Who uses the IHRC's research?

12 Aug 2009 by CST

In May of this year, the Islamic Human Rights Commission published an attack on CST, based on articles written by CST staff and published on our website, which claimed that CST deliberately deceives people about Islam and Muslims in order to generate Islamophobia. Their briefing was full of mistakes, misattributions, misrepresentations and one alleged quote which was a complete invention. It ascribed ideas and meanings to articles written by CST that were the opposite of what the articles actually meant, muddled up the wrong authors with different articles and was generally a rather shabby mess.

We responded, pointing out all the holes in their briefing on us. IHRC then responded to our response; they added little new of substance, other than a laughable claim for libel relating to a conference that they advertised on their website, but it seems that they wanted the last word. So be it.

Well now a South African organisation called Media Review Network has used the IHRC's work, to protest at the news that CST's Michael Whine has been invited to speak in South Africa later this year:

Media Review Network (MRN) is outraged that the Pretoria-based International Institute for Islamic Studies (IIIS) headed by Prof. Hussein Solomon, plans to meet with rabid British Islamophobe, Michael Whine later this month. Whine, who is a key participant at the upcoming South African Jewish Board of Deputies conference, is the Government and International Affairs Director at the UK-based Community Security Trust (CST). CST is a vigilante, paramilitary group that purports to provide security services for the Jewish community in Britain. CST members, including Whine, also write extensively about terrorism.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) recently found that CST publications “depict Islam as being an agent of violence, supportive of terrorism and a threat to adherents of the Jewish faith”. IHRC found that, despite claiming to be academically sound, the publications were conducted with little academic accuracy, lacked methodology and utilised haphazard evidence – all in an effort to demonize Islam and its adherents.

 The MRN statement goes on to rehearse some of the IHRC's spurious allegations against Michael Whine. But then their researcher, Soraya Dadoo, goes rather off-message:

Even more alarming is Whine’s role in defaming historian, David Irving. In 1994, the Canadian Federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration obtained, through lengthy legal action, secret files which contained two mysterious reports on Irving. The reports were compiled in 1991 and 1992. In 1996 it was established, beyond doubt, that the secret author was the Board of Deputies of British Jews. During a High Court action initiated by Irving, Whine, the then executive director of the Board, confirmed in an affidavit that the Board had been monitoring Irving’s activities for many years.

The documents were designed for one purpose: to convince governments worldwide that Irving was a Nazi with international connections, and deny him entry to their countries. Whine’s involvement, during his tenure at the Board, in such criminal activities is reflective of the depths that Zionists are willing to trawl in an attempt to legitimize the racist Israeli state.

We have seen before this idea that David Irving is some kind of anti-Israel campaigner, and that Jewish efforts to prevent him spreading his poison were done "to legitimize the Israeli state." It is difficult to imagine a more upside-down understanding of the Jewish attitude to Holocaust Denial. For MRN, the allegation that CST and Michael Whine deliberately spread hatred of Muslims, through deception and distortion of Islam, is not as alarming as the idea that we have tried to convince people that David Irving has far right sympathies. I think we get an idea of where MRN stands from this alone. Interestingly, while the IHRC does not accuse CST of being vigilante paramilitaries, that is a common accusation made against us by David Irving.

I confess to not having heard of MRN before this. A brief tour around their website reveals little beyond the standard anti-Israel rhetoric. Antisemitic conspiracy theories do get a hearing, via Malcolm X's 1964 article on "Zionist Dollarism":

These Israeli Zionists religiously believe their Jewish God has chosen them to replace the outdated European colonialism with a new form of colonialism, so well disguised that it will enable them to deceive the African masses into submitting willingly to their “divine” authority and guidance, without the African masses being aware that they are still colonized.

…

The modern 20th century weapon of neo-imperialism is “dollarism.” The Zionists have mastered the science of dollarism: the ability to come posing as a friend and benefactor, bearing gifts and all other forms of economic aid and offers of technical assistance. Thus, the power and influence of Zionist Israel in many of the newly “independent” African nations has fast-become even more unshakeable than that of the 18th century European colonialists… and this new kind of Zionist colonialism differs only in form and method, but never in motive or objective.

…

The number one weapon of 20th century imperialism is zionist dollarism, and one of the main bases for this weapon is Zionist Israel. The ever-scheming European imperialists wisely placed Israel where she could geographically divide the Arab world, infiltrate and sow the seed of dissension among African leaders and also divide the Africans against the Asians.

The MRN website also carries an IHRC campaign alert, dated from last month, to organise support for convicted terrorist Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, who is one of the IHRC's "Prisoners of Faith". The IHRC's campaign pack for Omar Abdul Rahman opens with a quote from the Sheikh, saying "I am being tried because of my beliefs in Islam"; which is not quite right, because he was in fact tried - and convicted - for directing a group of his followers to bomb the United Nations Building in New York, the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the George Washington Bridge and the main FBI office building in Manhattan, as well as plotting to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak. I assume that the IHRC does not intend to suggest that such behaviour is synonymous with belief in Islam, because that would certainly encourage Islamophobia.

Beyond this, there does not seem to be much of a connection between IHRC and MRN. There is certainly no reason to think that the IHRC  shares MRN's outrage at the "defaming" of David Irving. But it is interesting, nonetheless, to see how the IHRC's shabby research on CST ended up being used.


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“We are immensely grateful to the CST for all the support and guidance. A fabulous, committed and capable team.”

Joshua Rowe
Chair of Governors, King David High School, Manchester