Fri10202017

Last update02:40:30 PM GMT

Font Size

Layout

Settings
Back Activities Alert Archive CAMPAIGN & MEDIA MONITORING UPDATE: London Muslim Coalition attacked in The Jewish Chronicle

CAMPAIGN & MEDIA MONITORING UPDATE: London Muslim Coalition attacked in The Jewish Chronicle

  • PDF
Share/Save/Bookmark
IHRC urges campaigners to raise its concerns with the office of the Mayor of London.

------------------------------------------------------
Islamic Human Rights Commission
------------------------------------------------------
30th May 2002

CAMPAIGN & MEDIA MONITORING UPDATE:

London Muslim Coalition attacked in The Jewish Chronicle

1. Background
2. Suggested action
3. Specimen letter
4. Original LMC press release
5. Article from The Jewish Chronicle

1. Background

The Israel Solidarity Committee held a pro-Israel rally on 6th May 2002 in London's Trafalgar Square. The rally was described as supporting peace and the war against terrorism and its main speaker was former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The rally was organised in the wake of severe international criticism of Israeli military incursions into Palestinian territories, massacres and targeting of civilians particularly in Jenin and the perpetration of war crimes (as held by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch amongst other organisations).

The London Muslim Coalition consisting of a variety of Muslim organisations and individuals issued a press release (see 4 below) condemning the rally and urging all those concerned with justice to support the counter-rally organised by Islamic Human Rights Commission to be held that day.

The counter-rally held by the Islamic Human Rights Commission passed without incident from its supporters but came under severe provocation and physical attack by members of the pro-Israel rally - one elderly anti-Zionist rabbi was punched by a pro-Israeli as he was addressing the counter-rally. After the rallies dispersed other attacks by Zionists on people leaving the counter-rally were reported.

The Jewish Chronicle of 24 May 2002 reports on a letter sent by the pro-Israeli Board of Deputies of British Jews to the Mayor of London Ken Livingstone urging him to distance himself from the press release of the London Muslim Coalition (LMC) which is chaired by one of the Mayor's advisors Kumar Murshid.

The article implies that Mr. Murshid improperly associated the press release with the Greater London Assembly. The press release clearly does not do so. The response as quoted in the article from the Mayor's office is problematic in that it offers no condemnation or support of the press release but appears to favour the pro-Israel rally. IHRC urges campaigners to read the article and press release and raise its concerns with the office of the Mayor of London.

2. Requested action

Please write to the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone asking him to clarify the comments he or his office on his behalf have made to The Jewish Chronicle. It is important that the misleading impression given by the article is challenged and also that Mr. Livingstone's office clarifies whether they were involved in creating that impression.

3. Specimen letter

Your name
Your address


Ken Livingstone
Romney House
43 Marsham Street
London SW1P 3PY

Email: mayor@london.gov.uk or 105277.3653@compuserve.com date:

Dear Mr. Livingstone,

I am concerned with comments attributed to your office in the 24 May edition of The Jewish Chronicle in an article by Bernard Josephs entitled 'Livingstone aide slams Israel rally.' Your office is quoted as saying:

"He [the Mayor] neither endorses nor condones the views contained in that statement.

"It should be emphasised that the mayor himself, who has responsibility for the management of Trafalgar Square, who gave permission for the Israel solidarity rally to take place there.”

Whilst this statement adopts a neutral position as regards the London Muslim Coalition's press release (attached) it implicitly endorses the pro-Israel rally by emphasizing the fact that your office allowed it to go ahead despite its anti-Palestinian nature and its celebration of the Netanyahu style of government currently being employed by Ariel Sharon.

I look forward to receiving your assurance that this was not your intention.

Further the article appears to imply that the attached LMC statement was wrongly attributed by the LMC Chair Kumar Murshid to the GLA. On the contrary it appears clear that no such association was made and I look forward to receiving your assurance that you have advised The Jewish Chronicle that this is clearly the case and their reporting is misleading.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely,


Your name


4. Original LMC Press Release

03 May 2002

LONDON MUSLIM COALITION

C/o Kumar Murshid
Romney House
Marsham Street
London SW1P 3PY

PRESS RELEASE: 3rd May 2002

London Pro-Israeli Rally Condemned

The rally to be held on Monday by the Israeli Solidarity Campaign is widely seen as a major provocation and is deeply offensive not just to Muslims but also to ordinary fair-minded people of goodwill.

