They’ve had a decade of being courted by government ministers, sipping orange juice with policy wonks and being sent on trips around the world for arbitary reasons. And now the MCB’s reign is over, according to Ruth Kelly, who snubs them in favour of mentioning the British Muslim Forum instead in an article for the Observer today. For those who watch these things closely this comes as no surprise at all. Ruth Kelly says a lot more that needs further dissection but I don’t have any time right now unfortunately.
Is the move towards supporting the BMF good? In some ways yes. Their chief executive is a woman and has written on empowering Muslim women and the part they can play in tackling extremism. Following 7/7 they also organised 500 imams to jointly issue a fatwa condemning terrorism.
But just because one is better than the other doesn’t mean this is a welcome development. As I stated when launcing NGN’s manifesto, the government cannot treat minority communities like during the British Raj – appointing and getting rid of ‘community leaders’ who don’t serve their purpose. They need to engage with everyone and listen to all points of view whether they like them or not. The MCB represent a certain mindset as do the BMF (and others). Listen to all of them and stop playing this silly game Ms Kelly.
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Filed in: Current affairs,Muslim,Organisations