| ||It would appear that Hazel Blears, the Secretary of State for the Communities and Local Government (CLG) department clearly has delusions of grandeur. Latest news reports would suggest that she has started to treat Muslims as if she was still living in the days of the British Raj.|
A spokesperson for CLG told the Independent on Sunday:
"We are concerned that the statement calls for direct support for acts of violence in the Middle East and beyond. We are also aware that a senior member of the MCB may have been a signatory to this statement. If it is proven that the individual concerned had been a signatory, we would expect the MCB to ask him to resign and to confirm its opposition to acts of violent extremism."
The MCB has made clear in a statement that it ‘in no way supports the targeting or killing of British soldiers anywhere in the world.’
It adds that Dr Abdullah’s signature on the Declaration corresponds to ‘the right under international law of the Palestinian people to resist the ongoing illegal and brutal occupation of their land’.
Seeking the resignation of a high ranking individual in a non-state organization evinces the minister’s contempt for the independence of the MCB and its right to adopt positions that run counter to a Government’s stated preferences.
It could be that Ms Blears has been spending so much time with stooges such as Ed Husain and his government-funded outfit the Quilliam Foundation that she has come to believe that other Muslim organisations too will also simply roll over and follow her orders.
It is commendable indeed that the MCB has not buckled under the pressure exerted on it to dismiss Dr Abdullah. The organization, to its credit, stated that:
"The MCB will not be dictated to by Hazel Blears. We do not take orders from Ms Blears. She is mistaken if she thinks the MCB will dismiss people at her say-so."
It would seem that the engagement Ms Blears seeks with groups at dissonance with the Government will come about not because the minister desires it, but because the organisations themselves will robustly defend their right to demur and resist ministerial control.
As an increasing number of Muslim organisations avail themselves of PVE funds and those recently announced under the Community Leadership Fund, it remains to be seen how many will retain their independence and refuse to trade in their principles for a pay cheque. Or will submission to the government of the day be the order of the day?
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