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Foreign Policy: Mosquebusters

Excellent piece by Spike Johnson exposing the “Mosquebusters.” Their strategy is to stop the building of all mosques using zoning laws, etc. Looks like the Islamophobic argument about “taqiyya” in reverse:


by Spike Johnson

LONDON — It is winter, the middle of December, and I find myself making an odd phone call. Pacing around my living room, I kick at the carpet as I dial the number.

“Hello?” I say.

“There’s no time,” the man on the other end of the line answers immediately. His name is Gavin Boby. We have e-mailed before, but I introduce myself again, explaining my background: education, photography and video experience, that sort of thing.

Boby’s tone is measured and businesslike. “It sounds like you have skills that could be of use. Muslims are very bad losers,” he says matter-of-factly. He’d like me to act as a witness, he tells me, videotaping his court appearances and searching the Internet for “targets.” The conversation is taking me into uncomfortable territory; my voice wavers, and I begin to flounder. Boby doesn’t notice. “I’ll send you instructions on how we work,” he says and hangs up. I have just become a Mosquebuster.

The Mosquebusters, or the Law and Freedom Foundation as they’re officially known, are part of a new wave of anti-Islamic campaigners in England with links to more established anti-immigrant groups such as England Is Ours and Stop Islamisation of Europe. Like many of these groups, the Mosquebusters fear that traditional British culture, laws, and values will disappear with the changing face of Britain and worry that extremist interpretations of sections of the Koran urge Muslims to kill non-believers and take slaves.

Until mid-February, the Mosquebusters advertised for volunteers, under a campaign called “No More Mosques,” on the website of the ultra-nationalist English Defence League (EDL), a group that organizes anti-Islamic street marches that often decend into brawls, riots, and arrests. The EDL and other anti-Islamic groups have no problem convincing their members to parade in public yelling insults like “Muslim bombers off our streets!” and “Allah is a pedophile!,” but the Mosquebusters have a quieter, perhaps more insidious approach: In offices and city halls, they are crafting legal cases against mosque construction applications across the country. It’s a war against Islam, but one that often resembles a bureaucratic turf battle more than a clash of civilizations.

Mosquebusters leader Boby, known as The Lawman, is careful to draw the distinction between religion and race. “It is primarily about the division between Islamic and non-Islamic society, and the lawless violence at the heart of Islamic doctrine and practice,” he says in his manifesto. Boby dressesconservatively, with a black suit, white button-down shirt, and pastel neck tie, done up tight. He is clean shaven, his brown hair cropped close, and his small eyes squint behind wire-framed glasses. He has the look of a typical middle-aged businessman. And most of the time, he is.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., he runs a planning application company in Bristol, in western of England. He is a qualified barrister with undergraduate and graduate law degrees. But what Boby really wants is “an army of people, about 500 across the country,” as he says in one of his online motivational videos. As I watched the recording from my flat in East London, while digesting one of his instructional e-mails on bureaucratic mosque-busting, Boby leaned closer to the camera, maintaining eye contact: “It is very important that mosques are stopped.” (Read the rest)

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  • Best of Reddit

    Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the easiest factor to take note of. I say to you, I definitely get irked at the same time as folks think about worries that they plainly do not realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as smartly as outlined out the entire thing without having side-effects , folks can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

  • Steve

    Where have I said the UK should follow the example of Saudi Arabia? Freedom of religion and freedom from religion as practiced in the UK is the correct way.

    Maybe Saudi Arabia will changed eventually but in the meantime they are spending huge resources promoting their doctrine around the world.

    I also believe people should be free to campaign against the building of any religious buildings in their area if they so choose as long as they go about it through legal channels.

  • Steve,

    Are you saying that the UK should follow the example of Saudi Arabia? That is rather a weak argument I think.

    Every other Muslim nation has many non-Muslim places of worship, Saudi is not representative nor is it well liked by Muslims (self included). I get tired of people bringing up Saudi to buttress their none existent arguments. Saudi is one nation, a unique case and certainly not representative. I think that many of the things Saudi does is wrong, so do many other Muslims. They will change eventually.


  • Steve

    “If someone owns private property and wants to build a church, synagogue, mosque or temple, it seems like they should have the right. Shouldn’t this be true everywhere?”

    It they seek and receive permission to build then yes.

    “How many Christian citizens do they have?”

    As many as they allow, none.

  • Eli

    Maybe Truth Hurts should read about what the Christians in Gaza think:

  • Snotty

    @Truth Hurts

    1. The Regime in Saudi Arabia is supported by the American Govt.

    2. You can’t point to a single country in the Muslim world, Christians are Free to build Churches in Pakistan, Iraq, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, EVEN THE IRAN YOU ULTRA-ZIONISTS HATE SO MUCH and almost every other Muslim country on this planet (Including Gaza which is ruled by what you Islamophobes like to call the Islamist-Terrorist Hamas)

  • TheBig-T

    @ Just Stopping By
    Thanks for the correction
    to be honest, it been a long time since I’ve visited Bahrain, but I do remember seen a Synagog there

  • Truth Hurts

    There are 1000s of mosques in Britain. How many churches in Saudi Arabia or the Maldives?

