01 Jul 2004
Responding to today’s decision by the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute the former television presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk for making racist anti-Arab remarks in his Sunday Express column dated January 4th 2004, the MCB Secretary-General, Iqbal Sacranie said:
“This decision seems to us to be totally incomprehensible. Once again, the CPS has failed to protect Arabs and British Muslims from overt incitement. Kilroy has a long history of making hateful remarks about Islam, Muslims and Arabs. This was an opportunity for the CPS to show that racist remarks about Arabs are every bit as intolerable as racist remarks about Jews or any other racial grouping. The CPS has sadly failed this crucial litmus test and its decision will regrettably give comfort to bigots and xenophobes.”
Detailing the reasons behind the CPS’s decision, Sue Taylor bizarrely argued that:
“We reach this conclusion because when the article was first published in April 2003 it apparently passed into the public domain without creating any official complaint.”
Yet, it should have been known to the CPS that in the version of Kilroy’s article that appeared in May 2003 the reference had throughout been to ‘Arab regimes’ – that is almost certainly the reason why no complaints had been received. However, in the article that appeared in January 2004 – and which was the subject of the MCB’s original complaint and the CPS investigation -the derogatory references throughout had been to ‘Arabs’: this was clearly generalisation of the worst kind and in our opinion tantamount to incitement to racial hatred.
The MCB intends to write to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken MacDonald QC, requesting him to urgently review the CPS decision which was clearly based on erroneous reasoning.[Ends]
Note for Editors:
1. To see examples of Robert Kilroy-Silk’s animus towards Islam, Muslims and Arabs go to: http://www.mcb.org.uk/kilroy.pdf
2. 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