Inayat Bunglawala

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Inayat Bunglawala was media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain until 2010.

He joined The Young Muslims UK in 1987. He is also a co-presenter of the weekly 'Politics and Media Show' on the Islam Channel (SKY 813).[1] In October 2009 he registered the domain name Muslims4UK.org.uk,[2] thus launching a group which is described as "set up to celebrate the UK's democratic traditions and promote active Muslim engagement in our society".[3]

Work[edit]

Some of Bunglawala's views as media secretary for the Muslim Council of Britain were quoted in the press. He has discussed matters of religion as well as politics.[4]

Tackling extremism together[edit]

Despite accusations of anti-Semitism, Bunglawala was selected as one of seven "conveners" of a Home Office task force with responsibilities for tackling extremism among young Muslims.[5] He rejects these accusations as a "traditional Zionist tactic" aimed to "silence critics of Israel", as he is an outspoken defender of what he considers to be Israeli oppression of Palestinians.[6] Home Secretary Charles Clarke said in response: "I am grateful to the working groups for drawing up such constructive ideas. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with Muslim communities and supporting the work that they are undertaking.”[7]

Political views[edit]

Bunglawala has commented that many Muslims believed the UK's involvement in wars against Afghanistan and Iraq were a "key contributory factor in the radicalisation" of some young Muslims, but added: "extremists often paint a very unfair picture of the West. We all benefit from freedoms and opportunities here that are not exactly plentiful in many Muslim countries."[8]

He has been a critic of US foreign policy, saying: "The US government needs to demonstrate that it is prepared to be more even-handed in its relations with Muslims and Muslim countries."[9] Regarding the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib by US soldiers, he said: "I think this type of activity by U.S. forces will only further anger the Muslim population of Iraq."[10]

Controversies[edit]

He opposed the banning of Hizb ut-Tahrir under the UK anti-terror laws.[11] Bunglawala considers Ahmed Yassin to be an important Islamic scholar and he opposes the Muslim Association of Britain's removal from the Muslim Council.[12]

In January 1993, Bunglawala wrote a letter to Private Eye, a satirical magazine, in which he called Omar Abdel-Rahman "courageous".[citation needed] After Rahman's arrest on charges of masterminding the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in July that year, Bunglawala guessed that it was only because of his "calling on Muslims to fulfil their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere". Five months before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Bunglawala also circulated writings of Osama bin Laden, whom he called a "freedom fighter", to hundreds of Muslims in Britain.[5][13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bunglawala, Inayat (27 March 2008). "Comment is free profile". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  2. ^ Bunglawala, Inayat (21 October 2009). "Stand tall against the extremists". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Inayat Bunglawala Profile". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Reflections on Ramadan". BBC. 25 November 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Alasdair Palmer (21 August 2005). "Top job fighting extremism for Muslim who praised bomber". London: The Daily Telegraph,. 
  6. ^ New sources inflame an old hatred, The Age, 3 January 2004
  7. ^ "Tackling Extremism Together: Working groups report back to Home Secretary". The Home Office. 
  8. ^ "Politics | Muslims 'must root out extremism'". BBC News. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  9. ^ ThinkExist.com Quotations. "Inayat Bunglawala quotes". Thinkexist.com. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  10. ^ ThinkExist.com Quotations. "Inayat Bunglawala quotes". Thinkexist.com. Retrieved 18 April 2010. 
  11. ^ Banned Groups Unpopular, Move Ineffective: UK Activist, by Ahmad Maher, IOL Staff, Islamonline.net, 18 July 2006
  12. ^ John Ware on Muslim Council of Britain, transcript of an interview with Mr Ware on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, BBC News, 14 July 2005
  13. ^ Muslim leaders accuse BBC of witch hunt, by Martin Bright, The Observer, 21 August 2005