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Focus on Islamism
Tuesday 30th March 2010
The conflict of interest at IEngage


IEngage have written a letter to Charles Farr, Director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism, complaining about the Quilliam Foundation.

Earlier this week Quilliam released a report about the Islam Channel revealing that it sometimes gives a platform to preachers who espouse extreme and reactionary views.

While those of us who follow this area closely have known that for some time, the real value in Quilliam's report lies in its ability to carry that message to a wider audience. It has certainy succeeded in doing that. A recent edition of HardTalk with Islam Channel's CEO, Mohammed Ali Harrath, was inspired by its findings.

IEngage has now written to Charles Farr defending Harrath. Presenting itself as an independent and dispassionate third-party, it says:

The QF report resorts to the dubious tactic of singling out select quotations and sentences uttered by some Islam Channel presenters and guests and criticising them for their interpretation of Islamic teachings while slyly conflating these with the threat of violent extremism.


The Islam Channel has consistently spoken out against violent extremism and has repeatedly hosted key figures in the Metropolitan Police on their programmes in order to help disseminate key counter-terrorism messages to its audience. As well as hosting a plethora of individuals and organisations who advocate full Muslim participation in society and politics.

The indignant letter goes on to demand a meeting with Charles Farr ‘to discuss these concerns further'.

However, what the letter doesn't tell you is that Mohammed Ali Harrath is a trustee of IEngage.

To confirm that point, someone passed me a leaked copy of the IEngage business plan. You can download and view it here. On page 36 you will see a flowchart which outlines the IEngage hierarchy and which lists Harrath as a trustee.

You would be amazed if I told you which famous British victim of Stockholm syndrome originally leaked this document.

To this day I don't know what motivated her to leak it - and much more besides.

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About Focus on Islamism

Focus on Islamism is a blog dedicated to analysing and exposing the modern ideological phenomenon known as Islamism.

Shiraz Maher is a writer and broadcaster.

Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens is a PhD student at King's College, London.  He has contributed to various online and printed publications including, The Daily Telegraph, Lebanon's Daily Star, Standpoint and NOWLebanon. 

To contact the authors, click here

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