Following the Secretary General’s interview with the Daily Telegraph on 10 November, the Muslim Council of Britain releases the following transcript for the discussion relating to comparisions with the 1930s.
Dr Bari: “Muslims are in the centre of discussion that is accepted by everyone. There is a disproportionate amount of discussion surrounding us. The air is thick with suspicion and unease. It is not good for the Muslim community; it is not good for the society. I think it is creating a scare in the community and wider society. It probably helps some people who try to recruit the young to terrorism. Muslim young people are as vulnerable as any others. Under this climate of fear they will begin to feel victimised. Every society has to be really careful so the situation doesn’t lead us to a time when people’s mind can be poisoned as they were in 1930’s. If your community is perceived in a very negative manner, and poll after poll says that we are alienated, then Muslims begin to feel very vulnerable. We are seen as creating problems, not as bringing anything good for the society.”
The account as published only included selections,which is understandable given the limitations of space on the printed page. However what is inexcusable is an editorial insertion which has upset many and led to the MCB receiving abusive calls and hate mail. The Daily Telegraph insertion was a statement never made by Dr Bari: “Britain must, he warns, beware of becoming like Nazi Germany”.