Paul Goodman at Conservative Home has written a very strong article, that you should read, on the Global Peace and Unity: a bunfight which brings together supporters of terrorism with racists, homophobes and supporters of totalitarian politics.
Paul nails the reason that the Global Peace and Unity organisers – the Islamist run Islam Channel – are so keen to get MPs and ministers onto their platform:
As I’ve written before, aim of GPU’s organisers is to gain credibility, patronage, and muscle among British Muslims by manoevering politicians to speak from the event’s podium. (I suspect they’ve tried to broaden their speaker base this year in order to further this effort.) The aims of the latter are more complex – a mix of eagerness to win Muslim votes, anxiety about losing other votes, nervousness about what the media will write, and a desire to do the right thing.
Apparently, the Conservatives have made the right call on this issue:
I’m told by one source that Warsi isn’t going, though I’m awaiting final confirmation, and that Home Office and DCLG Ministers were strongly opposed to any Ministerial presence at the event.
Paul Goodman explains that Nick Clegg has been arguing for ministerial attendance at the Global Peace and Unity event. That is unsurprising – Nick Clegg has been advised on these issues in the past by Ajmal Masroor, a Liberal Democrat activist and part time Imam, whose mosque is connected to Islamic Forum Europe institutions, and which has hosted a series of hate preachers.
The compromise is that the very junior minister, Andrew Stunell will attend the Global Peace and Unity Event. Paul Goodman says:
Stunell certainly shouldn’t go to GPU – especially if he reads out the platitudes which Ministers sometimes deliver on such occasions. His presence will be inconsistent with May’s clear Conference statements on hate preachers, the incitement of hatred and violence and working only with those with moderate voices.
I’m not oblivious to the fact that Stunell’s a Liberal Democrat, but the Home Secretary was speaking for the Government as a whole.
A final note. I gather that Stunell has been –
1) Given a minder.
2) Told to get on and off stage as quickly as possible.
3) Instructed not to visit any stalls.
4) Handed a list of 15 people he’s not to speak to on any account.
If it’s that bad, why’s he going?
But Andrew Stunell has the opportunity to turn the tables on the event. If he has a list of fifteen people who are so bad, that he must not have any contact with him then Andrew Stunell should name those fifteen people in his speech at the GPU Event, and ask why they were invited?