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Action Alert: Protest Observer article on MCB

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IHRC denounces yesterday's vitriolic attack by Martin Bright in the Observer on the Muslim Council of Britain and its affiliates Jamiat-ahl-I-Hadith and the Islamic Foundation. IHRC strongly urges all campaigners to contact the Observer to complain about its shocking attack on both the MCB and on Islamic beliefs and values.

Recent attacks by both media and the government on Islamic beliefs held by the Muslim Association of Britain, Hizb-ut-Tahrir and now the Muslim Council of Britain have shown that it is not any individual group under attack but Islam and Muslims.

In the article, 'Radical links of UK's 'moderate' group', Islamic teachings such as coming into contact with dogs, free-mixing and shaking hands with members of the opposite sex are attacked as \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"extremist\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\". These views and values are equally held by the Orthodox Jewish community who are not consequently labelled as “extremists”. The article is written in a way which depicts leading Islamic intellectuals such as Maulana Maududi and Sayyid Qutb, whose teachings are followed by a substantial number of law-abiding Muslims, as extreme and subversive.

The MCB\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s condition on supporting the upcoming Festival of Muslim Cultures provided its activities do not contradict the teachings of Islam is wholly reasonable and only to be expected of any Muslim organisation. Yet the MCB Secretary General's position on this is viewed by the Observer as extreme and regressive.

MCB is also condemned in the Observer's editorial for refusing to attend the Holocaust Memorial Day and for allegedly differentiating between suicide attacks in Britain and in Occupied Palestine. Boycotting Holocaust Memorial Day is in line with the vast majority of Muslim groups who have called for a Genocide Memorial Day which will commemorate all victims of genocide both in the Holocaust and in other parts of the world since World War II. As for differentiating between attacks in London and in Occupied Palestine, even the Pope has made this distinction condemning attacks in London, New York, Madrid and Bali but explicitly leaving out Palestine due to the specific circumstances of that situation. If Muslims are to be condemned for this, then so must the Vatican and indeed other activists and scholars from different faith and non-faith backgrounds who make other, sometimes more controversial claims.

The aims of this article seem to be to stigmatize Muslims and vilify Islam and to force MCB to abandon these principles. IHRC calls upon all campaigners to contact the Observer to express your outrage at such demonisation of Muslims for values held by many other religious and secular communities.

Contact the politics editor of the Observer, Gaby Hinsliff

Tel:

020 7278 2332

Email:

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