Government moves to isolate MCB

Mosques and local Muslim community groups are to be given money and direct access to government ministers under a radical plan to isolate Britain’s largest Islamic organisation, which the Government accuses of endorsing violent extremism.

The Government is planning to deny the organisation’s representatives ministerial briefings across all departments in a move designed to undermine its standing among British Muslims.

A Government source told The Times: “The Government is already talking about different ways to engage with the Muslim community instead of just through large organisations. It will deal with regions or trusted individuals. Why do you need to deal with national umbrella bodies?”

The government source said that Dr Abdullah’s endorsement of the pro-Hamas declaration at a conference on Gaza in Istanbul last month threatened to radicalise Muslims and could be used as a justification for attacking Jews and British troops. The declaration celebrates Hamas’s “victory” against “Zionist Jewish occupiers”.

It also states that the “Islamic nation” should regard the foreign warships in Muslim waters “as a declaration of war, a new occupation, sinful aggression, and a clear violation of the sovereignty of the nation. This must be rejected and fought by all means and ways.”

The source said: “That’s the kind of rhetoric that the London bombers used to justify their attacks. And the message in this case is not coming from the internet or Bin Laden, but from the second most senior guy in Britain.”

Times, 30 March 2009