Many mainstream Islamic groups who denounce violence and terrorism still want to bring Britain under Islamic control, a leaked security report warns.
The report, called “Preventing terrorism, where next for Britain?”, was produced confidentially by think-tank Quilliam and given to the Government’s Office for Security and Counter Terrorism.
The document says the ideology of non-violent ‘Islamist’ groups is “broadly the same as that of violent Islamists” adding “they disagree only on tactics.”
It lists groups it believes are “non-violent Islamists” and adds: “These are a selection of the various groups and institutions active in the UK which are broadly sympathetic to Islamism.
“Whilst only a small proportion will agree with al-Qaeda’s tactics, many will agree with their overall goal of creating a single ‘Islamic state’ which would bring together all Muslims around the world under a single government and then impose on them a single interpretation of sharia as state law.”
The document warns that if the Government works with such groups “it risks empowering proponents of the ideology, if not the methodology, that is behind terrorism.”
It was sent in June to Charles Farr, a former senior intelligence officer and now the director general of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism.
It was addressed personally to Mr Farr. A covering letter said it should be kept secret to avoid “the twin distractions of media attention and potential civil service defensiveness”.
But the report has now been leaked on the internet and reported in the press.
The Government is currently conducting a review of its counter terrorism strategy, ‘Prevent’.
A Home Office spokesman said the report had not been solicited but added: “We believe the Prevent programme isn’t working as effectively as it could and want a strategy that is effective and properly focused – that is why we are reviewing it.”
Maajid Nawaz, co-director of Quilliam, told The Daily Telegraph: “Quilliam has a track record of distinguishing between legal tolerance and civil tolerance – we oppose banning non-violent extremists…yet we see no reason why tax payers should subsidise them. It is in this context that we wish to raise awareness around Islamism.”
The Guardian claims that senior Tory party figures are sympathetic to such views. The newspaper quotes a source saying the briefing document is “quite in line with what Quilliam and the Conservatives have been thinking for years”.
But Inayat Bunglawala, chair of Muslims4Uk and a former spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “This is just like something straight out of a Stasi manual. The advice from Quilliam is frankly appalling and incredibly self-serving.
He added: “Their document specifically contains a McCarthy-type list of large and established Muslim organisations that they regard as suspect and smears them as being ‘Islamists’.”