Journal

  • Lessons from domestically rehabilitating a former extremist in the US - Earlier this month I traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark engaging with government, academia, media and civil society organizations to shed light on several robust approaches to combat extremism from a range of initiatives at a domestic and global level. Denmark is not alone as many other states, including the UK, Saudi Arabia and Singapore have all
    Read more...
  • Next in Q Episode 7: Sara Khan - Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube in conversation with Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism. Sara shares her experiences of extremism that led her to take on this important role.   Listen on Apple Podcast here. Support our
    Read more...
  • With the war on ISIS coming to an end, the West must support the Kurds - Since February 9th of this year, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began operations in the final enclave of ISIS in eastern Syria. The Battle of Baghuz Fawqani has taken longer than expected due to ISIS holding hundreds of prisoners, most of which are civilians that are being effectively used as human shields. With an
    Read more...
  • Great Replacement Conspiricising - Amongst the scrawling on the weapon and magazines of the Christchurch shooter, was the slogan “14 Words”. His manifesto stated those fourteen words: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”. These words, also abbreviated 14 or 14/88, were coined by alt-right terrorist David Lane. They are used frequently
    Read more...
  • New Zealand shootings: Muslims are fearful and hurting but we must not give in to hate - This article by Maajid Nawaz was originally posted in The Times on 16th March 2019. Yesterday’s attack announces the lowest point for Muslim communities in the West since the Bosnia genocide. This is now the single biggest terror attack in Australasia, equal in number of victims to the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016. It will
    Read more...
  • New Zealand Massacre: White Nationalist Iconography and Ideology - The manifesto and the gun decorations displayed by Brenton Tarrant, the man arrested for the horrifying massacre of scores of worshippers at two New Zealand mosques, are steeped in the iconography of the neo Nazi far Right. This is a deliberate choice: the purpose of the attack is to spread these ideas. Many readers will
    Read more...
  • The Parkfield protestors are nothing but bigots disguised as victims: We must not be fooled - This month, it was reported that over 600 Muslim students had been withdrawn from Parkfield Community School in Birmingham over claims that they were being brainwashed by a ‘gay agenda’. Yesterday, in a move that demonstrates the institutional strength of British democracy, Ofsted said in a report that there was no evidence the curriculum overly focused on LGBT issues
    Read more...
  • Iranian and Russian Influence Wars in the US: Targeting African Americans - Iran and Russia continue to face internal challenges in light of sanctions imposed by the international community, in the case of Iran, in response to ongoing nuclear issues, and support of terrorist organizations including Hezbollah and, in relation to Russia, incursions into the territory of neighbouring states. We are familiar with Russia’s influence operations in
    Read more...
  • On Islamists and Salafists - With religion having been largely relegated to the private sphere due in no small part to the secularising effect of the processes which culminated in the formation of the modern nation-state, this current state of affairs has given rise to concerns surrounding the assertive religious identities of many Muslim communities within the West. Chief among
    Read more...
  • Why should anyone take Yosef Mizrachi seriously? - The impending visit of Yosef Mizrachi, the widely condemned extremist preacher, to the UK, has already run into trouble with the speedy cancellation of two public appearances after widespread protests. There is a view often expressed about Mizrachi, particularly by the religiously knowledgeable, that he is, essentially a joke. Not a funny one, considering the
    Read more...
  • What now for Algeria? - Tens of thousands of Algerians are protesting the decision of their ailing President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a fifth term. The 82-year old announced his candidacy for the April 2019 elections by letter last month despite having suffered a stroke in 2013, being in a wheelchair and potentially unable to speak. His last public
    Read more...
  • “If Only” - “If only we could have a transformative socialist Labour Government, but without the antisemitism.” “If only we could be part of the Corbyn movement; and if only we could persuade that movement to oppose antisemitism.” But I don’t want to be part of the Corbyn movement. If by magic the Corbyn movement wasn’t antisemitic, it
    Read more...
  • Next in Q Episode 6: Macer Gifford – The Return of Raqqa - Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube as he continues his conversation with Macer Gifford, Human rights activist & anti-ISIS campaigner. He fought in Raqqa with the MFS (Syriac Military Council) and served for 3 years in the YPG.  
    Read more...
