The Quilliam Foundation launch document, released on the day of their launch, contains a number of proposals and references that are curious in the light of their namesake and exemplar Abdullah Quilliam.

As a way of highlighting yet more inconsisties of this claim to be the inheritors of Abdullah Quilliam, I have compiled a few examples from the Quilliam Foundation launch and contrasted them to what we know about Abdullah Quilliam.

  • ON MUSLIM UNITY

Quilliam Foundation says “End the ‘them-and-us’mentality prevalent among elder Muslim leaders. Britain belongs to all of us, non-Muslims and Muslims.” (Launch Document Page 7)

Abdullah Quilliam says “At the present time union is more than ever necessary among Muslims. The Christian powers are proposing a new crusade to shatter the Muslim powers, under the pretext that they desire to civilise the world. This is nothing but hypocrisy, but armed as they are with the resources of Western civilisation it will be impossible to resist them unless Muslims stand united as one solid phalanx.”

  • ON  “FOREIGN” SUPPORT

Quilliam Foundation says “Cut ties with Islamist groups and funding agencies from Saudi Arabia” (Launch Document Page 7) (*NOTE QUILLIAM FOUNDATION TAKES FUNDING FROM KUWAIT)

Abdullah Quilliam – The Shah of Persia made him a consul to his country. In 1894, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the last Ottoman emperor, gave Quilliam the title of “Sheikh al-Islam of Britain”, leader of British Muslims. The Sultan of Afghanistan gave him a £2,500 “personal gift”, to help him continue his good works

  • ON DRESS SENSE

Quilliam Foundation says “Encourage students and imams to wear clothes that ensure belonging to mainstream society, and not Pakistani ethnic attire designed for a different climate. Islam requires modesty, not Arab or Pakistani clothing” (Launch Document Page 7)

Abdullah Quilliam was said to have appeared in court wearing Turkish ceremonial dress. Others claim he travelled through Liverpool on a white Arab horse

  • ON “RADICAL” Sermons

Quilliam Foundation says “Radical sermonizers should be actively rejected by Muslim student bodies, and not given succour in the name of ‘Muslim unity'” (Launch Document Page 10)

Whereas Abdullah Quilliam was never one to go quietly and launched a series of attacks on the British government. When the Prime Minister, William Gladstone, was due to give a speech in Liverpool urging action against the Ottoman Empire for its treatment of Armenians, Quilliam leapt to the emperor’s defence. He gathered his congregation at the mosque to make a rival speech, during which he declared the West was quite happy to ignore “Christian atrocities” elsewhere.

“An Armenian explodes a bomb in the crowded streets of Constantinople and slays innocent women and children and, because he calls himself a Christian he is extolled in England as a hero and as a patriot!” Quilliam wrote. “An Afghan fights for his fatherland in the Khyber Pass, and because he is a Muslim he is denounced as a traitor and a rebel.”

  • ON INTERNATIONAL POLITICS 

Quilliam Foundation says “The vast majority of mosque imams and congregations cannot distinguish a pious believer from an extremist. Matters are made worse by the fact that organizations that claim to represent British Muslims have at their helm men who believe in foreign political ideologies that seek to usurp Islam for political purposes” (Launch Document Page 5)

Abdullah Quilliam says “O Muslims, do not be deceived by this hypocrisy. Unite yourselves as one man. Let us no longer be separated. The rendevous of Islam is under the shadow of the Khalifate. The Khebla of the True-Believer who desires happiness for himself and prosperity to Islam is the holy seat of the Khalifate”

  • ON ISLAM AND POLITICS

Quilliam Foundation says “Educate Islamists that the first group of people that called for the equivalent of ‘political sovereignty belonging to God’ (as Islamists do) were the Khawarij, who killed Imam Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet” (Launch Document Page 6)

Abdullah Quilliam replies “All praise be to God Who, in His unlimited goodness, has favoured us with the gift of the True religion of Islam, and Who has ordered the brethren to be united, and declared this to be His law in the before-quoted Ayat of the Holy and Imperishable Koran!”

 

This should be sufficient for everyone to draw their own conclusions as to the twisting of the memory of Abdullah Quilliam to suit the opportunistic sycophantes of today.

[Given the interest sparked in Abdullah Quilliam by the Quilliam Foundation, it is pertinent to know the history and views of their adopted namesake and his relevance for today]

William Henry Quilliam was the son of a watch manufacturer Robert Quilliam, and a descendant of Captain John Quilliam RN, who was First Lieutenant on HMS Victory with Nelson.

