children from “dangerous influences”.

Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, an associate of Anjem Choudary, was barred under Section 128 of the Education Act.

He was previously a proprietor of the unregistered Siddeeq Academy in Tower Hamlets, east London, which closed in 2015 after his arrest.

In 2016 he was jailed for five-and-a-half years, alongside Choudary, for inviting support for Islamic State.

Rahman was released from prison in October 24 last year, prompting Education Secretary Damian Hinds to issue the direction which was made last month but only published on Thursday.

It is the third time powers under section 128 have been exercised since it came into force in September 2014.

The direction states that Rahman is “unsuitable to take part in the management of an independent school (including an academy or Free School)”.

It continues: “The barring decision also has the effect of disqualifying the person from being a governor at a maintained school.”

As well as the 2016 conviction, in 2006 Rahman was convicted of inciting racial hatred, the following year he was convicted of solicitation to murder.

The direction issued by Mr Hinds further states: “He (Rahman) also engaged in social media activity that was aimed at undermining fundamental British values and, in addition, was so inappropriate that, in the opinion of the Secretary of State, it makes Mr Rahman unsuitable to take part in the management of an independent school.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “The Government has a duty to protect children from dangerous influences and Mizanur Rahman, who has been convicted under the terrorism act, quite clearly has no place in our schools.

“We will always act swiftly and decisively to safeguard our young people and this order is evidence of that.”

The first ever barring order was issued in 2015 to Tahir Alam who was at the heart of the alleged Trojan Horse plot by hard-line Muslims to take control of governing boards.

It said he engaged in conduct “aimed at undermining fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.

In 2017, Waseem Yaqub, former chairman of governors of Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham, was found to have engaged in inappropriate conduct which made him “unsuitable to take part in the management of an independent school”.

The direction said that: “In his various roles on Al-Hijrah’s governing body, Mr Yaqub promoted, permitted or failed to challenge inadequate financial monitoring and decision-making on the part of the governing body.”

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Categories: Anjem Choudary, Damian Hinds, education, Mizanur Rahman, Mohammed Mizanur Rahman, News, schools

Shamima Begum Who Left Britain to Join the Islamic State Wants to Come Back Home

An east London schoolgirl who left Britain as a 15-year-old to join the Islamic State group is now heavily pregnant and wants to come home.

Shamima Begum was tracked down by The Times to a refugee camp in northern Syria where she is now 19-years-old, the bride of an Islamic State fighter, nine months pregnant and has had two infant children who are dead. Her husband is in captivity.

Stating that “I don’t regret coming here,” she told The Times: “I’m not the same silly little 15-year-old schoolgirl who ran away from Bethnal Green four years ago.”

She also told the paper: “The caliphate is over.

“There was so much oppression and corruption that I don’t think they deserved victory. I know what everyone at home thinks of me as I have read all that was written about me online. But I just want to come home to have my child. That’s all I want right now. I’ll do anything required just to be able to come home and live quietly with my child.”

She was one of three schoolgirls – along with Kadiza Sultana and Amira Abase – from Bethnal Green Academy who left their homes and families in February 2015 to join a fourth Bethnal Green schoolgirl in Syria who had left London they year before. They each married an Isis foreign fighter, according to The Times.

Ms Sultana was reported to have been killed in an airstrike on Raqqa in May 2016, while Ms Begum has recently heard second-hand from other people that Miss Abase, and the other schoolgirl who left Britain in 2014, may still be alive.

When she arrived, Miss Begum was put in a house where jihadist brides-to-be waited to be married, she said.

Ms Begum was married 10 days after arriving in Raqqa in 2015 to a Dutchman who had converted to Islam. She claims her husband was later arrested, charged with spying and tortured.

She left Raqqa in January 2017 with her husband but her children, a girl aged a year and nine months old and a three-month-old boy, both died in the recent months. Her son had an unknown illness worsened  by malnutrition, The Times said.

She said she had a “mostly” a “normal life in Raqqa, every now and then bombing and stuff”.

She told the paper: “But when I saw my first severed head in a bin it didn’t faze me at all. It was from a captured fighter seized on the battlefield, an enemy of Islam. I thought only of what he would have done to a Muslim woman if he had the chance.”

The family went to Baghuz and she left there two weeks ago along a three-mile long corridor east of the town. Her husband surrendered to a group of Syrian fighters allied to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and she has not seen him since, according to The Times.

The Home Office said it does not comment on individual cases, although anyone who returns to the UK after travelling to IS territory faces criminal investigation and stricter laws are now in place.

