Nothing Less Than Full Public Apology From MacShane Will Be Acceptable

29 Nov 2003

The Muslim Council of Britain has called on the Foreign Office Minister, Denis MacShane to make a full and public apology to the British Muslim community for his deeply offensive and insulting remarks last week to his constituency party in which he called on British Muslims to choose between the “British way” of political dialogue and non-violence and the “way of the terrorists”.

`The widespread feeling of hurt and anger among British Muslims has not abated and is not going to be abated until Mr MacShane admits he was wrong to imply that British Muslims sympathised with terrorist actions. British Muslims have consistently condemned all forms of terrorism and indiscriminate slaughter, whether perpetrated by individuals, groups or states,’ said Mr Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the MCB. Protests made by MacShane’s own constituents in Rotherham have served to underline just how seriously British Muslims are looking upon this issue.

The MCB has for the past week been in contact with the Foreign Office insisting upon obtaining a clear apology. Yesterday’s press statement issued by the Labour Party in which Mr MacShane regretted “any misunderstandings that may have arisen” fall far short of the retraction and unambiguous apology we are seeking for the immense damage he has caused to the Muslim community.

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