MCB Response to ‘lessons in Hate’ article of The Times Newspaper

01 Nov 2007

Sir

Once again your paper asks us to submit to your divisive rhetoric which drives a wedge between British Muslims and the rest of society. Time and again we have asserted our religious obligation to seek the common good and reach out to everyone — of all faiths and none. The MCB does not tolerate any messages of hate, whatever its source — and have said the law should take its course.

We cannot readily submit to your demand of ‘policing’ our affiliated organisations since you fail to offer us a credible evidence-base. Your research, in which you base your call for action, is characteristically flawed and the assumptions it deploys would be hastily thrown out by reputable research authorities.

We name but two flaws. The first being that many of the bookshops cited in the report are privately owned and the institutions in question have a normal, commercial relationship with each other. The second flaw is the Report’s irresponsible support for sectarianism by preferring one tradition of Islam over another.

Your paper will do well to reduce the tension and the breakdown of social cohesion generated by divisive organizations such as the Policy Exchange. We wonder how such organizations have such sway over your paper, especially as Anthony Browne, a Policy Excahnge director has been described by a former Home Secretary as someone who promotes views ‘bordering on fascism’.

Yours sincerely

Inayat Bunglawala
Assistant Secretary General
Muslim Council of Britain

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