The Media Review Network (MRN) has expressed outrage that the Pretoria-based International Institute for Islamic Studies (IIIS), headed by Prof. Hussein Solomon, plans to meet later this month with Micheal Whine, a man whom the lobby group described as a “rabid British Islamophobe.
Whine, who is a key participant at the upcoming South African Jewish Board of Deputies conference, is the Government and International Affairs Director at the UK-based Community Security Trust (CST). The CST is a vigilante, paramilitary group that purports to provide security services for the Jewish community in Britain. CST members, including Whine, also write extensively about terrorism.
The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) recently found that CST publications “depict Islam as being an agent of violence, supportive of terrorism and a threat to adherents of the Jewish faith”. IHRC found that, despite claiming to be academically sound, the publications were conducted with little academic accuracy, lacked methodology and utilised haphazard evidence – all in an effort to demonize Islam and its adherents.
Anti Muslim rhetoric
“Whine’s writings, in particular, are steeped in anti-Muslim rhetoric. Using an Orientalist reading of Islam and its history, Whine claims in an article entitled Islamism and Totalitarianism: Similarities and Differences that Islam spread via ‘force of arms’. In the same piece, he defines ‘jihad’ – a word that translates into struggle and striving – as being a religious war against the West. This blatantly false definition of jihad serves only to portray Islam as an agent for violence. According to Whine, ‘calls for jihad and the recent revelations of a worldwide Islamist network… suggest that Islam has declared a religious war’,” MRN researcher, Soraya Dadoo said in a statement released on Tuesday.
The lobby group concurred with the IHRC assertion that “such alarming claims and conclusions based on severe generalisations serve to represent Islam as being engaged in a war against the West, and by extension in a war against ordinary innocent people. This representation of Islam plays on post September 11 fears, and positions Muslims as being dangerous ‘fifth columnists'”.
Dadoo said even more alarming is Whine’s role in defaming historian, David Irving. In 1994, the Canadian Federal Department of Citizenship and Immigration obtained, through lengthy legal action, secret files which contained two mysterious reports on Irving. The reports were compiled in 1991 and 1992. In 1996 it was established, beyond doubt, that the secret author was the Board of Deputies of British Jews. During a High Court action initiated by Irving, Whine, the then executive director of the Board, confirmed in an affidavit that the Board had been monitoring Irving’s activities for many years.
“The documents were designed for one purpose: to convince governments worldwide that Irving was a Nazi with international connections, and deny him entry to their countries. Whine’s involvement, during his tenure at the Board, in such criminal activities is reflective of the depths that Zionists are willing to trawl in an attempt to legitimize the racist Israeli state,” MRN said.
“In the light of his own recent attempts to demonise the South African Muslim community, it is not surprising that Hussein Solomon will be meeting with an Islamophobe of Whine’s calibre. Solomon’s close association and collaboration with Zionists, locally and worldwide, indicate his own neo-conservative, anti-Islamic, Zionists leanings,” the lobby group said.
The statement added that “this agenda will be reflected in the research emanating from IIIS, and the organizations is unlikely to produce research on Islam, Muslims, Israel and other related issues, that is critically analysed and discussed impartially.
Contrary to it mission statement of providing insight and solutions to issues associated with the Islamic world and creating an improved understanding of Islam, IIIS will create a climate of fear and anxiety about Muslims and Islam where none should exist. MRN, therefore, calls on the media, academic community, and general public to be wary of IIIS research on these matters,” the statement concluded.
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