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Saturday 10 April 2021

So Farewell Then Quilliam Foundation

While many in and around our free and fearless press had their attention diverted elsewhere, yesterday was an ideal time to bury bad, or merely inconvenient, news. And so it came to pass that Maajid Nawaz, still on the LBC roster of hosts, chose this moment to tell the world that the Quilliam Foundation was to close its doors for the last time.

Not only that, Nawaz, or someone on his behalf, has deleted almost all the contents of his Twitter feed, with one of the few items remaining telling “Due to the hardship of maintaining a non-profit during Covid lockdowns, we took the tough decision to close Quilliam down for good. This was finalised today. A huge thank you to all those who supported us over the years. We are now looking forward to a new post-covid future”.

On top of that, he later added “Due to the sad news today, I won’t be on [LBC] tomorrow. Instead, and understandably, they’ll be hosting wall to wall royal coverage, with presenters who know their royal beat”. But questions were already being asked as to how an organisation into which so much money had been poured was now apparently skint.

Deletion appears to be the name of the game, as Sunder Katwala observed: “Quilliam has immediately removed its website, deleted its Twitter feed and Facebook account. Mr Nawaz has deleted all of his past tweets too from his personal account. I do not know if the board made plans to make any resources, reports or past work accessible in any other forum”. It was all very sudden. Mehdi Hasan, meanwhile, had questions.

Question 1: where did the 3 million dollars or so that the SPLC in 2018 paid Quilliam and Nawaz go? Question 2: why has Nawaz deleted all his tweets including his recent series of tweets and retweets flirting with QAnon-style, pro-Trump election conspiracies?” It was, apparently, well north of $3 million. And it wasn’t the only monetary input.

Nafeez Ahmed asserted in a Byline Times article that “for most of the past decade, the Quilliam Foundation has been supported by pro-Trump Republican donors through whom it has received some $3 million of ‘dark money’”. Another $3 million! Also, a Quilliam staffer had signed a statement published by the far-right Gatestone Institute.

Meanwhile, Sajda Mughal had another question, on the subject of all those deletions. “Could this be down to the Dominion Voting Systems $1.3 billion law suit against those who disseminated false claims about the November 2020 presidential election being rigged?” Well, this blog has screen shotted a fair bit of Nawaz’ Twitter output, while Katwala has captured rather a lot more. It may be nothing; we will see.

And not everyone was sad to see Quilliam go. Ella Cockbain, who you can tell as she’s a doctor, reminded us “Shame these quacks never had the integrity to retract their abysmal ‘grooming gangs report’”. Talking of those who loved to quote from that - now discredited - work, Moazzam Begg had one lasting impression of Quilliam to share with us.

On this historic day, as we commemorate [the] demise of … the Quilliam Foundation, let’s recall the crowning achievement of this ‘counter extremism’ organisation. They put Tommy Robinson through their deradicalisation programme - and he came out even worse”.

Where did the money go? Why the sudden shut down? The questions won’t stop coming.

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Anonymous said...

Oh well....gone the same way as "The Atlantic Bridge"*.....Coincidences, ey?

*But there are still European versions, particularly in Germany.

Jonathan said...

M'learned friends currently searching for Tommieee's assets, following his recent bankruptcy application, will M'learned friends be doing the same for Quillam's?

Steve Woods said...

The Quilliam website may have been deleted, but deletion doesn't necessarily mean all its content is no longer available.

Those interested in its content can still find snapshots of the site preserved on the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

grim northerner said...

The dark money explains his bizarre tin-foil hat ravings about non-existent relations between china, the who and locksdowns here in blighty.