Security Minister Ben Wallace said: “The UK advises against all travel to Syria and parts of Iraq. Anyone who does travel to these areas, for whatever reason, is putting themselves in considerable danger.

“Everyone who returns from taking part in the conflict in Syria or Iraq must expect to be investigated by the police to determine if they have committed criminal offences, and to ensure that they do not pose a threat to our national security.

“There are a range of terrorism offences where individuals can be convicted for crimes committed overseas and we can also use Temporary Exclusion Orders to control an individuals’ return to the UK.”

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Categories: Bethnal Green, East London schoolgirl, Islamic State, News, Raqqa, Shamima Begum

Muslim man degraded by threats of violence and sexual humiliation

A Muslim bus driver was assaulted, called a ‘f*cking P*ki’, and, to cause further humiliation, the lone passenger, who refused to leave the vehicle at its designated destination, said he would ejaculate onto a photograph of the driver.

The incident occurred on the evening of February 3.

Speaking to Tell MAMA, the driver, who wishes to remain anonymous, described how the passenger, who boarded the bus in a drunken state and with an open bottle of alcohol, until the driver informed him that he could not continue the journey with the alcohol present. The passenger began to argue with the driver but then smashed the bottle on the concrete outside.

The driver then allowed the man to board despite a lack of funds on their Oyster card, having accepted their pleas that the bus was soon to finish its route.

When the bus arrived at its designated final stop, and the driver requested for the passenger to leave, the man turned aggressive and abusive, swearing at the driver and using his mobile phone to take photographs of him. The man then said he would share the photos with his friends and ‘w**k over them’, and blew kisses at the driver.

He also made crude sexual gestures with his hand towards the driver, in the hope of compounding the sense of humiliation.

The driver was then pushed when attempting to exit his driver’s cabin.

If the driver reduced the physical threat of violence by locking himself in his cabin, after being pushed, it did not, however, remove the threat of verbal abuse and threats, as the man shouted ‘f*cking P*ki’ and ‘you p***y, you’re afraid of the white man’. The perpetrator concluded their racist abuse by adding that he would ‘rip’ the driver’s head off.

The Metropolitan Police were made aware of the abuse during the incident, and, upon learning of this development from the driver, the perpetrator then fled the scene.

Tell MAMA has continued to document how the traditional racial epithet ‘P*ki’ has become a racialised way to target Muslims, irrespective of ethnic background.

Tell MAMA will be writing to the bus company in question to raise concerns about driver safety.

You can get advice from our confidential and free helpline on 0800 456 1226. Or through our free iOS or Android apps. Report through our online form. Or contact us via WhatsApp on 0734 184 6086.

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Categories: bus, hate crime, London, News, public transport

Communities Secretary Sets out Plans to Improve Integration

A greater emphasis on promoting British values and the English language forms part of a new action plan to help promote better integration.

Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said “we cannot ignore the fact that too many places across the country have divides”.

He added these prevent people making the most of the opportunities available.

The plan sets out a series of steps the Government will take in England, backed by £50 million in funding, to create “stronger, more confident and integrated communities”.

The integrated communities action plan states immigrants should build a good understanding of British life and learn English – but local communities also have a responsibility to welcome newcomers.

It promises a “package of practical information” for migrants “to help them meet, mix and build social connections with neighbours and the wider community”.

The Life in the UK citizenship test will give greater prominence to national values , while the language requirements for those seeking to become citizens will also be strengthened.

In schools, teachers will be supported to promote British values across the curriculum and there will be a new national strategy for the English language.

Mr Brokenshire said: “We are a successful, diverse democracy – open, tolerant and welcoming.

“These characteristics are as British as queuing and talking about the weather.

“However, we cannot ignore the fact that too many places across the country have divides, the benefits and opportunities our great country offers are not always felt by everyone equally.”

He added: “Our new action plan charts a course for how we will engage and work with communities to bring people together in recognition that there is more that binds than divides us.

“And as we embark on a new future outside the European Union, we need to ensure that everyone, whatever their background, has access to the same opportunities.”

The plan also includes measures aimed at ensuring communities have access to information and support to improve their areas, including taking much-loved local assets into community ownership

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Categories: communities, Integratuon, James Brokenshire, MHCLH, News

Jihadi Bride’s Brother Jailed For Funding Islamic State in Syria

The brother of a 16-year-old jihadi bride has been jailed for 30 months after he was found guilty of funding Islamic State in Syria.

