Muslim advocacy group accused of promoting Islamism

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A Muslim advocacy group which works closely with police forces, politicians and councils has been accused of promoting Islamist views.

MEND (Muslim Engagement and Development) was described as a group of “Islamists masquerading as civil libertarians” in a report from the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) think tank this week.

The report pointed to MEND officials’ “highly concerning views on terrorism”, such as downplaying their terrorist nature and promoting conspiracy theories about them. It said MEND had “regularly hosted illiberal, intolerant and extremist Islamist speakers at public events”, including those who have promoted jihad, homophobia and anti-Semitism and those who have legitimised the killing of adulterers and ‘infidels’.

It said MEND had frequently attacked liberal Muslims and Muslims engaged in counter-extremism. The group has encouraged the belief that anti-Muslim prejudice is intentionally driven by Government policy, the media and other interest groups.

“The precise nature of MEND’s worldview is difficult to categorise,” the report said. “In terms of the political and ideological views of its leaders, staff members and volunteers, it can be said that they fall across a spectrum of beliefs.”



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