Muslim council of britain

What does the Muslim Council of Britain have against Muslims like me? | 13 July 2019

Have you ever wondered why there are so few moderate Muslim voices in the press? It’s not because they don’t exist. There are over a billion of us in the world. In many cases, it’s because of the way we are treated by hardliners. Once again, they have trained their crosshairs on me, this time charging me with ‘misrepresenting Muslim behaviour and belief’ and ‘negating the belief of some Muslims’. If a Muslim speaks up against political Islam – questioning the legitimacy of these self-appointed spokesmen – this is what we can expect. Just look at this week’s report by a group called the Centre for Media Monitoring, which claims that

Islamic extremism doesn’t need a rebrand

I have been wondering why nobody so far in this election seems to have made any mention of what most people recognise to be the biggest security problem facing this country. But then I discovered that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, last week appeared at the Al Falah Islamic Education Centre in West London. He used the opportunity to express, er, ‘concern about the level of Islamophobia in the capital’ and to insist that ‘an alternative word needs to be found to describe extremists who claim to act in the name of Islam’. According to the Evening Standard: ‘Mr Johnson, whose great-grandfather was a Muslim, added that a “problem in

Will Gordon Brown’s critics finally admit he was right about al-Qaeda’s ‘major terrorist plot’?

There are not many things to celebrate about Gordon Brown’s time in office. He was a vilified leader; often quite rightly so. His Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, did not fare much better. However, a recent terror trial in New York showed that the criticism they received was not always deserved. On 8 April 2009, a large terrorist cell based in northwest England was arrested. The cell had been dispatched to the UK by al-Qaeda in 2006 in preparation for an attack, the majority entering the UK on bogus student visas. The plot is thought to have involved a car bomb attack against Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre, with a team of suicide

It’s all kicking off in the Islamic world. Nothing at all to do with Islam, of course

They have been burning churches and murdering Christians again in Niger. You’d think that they’d have more immediately pressing concerns than worrying about a cartoon, Niger regularly winning the award for being the worst country anywhere on God’s earth, and the poorest. But nope, it’s kill-a-kuffar time once more. Some 45 churches set alight and at least five people killed and 50 injured. Adherents of the Religion of Peace (© all UK politicians) included in their pyromania a Christian orphanage, which was thoughtful of them. There have also been massed rallies and protests and the usual effigy-burning business in the vast and dusty Islamic desert rat-holes next door, Mali and

Like it or not, Isis are Muslims. Calling them ‘monsters’ lets us off the hook

There are various pieties that politicians observe in the wake of some barbarity committed by Islamic fundamentalists and duly David Cameron observed them in his statement yesterday about the murder of David Haines. Of the perpetrators, he observed: ‘They are killing and slaughtering thousands of people – Christians, Muslims, minorities across Iraq and Syria. They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.’ I really wish he wouldn’t. It doesn’t add anything whatever to our understanding of Isis to say that they are not Muslims but monsters. They

How can Jews oppose Muslim anti-Semitism without being ‘Islamophobic’?

On Sunday there was a rally in London demanding ‘zero tolerance’ of anti-Semitism. About 4,500 people gathered in front of the Royal Courts of Justice. Speakers who addressed the crowds included the Chief Rabbi, Maajid Nawaz and me. Among the things I told the crowd was to expect more and to demand more of their ‘communal leadership’. Long-term readers will know that I’ve never had much time for communal leadership of any kind. I don’t like the groups who claim to speak on behalf of all Muslims – groups which disproportionately represent a politicised and fundamentalist hard-line interpretation of their faith. And I don’t like groups that have claimed to

Save our children from the Islamists

[audioplayer src=”″ title=”Matthew Parris vs Douglas Murray on the Birmingham Trojan Horse plot” startat=55] Listen [/audioplayer]Who’s up, who’s down? Who’s in, who’s out? While Westminster spent last week gossiping about which minister’s special adviser said what, in another city, not far away, a very different Britain was unveiled. On Monday, the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw, published his damning investigation into the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair. Ever since allegations about an organised Islamist plot to take over Birmingham state schools emerged this year, they have been the subject of furious claims and counter-claims. The original document (a ‘widely accepted forgery’ as the BBC keeps calling it) seems most likely

Brave, non-denominational freedom fighters

Those of you who wonder why the BBC is so politically correct, so craven in its expressions regarding, for example, Islamic terror, may find a partial answer here:  Stephen Whittle Director of Editorial Policy at the BBC Dear Stephen, We have received many complaints over the last 24 hours from British Muslims regarding the use of the phrase ‘Islamic terrorists’ by your news reporters in connection with the struggle for Kashmiri independence. We believe this phrase is totally inappropriate and adds nothing to the story and even distorts what is a long-standing struggle by the Kashmiri people to gain control of their own destiny. We have noticed that your news reports

