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Muslim Council of Britain Responds to Prime Minister's False Allegations in his Conservative Party Speech

Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, October 12, 2015


 
   


 
In response to the Prime Ministerís speech at the Conservative Party Conference, the Muslim Council of Britain issued the following statement:

We commend the Prime Minister for speaking up for a multicultural and multi-faith Britain and we welcome his focus on what more can be done to foster a nation at ease with itself.

We agree, communities should be empowered to deal with extremism and eschew a politics of grievance. A first step to help in that effort ought to be to address perception of otherness within these communities fed by perceived unwillingness of the government of the day and the political class to engage with respect and dignity with these communities. In this light, we welcome the recognition of the growing presence of anti-Muslim hatred but hope this will be followed up with a complete cross-governmental strategy which includes at its heart engagement with the affected communities.

We also welcome the Prime Ministerís position that there are enough laws in force, referring we understand to counter-terrorism legislations. The MCB argued that the current counter-terrorism laws should be reviewed to ensure their effects on communities are understood, lest they be counter-productive to our shared goal of keeping our nation safe and secure.

However, we are concerned at the Prime Ministerís targeting of the supplementary schools. It is neither Islamic, nor prevalent in madrasahs to be isolationist or to preach hate of other faiths. We would hope that these serious allegations can be substantiated and the evidence brought forward, so that appropriate action can be taken.

Mosques and Muslim religious groups up and down the country tirelessly engage in inter-faith, civic coalitions to make our society better and repeatedly remind Muslim children and adults that we have a religious duty to act for the common good of society.

We recognise that there is room for improvement as many of these establishments are under-resourced, understaffed and are often not properly trained and supported. In that regard, we welcome the government's interest to support them in these provisions. In our view, that should be done through an approach built on mutual trust, respect and cooperation which includes respect for their independence. A securitised approach to address these issues will only create mistrust and feed into grievance narrative that our PM is evidently so eager to avoid.

FGM and forced marriages are wrong but we should not conflate this with extremism and even less so with religion.
 
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The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK's largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

For further information please contact:

The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330
London
E1 2WJ
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079
media@mcb.org.uk 

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