An article in the Independent by Home Affairs correspondent Lizzie Dearden focused on criticism over comments by Robin Simcox, the British government’s Interim Lead of the Commission for Countering Extremism, that were deemed insensitive to Muslims.
The article (“Extremism boss dismisses use of ‘Islamophobia’ term”, May 4) included the following:
Mr Simcox has also risked alienating some community groups, including the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), by appearing to suggest they are “extremists” that should be “left out in the cold”.
The government has a policy of not engaging with the MCB – the UK’s largest umbrella organisation for mosques, schools and Islamic charities – which dates back to an official’s 2009 comments on Israel.
“It is far-right extremists who have the most to gain from refusing to recognise the lived experience of Islamophobia Muslims face today,” an MCB spokesperson said. “And it is far-right extremists who are benefitting from the wilful misrepresentation of Islamophobia as a word that allegedly limits free speech.”
The Indy journalist completely airbrushed the real reason why a Labour government, in 2009, broke off ties to the MCB – a ban that subsequent Conservative governments upheld.
The real cause was one of the MCB’s senior members, Daud Abdullah, signed a declaration – adopted in 2009 at an Islamist conference in Istanbul – which supported Hamas, promoted violent Jihad “until the liberation of all Palestine”, and was widely interpreted as calling for attacks on British naval vessels, as well as on ‘Zionist Jews’ around the world.
Here’s a snapshot of the opening paragraphs of the Islamist declaration signed by the senior MCB official.
You can read the full declaration here.
To claim that the British government cut ties to MCB merely because of “comments about Israel” is an egregious inaccuracy.
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