Monthly Archives: March 2009


  Dr Muhammad Khan writes in the Guardian’s Comment is Free on the government’s ‘Myplace’ youth work funding programme and its neglect of youth projects run by Muslims.

Myplace was an invaluable missed opportunity for ensuring the participation of young Muslims in shaping community/youth resources and services. It would have forced Muslim organisations to involve themselves and young people in the processes and decisions that shape community and mosque facilities to meet the needs of young men and women and the wider community around them. The agenda was no longer about the size but about the facilities available, and the relationships enabled. This was an opportunity to secure the role of young Muslims in taking a collaborative and equal stake in the crucial conversations – but the government has shied away from this.’
 


  The Times reports that the government is to attempt to isolate the MCB by giving ‘mosques and local Muslim community groups money and direct access to government ministers’. It is hoped that the move will marginalise the MCB within British Muslim communities.

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There’s some interesting advice for Muslims from the Sunday Express in its leader column, ‘Show Muslim fanatics that tolerance is the way forward’.

The leader refers to the contents of a speech delivered by Anjem Choudhary at an Islam 4 UK event at the weekend, which received broad coverage on the pages of the Sunday newspaper.

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  The weekend papers feature news of the resignation of the Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali from his diocese to take up a post abroad. While the papers allude to the Bishop’s strong views on multiculturalism and his hostility towards liberal theology in the Church as possible reasons for his early departure, it is his comment made last year, on parts of Britain turning into alleged ‘no go areas’ for non-Muslims, and the ‘sensitivity shown to Islam’ in the public sphere, that seems to command the most attention.

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  Given that much of the controversy surrounding the government’s falling out with the MCB has focused on the mistaken presumption that the MCB receives government funding (it has not for several years), we thought we’d inject some accuracy and argument into the debate.

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  Hazel Blears, in her attempt to defend her unconscionable interference in the affairs of the MCB, has, in a letter printed in today’s Guardian, said that her actions were prompted because, she claims, the Gaza Declaration that the MCB’s Deputy Secretary-General, Dr Daud Abdullah, signed  ‘calls for violence against troops and Jewish communities all around the world’.

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  Seumas Milne in his column in today’s Guardian writes about the government’s Contest 2 strategy, which was launched earlier this week, and the outrage Hazel Blears has generated with her demand that the MCB force the resignation of its deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah.

Milne writes:

Ten days ago, in a tone more associated with Raj-era colonial governors than democratic politicians addressing independent community bodies, Blears delivered an ultimatum to the MCB: either it sacked its elected deputy general secretary or all contacts would be severed.

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  BBC Newsnight yesterday featured a segment on the government’s Contest 2 strategy and the interference by the Communities Secretary Hazel Blears in the MCB. Blears has written to the MCB demanding the resignation of the organisation’s deputy secretary general, Dr Daud Abdullah (pictured), on grounds of his endorsing the Gaza Declaration in Istanbul.

Blears wrote to the MCB urging that it depose Dr Daud Abdullah, despite his elected post, or face the consequences of disengagement. It would appear the MCB’s non attendance of Holocaust Memorial Day this year has further stoked the government’s determination to force the organisation to demonstrate its commitment to ‘shared values’.

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  It would appear that Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for the Communities and Local Government (CLG) department clearly has delusions of grandeur. Latest news reports would suggest that she has started to treat Muslims as if she was still living in the days of the British Raj.

Following her leading the opposition last week against the granting of an entry visa to Ibrahim al-Musawi, the Independent on Sunday reveals that she penned a letter to the Muslim Council of Britain last week demanding it force the resignation of Dr Daud Abdullah, the deputy secretary general, for his endorsement of the Gaza Declaration in Istanbul.

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Continuing its disclosure of soldier testimonies from the Gaza war, Ha’aretz prints disturbing news of infantry units in the Israeli army glorifying the murder of Palestinian women and children and the destruction of mosques on T-shirts produced for graduates.

Ha’aretz’s Hebrew site shows some of the images printed. They include a sharpshooter’s T-shirt from the Givati Brigade’s Shaked battalion showing a pregnant Palestinian woman with a bull’s-eye superimposed on her belly, with the slogan “1 shot, 2 kills.” (pictured).

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