  • British authorities are not equipped to deal with jihadis returning from ISIS - This is a cross-post by Khadija Khan from Sedaa In 2004 the British government secured the release of Jamal Udeen al-Harith from Guantanamo Bay, after strenuous diplomacy with the Americans who had captured him in Pakistan, where he was believed to be an al-Qaeda operative. Al-Harith carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq in 2017 after joining
    Read more...
  • The Extremism of Clowns and Fools - The man described by the Jewish News as the “Rabbi of Hate”, Yosef Mizrachi, has been planning a visit to the UK. No doubt he hoped that the universal condemnation that he attracted from everyone from Chief Rabbi Mirvis to the National Autistic Society in 2016 has died down enough to allow him to sidle
    Read more...
  • Next in Q Episode 5: Macer Gifford – The Call of the Kurds -  Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube in conversation with Macer Gifford, Human rights activist & anti-ISIS campaigner. He fought in Raqqa with the MFS (Syriac Military Council) and served for 3 years in the YPG. “All of a
    Read more...
  • Outrage Culture and the Severity of Hate Crime Hoaxes - Most everyone can agree on the gravity of hate crimes. To hear that a hate crime has taken place in your neighborhood elicits a palpably stronger emotional reaction than other forms of unlawful acts. Indeed, we created this special category of crime because of the general understanding that when a criminal act is committed based on
    Read more...
  • Cults, Grooming and Culpability - I find the idea that Shemima Begum was groomed both intriguing and problematic. I have consistently said that IS behaves like a cult. Indeed, it conforms in many ways with a range of indicators that it operates in a cult-like manner. Powerful and exclusive dedication/devotion to an explicit person or creed. Their use of “thought-reform”
    Read more...
  • Shamima Begum: Victim or Villain? - I think the Handmaid’s Tale is a perfect analogy that could help us understand where to place the ISIS bride Shamima Begum in the scales of sympathy or condemnation. Was she June? The kidnapped female victim who’s sole purpose, along with many others like her, is to be repeatedly raped for the purpose of being
    Read more...
  • Shamima Begum was a minor when she travelled to Syria but she must face the consequences of her actions - This is a cross post from SEDAA by Tehmina Kazi Of all the reprehensible things said by jihadi bride Shamima Begum in her notorious Times interview, what sticks out the most is her callous indifference to seeing “severed heads in bins” in ISIS territory, “because they were enemies of Islam.” In a follow-up interview with
    Read more...
  • Ilhan Omar, Cultural Politics and the Regressive Left - This is not an article about bashing Representative Ilhan Omar. Nor is it about her tweet that the U.S. government support of Israel is “all about the Benjamins.” Let’s be clear: her remarks were flat out wrong and there is no need to caveat or to equivocate about the significance of what she said. However,
    Read more...
  • What to do about Shamima Begum - A shorter version of this article originally appeared in the Mail on Sunday. Aimen Dean is, arguably, the greatest British hero since World War II. Originally from Saudi Arabia, he went to fight jihad in Bosnia at the tender age of fifteen. Within a few years, he had become a fully-fledged member of Al Qaeda,
    Read more...
  • The Salman Rushdie Fatwa: My Radicalisation - Thirty years ago, I was a young law student at Southampton University. I was in my second year of study and was beginning to be ‘radicalised’, as it were. University was my first experience of politics. Student politics is an odd beast. Most people – normal people, that is – don’t really spend their time
    Read more...
  • Next In Q: Video Podcast – People of the Book: An Interfaith Dialogue - Dr Usama Hasan has co-written a fascinating trialogue which explores the role of scripture in illuminating the lives of Jews, Christians and Muslims. The resultant work, People of the Book: An Interfaith Dialogue about How Jews, Christians and Muslims Understand Their Sacred Scriptures, can be purchased at Amazon (US and UK). To mark the launch of
    Read more...
  • How should we oppose extremism? - The term “Extremism” has always been somewhat vacuous. Its use is so widespread, and its deployment by some so dubious, that it often seems it has no serious substance at all. But while there are far too many instances in which ignorant or politically motivated individuals degrade the term’s integrity, there also have always been
    Read more...
  • From the Prophet to the King - An Islamic Friday sermon on the universal equality of humanity: delivered on and marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day PART 1 of the sermon All Praise belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds. Blessings and Peace be upon the Messengers of God.  As tens of millions of people around our world marked Martin Luther King
    Read more...