 Salim Wakil, 25, arranged the transfer of 3,000 dollars (about GBP2,300) via Western Union for his sister Sumaiyyah in February last year, despite repeated warnings from police.

 He used a friend’s name in the transaction in a “deliberate attempt by the defendant to conceal his actions, demonstrating he knew perfectly well what he was doing was wrong”, the Old Bailey heard.

 Wakil claimed he only sent the funds to help his younger sibling return to family in Britain, even though she had married and given birth to a daughter in Raqqa.

 But he was jailed for 30 months on Friday by Judge Rebecca Poulet QC after he was found guilty of entering into a funding arrangement by a jury.

 After he was convicted last month the judge said she had “no doubt this defendant was naive” and was not supportive of IS himself.

 She said he “foolishly and wrongly” took the risk of sending money because he was “genuinely feeling concerned for the safety of his sister”.

 Wakil had lived with his parents and nine younger siblings at the family home in Fleet, Hampshire, including Sumaiyyah, who is now 21, the court heard.

 In August 2014, aged just 16, Sumaiyyah left home and travelled to Syria, leaving behind a letter explaining her reasons for joining IS and asking her family not to tell police.

 Police did not find out until the following year, and the Prevent deradicalisation programme was called in.

An investigation revealed the teenager had maintained contact with her family via Skype calls and WhatsApp as well as other text communications.

During the chats, Sumaiyyah described wanting to become a martyr and talked of her husband and pregnancy, jurors heard.

While in Syria, she had married 19-year-old Abu Dujana – real name Mehdi Hassan – from Portsmouth, who was killed fighting in the autumn of 2014.

But Wakil repeatedly encouraged his sister to come back to Britain. When she asked to see photographs of her younger siblings, Wakil replied: “U come see them thanks.”

 Detective Chief Superintendent Kath Barnes, head of Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE), said: “Salim Wakil was manipulated by his sister into sending money to her, which could very easily be used for terrorism purposes.

 “The law intends to cut off funding to terrorist groups and to stop money falling into the hands of people who may use it for terrorist purposes, and today’s sentence reflects that.

“By making the decision to send money and ignoring the advice of the police, Salim Wakil broke the law.

“The law applies equally to everyone, regardless of their motives, and is here to stop the funding of terrorist organisations and individuals.

“No-one has the permission to take the law into their own hands, no matter how emotional the reasoning is for doing so.”

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Categories: Islamic State, Jihadi Bride's Brother, News, Salim Wakil

Conservative Cllr Mike Franklin suspended over Islamophobic retweets

A councillor has been suspended from the Conservative Party after historic retweets of Islamophobic and anti-Muslim content resurfaced.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi provided screenshots of the historic retweets on February 6, 2019.

Tell MAMA’s investigation, however, of Cllr Mike Franklin’s Twitter account, has uncovered further examples of offensive retweets.

Our investigation found that Cllr Franklin, who represents Luton and Wayfield, retweeted a post shared on January 7, 2017, which sought to malign London Mayor Sadiq Khan as being ‘silent’ on terrorism. This is not true.

Credit: Twitter.

The account Cllr Franklin retweeted, @gimblemusk, has written that “If Islam is the answer, could the question be “What’s the most irritating, dull and violent religion on earth?”?”.

Cllr Franklin retweeted and favourited a tweet from a user (@RogerV52) who once wrote “Islam is incompatible with everyone. Where there are Muslims, there is conflict.”

The tweet in question, however, is an Islamophobic image macro which suggests that liberals are embracing Muslims, despite the apparent threat they pose to minorities and women. This image macro, however, is photoshopped, as the protester photographed, was at a 2006 protest which was, in part, organised by the extremist preacher Anjem Choudary, in response to the Danish cartoons.

Credit: Twitter.

But Cllr Franklin does not follow the @RogerV52 account. Nor was he tagged into the original tweet he then retweeted and favourited. Such actions pose more questions about his use of social media.

Similar conduct appeared on Cllr Franklin’s Twitter timeline in 2016, after he retweeted a post which sought to suggest that a small minority of Muslims in the UK and Germany endorse suicide bombing. The source of the polling is not the Pew Research Center, as the data concerns Muslims abroad, which, in actuality, showed a decline in support for suicide bombing.

Credit: Twitter.

The source of this data may stem from polling carried out by the Guardian/ICM in 2004 with sample sizes of just 500 Muslims (we’ve highlighted issues around polling methodologies before). And the Guardian piece, from November 2004, stated that the data was not weighted because “there is no authoritative source of demographic information on the Muslim population.”

