Quilliam Foundation not interested in debate?

The Quilliam Foundation — a British group run by a coterie of ex-HT’ers such as Ed Husain — has an open challenge:

The Quilliam Foundation openly challenges Islamist groups to public debates. Our first challenge is to Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), the group that influenced Syed Qutb in prison and is thus the ideological inspiration to al-Qaeda. While HT may disagree with Osama bin Laden’s methods, they both aspire to the same end: the creation of a theocratic, expansionist dictatorship.

Debate is good and should be welcomed.  However,  one must really question whether the Quilliam Foundation is interested in doing more than just talking about such debates.

It turns out Ed Husain and another member were recently booked to host the BBC program called ‘World Have Your Say’.  Sadly, as a BBC journalist explains, they had to cancel at the last minute:

Ed Husain was booked to host the show with me today. Along with a colleague at the newly-formed Quilliam Foundation, he was going to discuss with you how he became attracted to radical Islam and turned his back on it.  And how he’s trying to stop other young Muslim men becoming radicalised. But today he cancelled for a variety of reasons, the main one being that he wasn’t prepared to take part in the show if certain people (whose organisations he has been critical of) were invited on.

Oh dear.  And who exactly were the people he didn’t want to debate or discuss matters with on air?

‘Sometimes it’s as simple as some people being wrong, and some being right. I’ve better things to do than argue with these people.’ This was in response to me saying that we would have to offer the organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir a right of reply as I knew he would criticise them on the programme.


#1 Ghost Writer on 05.04.08 at 3:11 am

Problem with ex-anythings it that they always believe the broader Muslim community to have been as stupid as they were, and seem to have a knack for convincing media outlets and policy makers that every-day Muslims are as stupid as they were to join groups like HT and others.
Once they see the light, they picture everyone in the darkness. That is until you engage them in a intellectual conversation.

#2 Julaybib Ayoub on 05.04.08 at 6:40 am

Ed, or as he is rapidly becoming known, Sir Edward, or as he should be known, Ed the Pied Piper, has done a wonderful job in leading the ex-left pro-war neocon rats through London’s TV studios, enrapturing them with a tune that sings of how Islam is to blame for everything, even their monumental credit card bills and falling house prices. Sadly, Ed is now leading them into a mountain cavern, within which is the secret of why Ed REALLY joined HT. And that is? Ed is a deeply flawed human being! How long, may we ask, before Ed’s neocon pals suddenly develop incapacitating limps?

#3 Cinna on 05.04.08 at 2:20 pm

If people refuse to debate with racial supremacists, why shouldn’t people refuse to debate with religious supremacists?

#4 Amir on 05.04.08 at 2:25 pm

The issue is not whether it’s worthwhile debating with HT or any other group.

The issue is here’s a group who have a big,bold Open Challenge on their website to debate with HT in public but when the opportunity actually arises, they say they don’t really believe in debate with HT and they have better things to do with their time. It’s just a bit sad and pathetic.

#5 Irfan Yusuf on 05.05.08 at 4:16 am

What evidence is there that HT influenced Syed Qutb when he was in prison? Does “Milestones” or any of his other books written in prison say anything to this effect?

#6 AM on 05.05.08 at 9:08 am

Nabahani and Qutb corresponded for a period of time as they each did with many other scholars and intellectuals. Nothing more than that, afaik.

#7 Ztauseef on 05.05.08 at 7:07 pm

It is amazing how they need to setup a whole new organization to counter an idea. Then this organization is made up of x-members.

Watching Ed-Hussain and Maajiz Nwaz speaking, my conclusion is that they are attention seeker and intellectually bank corrupt and their blood line is linked with attacking their former organization.

Without Hizb tahrir they are irrelevant.

#8 Irfan Yusuf on 05.06.08 at 4:39 pm

Wow. Maududi corresponded with just about every prominent Indian and Pakistani under the son. I guess they’re all now part of the same al-Qaeda crowd.

#9 Muslim_perth on 05.07.08 at 10:48 am

i tried posting something but it didnt go through??? twice

#10 Muslim_perth on 05.07.08 at 10:50 am

check website

#11 Danial on 05.08.08 at 8:36 am

This is quite pathetic. Ed Husain sure turns out to be a weasel.

For the record I don’t even like Hizb-ut-Tahrir but if they want to combat extremism, dialogue is the key here.

#12 antish on 05.12.08 at 2:21 pm

Sadly, the link to the source of the quotes no longer work, so I can’t put the quotes in context. It does seem, though, that this was by no means a “debate” situation. I guess that stoning apostates is still a popular sport.

#13 Khalid on 06.08.08 at 1:21 am

It seems the Quilliam Foundation and its celebrity spokesman have been taking many for a ride. Now one of its members has publicly admitted in court that he made the whole thing up in order to sell books and make money:


#14 antish on 06.08.08 at 2:46 pm

Given that he was about to go to jail for X years because of his own claims, it perhaps isn’t surprising that he changed his mind.

#15 Jak on 06.30.08 at 4:21 am

With murky funding, allegations of immorality, and questionable ideas the only thing these guys have got going for them is their (ex-)association with the international Islamic political party, Hizb ut-Tahrir.

A comprehensive critique has been posted on:

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