Sara Khan

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh (Peace, Blessings & Mercy of Allah be upon You).

This statement is being issued on the 26th of January 2018 and supersedes all previous statements on the subject.

Commission for Countering Extremism

The Commission has a clear remit to support the Government, the public sector, civil and wider society to identify and challenge all forms of extremism. Its aims are identified to be as follows:

  • Identify extremism and advise the Government on new policies to tackle extremism, including whether there is a need for new powers;
  • Support communities and the public sector in confronting extremism wherever it exists;
  • Promote British values and community cohesion – including ensuring women’s rights are upheld

We welcome the idea but “extremism” is still ill defined and its definition needs to be made firmer before it can be countered. British Muslims are far more likely to be caught up in the dragnet of programs like PREVENT due to the loose definition of “extremism”.

Green Party member of the House of Lords tweeted a response to Zac Goldsmith:

The terms are so loose that I was on the Met’s #DomesticExtremist database for >10 years. And I’ve repeatedly pressed in parliament for a better definition of #extremist but without success. You can’t fight something you can’t properly describe.

Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism

The Government launched the search for the Lead Commissioner back in September 2017 for a period of 3 years at the cost of £140,000 per annum to the British taxpayer.

It was announced recently that Ms Sara Khan will lead the commission for a period of 3 years, we disagree with the appointment.

Since the remit of the Lead commissioner would be to support communities in confronting extremism we believe that the choice of Ms Khan should be reconsidered. We agree with the views of the MCB that “the Lead Commissioner should have a track record of transparency, accountability and experience in garnering trust amongst the communities they serve”.

Ms Khan has shown a tendency to be divisive in the past and lacks transparency. She lacks support among the Muslim community and the community views her as untrustworthy. Her appointment at a time when members of the police and intelligence services need to gain the trust of the Muslim community is counterproductive and will further alienate the Muslim community. The appointment of Ms Khan to lead the commission sends a clear message that the Government is not serious about improving dialogue with the Muslim community to counter extremism. This decision taken to placate a minority is disturbing and will dismay large sections of the Muslim community and should be reversed.

It is regrettable to note that certain members of the conservative party such as Zac Goldsmith are attempting to frame those who disagree with the appointment of Ms Khan as “extremists”. We have worked hard to encourage the Muslims to taking greater part in the British civic society, define the terms such “The Deobandi”, “The British Deobandees” and advance greater understanding of divisive concepts such as “Al-Wala Wal-Bara”. Organisation such as MCB and MEND have a proven track record against extremism. Muslim Women’s Collective has done fantastic work to support and empower Muslim women in Tower Hamlets. Baroness Warsi is a member of the House of Lords and Naz Shah is a member of the Parliament. All of these voices are urging the Government to reconsider the appointment of Ms Khan. It is disingenuous to conflate traditional Islamic practises and values as anti-British or a cause of extremism when discussing the appointment of Ms Khan.

Thank you