With US Funding: This Is How Members of the UK House of Lords Became Involved in Anti-Islam

Murad Jandali | a year ago




The Guardian reported on February 25, 2023, that leaked documents found that a secret organization accused of collaborating with far-right activists had been operating in the House of Lords for more than a decade and receiving funding from conservative US foundations.

The anti-Islam parliamentary group includes former UK Independence Party leader Malcolm Pearson and former Conservative Lords Deputy Speaker Baroness Caroline Cox.

In turn, Joe Mulhall, director of research at Hope Not Hate (HNH), which deals with addressing hate crimes in Britain, described the presence of the secret organization in the heart of Parliament and continues as very shocking.

“Our investigation has found that members of the House of Lords are collaborating with members of the far-right who oppose Islam,” he added.

Mr. Mulhall explained that the group’s members are repeatedly reminded of the importance of complete secrecy, which explains why no details have emerged about its existence yet and why it has no digital fingerprint.


Anti-Islam Group

The British organization Hope Not Hate published a sensational investigation revealing a secret group within the UK Parliament, formed by a number of lords, and devoted great efforts to leading an ongoing campaign against Muslims in the UK.

The parliamentary group called the New Issues Group (NIG) was established in 2012, chaired by Lord Malcolm Pearson, and it was of a confidential nature at first and included elite members of the House of Lords, including Baroness Caroline Cox, who has a long record of spreading her anti-Islam views.

According to the investigation, it is assumed that the House of Lords is the upper chamber of the UK Parliament and includes a number of elite politicians working for the benefit of citizens, but the secret group that was formed had another scope of work.

The activity of the parliamentary group focuses on raising fears of Islam in Britain. It uses rhetorical terminology that describes Muslims as strange and different and promotes its belief that Islam is not a religion but a political regime that wants to achieve hegemony in Britain.

The group, according to Hope Not Hate, is trying to influence government policies by promoting bills that would allow UK laws to be defined according to the anti-Muslim vision.

The names of the founders of the group appeared in events such as conferences and field walks promoting these ideas, in addition to the fact that the group met recently in January of this year.

Commenting on the information contained in the Hope Not Hate investigation, Zara Mohammed, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, denounced the group’s anti-Islamic scope of work, describing it as deeply disturbing and disturbing.

Zara added, “To what extent has such a group been allowed to operate within the establishment, working with known islamophobes and the far-right, calls much to question.”



Among the most prominent figures who attended NIG meetings was Sam Solomon, a Christian convert to Islam who claims to be a former Muslim scholar and jurist. Interestingly, when introduced in public speeches, Solomon was described as a consultant to the British Parliament for matters regarding Islam.

There is also Stephen Lennon (Also known as Tommy Robinson), founder of the far-right English Defense League (EDL).

NIG meetings over the past decade have been attended by Toni Bugle, founder of Mothers Against Radical Islam and Sharia (MARIAS), a short-lived anti-Muslim group with close ties to the EDL.

In addition to Magnus Nielsen, known for anti-Muslim extremism, who had close links with the EDL and the MARIAS.

One of the most prominent NIG attendees is the notorious far-right leader Anne Marie Waters, who has become one of the UK’s most famous anti-Muslim activists.

Other NIG members include Alan Craig, the former spokesperson for the UK Independence Party (UKIP), who launched the far-right group Hearts of Oak in 2020.

Craig sparked controversy in 2018 after he claimed in a speech at the UKIP conference that “UK children’s holocaust had been orchestrated by groups of men from Muslim backgrounds.”

The group also includes Conservative MPs, aristocrats, bishops, businessmen, journalists, and prominent far-right figures, including the American anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller, who was denied entry to the UK in 2013.

Many of the key figures who have been active in NIG over the past decade have also been affiliated with the so-called Counter-Jihad Movement (CJM).


Controversial Meetings

It is noteworthy that the group’s existence was revealed after Pearson sent an email to 235 people, by mistake, instead of sending a private copy of a message to each of them; this enabled everyone to see the entire list.

Pearson said in his email that “Islam is a vast subject. But if we try to discuss it in public, we are accused of Islamophobia. Our MPs are too frightened of the growing Muslim vote to discuss it.”

“Several of my fellow peers jeer when I raise it in the Lords,” Pearson wrote in his email.

When asked about the email, Pearson said it was about “Islamism, political Islam, and radical Islam, which I think we should be allowed to discuss without being labeled Islamophobic.”

One way the documents suggest the group has tried to influence Parliament was by writing questions to be asked in the House of Lords.

In March 2016, a memo of the meeting stated that NIG’s members held a fruitful meeting with the then Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove; Lord Malcolm Pearson then asked a number of written Parliamentary Questions, which covered Sharia-compliant financing and counter-extremism strategy.

Pearson said he drafted all the questions himself, dismissed any suggestions that NIG interfered with them, and noted that the issues raised were important.

A memo from the 2015 meeting showed a note written by group member Magnus Nielsen, who describes Islam as having hostile intentions toward every non-Muslim person and that the West is in a current ideological war with Islam, anticipating bloody chaos in the future.

A memo from November 2013 also indicated that one of those present at the meeting, activist Anne Marie Waters, was asked if she would help draft a parliamentary question for Baroness Cox on a film on freedom of expression.

Waters went on to found Sharia Watch UK, a group that in 2015 attempted to organize an exhibition of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in London.

In 2016, Waters founded the UK branch of the anti-Islam group Pegida, along with Tommy Robinson.

Baroness Cox and Lord Pearson provoked controversy in 2010 when they brought the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders to the UK.


US Funding

After her links to prominent anti-Islam activists were exposed, Baroness Cox was forced to make her financial sources public.

A memo of meetings obtained by Hope Not Hate found that Equal and Free received funding from conservative US foundations run by evangelical missionaries, among them is an American organization called Fieldstead and Company, Sky News reported on February 25, 2023.

The investigation indicated that the anti-Islam parliamentary group received nearly £112,000 (about $134,000) between 2012 and 2014.

The leaked documents indicate that the Equal and Free organization was created after a bill submitted by Baroness Cox, focusing on equality in Islamic arbitration courts, and this organization is the channel through which Cox received funds.

She justified her failure to record the financial support she received from Equal and Free and said that these funds were used to pay for her parliamentary research.

The Los Angeles-based Fieldstead and Company, which handles donations from Howard Ahmanson Jr. and his wife Roberta Ahmanson, focuses support on religious freedom issues as well as art and culture and humanitarian relief, according to its website.

Nick Lowles, chief executive of Hope Not Hate, said they appear to show the group is not just concerned about radical and political Islam.

“This group views Islam per se as a danger to the West. They view Islam as in conflict with Western culture and Western civilization,” Mr. Lowles said.

In her defense of the group, Baroness Cox told Sky News, “it was a meeting of people who support the aims of my bill,” referring to a private member’s bill, first introduced in 2011, which aims to protect Muslim women in Britain from sharia law.