MCB Welcomes British Council Decision, Calls On Telegraph Group To Follow Suit

01 Sep 2004

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes today’s decision by the British Council to terminate the employment of Mr Harry Cummins, following the results of their internal investigation which found that he was the true author of a series of four extremely vitriolic and inciteful articles about British Muslims that appeared in the Sunday Telegraph in July 2004 under the
pseudonym, Will Cummins.

“We commend the British Council for initiating their investigation as soon as it was alleged that one of their own employees was the author of these rabidly anti-Muslim pieces. They have acted swiftly and decisively to distance themselves from the poisonous hatred espoused by Mr Cummins,” said Dr Abdul Bari, Deputy Secretary-General of the MCB.

The Muslim Council of Britain has always insisted that there is a world of difference between criticising a faith and actually inciting hatred of its followers. Harry Cummins had clearly crossed this line as is evident from the following extracts from his Sunday Telegraph articles:

“All Muslims, like all dogs, share certain characteristics.” (25 July 2004)

“Do the Tories not sense the enormous popular groundswell against Islam? Charges of “racism” would inevitably be made against the party but they would never stick. It is the black heart of Islam, not its black face, to which millions object.” (18 July 2004)

“Now, at the behest of Muslim foreigners who have forced themselves on us, New Labour wants to import the same catastrophe into our own society.” (11 July 2004)

“Christians are the original inhabitants and rightful owners of almost every Muslim land and behave with a humility quite unlike the menacing behaviour we have come to expect from the Muslims who have forced themselves on Christendom, a bullying ingratitude that culminates in a terrorist threat to their unconsulted hosts.” (4 July 2004)

The MCB believes that these sentiments were clearly designed to provoke readers of the Sunday Telegraph to hate British Muslims.

Dr Abdul Bari added: “We are, however, dismayed that the Telegraph Group have yet to take any action against the editor of the Sunday Telegraph. We are quite certain that had Mr Cummins written in the same sustained and repugnant terms about another minority, say the Jewish community, the Sunday Telegraph editor would have been dismissed from his position by now. This case demonstrates worryingly how Islamophobia is fast becoming a respectable vice in certain sections of the media.”

[Ends]

Note for Editors:

The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

For further information please contact tel: 07708 065 150