    How many Christian citizens do they have?

  • HGG

    ” Yeah, we have some lame jokes…”

    On the other hand, you have Jerry Seinfeld and Jon Stewart, two of the most brilliantly funny human beings ever. I think you do well in the humor department.

  • Just Stopping By

    @TheBig-T says, “also there are churches in Bahrain, and some Synagogs” Actually, only one synagogue, the only one in an Arab Persian Gulf state, (, though with a Jewish population of less than 50, we wouldn’t expect more. Well, maybe if you like the old joke of the Jew stranded alone on a desert island who builds two synagogues, one to pray in and one that he would never deign to step in. Yeah, we have some lame jokes…

  • TheBig-T

    Here are the list of Churches in Bahrain:

    St. Christopher’s Cathedral – Anglican
    Sacred Heart Church (Manama, Bahrain) – Catholic
    The National Evangelical Church
    The Bahrain Malayalee Church of South India
    St. Mary’s Orthodox Church – Indian Orthodox
    St. Peter’s Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church
    The Mar Thoma Church & St. Paul’s Marthoma Church
    Saar Fellowship,_Bahrain%29

  • TheBig-T

    @ Steve
    I live in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and there are churches and Hindu temples in the country and they are respected.
    also there are churches in Bahrain, and some Synagogs

    also steve can you send us a link to where you heard about the Kuwaiti draft bill
    here is the status of Kuwaiti Christians

    The denominations include, but are not limited to, the following:

    140,000 Catholics in Kuwait. There is a cathedral in Kuwait City, which belongs to the Vicariate Apostolic of Kuwait. The Catholic Vicariate is largely made up of Asians from India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and Arab Christians from Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Syria. Maronite Christians, mostly from Lebanon, also worship at the Catholic cathedral in Kuwait city.

    67,500 Orthodox Christians, at least. The Greek Orthodox Church has about 3,500 members, while the Armenian Orthodox Church has about 4,000 members. The Coptic Orthodox Church has about 60,000 members. Totals for both the Greek Catholic (Eastern Rite) Church membership and Indian Orthodox Syrian Church membership totals are unavailable.

    50,000 Protestants in Kuwait. The Anglican Church has about 115 members. The National Evangelical Church has about 15,000 members. There are also other Christian Protestant denominations in the country, with tens of thousands of members. These denominations include Seventh-Day Adventists and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons).

    the rest is found here

  • Steve

    There are 1000s of mosques in Britain. How many churches in Saudi Arabia or the Maldives? The Kuwaitis have drafted a bill calling for no more non islamic places of worship to be built. Yet you choose to publish an article about a small group of nutters I would never have heard of if you hadn’t given them publicity. I know you wont publish this comment, your agenda is very clear.

  • khushboo

    Quran lies?? LOL

  • JD

    Dont Feed the troll ignore him

  • Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony

    Truthseeker do you get a kick out of insulting people for no good reason .
    Can you not find a girl friend or boy friend? Or is your life so sad in otherways

  • Every Muslim is indoctrinated into Insanity.In Iran,A convert from Islam to Christianty has been awarded death sentence while the quran lies:There is no compultion in religion.If you can not trust the so called holy book called quran,then how could you trust the people who worship it and its creater called Mohammad bin Abdulla.

  • JD

    NYPD Targeted Mosques, Used Tactics Normally Reserved For Criminal Organizations

    NEW YORK — The New York Police Department targeted Muslim mosques with tactics normally reserved for criminal organizations, according to newly obtained police documents that showed police collecting the license plates of worshippers, monitoring them on surveillance cameras and cataloging sermons through a network of informants.

    The documents, obtained by The Associated Press, have come to light as the NYPD fends off criticism of its monitoring of Muslim student groups and its cataloging of mosques and Muslim businesses in nearby Newark, N.J.

    The NYPD’s spokesman, Paul Browne, forcefully defended the legality of those efforts Thursday, telling reporters that its officers may go wherever the public goes and collect intelligence, even outside city limits.

    The new documents, prepared for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, show how the NYPD’s roster of paid informants monitored conversations and sermons inside mosques. The records offer the first glimpse of what those informants, known informally as “mosque crawlers,” gleaned from inside the houses of worship.

    For instance, when a Danish newspaper published inflammatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in September 2005, Muslim communities around the world erupted in outrage. Violent mobs took to the streets in the Middle East. A Somali man even broke into the cartoonist’s house in Denmark with an ax.

    In New York, thousands of miles away, it was a different story. Muslim leaders preached peace and urged people to protest lawfully. Write letters to politicians, they said. Some advocated boycotting Danish products, burning flags and holding rallies.

    All of that was permissible under law and protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. All was reported to the NYPD by its mosque crawlers and made its way into police files for Kelly.

    “Imam Shamsi Ali brought up the topic of the cartoon, condemning them. He announced a rally that was to take place on Sunday (02/05/06) near the United Nations. He asked that everyone to attend if possible and reminded everyone to keep their poise if they can make it,” one report read.

