DAVID CAMERON SPEECH ON EXTREMISM
Published: Friday 19th June 2015 10:00
Mr Mohammed Shafiq Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation comments:
“The Prime Minister’s speech on security and extremism today is another indication of the wrong strategy and the neocon agenda which this government has adopted.
British Muslims reject terrorism and the brutality of ISIS, indeed during the last twelve months many of us campaigned for the release of Alan Henning and other hostages. Some of us have been subjected to death threats from terrorist groups – yet still the Prime Minister says we are not doing enough.
We do not need a lecture about being good citizens from a Government that thinks the way to build alliances with the Muslim community is to trash us. we find it deeply offensive that the suggestion that a majority of our community quietly support ISIS.
If this is the way the next five years will be then the challenging work of defeating terrorism will be made more difficult. The Prime Minister needs to reflect on the duplicity of foreign policy – to suggest this doesn’t mean you are an apologist for terrorism.
We campaign against extremism and terrorism not because of neocon edicts from government Ministers but because our faith demands we do.
When the government gets it right we will stand with them, when they try to trash our community and tarnish the whole community based on the actions of a small minority we will resist, campaign and speak out.
Muslims are fed up of being a political football where politicians and commentators use us to score cheap points. This farce must end”
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1. The Ramadhan Foundation is a leading Muslim organisation in the UK that is working for peaceful co-existence and dialogue for all communities.
2. Based in Greater Manchester and working to also establish the platform for human unity amongst our communities in the UK.
Mr Mohammed Shafiq
Press Release from the Muslim Council of Britain
Confront Terrorism Together By Truly Breaking the Cycle of Blame
19 June 2015
Today the Prime Minister will make an important speech on terrorism and extremism which led one national newspaper to headline: “PM: UK Muslims Helping Jihadis”. In response, Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said:
“The Prime Minister is absolutely right in saying that finger-pointing when it comes to radicalisation is wrong and dangerous. Yet the media response to the Prime Minister’s speech suggests that the finger is firmly pointing only at Muslim communities, even though Muslims and Muslim organisations around the country have loudly and unequivocally condemned terrorism, they continue to be demonised.
Terrorism blights all our lives, not least amongst Muslim families. None of us can help but feel the pain of those parents whose children and loved-ones have suddenly uprooted themselves and joined the cult that is Daesh, or ISIL. The Muslim Council of Britain has initiated a process to explore community led responses to tackle terrorism. This process involves not just Muslims themselves, but also friends and partners in wider society.
We are in no doubt that there are many shortcomings in Muslim civil society, which like wider society, is struggling to challenge the terrorist narrative that is potent outside the mosque and in the margins of the internet. But to suggest that Muslim communities have led young people to extremism or gives credence to extremist ideology is erroneous, wrong and counter productive.
It has been suggested that Muslims are not doing enough and somehow condone extremism. We would argue that clear evidence should be presented and wrongdoing challenged, rather than perpetuate insinuation persistently.
The reasons why people are drawn to this are many and complex. Simplifying the causes for tabloid consumption helps no one but the extremists. Blaming only Muslims for terrorism is just as bad as placing responsibility only at the door of government and its agencies. There must be a better way, one where Muslim communities, wider British society and the government work together with, not against each other to tackle the problem.
For the good of the country the Muslim Council of Britain once again calls on the government to work with all sections of the Muslim community to not only tackle this problem, but to make our country a more cohesive place. This will not be done by shunning mainstream Muslim civil society, and engaging only with those who are willing to say what the government wants to hear.