29 Dec 2003
The Muslim Council of Britain rejects utterly the comments made recently in parliament and in the media by Mrs Louise Ellman MP (Liverpool, Riverside) against the Muslim Association of Britain (an affiliate of the MCB) and some of its most prominent members.
`Mrs Ellman seems to have quite a history of making lengthy pro-Israel speeches in parliament. Her decision to extend this support by vilifying the Muslim Association of Britain is a deeply regrettable one. The MAB are a national affiliate of the Muslim Council of Britain and are well-known for their balanced views and admirable work in the Muslim community. They have also been working with mainstream groups on issues of common national concern. We wonder whether perhaps the true reason that the MAB have incurred Mrs Ellman’s wrath is the crucial role they have played in drawing public attention to the illegal and quite brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands,’ said Mr Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
The MCB also notes that there appears to be an increasing tendency amongst the pro-Israel lobby to intimidate and silence serious critics of Israel by smearing them with baseless accusations of anti-semitism.
`Islam categorically forbids Muslims to discriminate against others on the basis of their ethnicity or race. Hence, anti-semitism is regarded by all Muslim scholars as an ugly trait that should have no place in a Muslim’s character. At the same time, however, to point out how Israel and the oppressive nature of its policies towards the Palestinian people have now become a major threat to international stability is only common sense. It is certainly not anti-semitic. Indeed, one could argue that the worst anti-semites today are the Israeli Zionists themselves, whose inhumane and arrogant behaviour towards the Palestinian people proclaims an absolute disregard for the teachings of our great common Prophet, Moses (peace be upon him), ‘ added Mr Sacranie.[Ends]
Note for Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s largest representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
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