Pickles and Warsi wrestle for control of Government strategy on anti-Muslim hatred

Well, that’s what Paul Goodman reports at ConservativeHome. And while Goodman may know very little about Islam or Islamism, he is well informed about developments in the Tory Party.

According to Goodman, Sayeeda Warsi is promoting a new organisation to be called the Muslim Leadership Council or Panel (MLC), which she argues should be strongly represented in a new government working group on anti-Muslim hatred. Goodman says that his sources have told him that one original MLC nominee, former MCB secretary general Sir Iqbal Sacranie, has already been rejected by the government.

Goodman suggests that other proposed members of the MLC are also questionable because of their “Islamist” connections. Bizarrely, Goodman names one of these sinister Islamists as Sarah Joseph of the Muslim lifestyle magazine Emel, on the basis that she is a member of the Islamic Society of Britain and once worked for the MCB. Akeela Ahmed of Muslim Youth Helpline is another individual who Goodman thinks is dubious, because MYH is an MCB affiliate. Goodman also regards Iftikhar Awan and Jehangir Malik as inappropriate representatives on the MLC because of their links to Islamic Relief.

We have already pointed out that foreign secretary William Hague has in practice rejected Goodman’s ignorant anti-Islamist scaremongering in relation to the democratic Muslim organisations that have emerged as contenders for political power as a result of the Arab Spring (“This term ‘Islamist’, it covers a vast range of views”). Hopefully the government will apply this conclusion to domestic policy as well, and instead of listening to Goodman will take advice from someone who actually knows what they’re talking about.

Update:  See ConservativeHome’s apology to Sir Iqbal Sacranie.