  • Hamas and Salafi Jihadi Groups - What has been the nature of relations between Hamas and Salafi jihadi groups? The question is worth examining because Hamas is sometimes equated with the latter ideologically while on other occasions a strict dichotomy of enmity and opposition is painted between Hamas and the Salafi jihadi groups. In fact, some nuances emerge depending on location.
    Read more...
  • It is not just Brexit that feeds the UK’s far right - This article originally appeared on CNN The deep social and political divisions exposed by the UK’s Brexit vote present both an opportunity for the British far right — as well as being a challenge to it. Indeed, only this week, Neil Basu the head of London’s Metropolitan Police’s counterterrorism operations, said that Brexit had the “potential
    Read more...
  • The UK’s Struggles with Far Right Extremism - Earlier this month I wrote about how terrorism from the far right has grown in the United States. My research indicated to me with alarming clarity that this phenomenon does not stop on American shores – the UK is also facing a galvanised extreme right. On December 6th 2018,  the North East Counter Terrorism Unit
    Read more...
  • Response to Home Affairs Committee call for evidence - We publish below Quilliam’s response to the Home Affairs Committee call for evidence, which asks in particular for our views on impact of official adoption of a definition of Islamophobia, in the context of the report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims calling for the adoption of an official working definition of Islamophobia. We
    Read more...
  • The Far Right’s Roots in Europe - In recent weeks I have addressed the rise of the extreme right in both the United States and the United Kingdom. In both countries, we are witnessing the proliferation of right-wing organisations that are committed to visiting terror on innocent civilians. To name a few, these groups include the Rise Against Movement, the Atomwaffen Division,
    Read more...
  • Over-Moralization of Immigration Is Bad for All Parties - Immigration is shaping up to be the defining issue of this decade. After the refugee crisis following the Arab Spring uprisings in the early 2010s, native resentment of generous immigration policies in the West are now front-and-center in our discourse. Research and polls suggest that this sentiment is the single largest contributor to the populist
    Read more...
  • Dialogue Over Division – Lord Ashdown and Maajid Nawaz - To mark the passing of Lord Ashdown, we are posting a short video that Lord Ashdown and Maajid Nawaz made for the Liberal Democrats a few years ago, with a timeless message. Lord Ashdown: The politics of the Devil’s songs is easy, anybody could do that. Anybody could make a political appeal that is to
    Read more...
  • History will damn us for our apathy towards migrants - In the garden of the Righteous Among Nations in Jerusalem, a memorial to the gentiles who helped Jews during the Holocaust, the smell of pine fills the air and the sun dapples the white stone plaques, engraved with thousands of names. One of those Righteous, Gustav Schrӧder, the captain of the ship St Louis, ferried
    Read more...
  • الإسلام ومستقبل التسامح: حوار بين سام هارس وماجد نواز - هذا الكتيب الصغير الحجم نسبيا يشتمل على حوار ماتع عن الإسلام واشكالية التجديد والإصلاح والتحديات السياسية والإجتماعية المعاصرة لقراءه النصوص الدينية . أعتقد أن من أهم ما يميز الكتاب أنه حوار سهل وبسيط مع العمق الشديد فى معالجة المسائل المهمة والحساسة والتى تثار من حين لآخر فى الأديان جميعا والإسلام بصفة خاصة مثل مسألة العلاقة
    Read more...
  • Haredi communities need a vision for a sustainable future - In a recent piece in the JC, Jonathan Boyd, the director of Jewish Policy Research, argues that haredi (ultra-orthodox) Jewish communities are growing compared to other parts of the community. He also argues that a wider engagement with society is critical. I agree. But not unlike the Melanie Phillips piece that he mentions, Boyd is
    Read more...
  • Dying Democracy? Defending Our Freedom in the Face of Corrosive Hatred - This is the text of an address by Dr Charlotte Knobloch at the delivered at the joint symposium between Cumberland Lodge and CCJ: Democracy in Crisis? Moral and Spiritual Resistance Democracy in Crisis? Moral and Spiritual Resistance Ladies and Gentlemen, Thank you very much for your invitation, and for the opportunity to speak to you today.
    Read more...
  • The Hopkins Trajectory - If Britain’s media culture can be thought of, in abstract, as Victor Frankenstein, Katie Hopkins thinks of herself as its monster. She is proud of the phrase but likely not of some of its implications. Hopkins wanted absolution from blame, painting herself almost as a Newtonian reaction. This is unsustainable. But she is a little
    Read more...
