We have already covered the ludicrous, divisive and objectively pro-Nazi campaign waged by Peter Tatchell and Outrage against the participation of the Muslim Council of Britain and its general secretary Sir Iqbal Sacranie at yesterday’s Unite Against Fascism conference (see here and here). As it turned out, Sacranie had another engagement, and his place was taken by Daud Abdullah, assistant general secretary of the MCB, who addressed the opening session of the conference.
Tatchell, whose capacity to delude himself about his own importance evidently knows no limits, announced that Sacranie’s absence was all down to his campaign. “This climbdown is a victory for humanitarian values over homophobic prejudice,” he pontificated. “We believe the organisers realised they could not secure the acceptance of a homophobe at an anti-fascist conference, so they dumped him.” (Outrage press release, 18 February 2006)
In fact, the demand that Tatchell and Outrage had raised was for the MCB as an organisation to be banned from the conference platform. “Sir Iqbal is leader of the anti-gay Muslim Council of Britain (MCB)”, they declared. “Sir Iqbal’s homophobic views, and the MCB’s opposition to gay equality, echo the prejudice and discrimination of the BNP…. We urge you to withdraw your invitation to Sir Iqbal and the MCB…. The MCB is not a liberal, progressive organisation. It represents only conservative, reactionary opinion. It is not a suitable partner organisation for the movement against fascism.” (Outrage press release, 14 February 2006)
Yet, in the outcome, the invitation was not withdrawn and the UAF conference was addressed by an assistant general secretary of the MCB, rather than by its general secretary. So, a bit of a limited victory there then, eh Peter?