29 Jul 2004
The Muslim Council of Britain deplores in the strongest terms the front-page article in today’s Times as clearly part of an ongoing campaign to demonise Islam and mainstream Muslim organisations in the UK.
The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Iqbal Sacranie, said that the article trying to link two prominent and respectable British Muslim institutions with “terrorists” was baseless and dangerous. In attempting to link mainstream bodies, which have distinguished records of serving Britain’s Muslims and wider communities, with terrorists, the newspaper was actually carrying out a witch hunt against credible and established Muslim institutions.
“There was absolutely nothing of substance in this article and also some very significant and telling omissions. Why, for example, did the journalist not mention that the Crown Prosecution Service had publicly stated that despite the media furore, Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi had committed no crime and there was therefore no case for him to answer?
“The report also gave the impression that the Charity Commission have opened an inquiry against the European Institute of Human Sciences (EIHS) whereas in actual fact it was related to a normal and procedural matter about the submission of reports, not connected to the newspaper’s story.
“There appears to be an unfortunate campaign to vilify Islam and British Muslims by some right-wing and pro-Israeli commentators. This is not responsible journalism, especially at a time when all of us should be seeking to promote better understanding and enhance community cohesion.
“We are, however, seriously concerned that this sensational lead story may have already done some serious damage to the standing and the institutional relationship of these institutions which they now have to rebuild.”[Ends]
Note for Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) is the UK’s representative Muslim umbrella body with over 400 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
For further information please contact tel: 07708 065 150