  • The Depressing Saga of the Holocaust Exhibition in Golders Green - The story of those non-Jews – including Muslims – who put their lives on the line during the Holocaust to save their Jewish friends and neighbours is one of the few luminous points in one of the darkest periods of human history. Ironically, although not unexpectedly, an attempt to retell that story has handed an
    Read more...
  • America is Failing to Recognise the Threat of Far-Right Terrorism - On August 6th 2001, then-President Bush received the day’s Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), a top-secret document integrating latest intelligence from the CIA, NSA, FBI, and other members of the US intelligence community. Titled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Attack US’, this PDB now lives in infamy, with reports stating President Bush responded to the CIA officer
    Read more...
  • Beheading, Decapitation and Mutilation - The world awoke to yet another heinous crime, similar in its monstrosity to the burning alive of the Jordanian pilot Mu’az al-Kasasbah and the public beheadings of the American journalist James Foley and the British charity worker Alan Henning. Images and videos of completely severed and partially severed heads of the two Scandinavian tourists in
    Read more...
  • Implications of the U.S. Government New Africa Strategy - The Trump administration has put the United Nations, and China on notice in a new Africa strategy unveiled by John Bolton, the National Security Adviser. The new strategy is a significant shift for the U.S. and counters growing Chinese and Russian influence in Africa, according to reports. The new strategy seeks to counter Chinese investments
    Read more...
  • Muziqa Mizrahit in the Arab World - Sometimes at the restaurant which I work at, we play our own music on the speakers, and I’m usually the DJ. The mix tends to go through a plethora of rap, raï, R’n’B and whatever else is on my phone. I also have a significant collection of Israeli music on my phone but I have Arab
    Read more...
  • A New Right Reading List - When Osama bin Laden was found by the special forces of the United States and met his end, there was surprising attention paid to this bookshelf. First, and understandably, the volumes present were the subject of understandable interest. That bin Laden appeared to like the books of Noam Chomsky, at least enough to include them
    Read more...
  • Jews, the British Labour Party, and How We Fell Out - This is the text of a speech that I delivered to the Society of Czech Jewish Academics I would like to start with an observation that would not, now, shock anybody at all in the United Kingdom, but which genuinely surprised British Jews who were active in Left wing politics. Whereas in most of Western Europe,
    Read more...
  • A Grand Betrayal - This is a cross post from Catherine Lafferty Sometimes a grand betrayal serves as a mirror of truth, revealing that a person or institution has travelled so far from its origins that it has become something altogether different. The pact signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov in the summer of 1939 is a
    Read more...
  • Jihadist Gains in Mozambique are Indicative of a Larger Problem - The growing threat of jihadist terrorism in Africa was underscored this past weekend with a suspected Islamist attack on the village of Chicuaia Velha in northern Mozambique. The attackers hacked at innocent villagers with machetes and burned houses down as they went. When it was all over, they had killed a total of twelve people and forced many
    Read more...
  • Why the APPG’s Definition of Islamophobia is not up to scratch - The APPG on British Muslims has produced its report, Islamophobia Defined. It is not, in essence, an Islamist definition. Although it was compiled with the support of an academic, Dr Antonio Perra, formerly of MEND, who has accused Quilliam of having borrowed “elements of both Far-Right and Liberal Islamophobia”, there is little of that sort
    Read more...
  • The Sara Conference: Women against Antisemitism against Women - On 26th November a conference took place in Westminster, organised by the APPG, All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism. I only heard about it at the last minute and was too late to get security clearance for more than the opening breakfast launch. It was an epic hour. Luciana Berger MP (Lab) introduced the breakfast speakers
    Read more...
  • Preventing Islamist Extremism in Liberal Democracies - I attended the Home Affairs conference in Prague last week, where I spoke on a panel on the subject of preventing Islamist extremism in liberal democracies. This is broadly what I had to say. Here are five points which give you a flavour of the lessons that we have learnt in combating extremism and political
    Read more...
  • The Hijab Must be Permitted in Congress - Democrats, now having secured a majority in the House of Representatives, plan to propose several rule changes next year when the new Members take their seats. Among these changes will be a lift on the 181-year-old ban of headwear on the House floor – a move primarily motivated by the incoming Muslim Congresswoman Ilhan Abdullahi
    Read more...
