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Letter from a Liberal Jew.

August 6, 2013

Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism

This particular letter-writing Liberal Jew, who I’ll refer to as ‘Yitzhak’, is someone who has had enough of their religious leaders’ co-operation and support of Islamic organisations that promote hatred of Jews, Christians and others.

It is addressed to Rabbi Danny Rich, Chief Executive of Liberal Judaism, who has been pushing interfaith and social action contacts with some questionable Islamic organisations and the allies of such organisations.

The letter shows how Jihad and Shariah-approving groups are using Leftist non-Muslim organisations such as Citizens UK, both to advance their cause and to provide cover when these Islamic groups are caught out spreading hatred and violence. Although I have mentioned Rabbi Rich by name, because he is already publicly identified with Citizens UK, I have redacted the names of other Rabbis to protect them from attack by Islamic and other headcases.

‘Dear Rabbi Rich,

Several years ago I was most disturbed to find out that Liberal Judaism has aligned itself with a group called London Citizens, which is in turn part of the Citizens UK umbrella social action group. If this was a normal social action project, then I and others would not have had a problem. However, London Citizens is closely aligned with extremist organisations, the most concerning of which is the East London Mosque, which has a long record for hosting extremist speakers and has links to political Islam itself.

You may or may not be aware that although Junaid Ahmed of the East London Mosque has explained his comments on the situation in Gaza from a few years back, and that assurances were given that Citizens UK member organisations should ‘leave their politics at the door’ (as if that is completely possible); there are other concerns about the East London Mosque. 

Since then the East London Mosque has not changed, despite assurances that it would. It is still consistently booking or providing facilities to groups that have views that are extremely concerning. Speakers and events where there are calls for the destruction of Jews and Christians are a regular occurrence. Vile propaganda about gays and lesbians is also peddled at venues controlled and influenced by the Islamic Forum Europe.

The home of East London Mosque is, as you know, in Tower Hamlets; a council that is very much controlled by councillors and officers who are aligned with the Islamic Forum Europe. One effect of this extremist domination of the council is that 70% of the gay pubs in the East End have been forced to close because of violence against staff, property and customers. The rule of the IFE has also created a situation where it is unsafe to be gay in Tower Hamlets. This is a shocking situation.  It is also fair to say that parts of Tower Hamlets are becoming quite unwelcoming of Jews.  I would not wish to wear a kippah near Whitechapel station on a Friday evening, because I fear the ‘Shariah Patrols’ and other thugs that have taken over an area that was once much more welcoming for Jews than it is now.   

The reason I list these problems caused by the East London Mosque is that London Citizens is very closely aligned with them. London Citizens’ staff have also often made public excuses for the activities of the East London Mosque.

I have to say that it appears wrong for a Jewish group to sit down and work with those who have either said directly that we should be destroyed, or who have facilitated those who share such views.  It crosses a moral and political red line for me, this ignoring of gross hatred and encouragement of violence, just because it comes from the culture of Islam.  Of course people should speak to those whom they disagree with, a free exchange of ideas is a vital component of a free society, but discussion and joint working must stop when either trust disappears or violence is either threatened or used. Quite rightly many people would be concerned to find a Jewish group openly consorting with the National Front or Combat 18, but in the East London Mosque we have an equally obnoxious group, with which Liberal Judaism has seen fit to align themselves.

My experience of bringing up my concerns about these matters, with Rabbonim and others when they occurred several years ago, still leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. I was told that there was nothing to worry about, and that the views professed by the East London Mosque were no different to those held by Pentacostal churches. I was shocked by this blasé attitude to the promotion of hatred by the East London Mosque, because to my knowledge, although groups like the Pentacostals dislike homosexuality, they are not calling for gays to be killed. Those of us who brought up concerns felt like we were being treated as irritants, although others have since privately agreed with some of the concerns raised.

The reason I am writing to you now, several years after some of the events I’ve set out above is that again the issue of Citizens UK is rearing its ugly head. I was really shocked to find out in the spring that Liberal Rabbis are still being encouraged to take part in Citizens UK training days and campaigns.

I’m pretty disgusted that despite quite a lot of publicity both in the mainstream media such as the Telegraph and various new media, Liberal Judaism is still entwined with Citizens UK.

