CRE Chair’s Remarks Are Misplaced and Misleading

18 Nov 2004

The MCB is bewildered by the speech made by the Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) Trevor Phillips, at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies demanding that Muslims repeatedly denounce terror.

‘British Muslims have been and remain very much part of the fight against terrorism, especially after 9/11,’ said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

‘They have been explicit, vocal and unanimous both in their rejection as well as denunciation of terrorism – whether it emanates from individuals, groups or states. In fact, beside the security services, the British Muslim community too can take legitimate credit that despite all the provocations against them, British Muslims have helped maintain peace and order in the realm.’

The MCB believes that the duty to fight against terrorism belongs to all Britons, not just Muslims, and it is in this respect that the CRE Chair’s remarks appear rather unfortunate.

He similarly depicts the problem of ‘forced marriages’ as Muslim-specific and lectures about ‘true Islam’. British Muslims have repeatedly pointed out that forced marriages are not legal marriages under Islamic law, and secondly, few Muslims would like Trevor Phillips to lecture them about ‘true Islam.’

‘Trevor is an old friend, and one had hoped – in vain – that he had been misquoted by the media,’ said Iqbal Sacranie.