Polling Muslims in Britain, after all, is a difficult and expensive task.

Others, like Professor Maria Sobolewska, writing in 2014, highlight how the framing of questions can influence responses. She also found a comparable number of non-Muslims expressed support for suicide bombings in certain contexts.

We’ve seen how bad polling (and the inaccurate interpretation of data) can malign Muslims in the press.

Similar concerns about the social media conduct of Cllr Franklin were raised in 2016, who, at the time, claimed that he was ‘naive’ in his use of Twitter. This new evidence serves to cast further doubt on this historic claim.

Tell MAMA will provide Medway Council and the Conservative Party with our evidence.

We welcome the swift action to suspend this councillor but it remains concerning that action, at a council level (or in the party hierarchy) was not seemingly taken when members of the public had raised complaints beforehand. We will, therefore, raise this concern further in our correspondence.

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Categories: Cllr Mike Franklin, Conservative Party

Hate crime victims left suicidal and afraid to leave home by attacks ‘unleashed after Brexit referendum’

People have been left suicidal and afraid to leave their homes by a wave of hate crime “unleashed” after the EU referendum, MPs have found.

The first inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hate Crime warned that rising offences were causing “psychological and emotional harm”.

A report contains testimonies from victims who suffered mental illness, depression and became suicidal, including one who wrote: “Hate crime really destroyed my life. I wanted to commit suicide. It was two years of hell.”

One woman described how the abuse she endured made her “bedridden”, and the parent of a transgender child said she was “fearful about whether I can keep my child and our family safe. I lose sleep, find it hard to cope.”

The APPG was told that many hate crime victims try to avoid abuse by changing their commutes, leaving jobs, not taking public transport, altering their appearance and removing religious clothing.

“They make mention of how the abuse made them feel afraid, even to leave their homes at all,” the report concluded.

The British Transport Police raised the possibility of a link between hate crime and suicide in a submission to the committee, and academics chronicled feelings of vulnerability, anxiety and shame among victims.

Click here to read in detail

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Categories: Press articles on matters of faith

Member of Young Conservatives said Tommy Robinson was ‘right’

The Admin Executive for the Blackpool North and Cleveleys branch of the Young Conservatives praised the far-right extremist Tommy Robinson on Twitter, a Tell MAMA investigation has uncovered.

Jay Daniel, who tweets under the username @Jay_Daniel19, wrote on June 22, 2017, “Say what you like about @TRobinsonNewEra It doesn’t stop him from being right.”

Credit: Twitter/@jay_daniel19

Other tweets from @Jay_Daniel19 to Mr Robinson appear several times in 2017, with the final tweet, a positive reaction GIF from the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, sent on March 19, 2018 – 9 days before Twitter banned Robinson from its platform.

A notable tweet to Robinson contained a quote, removed from its original context, from the 1899 edition of Winston Churchill’s The River War, on June 28, 2017.

Credit: Twitter/@jay_daniel19

Others have chronicled Churchill’s views on Islam and other races. His wartime cabinet, in 1940, also set aside £100,000 to build London Central Mosque, as a thank you to the Muslims who fought alongside the British.

On August 17, 2017, he tweeted a YouTube video from the far-right media outlet Rebel Media, which featured Robinson discussing acid attacks.

Credit: Twitter/@jay_daniel19

 

The personal Facebook account of Mr Daniel had ‘liked’ Tommy Robinson’s official page.

Credit: Facebook

Tell MAMA has uncovered other concerning tweets of an Islamophobic and anti-Muslim nature. Including the claim that “one would struggle to come to the conclusion that Islam doesn’t instruct its followers to commit violence.” Yesterday evening, during a wider discussion, he told a Muslim woman, “Preaching hate is dangerous and your religion relishes in it.”

Credit: Twitter/@jay_daniel19.

Tell MAMA was also made aware of tweets sent from Mr Daniel’s account which concern the racial epithet ‘P*ki’.

Credit: Twitter/@jay_daniel19

During an online discussion yesterday evening, he tweeted, “Well you can’t even call someone from Pakistan a ‘paki’ or a ‘Pakistani’ without being racist these days so I understand your confusion.” When challenged by other users, Mr Daniel added: “As you can see from my picture, I’m not the palest of blokes… occasionally people call me a Mexican or a paki or a nigga… still life moves on.”

Credit: Twitter/@jay_daniel19

The racialisation of Muslims and Islam means that traditional racial epithets, like ‘P*ki’, are directed at Muslims, irrespective of their ethnicity.

