In response to the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, the British Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, wrote a letter to various Muslim “community leaders”, mosques and imams pleading for their help in dealing with Islamic extremism in the UK.
Within that letter, the following words can be found:
“We must show... these men of hate have no place in our mosques or any place of worship, and that they do not speak for Muslims in Britain or anywhere in the world.”
(The word “we” is used in the above because the letter was co-written by Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State.)
Eric Pickles didn't send this letter to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).
In response to not receiving this letter, the MCB itself wrote its own letter to Mr Pickles: 'Letter to the Secretary of State'.
The MCB is Part of the Problem
The ironic thing is that the MCB is part of the problem (as the Telegraph implies later). And the MCB writing this letter to Eric Pickles demonstrates that very well.
It seems that it wasn't good enough that Eric Pickles sent his letter “to Imams and leaders around the country” because he didn't also send it to the MCB.
The MCB said that “as one of the largest Muslim umbrella bodies in this country, we did not receive this letter”. Perhaps that's because Mr Pickles also knows that the MCB is part of the problem. After all, the MCB has been officially rejected by both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party in the past. (The British Prime Minister himself, David Cameron, rejected the “hard-line” MCB as long ago as 2007.)
The Telegraph states:
“All Mr Pickles was proposing was that those who have a leadership role among Muslims should recognise that there is a serious issue they need to address. To deny its existence or muddy the waters with protestations of offended amour propre is to miss the point entirely.”
And not only is the MCB miffed that it didn't receive Eric Pickles' letter (which it's against anyway), it even tacitly accuses Mr Pickles of contributing to the “heightened tension” between Muslims and non-Muslims.
As ever, the MCB puts the cart before the horse.
There isn't heightened tension with Muslims because of this letter (or because of any other statements about Muslims and Islam). There's heightened tension because of the Charlie Hebdo killings, jihad throughout the word, the Muslim grooming-gangs, the dozens of foiled Islamic terrorist attacks in the UK, 7/7, the Islamisation of certain British schools, etc.
The thing is that Muslim communities – on the whole - are already divided from non-Muslim communities. The terrorist acts in Paris are a consequence - not a cause - of that division.
Throughout the Muslim world numerous Muslims have also condoned and even praised the terror attacks in Paris. In fact millions of Muslims have done so. And even in the UK thousands of Muslims have expressed their support for the Paris killers on Facebook, Twitter and on the Internet generally.
So when the MCB says that “Muslims from all backgrounds have stood united in condemnation at these horrific crimes”, it's not telling you the whole story.
The MCB also says that it does
“take issue with the implication that extremism takes place at mosques, and that Muslims have not done enough to challenge the terrorism that took place in our name”.
Well, it's a firmly established fact that extremist words and actions have taken place at many mosques in the UK. Such facts and investigations have appeared in the Times, the Independent, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Mirror, BBC 1, Channel 4, ITV, Radio 4, etc. So the MCB must know that this is the case. Sure, it has never been demonstrated that every single mosque in the UK is a home of extremism because that probably couldn't be demonstrated even in principle. (It probably isn't the case either.)
One, not every mosque is under scrutiny. Two, the definition of “extremism” will of course be contested – by the MCB (amongst others) – in any case.
The other point is that it's conclusively the case that Muslims - on the whole - have “not done enough to challenge” terrorism and Islamic extremism. This too has received coverage all over the place. And this must also be known to the MCB itself. But, as with the extremism in mosques case, it will be hard to demonstrate that the majority of Muslims haven't done enough.
The MCB says that it “reject[s] suggestions that Muslims must go out of their way to prove their loyalty to this country of ours”.
No one is asking Muslims to “prove” anything. Indeed what does this use of the word “prove” (by the MCB) so much as mean? All that's being asked is that Muslims are “loyal to this country of ours” (as the MCB also puts it); not that Muslims prove that loyalty.
Indeed why is that Muslim loyalty is so often questioned? Not because it's not proven by Muslims; but because it's rarely even displayed or shown (outside media photoshoots and interfaith events). In fact the exact opposite is all too often the case.
1) The MCB doesn't help it's cause when it states what amount to blatant lies or things which, quite simply, don't make any sense at all.
For example, in the MCB's letter to Eric Pickles it says that “British values are indeed Islamic values”. (Though, to be fair, this is an exact quote from the Eric Pickles letter!) Now that is simply staggering! Not only is it a soundbite – it's also blatantly false. And it's false for a multitude of reasons.
However, just take this obvious point.
If “British values are indeed Islamic values”, then there would be no reason for anyone to become a Muslim simply because British values are already Islamic values.
It would also mean something even more obviously false: that British and Islamic values don't conflict in any way whatsoever!
2) The MCB's letter to Eric Pickles also contains an advertisement for Fiyaz Mughal's Tell Mama organisation, which was discovered to have misused tax-payers money and made false claims about supposed attacks against Muslims. (Fiyaz Mughal himself has failed in the courts on three different occasions.) It also states that “the thugs of the English Defence League and Britain First is just as much an affront to British values as the teachings of preachers of hate”.
3) On a technical point, note this piece of deceit from the MCB on the issue of its own democratic status. (You get the feeling that almost every sentence the MCB utters either contains an outright lie or a piece of dissimulation/deceit.)
After again saying that it is mightily peeved off about not being sent Eric Pickle's letter (which it's against anyway), the MCB tells us why that is so. It is so primarily because the MCB sees itself as “the largest democratically-elected and representative Muslim organisation”.
That sounds impressive, doesn't it?
Firstly, it sounds as if the Muslims as a whole have somehow “elected” the MCB or its leaders. They most certainly have not! Chose any adult British Muslim at random and you will soon discover that. They will either deny it or even say that they don't know much – or anything - about the MCB.
So what the MCB means by “democratically-elected” is that those already within the MCB vote for its leaders and representatives. That means that every Muslim in the UK outside the MCB doesn't vote for the leaders or representatives of the MCB. So, in that sense, the MCB is democratic – if it is democratic - in the same way the local branch of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) is democratic.
4) The reason why MCB announcements and statements are so damned vacuous, full of soundbites and lies is that if they ever did go into detail about the subject at hand it would let many cats would out of various bags. That's why it relies exclusively on capsule posts and statements: anything more than that would give the Islamist game away.
We're talking about a Islamic organisation which sells itself as the most important Islamic organisation in the UK, yet the average length of its website posts is something like 400 words - usually less. It's website is little more than an advertising stand for selling Islam to gullible kuffar. And it's because of that that there is never any detail on its website. In other words, the MCB knows that most of its readers are probably non-Muslim.
Take the phrase “seek to divide us” (as in the MCB's “terrorists seek to divide us”). This is a phrase that all sorts of groups use: from UAF, to Hope Not Hate to Labour councillors. In fact the phrase is used all the times by such groups. In other words, it's a soundbite. And because it's a soundbite, it, in most occasions, has virtually zero content. People use it because they have heard other people use it. And that's certainly the case with the MCB.
Exactly the same is true of the MCB's use of the word “cohesion” (as in “our common objective to seek unity and cohesion between communities”). At least here we don't have the ever-present “community cohesion” that Leftists and Muslims utter as if they have Tourette Syndrome.
All these MCB soundbites would be fair enough if it were from an advertising firm for a brand of chocolate drink. But, instead, the MCB is an Islamic organisation. Indeed it's an advertising firm for Islam!