The history of Islam is not off-limits

I’ve only just got around to watching Tom Holland’s documentary for Channel 4 from earlier this week: ‘Islam: the untold story.’ It had some good things in it, despite suffering from the two problems all documentaries now suffer from: attention-grabbing statements at the end of segments which are not followed up on, and endless shots of the presenter doing strangely unconnected things (travelling on an elevator, sitting on a bed etc.) But Holland was an engaging and pleasant presenter, and the documentary was something of a landmark in that it finally brought to wider public attention a subject which has been almost completely off-limits in recent years. Because of violence

Confusion surrounds the Tory position on the Muslim Council of Britain

The government broke off relations with the Muslim Council of Britain over Daoud Abdullah, its deputy secretary-general, signing the Istanbul declaration, which the government believed encouraged attacks on British forces if they attempted to enforce a weapons blockade on Gaza. Last week, the government retreated; inviting the MCB back in despite Daoud Abdullah’s signature remaining on the document. The question now is whether the Tories are going to go along with this surrender. The first test of this is a fundraiser that the MCB is holding on the 22nd of February. The invitation boasts that Jack Straw and Nick Clegg will be attending and says that Chris Grayling has been

The government caves in to the Muslim Council of Britain

The government has caved in its dispute with the Muslim Council of Britain. The government broke off relations with the group over its deputy director-general Daud Abdullah signing the Istanbul Declaration. Indeed, Daud Abdullah even instigated legal action against the then Communities Secretary Hazel Blears over her statements about what the declaration called for. But now Stephen Pollard is reporting that the government is bringing the MCB back in. A DCLG spokesperson tells Pollard that an MCB commitment to examine “their internal processes and ensure that the personal actions of all members, including senior leaders, remain true to the organisation’s agreed policies, avoiding a repeat of the issues which arose

What on earth was Daud Abdullah doing on Channel 4 News?

What a bizarre decision by Channel 4 News to invite the Muslim Council of Britain’s Daud Abdullah on to talk about the attempt to arrest the Israeli politician Tzipi Livni for her involvement in Operation Cast Lead in Gaza. And even more peculiar that Jon Snow tried to stop the Jewish Chronicle’s Stephen Pollard raising the issue that Abdullah had signed the Istanbul Declaration calling for attacks not just on Israel and but on British forces perceived to have supported the .  The Deputy Secretary General of the MCB is currently the reason his organisation is out in the cold. Communities Secretary John Denham is sympathetic to the MCB, but

Progress On Our Pernicious Libel Laws

It was great to see the cover story in Progress about this country’s pernicious libel laws. The magazine did well to commission Jonathan Heawood, the rather brilliant director of English PEN, who really knows the subject. Central to his argument is the point that the government risks being outflanked by the Tories on this issue:  The Conservatives could well come down behind the reforms that were outlined recently in the Sunday Times, based on the recommendations published by Index on Censorship and English PEN in our report, Free Speech is Not for Sale (see Unless Labour catches up with this growing momentum for reform, it risks finding itself on

The Enraging Case of DC Shepherd & DC Jarrett

The case of Leanne Shepherd and Lucy Jarrett – the job-sharing police constables whose child-minding arrangements have become a matter of some controversy*  – rightly enrages all sensible folk. To recap: the two women are best friends and share a job, each working 20 hours a week. Their husbands, also policemen, work irregular shifts. Their daughters are essentially the same age. And also friends. So it makes a good deal of sense for them to pool resources and arrange for whichever woman isn’t working to look after both children. I dare say there are many women who had as convenient and elegant a solution to the child-care problem as that.

The Importance of Being Libelled

There has been an interesting repsonse to my last post about the libel laws. “Engage”, an organisation ostensibly committed to “promoting greater media awareness, political participation and civic engagement among British Muslims” has embarked on the bizarre strategy of libelling me. The organisation behind the “Engage” website is somewhat opaque. But a list of apologies and press complaints commission judgements suggests that it is the branchild of Inayat Banglawala, the Muslim Council of Britain’s longtime spokesman. Under the disreputable headline “Veteran Islamophobe Martin Bright criticises MCB libel win” an anonymous writer makes a series of unsubstantiated claims. I have already taken legal advice about this, although I wouldn’t have needed to do so to