27 Oct 2008
`Politicians, Activists and Grass-root Leaders join thousands of British Muslims to celebrate peace, in defiance of divisive smear casters’
Thousands of British Muslims took part in an annual jamboree to celebrate British Islam and discuss how the community can reach out to wider society in peace and solidarity. The hugely popular Global Peace and Unity conference organised by the Islam Channel took place this weekend at London’s Excel Centre despite the hateful attempts of smear casters to dissuade leading politicians, activists and community leaders from attending.
The Muslim Council of Britain has today written to the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, to express their appreciation for the manner in which he stood up to the smear tactics of the divisive think-tank, the Policy Exchange.
The leader of the Liberal Democrat party, Nick Clegg MP, wrote to the Policy Exchange ‘think-tank’ criticising its ‘bizarre and underhand behaviour’ in seeking to try and dissuade prominent politicians from attending. Mr Clegg, along with politicians from across the political spectrum, took part at the event or sent messages of support.
“For years, the Policy Exchange has peddled a McCarthyite agenda that seeks to divide British people and draw suspicion and fear towards British Muslims. Nick Clegg is to be commended for not succumbing to the pressure brought to bear by the Policy Exchange and indeed revealing to the world the underhand manner in which the Policy Exchange operates,” said Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.
As part of its programme of connecting Muslims to the democratic process, the Muslim Council of Britain sponsored a political award at the weekend event to honour our politicians. The Friends of Islam Award recognised Stephen Timms MP and Simon Hughes MP for their principled defence of the Muslim community whilst an independent panel awarded the Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieves for his contribution to the political process. The Global Peace and Unity Event was also attended by London Minister Tony McNulty MP, Minister of State, Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education Bill Rammell MP, Justice Minister Shahid Malik MP and Local Government Minister Sadiq Khan MP.
Sending a message of support for the Event, Justice Secretary Jack Straw MP said: “Our society should be one which recognises and celebrates our differences. One in which we all have an opportunity to flourish, regardless of who we are or where we are from.” Whilst London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This hugely significant event in London does much to promote global cohesion across all communities; it increases understanding and encourages dialogue throughout the Muslim community and beyond.”[ENDS]