  • Thanksgiving Message 2018 - On this Thanksgiving holiday, Quilliam International takes a moment to share to our friends a message of appreciation and thankfulness. On behalf of all of our staff, Quilliam is thankful for our families, friends and supporters who remain steadfast against the fight against extremism in all its forms and who seek to create healthy and
    Read more...
  • Murder in the name of Allah - This is a guest post by Susanna Craig I lay my cards on the table from the outset. I consider the term blasphemy to mean ‘the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God.’ And whilst I choose to not do this myself, as a believer, I believe that the Almighty
    Read more...
  • Debate: This House WOULD Tolerate Religious Fundamentalism - On Friday, I had the pleasure of opposing the motion, “This house would not tolerate religious fundamentalism” at Exeter University Debating Society. My team mate was Simon Perfect of Theos. We were opposed by Chris Street of the Atheist Society and Helen Nicholls of the National Secular Society. Helen and I essentially agreed with each
    Read more...
  • Why conspiracy theories are not just a harmless joke - As October drew to a close, two acts of far-right terrorism took place on American soil. A pipe bomb was sent to the Jewish philanthropist George Soros, with further bombs posted to a series of prominent US liberals. Shortly afterwards, a lone gunman murdered 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue. The prime suspects in each
    Read more...
  • Tackling Misdirected Blame—Disavowing All Forms of Anti-Semitism - This is a cross post from Areo Magazine by Charleen Adams  It’s been almost two weeks since it happened. The US has had a midterm election. We’ve cast our votes in the hopes of a better future. We continue to grieve for those murdered and injured while celebrating life in a shulin Pittsburgh. But the gunman, with
    Read more...
  • Neither Pet nor Threat: The State of American Muslims - The American political environment is now more in flux than ever. The recent midterm election this past week was not only characterized by the candidature of an unprecedented number of women, of whom a number came from minority backgrounds, but also resulted in the election of two Muslim women to Congress. Moreover, the vocal and
    Read more...
  • The Quilliam Winter Gala: In Review - In a whirl of glitz and glamour, Quilliam International’s Winter Gala brought together hundreds of people with the same interest at heart: promoting solidarity between communities. The guests were greeted in the Ladies’ Smoking Room in the Renaissance Hotel, where they were able to see a number of items for sale at auction, and to
    Read more...
  • Taking Grooming Gangs Seriously - In December 2017, we at Quilliam put out a report entitled Group-Based Child Sexual Exploitation: Dissecting “Grooming Gangs” We decided to produce this report because we were concerned that the debate around this issue had been skewed by anti-Muslim populists. Those populists had used the high number of convictions to peddle anti-Muslim hatred. We wanted
    Read more...
  • Don Lemon’s comments on American extremist violence: accurate but divisive - Over the course of the past two weeks, a slew of terrorist attacks has shaken the country to its core. There was the Trump-obsessed stripper DJ Cesar Sayoc who sent a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and left-wing celebrities. There was the shooting of two black customers at a Kentucky Kroger by Gregory Bush.
    Read more...
  • Al Qaeda’s Resurgence Is a Symptom of our Failure to Understand Islamist Terrorism - Since 2014 the Islamic State (or ‘IS’) has placed their bid as the global sponsor for jihad. The group has achieved a historic success during its time, namely, becoming the first terrorist organisation to hold vast territory. Most of the world’s attention has focused on how the group has since lost the vast majority of
    Read more...
  • Iain Duncan Smith speaks out against MEND - Yesterday, we discussed the decision of two Lewisham MPs –  Janet Daby (who withdrew at the last minute) and Vicky Foxcroft – to share a platform with the notorious extremist preacher, Shakeel Begg. I noted that it would be possible for the MPs to withdraw from the event, but observed that it is rare that
    Read more...
  • Reciprocal Radicalisation: Shakeel Begg, Labour, and the Democratic Football Lads Alliance - UPDATE: 7 November 2018: Janet Daby MP pulled out of the event This is not an article about Imam Shakeel Begg. Everything that there is to know about Begg is now a matter of public record. Rather, its purpose is to discuss the process by which extremism enters the political mainstream, and the consequences of
    Read more...
