A few months ago, the “proposed charter of Muslim understanding” resurfaced. UKIP MEP, Gerard Batten, had commissioned it in 2006.
Batten recently told the Guardian that he could not see why “any reasonable, normal person” would object to signing it. The document proposes that British Muslims sign a declaration against violence. In a speech delivered to the House of Lords in 2007, Batten stated:
“The Proposed Charter has now been very slightly revised with one major change, to which I draw your attention, of the insertion of an Affirmation on page 29 that asks individuals, groups and organisations that represent Muslims to affirm their belief in certain basic values, these are: The equality of all before God and the law; equal rights for women; the rejection of intimidation and violence in the name of religion; religious freedom – specifically the right of Muslims to convert to other religions if they wish; and the tolerance of other religions and non discrimination against non-Muslims.”
Ukip maintain that asking Muslims to sign this ‘code of conduct’ had never been one of its policies. Yet, in 2007, the party website published a press release to promote Batten’s House of Lords event.
Another noteworthy quote from Batten’s speech:
“In 2006 I commissioned Sam Solomon to write an analysis of those Islamic texts that can be used by extremist Muslims to justify terrorism. That analysis developed into the Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding, which was initially launched in Strasbourg in December 2006. It got little coverage in the UK but did get extensive coverage elsewhere, particularly in the USA.”
Some years later, Republican politician Rick Womick made explicit reference to it:
“Show us that Islam is not at war with America by requiring that a Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding be signed by those who profess a peaceful Muslim faith before entering the U.S. military”
Yet, few focus upon the charter’s author, Sam Solomon. Various sources state that he is a former Islamic jurist who fled to the UK after converting to Christianity.
In 2004, Sam Solomon worked with Andrea Williams, co-founder of Christian Concern, against the Religious Hatred Bill. At a 2008 conference, Andrea Williams confirmed that Solomon influenced her understanding of Islam. One year later, Christian Concern linked readers to a free PDF of the Muslim Charter. (Christian Concern founder, Andrea Williams, according to the Independent newspaper, angered gay rights campaigners after giving a speech in Jamaica and reportedy suggesting that the Olympic athlete – Tom Daley – is in a relationship with a man because his father died.)
Around that time, Solomon and Ukip’s Lord Pearson attended the International Legal Conference on Freedom of Speech and Religion. Other guests included Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. Interestingly, both Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have been banned from entering the United Kingdom by the Home Secretary of Her Majesty’s Government.
In May of 2011, Solomon spoke at the Geert Wilders “A Warning to America” event at Cornerstone Church in Nashville. The Tennessee Freedom Coalition (who supported EDL-founder Tommy Robinson) sponsored the event. But it did not deter Solomon or Williams from attending one of their events several months later.
Towards the end of that year, the same Nashville church hosted an event about the ‘threat’ of Sharia. One notable guest was Paul Diamond, of Christian Concern, who stated that his organisation might work with the Tennessee Freedom Coalition.
Paul Diamond also has links to Gerard Batten, as he defended Batten’s wife over an alleged unpaid television licence fee in 2010. A year later, Batten sent Christian Concern a document that suggested a ban on religious slaughter.
Christian Concern maintains a working relationship with Sam Solomon. But any connection to the Tennessee Freedom Coalition remains tenuous.
Of the seven books listed in Christian Concern’s online store, six are about Islam. Sam Solomon authored five (including the Muslim Charter). (A You Tube transcript of Andrea Williams on Halal labeling and foods is listed below and can be found through this link:
Because actually it’s a sign of a society subjugating herself to Islam, to the rules of Islam, and it’s been done very subtly. It’s extraordinary isn’t it, that we, in the United Kingdom, now in a chain of pizza restaurants are unable to have meat that’s non Halal. That’s an incredible situation to find ourselves in. In our banks, we’ve got Sharia compliant financing – a dual system, we’ve got the law society saying that wills should be made compliant to Sharia rules. We’ve got the reality that Sharia courts are operating, and what I say to that is this: there’s a dual system of law; Sharia law and English law, and although English law may not yet absolutely recognize Sharia law, or says that it doesn’t recognize law, once operational it’s going to be very hard to challenge it. We need to boycott those food outlets, so we need to write to Pizza Express, we need to write to the executive body there and say we will not frequent your restaurants. We need to write to our supermarkets and we need to say we won’t buy your meat. Or we need to say you need to clearly label your meat, we need to be given choice. We actually need to find our voice, otherwise we are just handing ourselves over to what the Muslims will see in a sense as being subjugated. It’s political subjugation. That’s what we’re currently – it’s very subtle – we’ve got Halal meat only in hospitals, we’ve got Halal meat only in schools – in certain hospitals and certain schools – Halal meat in certain areas of London, Halal meat in certain areas of the United Kingdom, and we – the people of Great Britain – think that that’s not real, but it is real. And we need to wake up and understand that that’s what we’re being served, and understand that it is a form of ideological take over.