‘The race is on’ – to demonise mainstream Muslim organisations

Dean GodsonDean Godson of the Tory think-tank Policy Exchange (see here) applauds the government’s sidelining of the MCB and urges the Tory leadership to reject such “Islamist front groups ” and embrace “the more progressive elements in British Islam”.

Godson doesn’t give details as to who exactly qualifies for inclusion in the latter category – although, predictably, he does refer to “the genuinely moderate Sufi Muslim Council”. He must be the only person left who still attaches any credibility to the SMC. Judging by Shahid Malik’s recent Times article – “the lack of any grassroots structure and its sudden emergence has left many within the Muslim community deeply suspicious” – even the government has now woken up to the fact that Haras Rafiq’s fraudulent organisation is basically a waste of space.

Godson writes: “By endorsing Dame Pauline Neville-Jones’s authoritative Conservative Party report on national cohesion, Mr Cameron has made clear what he thinks of the Islamist establishment. It does not reflect the first instincts of the MCB-friendly faction led by Dominic Grieve, the Shadow Attorney General, or the party vice-chairman, Sayeeda Warsi….

“Perhaps the boldest aspect of the report is its rejection of ‘victim culture’ – blaming Britain and the West for the ills of the Muslim community. Thus, Dame Pauline states that the ‘inferior status’ of Muslim women is at least as much of a stumbling block to upward mobility as ‘Islamophobia’. Even after making this contentious claim, the roof hasn’t fallen in on her head.

“There is a vast opportunity here for Mr Cameron to speak up on behalf of the more progressive elements in British Islam and to marginalise the loudmouths. If he does so, he will be pushing at an open door. Gordon Brown’s people know it as well. The race is on.”

Times, 15 February 2007