“Muslims of Britain must condemn murder”

A good letter in The Times today that sums up the dismay that a lot of people must be feeling when at the weekend they read that The Muslim Council of Britain’s response to the latest terror plot was to blame government foreign policy. Oh please.

The total absence of self examination was as depressingly familiar as the amnesia that accompanies it. The MCB and its fellow travellers seem to have no knowledge of Al-Qaeda terror prior to Iraq.

“Sir, Inayat Bunglawala (Comment, Aug 12) asserts that it is ‘undeniable’ that British foreign policy is “endangering us all”, and other Muslim representatives (advertisement, Aug 12) blame the “debacle in Iraq” for ‘fuelling terrorism’.

“As a Muslim I find the logic of this argument puzzling and their conclusions dismaying. It cannot be denied that many Muslims are angry about aspects of British foreign policy, but the question is to what extent this anger is justified and, more importantly, why this anger is translated among a small minority into an excuse for terrorism. Neither traditional Islamic theology nor Muslim precedent justify resorting to terrorism in any circumstances.

“The Muslim Council of Britain cannot pose the right questions, let alone provide answers, because its membership includes organisations which, while eschewing terrorism (at least in the West), promote a politicised version of Islam or a very unthinking piety. Anyone who has attended British mosques will be well aware of the condemnations of democracy, the denunciations of imperialism and the warnings against the kuffar (unbelievers) that are the staple of these groups’ propaganda. While such views are not peculiar to Muslims and do not inherently encourage terrorism, they do foster a sense that the Muslim community is put upon and beleaguered.

“When the MCB takes a full-page advert to condemn the Iraqi ‘resistance’ or the massacres in Darfur we might take its protestations about British foreign policy more seriously.

Hassan Scott