Something to lift the spirits
I know that this has gone to quite a few folk, but I think it deserves the audience here. It is from BMSD via Harry's Place:
British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD) is alarmed and disappointed to learn that the extremist group Al Muhajiroun, in the guise of “Islam4UK,” are planning to hold a procession through the streets of Wootton Bassett. This choice of venue is deliberate and designed to cause maximum offence and distress – particularly to the friends and families of fallen servicemen.
The vast majority of British Muslims – irrespective of their diverse views on particular armed conflicts – recognise that British soldiers continue to serve admirably in difficult circumstances, to make our country safer for all.
We deplore the politicisation of Wootton Bassett by reactionary political leaders, including Nick Griffin’s attempt to hijack a homecoming service last year to promote the BNP. We equally oppose this stunt by “Islam4UK,” a group which organised a “Magnificent 19” Conference in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to praise the suicide murderers.
BMSD will therefore write to “Islam4UK” later this week, urging them to cancel their protest and respect both the neutrality and military tradition of Wootton Bassett. In the event that “Islam4UK” decides to proceed with its demonstration, BMSD plans to arrange a counter-protest along with a broad coalition of our partners.
Dr Shaaz Mahboob, Vice Chair of BMSD, says: “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Wootton Bassett and the Armed Forces. The vast majority of British Muslims accept our Armed Forces are doing an admirable job under exceptionally difficult circumstances. It is only because of the sacrifice of these brave soldiers that extremists like ‘Islam4UK’ are able to protest freely. Anjum Choudary and his followers betray everything this country stands for and the very constituency they claim to represent, which is ordinary British Muslims. We plan to hold a counter-protest to demonstrate that ordinary Muslims are deeply opposed to the values of Islam4UK.”
Notes to the editors:
1. bmsd is made up of a group of Muslim democrats of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds, who support a clear separation between religion and the State.
2. bmsd’s mission statement: “To promote civic engagement, social inclusion, responsible citizenship and good governance particularly within constituent Muslim communities of Britain; in order to build an understanding of the shared values between all citizens to enable them to live in an inclusive, pluralist, secular and confident Britain.”
bmsd claims no mandate or false representative status. Our primary concern is democratic engagement not detailed theological analysis or debate. The level and depth of commitment to the doctrinal core and orthodoxy of the faith varies among Muslims as much as it does in members of other faith groups. bmsd founders wish to create a platform for alternative, diverse Muslim views, essential for a progressive, multi-layered, democratic identity that is not in conflict with itself or fellow citizens.
Labels: Good news - for once