He qualified as a solicitor and established the largest advocacy practice in the North. In 1882 Quilliam visited southern France to recover from overwork and crossed over to Algeria and Morocco. There he learned about Islam and at the age of 31 proclaimed himself to be Muslim.

He returned to Liverpool in 1889 to spread Islam as Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam. Converts included his sons, prominent scientists and professionals. His mother was a Methodist activist until 1893 when at the age of 63 she converted. Local Muslims gave her the title Khadijah (Mother of the Faithful). After accepting Islam, Quilliam was reported to have attended court dressed in full Turkish regalia and as travelling on a white Arab horse!

Quilliam set up a prayer and meeting room with the community in Mount Vernon Street. He managed to publish three editions of The Faith of Islam which was subsequently translated into thirteen languages. Quilliam became famous throughout the Islamic world. The Sultan of Turkey made him Sheikh-Ul-Islam of Britain and his son became British Consul General in Turkey. The Sultan of Morocco made him an Alim and the Shah of Persia also appointed him as Consul. A gift of £2,500 was donated to the community by the Sultan of Afghanistan. This was used to establish the Islamic Institute and Liverpool Mosque in Broughton Terrace, Liverpool.

A hundred Muslims could pray there. The Friday Prayer sermons were both in English and Arabic. In the basement the group set up a printing press and commenced publishing The Crescent weekly and a monthly journal, The Islamic Review which was later distributed to over twenty countries worldwide.

Nearly two thousand illegitimate births occurred annually in Liverpool during this period and many women turned to the Institute for help. To counter this growing problem, Quilliam founded the Medina Home to care for children and to find them foster families. The Institute also started a Muslim College with courses for Muslims and non-Muslims in arts, science and law. Teachers included Professor Haschem Wilde and Professor Nasrullah Warren. A weekly Debating and Literary Society attracted many non-Muslims. They were also invited to the Institute for prayers and sermons on Sunday. There was singing from Quilliam’s collection of hymns for English-speaking Muslims. These meetings brought a hundred and fifty non-Muslims to Islam by 1896!

Quilliam continually faced opposition, arguing for everything from the right to make the public call to prayer to British interference in the Sudan. As his success increased – so did the level of harassment. The muezzin of the mosque was often pelted with snowballs, stones and dirt. Firecrackers were thrown at the mosque and glass was ground into the carpets to cut the feet of the worshippers. The Church and elements of the media in particular were quite antagonistic.

On one occasion a group of local Baptists stood up in the middle of one of Abdullah Quilliam’s sermons to preach in what they referred to as the ‘heathen temple’. The leader of the band said that Quilliam was “…a man sent by the devil to deceive you and lead you into the eternal fire where the worm dieth not” and pointing to the fez caps on the heads of the members of the congregation, stated “and these are the regimentals worn by his soldiers.” In a Christian journal, ‘The Crusader’, Quilliam was described as “this arch -infidel and renegade from the Christian faith” and was pronounced as proof of possession by the devil.

Quilliam had the courage and the audacity to openly criticise the imperialist policies of the Government and denounced the colonisation and suppression of foreign territories:-

“An American explodes a bomb in the crowded streets of Constantinople and slays innocent women and children and , because he calls himself a Christian he is extolled in England as a hero and as a patriot! An Afghan fights for his fatherland in the Khyber Pass, and because he is a Muslim he is denounced as a traitor and a rebel, and his land is to be raided and his wives and children slain. Such is the British Christian logic at the end of the 19th Century in the diamond jubilee year of the reign of the Queen Empress.”

The group suffered indignities because the adoption of Islam implied a rejection of Queen and country in the eyes of the wider community – especially at a time when the Empire was at loggerheads with the Ottoman Caliphate. As well as having the ability to write authoritatively on Christianity and Judaism, Quilliam was a remarkable visionary:- “At the present time union is more than ever necessary among Muslims. The Christian powers are proposing a new crusade to shatter the Muslim powers, under the pretext that they desire to civilise the world. This is nothing but hypocrisy, but armed as they are with the resources of Western civilisation it will be impossible to resist them unless Muslims stand united as one solid phalanx.”

Within 30 years of this statement, the Khilafah was destroyed. Quilliam left for the East in 1908 and in his absence the Mosque and the Institute declined. The mosque on Brougham Terrace is now the Registry for Births, Deaths and Marriages.

