Radical Islamist Group Claims to Influence UK Election
Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND), a United Kingdom-based radical Islamist front organization, is openly bragging about its close relationship with both the Tory and Labour political parties, the UK’sTelegraph reports. The group’s chief executive, Sufyan Islamil, characterizes MEND as “kingmaker” in the May election, claiming to influence up to 30 seats.
In a speech at Bolton’s Zakariyya Central Mosque, Ismail compared British Jews fighting for the Israeli military with British Muslims fighting for Syrian rebels, including the Islamic State.
“…British Muslims going to Syria fighting against Assad…will definitely face interrogation. Now do you think that if we landed those 20 seats or 30 seats he [Prime Minister Cameron] would have the audacity to say that (foreign fighters should be prosecuted] to the Muslim community? Not a chance!”
MEND has also been designated as an “official partner” by the Electoral Commission for the election, allowing the group to promise its radical and anti-democratic agenda.
Ismail also claimed that the group is in the process of negotiating with the leadership of the major parties.
“Right now, we are negotiating with the Labour leadership, we are negotiating with the Tory leadership and insh’allah [God willing] will start with the Lib Dem leadership as well, where we have a list of manifesto pledges…the Muslim vote is worth ten ordinary votes because… we are heavily concentrated in a few areas,” Ismail said.
He added that “anybody who can give any one party 10, 20, 30 seats, like we can, they have to listen to you.”
A prominent Muslim figure repeatedly offered a Tory candidate significant contributions if the candidate subscribed to the group’s “Muslim Manifesto.” At least 10 Labour and Conservative members of Parliament (MPs) attended an event commemorating the manifesto’s launch.
The group’s manifesto advocates for the infiltration of Islamists in the British government and calls for the criminal prohibition of “insulting” Islam.
Ismail accuses British society of anti-Muslim racism and alleges that Islamophobic attacks surpass all other hate crimes. However, anti-Muslim hate crimes have increased less than most other hate crimes, including antisemitic and homophobic crimes, including on per capita basis.
Azad Ali, MEND’s director of engagement, has called for the death of British soldiers and praised the late American-born al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki. Ali also stated that, “Democracy, if it means that, you know, at the expense of not implementing the sharia, of course no one agrees with that.”
MEND also promotes radical Islamist figures including extremist preacher Haitham al-Haddad, who calls for the implementation of sharia law and refers to democracy as “filthy.”
Steven Emerson is the Executive Director the Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org) where this article first appeared.