  • The Takfiri position on Weapons of Mass Destruction (part 2) - Part one of this piece noted that the Takfiri jihadists have already produced a theological, jurisprudential justification for the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (“WMDs”). This article explains why their reasoning is wrong. It also illustrates the fundamental compatibility between the modern principles of international humanitarian law with Islamic ethical principles espoused by Muslim
    Read more...
  • The Takfiri position on Weapons of Mass Destruction (part 1) - Ben Wallace, the Home Office minister, recently delivered a chilling warning to the country. Speaking, at last month’s National Security Summit, he advised that the threat of chemical weapon attacks on Britain’s streets is getting closer and “is real”. Wallace set out the position, starkly, and in one eloquent statement: “The only limits to the
    Read more...
  • Aimen Dean: A British Spy Out of Al-Qaeda - Last week, former Al Qaeda jihadi-turned-MI6 spy Aimen Dean spoke to David Toube about his book 9 Lives, exploring his formative experiences as a fighter in the Bosnian civil war. He discussed the process which resulted in him swearing allegiance to Al Qaeda. This week, the conversation explored his journey out of terrorism and how
    Read more...
  • Next in Q – Episode 4: Aimen Dean – A British Spy out of Al Qaeda - Tune in to the new Quilliam International podcast with your host David Toube in conversation with Aimen Dean. “So… there was a choice between either the British, the Americans or the French. As far as the Americans were concerned… my defection took place around December 1998, and in August 1998, I was just lucky to
    Read more...
  • E.S. vs Austria: Blasphemy and the European Convention on Human Rights - This weekend, Ireland – a country I affectionately called home for two years – removed the offence of blasphemy from its constitution by popular vote (65% voted Yes, while 35% voted No). What was particularly interesting about this referendum was the low level of opposition from established religious bodies. The Irish Council of Churches acknowledged
    Read more...
  • Muslims and Jews: standing together against hate crimes - It was a shocking to hear about the terrorist attack that took place on Saturday 27th of October 2018 at Pittsburgh synagogue during Saturday morning services. A 46-year-old man killed 11 people and wounded 6 others.   The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) described this incident as “likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the
    Read more...
  • After the Pittsburgh Attack - News of the Pittsburgh Massacre began to filter through at lunch time: first as garbled WhatsApp and Facebook messages, then as a news alert from the BBC News app, and finally in the form of a constantly updated, rolling news page on the websites of every newspaper. What shocked me most was how little shock
    Read more...
  • Invisible Bankers: Anonymous Digital Cash And The Financing Of Terrorism - In the aftermath of 9/11, President Bush declared that the United States would destroy Al Qa’eda using ‘every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, and every financial influence’. The last of these has a critical role to play in determining the success of a terrorist group and continues to
    Read more...
  • Free Speech on College Campuses - Late last month, the political spotlight focused on the issue of free speech on college campuses in the United States. On September 17, the Department of Justice convened a three-part forum to discuss modern college culture and where it stands in respect to First Amendment rights. A week later, on September 26th, the House Education
    Read more...
  • Aimen Dean: A British Spy in Al-Qaeda - For nearly 20 years during the height of the War on Terror, Aimen Dean was a jihadist turned MI6 agent at the heart of Al-Qaeda’s chemical weapons programme. David Toube, Quilliam International’s Head of Policy, got the opportunity to speak to him about his experiences on and off the battlefield. After eight years undercover, transitioning
    Read more...
  • Next in Q – Episode 3: Aimen Dean – A British Spy in Al Qaeda - Tune in to the new Quilliam International podcast with your host David Toube in conversation with Aimen Dean. “Eight years undercover do really take their toll on you. I became diabetic during that time. The stress of a double life is too much. You are constantly on the move, monitoring cells, infiltrating organisations that want
    Read more...
  • What is Happening in Portland? - When most people hear about the city of Portland, Oregon, they typically think of rainy weather, quirky tv shows, or basketball superstar Damian Lillard. Historically, it has been a safe and vibrant west-coast city with a welcoming reputation. But over the past several years, and especially in the last month, it has undergone several shocking,
    Read more...
  • Extremists and Tech Companies - On October 8th 2018, The Times reported that Islamist groups have been raising funds through the third richest company in the world: Amazon. Now that that story has broken, it is time to consider how many other tech platforms are being used in this manner. The answer, I’m sorry to say, is that quite a
    Read more...
