British Muslims welcomed the new board plans.
“We felt we needed something of this nature to help create a better structured approach to how we are educating our children,” said Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, a leading member in the umbrella Muslim Council of Britain.
Mogra said that the board idea was the brainchild of British Muslims.
“We feel our children need to be taught that they can be proud Muslims and proud young British people.
“Anything that helps to make our communities stronger should be welcomed, provided that it’s not used to isolate, control or change what a community is.”
In July 2006, British Muslims unveiled a forum to speak out against extremist ideologies and propaganda, and to promote principles of tolerance and citizenship.
The Muslim leader urged the government to stay away from the board.
“This board has to be something owned by us, driven by us but supported by government.
“We’ve made it clear that it’s not for government to touch our theology or touch the way we train our people.”
Oh hang on … we meant Boo!
The Muslim Council of Britain views the announcement today of the creation of a government-funded board of Islamic theologians with deep reservations. Initiatives aimed at improving community cohesion are laudable, but coming as it does as a top-down initiative from sections of government who have been seeking to marginalise large segments of the British Muslim community means that the latest project will almost certainly lack the credibility required for it to succeed. We are told that such an initiative comes after a request from the Muslim community; scepticism for such an idea will resonate not only amongst Muslims, but wider British society.“In a country where the State is largely neutral on theological matters, and where no other similar arrangement exists for other minority faiths, such an initiative will inevitably be met with scepticism and mistrust. For too long now, British Muslims have been viewed by this government through the narrow prism of security. British Muslims – like all citizens – have every right to peacefully disagree with government policies if they wish and they do not need to be ‘re-programmed’ by a government-approved list of theologians,” said Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.The MCB has long argued that the most productive way to tackle extremism is to improve upon civic engagement with all communities, to work towards eradicating prejudice and discrimination against all sectors of society and to pursue policies designed to increase social justice both at home and abroad. Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari added “Our disagreement with government is now regarded by some as extremism and we appeal to all reasonable minded people to stand firm in opposing such dictatorial and unhelpful positions. The MCB remains committed to work for the common good of the society at large.”
Working for “the good of the society at large”, in this context means threatening this country with “two million Muslim terrorists”.
It is clear to see the problem that the MCB has, isn’t it? Their affiliates include Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood related bodies, including the Muslim Association of Britain, FOSIS and IslamExpo, and Jamaat-e-Islami eminations, such as Islamic Forum Europe and the Young Muslim Organisation.
If this theological board is to have any value at all, its purpose must be to marginalise the politics of these clerical fascist organisations. The Muslim Council of Britain how now realised that such a board is likely to marginalise its key constituents and so, of course, it ultimately has to oppose it.