Devil’s Advocates and Al-Jazeera

Chris Blackburn

Chris Blackburn

Chris Blackburn is a political analyst and writer based in the UK. He worked as a junior team member for the US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition (Intelcon 2005), which was organised by Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick; who were both members of the US National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission).

In 2015, 9 Bedford Row (9BR), a leading British legal firm which specialises in international law, published a series of exhaustive reports into the Muslim Brotherhood and its paramilitary history seen here. It was a massive bomb that didn’t really go off. It is meticulously researched and damning in places. Several leading Arab newspapers ran stories about the report around the time of publication[i]. But, like one of those WW2 bombs that often wash up on British shores, it can still tick.

The report linked the Muslim Brotherhood directly to terrorism. This is a rather strange development because one of the firm’s former proteges, Toby Cadman QC, is a public defender of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-i-Islami. He believes these radical Islamist groups are being maligned by Islamophobes. Does he now count his former firm as being part of problem? Cadman left Bedford Row to work with Omnia, a law firm run by Cherie Blair QC, and then went on to setup Guernica 37.

Toby Cadman QC, is an Al-Jazeera darling and supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat.[ii] Cadman often muddles his legal work with political advocacy. He was widely known as a defender/lobbyist of Jamaat. Defending them against accusations of being involved in crimes against humanity, due to their leaders setting up paramilitary death squads during Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971.

Cadman has defended the Muslim Brothers on numerous fronts. He even wrote a scathing analysis on how former British Prime Minister David Cameron had commissioned an official report into the Muslim Brotherhood and support for extremism. Cadman argued that Cameron and his ilk where flatly wrong to ask for the review. [iii]

Downing Street’s review on the Muslim Brotherhood was completed, but was promptly classified and only it main findings were published. The brief summaries are damning, but lack any real evidence or references.  In comparison, 9 Bedford Row’s report seems to have escaped the neoconservative and the counter-sharia crowd that are always baying for the Ikwhan’s blood. It’s ironic how Toby Cadman’s former partners then published a report which belies any need for Cameron’s report to be made public. Why has the 9BR report been suppressed too when it has become such a hot topic in global affairs?

The Gulf states could pick up the 9BR report and slap the faces of Qatari royals and Turkish politicians with it.

While a legal war on history, politics and logic is being played we must remember that Jamaat-I-Islami helped to win the Cold War. It’s not a secret. It still has admirers. Before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1978, Jamaat was used by Pakistan to counter the independence movement in Bangladesh. Jamaat was used by intelligence agencies throughout the West and Muslim world to ferry foreign extremists into Peshawar and then into Afghanistan. Muslim Brotherhood figures such as Abdullah Azzam, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and Osama bin Laden came to support recruitment and logistics. When the war was over Jamaat, helped these foreign mercenaries to wage jihad in their countries of origin.

Jamaat had become a major player in shaping the Muslim world especially in Asia. They have always been ready to become a powder keg ready to blow up the region and cause unrest on India, China, Iran and Russia’s borders. Throughout the 1990s, Jamaat helped to fund and train extremists wanting to break up the former Soviet Union.  They even involved themselves in Indonesia and the Philippines.

As the West has tried to examine its previous relationship with radical Islamism. Radical Islamists and their former supporters have adopted a herculean effort to hide parts of their history. Bob Lambert and Toby Cadman QC are two such players in this drama. Jamaat and the Brotherhood were portrayed as ‘moderates’ because they often played politics. History and facts are being deliberately distorted on an industrial scale to protect groups engaged in terrorism. It needs to stop.

Bin Laden personally helped to finance Jamaat’s political campaigns in Pakistan in 1990s. The propaganda that Bin Laden was a radical Takfir/Salafist that hated everything Western was wrong. He was a shroud political player and jihadist. It shows that political participation alone does not make a moderate.

9 Bedford Row’s reports certainly makes that theory look like a twisted fallacy. Throwing their former protege Cadman, and his warped PR for the Muslim Brothers and Jamaat, under a bus is also a bonus.

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[i] http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/News/15159.aspx

[ii] http://www.aljazeera.com/profile/toby-cadman.html

[iii] http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/toby-cadman/muslim-brotherhood_b_6052658.html

 

Image: From the website of Al-Jazeera.

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Chris Blackburn is a political analyst and writer based in the UK. He worked as a junior team member for the US National Intelligence Conference and Exposition (Intelcon 2005), which was organised by Slade Gorton and Jamie Gorelick; who were both members of the US National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission). He then went on to become a track leader for the Intelligence Summit 2006, which focused on the deteriorating security situation in Bangladesh and South Asia. Chris has briefed journalists on extremist movements and terrorism. He has also worked with productions teams from BBC’s Panorama and Channel 4’s Dispatches. He has also written for David Horowitz’s Frontpagemag.com, The Spittoon, The Weekly Durdesh and others.