MCB misrepresented

Letter in the Jewish Chronicle, 26 June 2009:

Your article reporting a claim that the Muslim Council of Britain and Muslims “snubbed” a briefing of a multi-faith initiative designed to formulate a co-ordinated response to the BNP (Muslims snub drive against BNP, JC June 19) is incorrect and misleading.

No formal invitation was received from Fiyaz Mughal or his company, Faith Matters. If it had been, the MCB would have considered it.

It is extraordinary that the MCB has been wrongly characterised in this light, given the work we have done to challenge the common threat we face from the far right.

We have worked with anti-fascist groups and we ourselves launched a campaign in British mosques to raise awareness of the need to fight fascism.

Moreover, we have long been advocating a co-ordinated strategy of all faiths. In fact, days before the June 4 European and local elections, the MCB invited faith leaders, including the newly elected President of the Board of Deputies, Vivian Wineman, to be part of a joint statement that called for unity of all faith communities in condemning all those who seek to divide our society.

May I assure your readers that the Muslim Council of Britain and British Muslims are ever ready to work with British Jews, our cousins in faith, to seek the common good, and foster greater understanding between our two communities.

We can start by tackling the weekly drip-feed of misrepresentation and suspicion of Muslims and the MCB that is presented in your paper.

Murtaza Shibli,
Public Affairs and Media Officer,
Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330, London E1