    At the Muslim Center of New York in Queens, the report said, “Mohammad Tariq Sherwani led the prayer service and urged those in attendance to participate in a demonstration at the United Nations on Sunday.”

    When one Muslim leader suggested planning a demonstration, one of the people involved in the discussion about how to get a permit was, in fact, working for the NYPD.

    “It seems horrible to me that the NYPD is treating an entire religious community as potential terrorists,” said civil rights lawyer Jethro Eisenstein, who reviewed some of the documents and is involved in a decades-old class-action lawsuit against the police department for spying on protesters and political dissidents.

    The lawsuit is known as the Handschu case, and a court order in that case governs how the NYPD may collect intelligence.

    Eisenstein said the documents prove the NYPD has violated those rules.

    “This is a flat-out violation,” Eisenstein said. “This is a smoking gun.”

    Browne, the NYPD spokesman, did not discuss specific investigations Thursday but told reporters that, because of the Handschu case, the NYPD operates under stricter rules than any other department in the country. He said police do not violate those rules.

    His statements were intended to calm a controversy over a 2007 operation in which the NYPD mapped and photographed all of Newark’s mosques and eavesdropped on Muslim businesses. Newark Mayor Cory Booker said he was never told about the surveillance, which he said offended him.

    Booker and his police director accused the NYPD of misleading them by not revealing exactly what they were doing. Had they known, they said it never would have been permitted. But Browne said Newark police were told before and after the operation and knew exactly what it entailed.

    Kelly, the police commissioner, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been emphatic that police only follow legitimate leads of criminal activity and do not conduct preventive surveillance in ethnic communities.

    Former and current law enforcement officials either involved in or with direct knowledge of these programs say they did not follow leads. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the secret programs. But the documents support their claims.

    The effort highlights one of the most difficult aspects of policing in the age of terrorism. Solving crimes isn’t enough; police are expected to identify would-be terrorists and move in before they can attack.

    There are no universally agreed upon warning signs for terrorism. Terrorists have used Internet cafes, stayed in hostels, worked out at gyms, visited travel agencies, attended student groups and prayed at mosques. So the NYPD monitored those areas. In doing so, they monitored many innocent people as they went about their daily lives.

    Using plainclothes officers from the squad known as the Demographics Unit, police swept Muslim neighborhoods and catalogued the location of mosques. The ethnic makeup of each congregation was logged as police fanned out across the city and outside their jurisdiction, into suburban Long Island and areas of New Jersey.

    “African American, Arab, Pakistani,” police wrote beneath the photo of one mosque in Newark.

    Investigators looked at mosques as the center of Muslim life. All their connections had to be known.

    David Cohen, the NYPD’s top intelligence officer, wanted a source inside every mosque within a 250-mile radius of New York, current and former officials said. Though the officials said they never managed to reach that goal, documents show the NYPD successfully placed informants or undercovers – sometimes both – into mosques from Westchester County, N.Y., to New Jersey.

    The NYPD used these sources to get a sense of the sentiment of worshippers whenever an event generated headlines. The goal, former officials said, was to alert police to potential problems before they bubbled up.

    Even when it was clear there were no links to terrorism, the mosque informants gave the NYPD the ability to “take the pulse” of the community, as Cohen and other managers put it.

    When New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor were killed on Oct. 11, 2006, when their small plane crashed into a Manhattan high-rise apartment, fighter planes were scrambled. Within hours the FBI and Homeland Security Department said it was an accident. Terrorism was ruled out.

    Yet for days after the event, the NYPD’s mosque crawlers reported to police about what they heard at sermons and among worshippers.

    At the Brooklyn Islamic Center, a confidential informant “noted chatter among the regulars expressing relief and thanks to God that the crash was only an accident and not an act of terrorism,” one report reads.

    “The worshippers made remarks to the effect that `it better be an accident; we don’t need any more heat,'” an undercover officer reported from the Al-Tawheed Islamic Center in Jersey City, N.J.

    In some instances, the NYPD put cameras on light poles and trained them on mosques, documents show. Because the cameras were in public space, police didn’t need a warrant to conduct the surveillance.

    Police also wrote down the license plates of cars in mosque parking lots, documents show. In some instances, police in unmarked cars outfitted with electronic license plate readers would drive down the street and record the plates of everyone parked near the mosque, former officials recalled.

    “They’re viewing Muslims like they’re crazy. They’re terrorists. They all must be fanatics,” said Abdul Akbar Mohammed, the imam for the past eight years at the Masjid Imam Ali K. Muslim in Newark. “That’s not right.”

    I predict another FBI NYPD Terrorism bust coming up in the next few days involving a informant / entrapment

  • khushboo

    Scary bunch of thugs! I hope the police is monitoring them instead of Muslims.

  • Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony

    Oh dear creeping stupidity reaches Britain

  • mindy1

    Loons are always in season!! sadly

  • QulifiedAgnostic

    British Muslims must be informed of this malicious new hate group so they know what they are now going to face. They must be aware of this group’s tactics and various subtleties against Muslims/Islam.

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