bmsdâ€™s letter to â€œStop the Islamisation of Europeâ€.
Dear Mr [Stephen] Gash,
We are a group of Muslim democrats who are committed to the values that define the British state,
including legal and constitutional equality for all, equal rights for women and minorities, and religious
freedom, including the right to be free of faith.
We take such pride in these virtues that we actively seek to defend them against any individual, political
group or organised religious outfit which seeks to impose their religious beliefs upon others (thereby
infringing the right of all people to practice any religion or to be free of any religion).
As an attendee at our counter-demonstration against Al-Muhajiroun on 31st October 2009, you would have
seen for yourself how we thwarted their attempts to portray themselves as representatives of the British
Muslim community. Not only did they abandon their â€œMarch for Shariaâ€ at the last minute, but we were
joined by pro-democracy activists of all faiths and none, and from a wide range of backgrounds (including
the English Democrats). This was hailed by both Muslims and non-Muslims as a victory for freedom and
We have come to know about your proposed demonstration outside Harrow Mosque on 13th December
2009, opposing the building of the mosque extension. According to your letter to the Harrow Times on
your website â€“ which appears not to have been published in the paper as yet â€“ you believe that, â€œMuslims
are attempting to make Islam the dominant theocratic-political system across the world and are actively
eradicating democracy, non-Islamic cultures and all other religions.â€
To counter this assertion, we would like to point out that just like the majority of law-abiding British
Muslims and non-Muslims, we too are extremely concerned about the rise of extremism and political Islam
in Britain, which has been used to justify or demand non-democratic practices. On this issue, I am sure
your organisation and ours share a common concern and would like to see a halt to the spread of these.
We acknowledge that in the past several mosques and madrassahs have been involved in anti-democratic
activities and extremism, through the political and religious leanings of their management and patrons.
This undermines the confidence of the peace-loving British public and results in fragmented communities.
It is clear that mosques and madrassahs should not be used as a vehicle for hate-preaching and spreading
discord within society. In this vein, we would like to point out that just because Muslims attend certain
mosques out of pure necessity, this does not mean that they subscribe to the views of the mosque
committees and management. More likely, it signifies that they have no other choice and are not
organised enough to be able to challenge such community leadership.
We also maintain that the vast majority of British Muslims are law-abiding citizens who are happy with
secular democracy and do not wish to Islamicise Britain or Europe. We would like to fight for the rights of
ordinary British Muslims to practice their religion, free of any coercion by organised hard-line groups who
follow a particular brand of Islam based on rigid interpretations of Islamic teachings. By demonstrating
outside a mosque under the banner, â€œStop the Islamisation of Europe,â€ ordinary peace-loving British
Muslims end up feeling threatened and have begun to believe that their fundamental right to practice
their religion is being curtailed. In any case, Harrow is an exemplar of good community relations, facilitated
by strong communication and co-operation between different faith communities and various agencies such
as the police and the local council. Our Director Tehmina Kazi can testify to this, as she has lived in Harrow
for over 20 years. Individuals affiliated with Harrow Central Mosque joined our counter-protest against Al
Muhajiroun and their leading members wholeheartedly support the merits of secular democracy alongside
Your campaign is also fuelling the notion that somehow organisations such as SIOE are against all Muslims
and the religion Islam in itself. This is being used by the extremist elements within Muslim communities
to enhance their recruitment.
We therefore urge you to call off your protest and start open dialogue with British Muslims for Secular
Democracy and other pro-democracy groups, so that we could jointly work together in reducing the
spread of fascism and extremism from our communities.
We look forward to your response.
The main thing to point is that Gash and Stop Islamisation of Europe is against all Muslims. When I dedated with him at the earlier rally against Anjem Choudhary, he admitted he thought all Muslims were extremists and the ones demonstrating against Choudhary were liars.
Will show you folks the video soon.
Shaaz Mahboob also has a related article on CIF. Apparently Gash has posted some loony comments underneath.
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Filed in: British Identity,Islamists