  • Religious Hate Crimes: Muslims and Jews are the two biggest losers - Yesterday, the Government published a report on hate crime statistics in England and Wales for the past year. The data are extensive, and will take a certain amount of unpacking and analysis. The headline news is that religiously motivated offences rose 40%, from 5,949 in 2016-17 to 8,336 in 2017-18. Furthermore, 52% of religious hate
    Read more...
  • Paul Greengrass’s 22 July and its Chilling Reminder of Far-Right Terror - 22 July, the emotional, hard-hitting reenactment of the 2011 right-wing terrorist attack in Norway was released on Netflix and select theatres this Wednesday. On that date, far-right nationalist Anders Breivik committed one of the most disturbing acts of terror witnessed since 9/11. Breivik begun the attacks by detonating a car bomb parked outside the office
    Read more...
  • Enough is Enough: Quilliam and Maajid do not ‘Peddle Islamophobia’ - For over 10 years, organisations and journalists have falsely peddled two claims about Maajid Nawaz and Quilliam. The first is that we are purveyors of anti-Muslim hatred. The second is that we are “closet Islamists”. Both lies are equally offensive. The Guardian is the latest organisation to accept that it is untrue to describe us as
    Read more...
  • New Mexico Exorcism, Old World Culture and American Muslims - Last month, a raid on a New Mexico desert compound revealed eleven malnourished children and uncovered a confusing and bizarre tale of an Islamic exorcism, guns and a dead young boy. The young boy who died was called Abdul-Ghani Wahaj. His father, Siraj Ibn Wahaj disappeared with his child, who he said he was taking
    Read more...
  • The First Year Anniversary of Mogadishu Bombing and the Evolving Terrorism Threat - A year ago, the terrorist group Al-Shabaab attacked Soobe junction in the Somali capital Mogadishu killing over 500 innocent people and wounded hundreds more. The barbaric attack sent shockwaves in Somalia and the world, sending a strong message to the international community that the Al-Qa’ida affiliate terrorist group is back, stronger and more lethal than
    Read more...
  • We need to create a generation of optimists - Whilst sitting at a counter extremism conference, in room a with a fabulous London view, ironically something quite ridiculous, frightening and extreme was going on just a few miles away in Cricklewood. As it turned out, not many people had heard about two people being run over outside a Mosque by white racists who didn’t
    Read more...
  • Islamist Extremism in British Prisons: Breaking the Cycle of ‘Us and Them’ - In August of last year, three men from the West Midlands – Naweed Ali, Khobaib Hussain and Mohibur Rahman – were sentenced to a combined total of a minimum of 60 years in prison. Their crime? Preparing a terror attack using pipe-bombs and a butcher’s cleaver with the word ‘kafir’ (the Arabic term for ‘non-believer’)
    Read more...
  • Is Ofsted trying to destroy the Charedi community? - A letter has been circulating from Shraga Stern, a Stamford Hill Charedi man, urging Mayor Sadiq Khan to boycott the Board of Deputies “Board” dinner at which he will be speaking. Stern claims that the Board, which has delegates from Synagogues and other organisations across the Jewish community is “a group of fringe noise makers”,
    Read more...
  • Nadia Murad: “I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine.” - On Friday 5th October, Yazidi campaigner Nadia Murad became the joint winner of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize along with Congolese gynaecologist and activist Denis Mukwege. Nadia, 25, and Mukwege, 63, were presented the esteemed award “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict”. Nadia,
    Read more...
  • Google, Mend and the Extremist Badlands - This is a cross post by European Eye on Radicalization Let Me Google That For You Internet companies must do more to counter extremism online, politicians across Europe insist. Nothing is both so easily said and so difficult to define with precision and accomplish widely and effectively. Stakeholders are dealing with vast torrents of data,
    Read more...
  • I am not an anti Trans campaigner - I signed a letter yesterday, which was published in The Times and caused quite a stir. I’m sorry if anyone was hurt by it. I truly am. But I’m not sorry I signed it. Contrary to what some gay news outlets and a spokesperson for Stonewall claimed, the letter did not “question trans people’s right to
    Read more...
