Martin Bright

Stand up for Jim Fitzpatrick

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Jim Fitzpatrick, the Labour MP for Poplar and Canning Town has probably just lost his seat to George Galloway who plans to challenge him at the next election. But Fitzpatrick was right not to attend a segregated Muslim wedding if he didn't want to. He wanted to sit with his wife, Shelia. I don't blame him for choosing not to be separated from her. Most of the reporting of this event has been absurdly ill-informed and sensationalist.  You can read the BBC's report for a reasonably straight account.

The condemnatory words of the Muslim Council of Britain are entirely predicatble. The ceremony was held at the London Muslim Centre, which is attached to East London mosque, the stronghold of the extreme right Jamaat-i-Islami movement in Britain. The MCB's spokesmen (for they are always men) have been the long-standing apologists for this south Asian Islamist organisation in Britain.

As an east London MP, Fitzpatrick knows more than more about the pernicious influence of segregationism in the area. It was very interesting that he mentioned the worrying growth in influence of Islamic Forum Europe, a group with close links to Jamaat and its middle-eastern parent organisation the Muslim Brotherhood.