Involvement by Liberal Judaism with Citizens UK, although it may feel advantageous to be part of an umbrella group, makes me very uneasy. Primarily there is the problem that many Islamic groups which are a part of Citizens UK may be like the East London Mosque, which are entities that say they are ‘moderate’ to one audience, but to other audiences they promote the same old hatred of Jews, Christians and Gays. There is the strong suspicion among those of us who are more sceptical about certain Islamic groups, that Jewish groups are being co-opted onto various organisations such as Citizens UK, and similar interfaith organisations, in order to provide ‘cover’ for some quite unpleasant Islamists.

I have been advised to write to you by Rabbi ‘X’ who informed me that the links and association with Citizens UK are your responsibility. I feel that I cannot stay silent on the issue of Jewish groups, and especially Liberal Judaism, either willingly or unwittingly associating themselves with groups that are calling for both our destruction and that of our Christian, Gay, Hindu and other neighbours.

To support those Islamic groups who are promoting hatred is not in my opinion walking the path of peace.

Associating with London Citizens and Citizens UK may look like a good idea, but some of the groups that make up Citizens UK are, to be quite frank, not conducive to the public good. Citizens UK is an organisation that looks fair, but on examination, feels foul.

I consider that there is a danger posed by associating Liberal Judaism, and in fact Judaism as a whole, with groups like the East London Mosque, even at one remove, via London Citizens. This danger is that this association will taint British Jewry, as a people who associate willingly with those who are obviously disloyal to the UK. That is not an outcome that will benefit anybody. We are approaching a time of great tension in community relations and to be seen on the side of those who are promoting hatred and sedition will not have a positive outcome for Britain’s Jews.

I feel it fair to inform you that as well as raising these concerns with you personally, I will raise these issues, and most of the contents of this letter in more public environments, because Liberal Judaism’s association with those who wish harm to this country will, in turn, harm LJ and cause suspicion about it from the majority non-Jewish community. Although I fully support the commandment to ‘welcome the stranger’, surely this welcome should not extend to the strangers who are not only carrying big sticks, but are too often using said sticks on our neighbours?

We must be very careful not to be seen as giving aid and succor to those whose views and politics are destructive rather than constructive.

If you believe that the East London Mosque isn’t causing problems, then take a brief look at what sort of people the Mosque allows to speak and whose views they promote. In June 2013, according to excellent research carried out by a writer on the Harry’s Place website, the East London Mosque hosted Assim Al-hakeem and allowed him to give the Friday sermon. Al-hakeem has views that would make a member of the BNP blush. He believes that apostates from Islam should be killed, that Jews and Christians are to be oppressed and that Allah has cursed gays. Are organisations that promote such views really those that we should be working with?

For more information on this most recent manifestation of hatred promulgated by ELM then see this link

It is disgusting that Liberal Judaism is not only mistakenly sitting down with such organisations and treating them as honest brokers and friends, but even more worrying that in the past, valid concerns about London Citizens, and its known association with Islamists and Jihadists, are brushed to one side as if they were matters of no importance.

I did hope that common sense had prevailed and that LJ was starting to treat Citizens UK with a little more scepticism, but sadly it has not. Therefore I feel compelled to speak out about this association with groups that are not good for Britain, not good for communal harmony and definitely not good for the loyal Jewish citizens of the UK.

To associate with groups like the East London Mosque, is the equivalent of walking barefoot across a field of cows, no matter how hard you try, you will always step in a cow pat. No matter what steps you take, you are always going to get dirty when you work with certain Islamic groups.

To show you that these worries are not unfounded, I have pasted links to various sources to back up my concerns about Citizens UK in general and the East London Mosque in particular.


‘Yitzhak’ “

More hate preachers at the East London Mosque

The close links between London Citizens and the East London Mosque

The London Citizens affair Jewish Chronicle 2011.

More from the JC on the use of Jewish groups as cover for those with unpleasant theological and political views

The journalist Andrew Gilligan in the Daily Telegraph has undertaken extensive investigation of the political situation in Tower Hamlets.

The twin faces of the East London Mosque.

The social and political division caused by Luftar Rahman, Tower Hamlet’s Islam for Europe backed mayor.

Also the Left Futures blog has commented on ongoing issues of electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets.

Here is why people are becoming frightened about what is happening in Tower Hamlets. Shariah Patrols aimed at gay men and women who they consider immodestly dressed. If hassling women by some Charadim is wrong in Jerusalem then it is equally wrong in London for Islamic groups to hassle women.

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