Tories oppose government engagement with MCB

Gordon Brown has welcomed back into the government fold an influential Muslim organisation shunned by Tony Blair. Ministers have re-established links with the Muslim Council of Britain ten months after a fallout over its criticism of Britain’s presence in Iraq. While Mr Blair insisted that the war in Iraq had nothing to do with the radicalisation of young British Muslims, the council’s leader said British Iraq policy was directly to blame for the 7/7 tube and bus bombings.

Representatives of the group were invited to a meeting with Communities Secretary Hazel Blears earlier this month in a signal of the resumption of cordial relations. The meeting with Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, and another representative as well as a number of other Muslim organisations on August 8 means that the council is once again considered a “stakeholder” in the Government’s efforts to fight terrorism.

Conservative home affairs spokesman Damian Green called on ministers to explain why they have revised their policy and claimed there was “chaos at the heart of the government” over how to promote community cohesion.

Daily Mail, 24 August 2007

See also the ToryDiary entry “Labour get back into bed with Muslim extremists” at Conservative Home. This reports that Paul Goodman MP, shadow communities minister, has written to Hazel Blears demanding an explanation. Well he would, wouldn’t he?