“A Muslim group that wants to open a giant £100 million mosque in London has set its sights on ‘winning the whole of Britain to Islam’. Tablighi Jamaat aims to build an Islamic complex near to the site of the 2012 Olympic stadium, with a mosque for 12,000 people, by far the largest religious building in Britain.
“The organisation, which has millions of followers worldwide, insists that it is a peaceful, apolitical revivalist movement that promotes Islamic consciousness among individual Muslims. However, intelligence agencies have cautioned that the group’s ability to fire young men with a zeal for Islam acts as a staging post, for some, along a path that leads to jihadist terrorism.
“Kafeel Ahmed, the Indian doctor who died from burns last month after trying to set off a car bomb at Glasgow Airport, is the latest in a line of terrorists for whose initial radicalisation Tablighi Jamaat has been blamed. The group (literally, the preaching party) belongs to the ultra-conservative Deobandi school of thought within Sunni Islam, whose adherents run more than 600 of Britain’s 1,350 mosques.
“In recent days The Times has exposed the virulently anti-Western creed of some British Deobandis who preach that non-Muslims are an evil and corrupting influence. Their defensive, isolationist approach to life in Britain is shared by many British supporters of Tablighi Jamaat.”
Writing in today’s Times, Andrew Norfolk takes up where he left off with his anti-Deobandi scaremongering on Friday.
It appears to have escaped Norfolk’s attention that all religions have the ultimate objective of converting everyone to their faith. You might as well oppose the building of a Catholic cathedral on the basis that the “sect” behind it seeks to convert all of Britain to Roman Catholicism. And, of course, one of the distinguishing features of Tablighi is that, far from proselytising among adherents of other faiths, it restricts itself to persuading existing believers to be better Muslims.
Norfolk’s piece get the thumbs up from Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch, 10 September 2007
For Yusuf Smith’s comments, see Indigo Jo Blogs, 10 September 2007