Tuesday, October 17, 2006

AJOB POST NO. 1: The MCB and extremism

The Muslim Council of Britain has been accused of many things. But now the group was accused by Ruth Kelly recently of paying lip service in the fight against extremism. "It's not good enough to sit on the sidelines or pay lip service to fighting extremism." "I want a fundamental rebalancing of our relations with Muslim organisations." "In future our strategy on funding and engagement must shift significantly to organisations taking a pro-active leadership role in tackling extremism and defending our shared values."

In response, the MCB Secretary General angrily condemned the insinuation against MCB as 'demonstrably untrue and deeply insulting.' Amongst the many initiatives it highlights is the several messages and notes it sent to its affiliates of mosques and NGOs to be vigilant against terrorism in the community.

A practical example can be seen below. It has, right or wrongly, urged Muslims to channel their concerns through the democratic process. When it was launching its Vote drive in the General Elections of 2005, the extremist group Saviour Sect, or Al-Ghuraba, off-shoots of Omar Bakri's Al-Muhajiroun, stormed the meeting and assaulted its then Secretary General Sir Iqbal Sacranie.

The video, it seems, was taken by one of the hoodlums who was quick to shout 'kafir! at all present. Any plea for calm or upholding the values of Islamic adab were held in utter contempt.

Its stand against extremism was commended by a leader in the Times the following day. How things have changed.

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Why this blog

As this is the first post, my raison d'etre. I find myself in a strange place indeed. The news hysterical about Muslims. Reporters have gone beserk about Madonna's adopted kid from Malawi.

I'm getting in on it.