Tuesday, April 22, 2008

BBC Reports on New UK Foundation Formed by UK Muslims

Today, April 22, the BBC reports that a group of UK Muslims launched a new nonprofit, the Quilliam Foundation, to eradicate extremism in British Islamic communities.  The group says that it "calls for renouncing extremism and promoting peaceful coexistence among various races and cultures."  The group also says that it "aims to alter the stereotype image that began forming inside the British society in the aftermath of the . . . September [11] attacks and the blowing up of two subway trains in the British capital, London, in July 2005."  The BBC report further provides that "[t]his development is in harmony with a similar development in some EU countries, despite some radical trends' opposition of this move."  The BBC report was taken from a televised report that aired on Al-Jazeera Satellite TV on April 21.  See below for the balance of the telecast as reported by the BBC:

[Begin recording of video report by Yusuf Nur Awad, read by Su'ad Abdallah]
[Abdallah] A call for supporting a multiracial and multicultural society was
launched by a group of British Muslims to eradicate what it termed tendency
towards extremism. The group, which calls itself Quilliam Foundation, said on
its internet website that it is trying to support the value of pluralism in the
British society in the face of what it termed cultural values imported from the
Indian subcontinent and from the political problems in the Arab world. This
tendency comes as an attempt to make up for the outcome of the 2005 London
subway bombings, which were carried out by a number of British Muslims who were
born in Britain but who are not considered to be representatives of the peaceful
majority of British Muslims in this country.

[Ed Husayn, Quilliam Foundation, in English with voice-over translation into
Arabic, translated from the Arabic] This is the first time since the 11
September attacks and 7 July attacks when such effort emerges among those who
were linked to extremism and who now call for combating the ideology of
Al-Qa'idah organization.

[Abdallah] The foundation realizes that reaching large sectors of the public
is not an easy task, but it is a mission that many are determined to undertake.

[Unidentified young man, in English with voice-over translation into Arabic,
translated from the Arabic] Well, I think it is a good idea actually. I am a
Muslim and do not like this extremism and so I support what we are doing.

[Abdallah] The Quilliam Foundation, which was named after an Englishman who
embraced Islam in the 19 century, succeeded in opening dialogue among the
Islamic organizations in Britain, such as the Muslim Council of Britain.
However, other elements of the British society do not support the goals of this

[Unidentified man, in English with voice-over translation into Arabic,
translated from the Arabic] The individuals who are carrying out this action are
non-committed Muslims, who are in reality the voice of the British Government.
No one trusts them.

[Abdallah] Differences in viewpoints might be a normal thing with regard to
such moves, but what is more important is the presence of voices calling for
calm and not escalation in Britain, which echoes a new Islamic tendency in some
EU countries. [End recording] [Video of people entering a mosque]

Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1620 gmt 21 Apr 08

BBC Monitoring Middle East - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring.  See BBC News for more in-depth coverage of this story.

The organization's website can be accessed by clicking here - Quilliam Foundation.  On the organization's website, the foundation is described as a counter extremism think tank created by former activists of radical Islamic organizations, making the founders familiar with the mindset and methods of extremist organizations.  See the website for more information.



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