On October 10 1997, Patricia Gordon, the granddaughter of Shaykh Abdullah Quilliam unveiled a plaque in the building to honour the founding of the oldest mosque in Britain and to celebrate the events that happened there. In an emotional address she recalled: ‘My greatest memory of him, is being compassionate at all times, a man of great courage and way ahead of his time, and a credit to Islam. He gave me an understanding of human emotions and frailties, in fact a catalogue of everything of everything one would wish to see in us all.’

[Given the interest sparked in Abdullah Quilliam by the Quilliam Foundation, it is pertinent to know the views of their adopted namesake and his relevance for today]

In the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful!

Peace be to all the faithful everywhere!

“O True-Believers, fear God with His true fear; and die not unless ye also be True-Believers. And cleave all of you unto the covenant of God, and depart not from it; and remember the favour of God towards you.” Sura 3, “The Family of Imran,” Ayat, 103

All praise be to God Who, in His unlimited goodness, has favoured us with the gift of the True religion of Islam, and Who has ordered the brethren to be united, and declared this to be His law in the before-quoted Ayat of the Holy and Imperishable Koran!

Among Muslims none should be known as Turks, Arabs, Kurds, Ajem, Afghans, Indians or English. They are all Muslims, and verily the True-Believers are brethren. Islam is erected on the Unity of God, the unity of His religion, and the unity of the Muslims. History demonstrates that the True-Believers were never defeated while they remained united, but only when disunion crept into their ranks.

At the present time, union is more than ever necessary among Muslims. The Christian powers are preparing a new crusade in order to shatter the Muslim powers, under the pretext that they desire to civilise the world.

This is nothing but hypocrisy, but armed as they are with the resources of Western civilisation it will be impossible to resist them unless the Muslims stand united in one solid phalanx.

O Muslims, do not be deceived by this hypocrisy. Unite yourselves as one man. Let us no longer be separated. The rendevous of Islam is under the shadow of the Khalifate. The Khebla of the True-Believer who desires happiness for himself and prosperity to Islam is the holy seat of the Khalifate.

It is with the deepest regret that we see [682] some persons seeking to disseminate disunion among Muslims by publications issued in Egypt, Paris and London. “Verily, they are in a manifest error.”

If their object – as they allege it – be the welfare of Islam, then let them reconsider their action and they will perceive that instead of bringing a blessing to Islam their actions will have a contrary effect, and only further disseminate disunion where it is – alas that it should be said – only too apparent.

We fraternally invite these brethren to return their allegiance, and call them to the sacred name of Islam to re-unite with the Faithful.

Muslims all! Arsh is under the standard of the Khalifate. Let us unite there, one and all, and at once!

Given at the Mosque at Liverpool, this 5th day of Dhulkada, 1313, which Christians in their error call the 20th day of April, 1896

W.H. ABDULLAH QUILLIAM, Sheikh-ul-Islam of the British Isles.

[Source: The Crescent, Vol. VII, No. 171, April 22nd 1896, pp. 681-682, original punctuation and spelling retained, pagination indicated in square brackets in the text.]

[Given the interest sparked in Abdullah Quilliam by the Quilliam Foundation, it is pertinent to know the views of their adopted namesake and his relevance for today]

In the name of God, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

Peace be to all True-Believers to whom this shall come!

Know ye, O Muslims, that the British Government has decided to commence military and warlike operations against the Muslims of the Soudan, who have taken up arms to defend their country and their faith. And it is in contemplation to employ Muslim soldiers to fight against these Muslims of the Soudan.

For any True Believer to take up arms and fight against another Muslim is contrary to the Shariat, and against the law of God and his holy prophet.

I warn every True-Believer that if he gives the slightest assistance in this projected expedition against the Muslims of the Soudan, even to the extent of carrying a parcel, or giving a bite of bread to eat or a drink of water to any person taking part in the expedition against these Muslims that he thereby helps the Giaour against the Muslim, and his name will be unworthy to be continued upon the roll of the faithful.

Signed at the Mosque in Liverpool, England, this 10th day of Shawwal, 1313 (which Christians erroneously in their ignorance call the 24th day of March, 1896),

W.H. ABDULLAH QUILLIAM, Sheikh-ul-Islam of the British Isles.

[Source: The Crescent, March 25th 1896, Vol. VII, No. 167, p. 617; original punctuation and spelling retained.]