Anti-Islamist campaigner Fiyaz Mughal set to become govt ‘Anti-Muslim Hatred’ tsar

Fiyaz Mughal. Pic: Crown Prosecution Service

Fiyaz Mughal, the controversial anti-Islamist campaigner, is set to be unveiled as the government’s new “anti-Muslim hatred tsar” next week as part of a crackdown on “extremism” to be launched by right-wing Communities Secretary Michael Gove.

According to GB news, Mughal is understood to have met with Gove to agree the new role and an announcement could be made as early as Monday.

He is the founder of counter-extremism organisation Faith Matters and Islamophobia monitoring organisation Tell Mama, both of which received government funding.

Mughal also founded Muslims Against Antisemtism which says it is “made up of British Muslims who believe it is the duty of everyone to challenge antisemitism in all its guises.”

However, Mughal has been criticised by many within the Muslim community for following a government line on issues such as Prevent, and for allying himself with pro Israel and pro LGBTQ organisations and individuals. In the past he has also targeted Muslim groups such as CAGE and MEND.

And Muslim organisations have already criticised his likely appointment.

Muslim advocacy group MEND said in a statement: “Appointing Fyaz Mughal as an advisor on ‘anti-Muslim hatred’ shows just how much contempt the government holds for the Muslim community.

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“Fiyaz has spent his career maligning mainstream Muslim organisations and pandering to right-wing and Zionist conspiracies about ‘Islamists.’ Purposefully using the words anti-Muslim hatred and not Islamophobia – the word most Muslims use for prejudice against them – is also a sign of the government not taking the issue of Islamophobia seriously.”

Secretary of State for levelling Michael Gove. Editorial credit: Jakub Junek /

CAGE International said: “Mughal has a long established track record of supporting counter extremism policies that target Muslims, such as PREVENT. He’s smeared mainstream Muslim organisations and plays on the good Muslim/bad Muslim Islamophobic trope to bolster support for his projects. If he’s appointed as an Islamophobia tsar, it would be of no meaningful value except to provide cover for the state’s institutional Islamophobia and the attempts to securitise Muslims and Muslim civic space.”

An Islamic Human Rights Commission spokesman said: “This is part of a disgraceful attempt by this morally bankrupt government to smear Muslim and wider pro-Palestine political activity as extremist.

“Having wrecked the economy and public services the Tories are deploying that trusted weapon of all fascists – xenophobia – to help them regain electoral ground.

“Prevent has already had a devastating impact in marginalising legitimate Muslim civil society activity and to tighten the screw even further will stoke more societal division and more hatred for the community.”

And Jahangir Mohammed of Muslim think-tank Ayaan Institute said: “We consider such posts symbolic and unlikely to have any impact but to reinforce establishment agendas. Whereas once it was the far-right that stoked Muslim hatred, today it is politicians themselves using the same inflammatory rhetoric and tropes. British politicians have made far-right parties redundant. The real struggle against Muslim hatred will take place in civil society.”

Mughal’s appointment is set to come in a week when ministers will seek to deliver on directives by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to tackle extremism which he said was tearing the UK apart.

GB News understands that Gove will unveil a new broader definition of extremism, probably on Thursday, which should allow the police to take firmer action against pro-Palestine protests.

The previous “independent” adviser on Islamophobia, Imam Qari Asim, was sacked in 2022 after appearing to advocate the banning of the blasphemous film The Lady of Heaven.

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities said that his support for a campaign to limit free expression, and which encouraged anti-Shia sentiment, meant he could no longer work with government to promote community harmony.

UPDATE: Fiyaz Mughal has ruled himself out of the job citing attacks from “Islamists” and the far right.

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