Message of 10th June: Trust and Iraq

13 Jun 2004

The Muslim Council of Britain has welcomed the fact that there was a higher than average turnout for this week’s Local Council, GLA, Mayoral and European elections.

Hundreds of thousands of British Muslims responded positively to the call to vote. Together with their fellow British voters they have generally rebuffed the poisonous message preached by the racist far right. They have also delivered to the Government, as indeed to the mainstream parties, a clear message about the fault lines in our Bush-driven foreign policy, especially with regard to Iraq, and indeed elsewhere. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Britain has both the moral and political obligation to uphold international legality in Palestine, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Jammu and Kashmir.

It is impossible to promote democracy or reform without first ending oppression and occupation. Clearly, injustices abroad also have long-term domestic consequences as well. They have been impacting on social policies and distributive justice and more seriously on the essential element of trust in our democracy. We therefore hope that both the political leadership and the electorate will learn the appropriate lessons and move forward from the 10th June experience.

“For Muslims, these elections mark another milestone in their progressive integration,” said MCB Deputy Secretary General, Dr Abdul Bari. “We hope that instead of being active only during the polls, Muslims will also take an active part within the parties of their choice and contribute to the general good of the nation.”

MCB Secretary General Iqbal Sacranie left today to attend the Islamic Foreign Ministers Conference in Istanbul (14-16 June 2004) where, as “someone who is of the West and in West,” he is due to tell Foreign Ministers from 57 nations that “the West is not an enemy territory. There is more goodwill than misunderstanding”. He will accordingly urge the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference) to play its rightful and active role in helping to stabilise an increasingly unjust and violent world.

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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