The following is a mailshot/press release from iERA after two of it’s speakers were proscribed by the University of London:
”ACTION ALERT: STOP THE BANNING OF MUSLIM SPEAKERS!
The University of London has stopped Abdurraheem Green and Hamza Tzortzis from speaking at a private Muslim event.
The University of London stopped this event two days before it was to go ahead. They claimed that they had been warned by the Metropolitan Police about two of the speakers who were supposed to attend. These were none other than Abdurraheem Green and Hamza Tzortzis! As you are aware, both are world renowned orators known for their mainstream and normative Islamic views. They have not committed any crime, rather they have spoken out against terrorism and extremism in all forms and consistently call for Muslims to engage positively in society.
Their banning is part of a growing and worrying trend that needs to end now!
We are asking you to help put a stop to this discriminatory behaviour that insults us all. There are two short and simple action steps you can take NOW to make a difference!
So now attacking Wahhabi dawah organisations = attacking ‘Islam’?
‘Defending Islam & Muslims’ = defending iERA?
‘They are known for their mainstream and normative views’?
So now only Wahhabism is ‘normal’ and ‘mainstream’ Islam?
Surely it is the height of irony that a militantly sectarian organisation, that has in it’s entire history refused to grant speaker status or even access to ANY section of the Islam community that disagrees with them (including the mainstream Hanafis, Sufis, Maturidis, Asharis etc), is now complaining of being censored by institutions itself. Perhaps iERA consider ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ to be bidat?
iERA has engaged in a campaign of virtual intellectual terror against any other ‘brand’ of Islam, as well as against women speakers addressing non-female or mixed audiences (Tzortzis and Green are free to address any and all audiences, including exclusively female ones, and frequently do, presumably because of their superhuman self control. I mean come on, we all know that Muslim women speakers cannot control themselves. Not like the monastic men of iERA!). In fact iERA has even tried to marginalise other Wahhabi organisations and groups like WAMY by insisting that only their ‘dawah literature’ be used at ‘dawah tables’.
Of course iERA admit none of this and pretend to be a non-sectarian organisation to attract funding and legitimacy from all segments of Muslim society. They will showcase celebrity converts like Lauren Boothe to events or Wahhabis with ‘dual affiliation’ with Deobandi institutions in the UK, such as Zahir Mahmoud. But never of course, Tim Winter or a Brelwi et al.
Also, can anyone find me precisely where A.R Green, Hamza or any other iERA speaker has actually declared suicide bombing to be haraam or referred to a scholarly authority that has? Both speakers are under instruction (read: orders) from Haitham al Haddad who has been apparently caught out being somewhat less diplomatic than perhaps iERA would like. I would leave it to the readers to research this shadowy puppetmaster behind iERA and the scholarly ‘rubber stamp’ for their actions. In fact, iERA seem to be at great pains to not talk about violence and extremism. That of course does not incriminate them, nor however does it clarify their position on issues such as the sadly all important suicide bombing. Hardly commendable or ‘speaking out against terrorism in all forms’ it seems.
If they have done, I am happy to see the evidence and retract.
I support the ban and advise all other Muslims (and U.K Universities) to do the same: only then will iERA be made accountable and transparent for their use of charitable donations to promote, yes, on occasion, extremism (unless Tzortzis’ insistently promoting scholars who demand that Muslims be beheaded for trivial ‘offences’ like saying the intention to prayer out load is now ‘moderate and mainstream’).