“We have reservations about the organisers of the event, therefore we [the government] chose not to send any ministers.”
With that statement from the Department of Communities and Local Government, reports the Guardian, Shahid Malik, the international development minister, was asked by the government to withdraw from speaking at the opening of Islam Expo. He sent his apologies.
In related news, Tory Muslim peer Lord Sheikh also pulled out, according to organiser Anas Altikriti, because of “a bad back”.
Seamus Milne over at Cif says something very curious in his article defending, he thinks, the organisers of Islam Expo. He credits Ed Hussein’s comparing of the event with a BNP rally for the high profile pull-outs. He says:
The basis for his absurd claim were the real or imagined links of some of the organisers with Hamas, winners of the last Palestinian elections, or the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest political movement in the Arab world.
“Real or imagined”? So he concedes that at least some of the links to Hamas are real, together with some undisputed links to the Muslim Brotherhood. So Hussein is vindicated – and so are we.