Islamic hardliner who funded group that called Jihadi John a 'beautiful young man' is invited to address civil servants

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Islamic hardliner who funded group that called Jihadi John a 'beautiful young man' is invited to address civil servants

The founder of a hardline Islamic lobbying group accused of making derogatory remarks about Jews and spreading conspiracy theories was invited to speak to civil servants, it has emerged.

Sufyan Ismail, 45, is the founder of Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND),  an NGO that aims to encourage Muslim communities to be more involved in British media and politics.

It has been revealed that Ismail, a former businessman, was invited to speak in an online event organised by the Civil Service Muslim Network on the topics of Islamophobia and racism.

The invitation from the cross-government diversity body would have given more credibility to MEND, which was accused in a 2017 report of 'promoting extremism'.

It is reported that Ismail himself has also funded the terrorism suspects' advocacy group Cage, where one of its leaders described Mohammed Emwazi, the terrorist known as 'Jihadi John', as having been a 'beautiful young man'.  

Ismail was set to appear at the Civil Service seminar scheduled for this Thursday to mark Islamophobia Awareness Month, and had been billed to speak on 'the global increase of Islamophobia'.

However the government have since confirmed that the speech by Mr Ismail has been scrapped.

 

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