Dr Matthew Offord MP
120 Bunns Lane
Friday 01 July 2016
Dear Mr Offord,
Islamic Human Rights Commission Ltd (IHRC) / Quote in the JC.com
We are writing in response to your quote on the JC.com website, in the article entitled “Matthew Offord opposes London demonstration ‘intended to incite hatred against the Jewish people’” http://www.thejc.com/news/uk-news/159822/matthew-offord-opposes-london-demonstration-intended-incite-hatred-against-jewis, dated 29 June 2016.
In the article, Josh Jackman, states that you will be attending a “counter-protest” to address people who are against the peaceful annual Al-Quds Day rally.
He goes on to say that you have written to the Metropolitan Police to say “the display of Hezbollah, Hamas and Daesh flags causes great distress to many of my constituents and the population as a whole and, in my opinion, is contrary to the Terrorism Act.” (emphasis our own).
We would like to point out that Daesh flags have never been flown at an Al Quds Day rally. This is a lie, that is being used to smear the peaceful participants of the Al Quds Day rally and the IHRC.
Your comment is not only a lie, but deeply damaging to our reputation as one of the organisers of the event. Your comments are clearly calculated to cause maximum damage to our reputation on the eve of a major annual event.
Furthermore, given the tensions that have already been whipped up by the organisers of this counter demonstration, your comments amount to incitement of religious hatred and incitement to violence. Essentially you are rabble-rousing, and given the violent and bigoted rhetoric of your supporters in the counter demonstration, we genuinely fear they will attack people at the Al Quds Day rally, and your comments will be used by them to justify this violence. As a public figure, you have a responsibility to not stir up hatred and cause violence.
As you have clearly libelled IHRC, we would like you to issue a clarification to the police and to the public correcting this lie about Daesh flags. We would also like you to apologise, publically, for spreading this damaging lie.
While it has become a norm as of late for Conservative MPs to falsely accuse Muslims of being linked to Daesh, IHRC will not tolerate such cowardly despicable and underhanded tactics to smear law-abiding citizens. Should you not retract your comment about Daesh and apologise we will take further action.