Time to cut off state handouts to the Quilliam Foundation?
Until the Quilliam Foundation made the very ill-advised decision to threaten Craig Murray with legal action, I had assumed that they were a vaguely OK sort of conflict-resolutey-type charity. Now I’ve learned that they’re not actually a charity but a limited company, who nonetheless receive huge amounts of state funding, and that they’ve chosen to pour that money into Britain’s notorious and abusive libel system.
More background on Quilliam’s “toxic take on liberty” in this enlightening article by Douglas Murray:
The nature of QF and its funding arrangements ought to be a source of concern to all British taxpayers, no matter what their political or religious opinions, and finally be brought out in the open. I know very well how these people work because I used to employ some of them. Around the time Ed Husain came to public notice, I recruited him to work with me (through Civitas, the organisation that originally hosted the Centre for Social Cohesion). He liked my views and I had great hopes for him to become a source for real reform. This gave him the time and financial freedom to set up QF. But the increasing oddness of his opinions (particularly relating to my own freedom of speech) meant that eventually we parted ways. What is scandalous is that QF – set up to counter extremists such as their former colleagues in Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) – has done nothing substantial to challenge HT in the UK or radicalisation on UK campuses, the things it was actually set up for.
So what are we getting for our money? Husain said that “It would be morally wrong of a taxpayer-funded programme designed to prevent terrorism if it was not designed to gather intelligence in order to stop that terrorism from happening.” It is striking that someone who has received almost £1m directly from the Contest agenda and Prevent strategy is under the impression that Prevent is about spying. This is certainly not what Prevent is about.
Husain also seems to be under the impression that if a Muslim seems “suspicious” to anyone, the police should be called straight away. In fact it is social workers, youth-offending teams and other such bodies who are supposed to be the focal point of any such concern. Unless a crime has been committed or is about to be committed there is no reason why any innocent person should be reported to the police. Husain, in particular, ought to know the difference between a police state – especially since his co-director was until recently in such a state’s prisons – and a developed liberal democracy.
This anti-extremism organisation seems entirely unaware of the tenets of the society it is paid to extol. Anyone who has any knowledge of how counter-terrorism was practised in Northern Ireland or elsewhere knows that the bar for monitoring people (let alone, as the Guardian has reported, the collection of information on innocent peoples’ personal lives) has to remain exceedingly high for society to retain any semblance of freedom.