Earlier in the month, we posted about an article in the Independent by Home Affairs correspondent Lizzie Dearden about criticism of Robin Simcox, the British government’s Interim Lead of the Commission for Countering Extremism, that were deemed offensive 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.
However, we pointed out in our post, and in a complaint to Indy editors, that the real reason why a Labour government, in 2009, broke off ties to the MCB was because one of their top leaders signed an Islamist declaration in Istanbul which supported Hamas, promoted violent Jihad and was widely interpreted as calling for attacks on British naval vessels, as well as on ‘Zionist Jews’ around the world.
Our complaint was upheld, and the sentence revised thusly:
The government has a policy of not engaging with the MCB…which dates back to an official’s 2009 signing of a declaration which, a minister claimed, supported violence against foreign forces, including British naval personnel, and Jewish communities around the world.
The following addendum was added: