Excerpt:

These are good times to be in the "moderate Muslim" business. If you press the right buttons on integration and "radicalisation" and hold your tongue on western foreign policy, there are rich pickings to be had - from both private and government coffers.

Latest in the ring is the "counter-extremism thinktank", the Quilliam Foundation, due to be launched tomorrow in the British Museum by Ed Husain (much-feted author of The Islamist), Jemima Khan and former Lib Dem leader and Bosnian proconsul Lord Ashdown.

The foundation - named after a 19th century British Muslim - is the creature of Husain and a couple of other one-time members of the radical, non-violent Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. All three are straight out of the cold war defectors' mould described in Saturday's Guardian by the playwright David Edgar, trading heavily on their former associations and travelling rapidly in a conservative direction.

Given the enthusiasm with which Husain's book was greeted last year by British neoconservatives such as Tory frontbencher Michael Gove and Mail columnist Melanie Phillips, it's no surprise that he has recruited people like Gove and David Green, director of the rightwing thinktank Civitas, as advisers. But there are also a couple of more liberal figures on board like Guardian columnist Timothy Garton Ash and the vicar of Putney, Giles Fraser - though it seems not everybody realised quite what they were signing up to.


Read the complete original version of this item...