UK Politics

Two More Own Goals

Snippets from the Sunday Times focus on two leadership decisions which do nothing for the reputation of Britain’s main Muslim group:

Apparantly the holocaust rembrance ceremony this week isn’t inclusive enough and the Muslim Council of Britain have called on their members to have nothing to do with it.

Iqbal Sacranie, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has written to Charles Clarke, the home secretary, saying the body will not attend the event unless it includes the “holocaust” of the Palestinian intifada.

Luckily the Labour MP for Perry Bar salvages some Muslim honour in this respect:

I’m proud to be a Muslim. But if people are boycotting this then I think it’s a mistake.

The Muslim Council of Britain also come in for criticism here regarding their claim that Britain is in the midst of a bout of Islamophobia which has led to Muslims being harrassed for no good reason by the police.

The Muslim Council of Britain claims “95-98% of those stopped and searched are Muslims”. Which is shocking. And also completely untrue. I am obliged to an article in Prospect magazine for exposing “the myth of Islamophobia”. In reality just 1,500 Muslims out of a possible 1.6m have been stopped under terror laws. Author Kenan Malik points that the era of “Paki bashing” by skinheads two decades ago was far more hostile to Muslims than the situation now.

Ministers, desperate to head off recruitment to the ranks of extremists, labour under a misapprehension that this outfit is worth indulging. The Muslim Council has persuaded them to effectively outlaw criticism of Islam. But police already have powers to crack down on political extremists using religious insults to start riots. After 9/11 the European Union reports that there were just a dozen serious assaults on British Muslims. Horrible, but hardly another crusade.

It is arguable that British Jews are under greater threat. Last week eight orthodox Jews were attacked by Asian youths and Nazi graffiti was daubed on graves in Hampshire. Aren’t they the most persecuted minority?

The Propect article referred to above written by Kenan Malik can be read here.