Organising a public gathering to in effect support the massacre of innocent children, women and civilians is an abuse of our tradition of free assembly and our basic humanity.

We, therefore, call upon all decent people not to join this assembly of hatred which poses a major threat to community relations not only in London but the whole of Britain.

As Londoners we have always been proud of our legacy as a multi-cultural and multi-faith city with a reputation for different peoples living in peace, justice and harmony.

We believe the pro-Israel rally has the potential of inciting racial and religious hatred. Already reeling from the effects of the vandalisation of a synagogue we are worried about the opportunities such an event can provide for extremists intent on causing social unrest and instability.

Hence we support the counter demonstration called by the Islamic Human Rights Commission and supported by a wide range of community groups as a gesture of solidarity for the pain, grief and suffering that has been inflicted on all innocent people in the Middle East conflict, especially the Palestinians living in the illegally occupied territories.

We will be gathered outside South Africa House in Trafalgar Square on Monday 6 May at 2pm: maintaining a tradition thousands of Londoners have participated in over the years in the fight against apartheid and racism.

We are also in support of UN Resolutions and efforts to achieve freedom for the colonised people of the Holy Lands.

London Muslim Coalition is a group of organisations and individuals working for the welfare of all Londoners.

For further information:

Kumar Murshid 07957297964

Massoud Shadjareh 07958522196

Fuad Nahdi 07740468374


5. Article from The Jewish Chronicle



Livingstone aide slams Israel rally

Storm over Muslims' Statement

By Bernard Josephs, Political Editor


London Mayor Ken Livingstone has distanced himself from a press release issued by a key consultant that condemned this month's Israel solidarity rally in Trafalgar Square as an "assembly of hatred.”

Kumar Murshid, who is the mayor's adviser on regeneration and Asian affairs, sent the statement from his office at the greater London Authority's Westminster headquarters.

As a storm broke over its contents, an official said the authority would consider tighter rules on "what comes out of here.”

The release was signed by Mr. Murshid and two of the members of the London Muslim Coalition, which they said worked for the welfare "of all Londoners.”

It suggested that the rally was "widely seen as a major provocation” and was "deeply offensive not just to Muslims but also to ordinary, fair-minded people of goodwill.”

Organising a public gathering "to, in effect, support the massacre of innocent children, women and civilians is an abuse of our tradition of free assembly and our basic humanity”, they wrote. The event posed a major threat to community relations, not only in London but the whole of Britain.

"Already reeling from the effects of the vandalisation of a synagogue [Finsbury Park], we are worried about the opportunities such an event can provide for extremists intent on causing social unrest and instability.”

A spokesman fro Mr. Livingstone said the release was issued without his knowledge or authority. "He neither endorses nor condones the views contained in that statement.

"It should be emphasised that it was the mayor himself, who has responsibility for the management of Trafalgar Square, who gave permission for the Israel solidarity rally to take place there.”

London Assembly chair Trevor Phillips was also critical, welcoming "the mayor's action in dissociating himself from the statement issued by Mr. Murshid.

"It is a traditional right of Londoners to demonstrate in support of their views. This does not imply that the mayor or the assembly takes a position in support of, or against, any particular cause.

"he [Mr. Musrhid] is free to express his own views, but they should not be attributed to the assembly. Condemning the Israel solidarity rally is not something the assembly would or should do.”

In a letter to Mr. Livingstone, the Board of Deputies voiced "extreme concern” that the statement had been sent from the GLA address, "It is totally inappropriate that the devolved assembly of London, home to the vast majority of Britain's Jews, should be associated with such appalling sentiments.”

An unrepentant Mr. Murshid told the JC that the statement has "nothing to do with Ken [Livingstone] or with the assembly. I used this address because it is my office.”

......................................................
"And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.”

Holy Qur'an: Chapter 4, Verse 75

Join the Struggle for Justice. Join IHRC.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
Tel: +44-20-8902-0888
Fax:+44-20-8902-0889
email: info@ihrc.org
web: www.ihrc.org
pgp key id: 0x84B1581A
pgp key fingerprint: BE24 5433 2448 34BD 6F7A 4252 50D6 30DA 84B1 581A

Don't be a Silent Victim

silent-victimHave you been verbally abused, harassed, discriminated against or even violently attacked because you are Muslim? Have you been mistreated by the police or security services or a victim of anti-terror laws? Click here to report your incident to us in confidence and, if you wish, anonymously.