MPAC Woolwich response betrays British Muslims
Muslim communities have been broadly united in condemning the Woolwich attack, but the Muslim Public Affairs Committee is allowing its true colours to shine through
Britain's Muslim communities are broadly united in standing and speaking up against the horrific terrorist attack in Woolwich yesterday. Fraser Nelson at the Spectator put together some immediate reactions that are encouraging, and for the most part - there have been firm rejections of the attack and the attackers from British Muslims.
Prime Minister David Cameron called it not just an attack on Britain, but a betrayal of Islam.
But the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), a not insignificant organisation within British Muslim communities, has sent its founding spokesperson Asghar Bukhari onto British television channels to discuss the Woolwich attack yesterday.
Bukhari, who once said, "Muslims who fight against the occupation of their lands are 'Mujahadeen' and are blessed by Allah," made some perfunctory statements on the BBC about how Muslim communities have abandoned radicalised youths.
But he went on to criticise British foreign policy and blame the British government for the roots of the attacks. He said, "The government can't admit that it's their policy that's driving the anger. And Muslim organisations won't admit that they're doing absolutely nothing about their own youth taking to this kind of action because they won't teach them the democratic way of bringing change in this country".
To many, that will seem like a fair shout. But what's revealing is what MPAC is telling is 11,000+ Facebook followers, and not saying to the British media.
MPAC's Facebook page, which has previously carried statements such as, "I'm not trying to swear so you'll have to fill in the gaps. Take your Holocaust, roll it up nice tight [sic] then shove it up your (be creative)!" has put out the following statements to supporters:
MPAC STATEMENT (our emphases in bold):
"I absolutely despise such pathetic reactions to the incident that has taken place today. We all understand that murdering human beings is wrong, so that's not breaking news for any of us.
However, we must understand and acknowledge that the media is painting this as an irrational, crazy and barbaric act committed by a Muslim for no other reason apart from the fact that their religion teaches them intolerance and "barbarism – this is the enemy's narrative.
They have told the world that Muslims are a people who come from a barbaric and savage past, whose existence is violent, whose religion teaches them nothing but horrifying extremism.
By apologising in such a stupid way these pathetic Muslims are reinforcing the enemy's narrative, which is telling the world that these murderers did what they did because their religion makes them inherently violent and evil. They are acknowledging this fraudulent narrative, reinforcing it, supporting it and also apologising for it.
What they are doing is basically standing up and saying "I'm sorry our religion makes us violent, but we're not all like that". No! Our religion has nothing to do with it.
Muslims are the most oppressed people on earth, we have been denied our freedom, we have been denied our equality, we have been denied any justice, we have even been denied the right to tell the world our own story.
This incident today was horrific, but it was not because Islam teaches barbarism, it happened because it was an extreme reaction to an extreme situation. These people did what they did because they wanted to get a message across, a message that tells the world that they are sick of being oppressed, colonised, demonised, killed and murdered, simply for being Muslim.
I know it was done in a WRONG and IMMORAL way, I will never condone such a thing, but no one has the right to ignore the message, because it's the only way terrorism will end - on both sides.
Our government doesn't look so noble crying about terrorist acts when it commits terrorism abroad on Muslim lands."
Another statement, from Raza Nadim (another MPAC spokesperson) said, "So many damn Muslim orgs coming out to apologise about Woolwich - why do I need to apologise? I didn't do anything. Is the attack bad? Of course, but why have Muslims got to apologise?"
These repugnant statements of course do not detract from the positive statements and robust condemnations from the majority of Muslim organisations in Britain, but MPAC's statements reveal a deep hatred, and in my opinion, a sympathy towards the attackers that cannot be tolerated.
People need to expose this organisation and the British media should take a deeper look at whether this is the "representative voice" of the Muslim community that it wants to interview. Giving MPAC spokespeople airtime to justify attacks like yesterday's are to no one's benefit, and is another betrayal of British Muslims.
MPACUK tweeted at The Commentator's Executive Editor Raheem Kassam about its statements, tweeting: "So the killer HIMSELF that its to do w/foreign policy & you're saying it's not?? Lol... Talk about being deluded"
When asked as to why MPAC believed the terrorist, rather than others, MPAC simply replied, "wow, good diversion from the Q we asked. You can do better though, How can you deny link to foreign policy?"
MPAC was pushed on its logic. When asked as to whether it believed Hitler when he said that the Jews were the personification of the devil, MPAC stated, "diverting again. Let's make it clear - until UK govt acknowledges link to foreign policy sadly such attacks will continue". Following this with, "We 'believe' the evidence".
We are wholly dependent on the kindness of our readers for our continued work. We thank you in advance for any support you can offer.