  • Is the Labour Party institutionally racist? - This is a cross post by Professor Glen O’Hara from Public Policy and the Past Is the UK Labour party institutionally anti-Semitic? Almost unbelievably, that has become a real live matter of public debate over the last few months – a development that previous generations of Labour activists and members could scarcely have imagined. Once upon a
    Read more...
  • Trump’s America: Offering Renewed Vigour to Terrorism’s Recruitment Engine - Earlier this month I wrote about how Trump’s version of American exceptionalism indulges in the rights of American power, and simultaneously retreats from the international responsibilities that America has so often been proud to accept. To understand Trump’s view on America’s international role, is to understand his policies. This dichotomy of power over responsibility is
    Read more...
  • Should people hold political demonstrations outside places of worship? - Twenty years ago this year, Peter Tatchell – the closest this country comes to a secular saint – mounted the pulpit of Canterbury Cathedral, and spoke these words: “Dr Carey [the then Archbishop of Canterbury] supports discrimination against lesbian and gay people. He opposes lesbian and gay human rights. This is not a Christian teaching.
    Read more...
  • The Islamic penal code: What do Qur’an, hadith and Muslim interpreters say? - Last month, two Malaysian Muslim women were canned in public following a conviction for homosexuality. This repugnant and humiliating treatment of homosexual people is perhaps rare in Malaysia. Yet, similar corporal punishments are repeatedly implemented by some states and non-state actors. The most shocking example of this practice is the horrific photos of a man
    Read more...
  • LGBT-Muslim Solidarity - What do you get when you mix a bunch of gay Muslims, ex-Muslims and ex-Christians – all led by the veteran human rights activist Peter Tatchell – and let them loose outside the UK’s most influential mosque at Friday prayers, pressing LGBT flyers into the palms of worshippers?  A ladle of curiosity, a sprinkling of
    Read more...
  • Tribalism and the Trial of Brett Kavanaugh - Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh admits that he did some regrettable things in high school. He quite likely behaved in ways that would call his judgement and fortitude into question. It is also probable that he did something terrible in the summer of 1982, on the night that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has so bravely
    Read more...
  • Next In Q – Episode 2 - “Fighting extremists from Soviets to ISIS” Tune in to the new Quilliam Internationals podcast with your host Muhammad-Fraser-Rahim as he continues his conversation with Noman Benotman. “I will never ever regret fighting against Communism and to put an end to that evil ideology. Because I don’t think that there’s any difference between Communism and ISIS
    Read more...
  • No Country for Jinnah - “Pakistan ka matlab kya, la illah ila Allah”? (What is the meaning of Pakistan, “There is no God but God”) Mahomedali Jinnahbhai of Bombay would beg to differ. When Asghar Sodai, a schoolteacher from Sialkot, penned this poem, he probably never imagined it to become as iconic as it has today. Sodai passed away 10
    Read more...
  • Populism in the 2020 US Election - It is common  knowledge that roughly 80,000 votes across the states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan gave Donald Trump the decisive edge to pull off the shocking upset over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Ultimately, Trump won these states by championing a populist appeal which was largely pillared towards midwesterners unhappy with seeing
    Read more...
  • Emmanuel AME Church, Enslaved African Muslims and the Struggle Against Violent Extremism - The diverse religious experience of African Americans in the US stretches from the first arrival in the southern United States of slave ships bearing Muslim slaves from West Africa to the strong religious convictions of the American-born black church. Together, African Americans have created spaces of peaceful coexistence while at the same time providing constructive
    Read more...
  • America must promote a democratic culture that bolsters human rights - The tragic anniversary of 9/11 provides us with an annual opportunity to take stock of the successes and failures of our counter-terrorism policy. The business of analyzing our performance to date constitutes an appropriate commemoration of that world-shaking day. A consensus is now consolidating amongst scholars with respect to the proper direction of anti-extremism practice
    Read more...
  • We must fix our immigration debate - Last week, Swedes made the same trip to the polls that they do during every election cycle. They cast their ballots freely, and with confidence that their votes would be counted fairly. But there was something fundamentally different about this election. People knew it going in. They just didn’t know exactly how different it would
    Read more...
  • Turning Back on the World: Trump and the American Exception - As an idea, American exceptionalism is unique. It remains the single most unifying concept in American politics. Across the political spectrum from the resurgent left to the alt-right, all agree that America is exceptional. The foundational view is that the United States is exceptional because it was born from an idea. As Deudney & Meiser
    Read more...