Melanie Phillips welcomes Ruth Kelly’s speech implying that the Muslim Council of Britain is to be sidelined by the government:
“… a rethink has undoubtedly taken place within the government about its strategy for combating Islamic extremism in Britain. The refusal by the Muslim Council of Britain to attend the Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration ceremony shocked ministers rigid and opened their eyes to the MCB’s extremism (John Ware’s fine Panorama programme on BBC1 undoubtedly helped, too). Then the debacle over the farcical committees set up after 7/7 to advise the Prime Minister on how to tackle Islamic extremism – which the Home Office promptly stuffed with Islamic extremists – helped them realise the blindingly obvious fact that Muslim so-called representative institutions were virtually all radicalised….
“It’s welcome news that the government will henceforth be marginalising groups like the MCB. This is certainly a step in the right direction. From all that I hear and read, I think there’s undoubtedly a realisation by government that its strategy so far has failed. And indeed, it can hardly be unaware of the widespread public fury and anxiety about all this. But – as I set out in Londonistan – this strategy of appeasement goes far wider and deeper than kowtowing to extremist representative institutions. I’ll only believe something significant is happening when I see the removal of Islamist advisers from Whitehall and a ‘fundamental rebalancing’ of the brains of the Metropolitan Police.”