As of writing, Mr Daniel has not responded to Tell MAMA’s request for comment and has since removed his Twitter and Facebook accounts from public view.

Questions remain, however, as to the use of the official Blackpool North and Cleveleys Young Conservatives Twitter account to defend Mr Daniel.

A statement from the Blackpool North and Cleveleys Conservatives confirmed that the individual would be expelled from the Conservative Party, adding that local MP Paul Maynard condemns racism in all its forms and that the investigation will be dealth with in a serious manner.

Our investigation will be sent to the Conservative Party to assist in their investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Conservative Party, News, Tommy Robinson

Guidelines Published to Safeguard Free Speech at Universities

New guidance to protect lawful free speech at universities has been unveiled following claims of censorship on campuses.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has worked with 10 leading organisations to develop a guide for student unions and institutions, providing advice on following the relevant law.

There was input from the National Union of Students, Universities UK, Charity Commission for England and Wales, Office for Students, Independent HE, Guild HE, Commission for Countering Extremism and Home Office.

The 53-page document clarifies the occasions where free speech can lawfully be limited.

EHRC chairman David Isaac said: “The free expression and exchange of different views without persecution or interference goes straight to the heart of our democracy and is a vital part of higher education.

“Holding open, challenging debates rather than silencing the views of those we don’t agree with helps to build tolerance and address prejudice and discrimination.

“Our guidance makes clear that freedom of speech in higher education should be upheld at every opportunity and should only be limited where there are genuine safety concerns or it constitutes unlawful behaviour.”

In 2017, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights held an inquiry into the state of free speech in UK universities, following concerns over increased bureaucracy and potential self censorship from students on campus.

Sector leaders agreed during a Department for Education summit in May 2018 to create the new guidance which has now been published.

It says:

– Everyone has the right to free speech within the law.

– Higher education providers should always work to widen debate, never to narrow it.

– Any decision about speakers should seek to promote and protect the right to freedom of expression.

– Peaceful protest is a protected form of expression; however, protest should not be allowed to shut down debate or infringe the rights of others.

– Everyone has the right to express and receive views and opinions, including those that may “offend, shock or disturb others”.

– Protecting freedom of expression is a legal requirement for most higher education providers.

Alistair Jarvis, chief executive of Universities UK, said: “Universities are absolutely committed to promoting and protecting free speech.

“Universities host thousands of events each year, among a student population of more than two million, and the vast majority of these pass without incident.

“Although there is little evidence of a systematic problem of free speech in universities, there is a legal duty on the higher education sector to secure free speech within the law and it is important that universities continually review their approaches.

“This new guidance provides a useful tool that will help universities balance the numerous requirements placed upon them, including student safeguarding responsibilities, and supports their significant efforts to uphold freedom of speech.”

Amatey Doku of the NUS said: “As the guidance rightly notes, the right to freedom of expression is not absolute and that students’ unions and universities must balance that right with other legal duties.

“We were pleased to input into the drafting process in order to help identify where confusion can arise and to dispel some of the common myths around students’ union activity.”

Universities minister Chris Skidmore said: “The guidance provides a clear framework for institutions and student unions to work within, and provides additional clarity on the contentious issue of hate speech.

“It also sets out a clear benchmark of good practice around how these organisations can work together to facilitate and uphold free speech, alongside other requirements such as the Prevent Duty, which requires higher education institutions to safeguard staff and students from being drawn into terrorism.”

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Categories: EHRC, free speech, Higher Education, News, Right to Freedom of Expression

Suspect Accused of Joining Al Qaeda in Syria

A terror suspect has appeared in court charged with travelling to Syria and joining al Qaida.

Mohammed Yamin, 25, from east London, was arrested on Wednesday and subsequently charged with three offences – engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts, membership of a proscribed organisation, and possession of a gun for a purpose connected with terrorism.

The Metropolitan Police said the charges relate to offences allegedly carried out between April 25 2013 and June 1 2014.

The particulars of the alleged offences include engaging in conduct in preparation for giving effect to his intention, namely the purchase of equipment and clothing; obtaining information about the routes to Syria from the UK, the purchase of a one-way flight ticket to facilitate the journey to Syria and his subsequent travel to Syria.

Yamin appeared before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday morning following his arrest as part of a pre-planned operation.

He was remanded in custody ahead of his next court appearance, at the Old Bailey, on February 15, Scotland Yard said.

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Categories: Al Qaeda, Mohamed Yamin, News, Syria, Terror Suspect, Westminster Magistrate's Court