Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tories Attack Muslim Community Leaders

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tories Attack Muslim Community Leaders

Article excerpt

DAVID CAMERON'S Tories today launched a strong attack on self-styled Muslim "leaders", accusing them of failing to challenge extremism and not representing Muslims themselves.

A report from a policy working group listed several prominent national organisations and found failings among many of them. It called for action to counter radicalism, improve the social condition of Muslim communities, especially women, and to foster a sense of Britishness.

One idea is for a "Brick Lane Festival" for Muslim communities, modelled on the Notting Hill carnival.

But the study said some Muslim groups are part of the problem.

It said: "Muslim community organisations ... [are] not offering the leadership they should at the top level. They act more as lobbies. Too many are concerned with promoting a particular brand of Islam, with conciliating internal differences or protecting their own status, allowing reactionary forces to retain control."

One organisation singled out for criticism is the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella organisation, which has a "range of diverse opinions" including "hardline members ...

who tend to dominate policy and crowd out more moderate voices".

It goes on: "Although the MCB claims to ... work for the good of society as a whole this is difficult to reconcile with its approval of Yusuf al-Qaradawi [a radical preacher who has defended suicide bombings and discrimination against gays] or its refusal to participate in Holocaust Memorial Day."

The MCB is accused of using the threat of extremism to push demands. It presses for changes in British foreign policy "in a direction with which the terrorists would agree", arguing this would deny terrorists a cause against Britain.

Migrant workers 'better than British' MIGRANTS make betters workers than their British counterparts, a top bosses organisation said today. …

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