|David Cameron: "I think it's absolutely right to write this letter"|
The communities secretary Erick Pickles has wwritten a letter to the muslim council of
Britain urging senior muslims to explain how islam can be part of British identity and
criticism from leaders.
However the muslim council of Britain (MCB) criticised some aspects of the letter
including the "implication that extremism takes place at mosques".
The letter was written to 1000 muslim leaders after the attacks in Paris.
The prime minister said: "Mr.pickles was absolutely right to write the letter urging
leaders to do more to tackle extremism.
"Any one who reads this letter- and i've read the letter- will see that what he is saying
is that British muslims make a great contribution to our country, that what is happening
in terms of extremist terror has nothing to do with the true Islam" he said
"it's been perveted by a minority who have been radicalised".
'Proud Of Your Country'
In the letter, Mr Pickles stressed he was "proud" of the way Muslims in Britain had
responded to the Paris terror attacks but added that there was "more work to do".
He wrote: "You, as faith leaders, are in a unique position in our society. You have a
precious opportunity, and an important responsibility, in explaining and demonstrating how faith in Islam can be part of British identity.
"We believe together we have an opportunity to demonstrate the true nature of British
Islam today. There is a need to lay out more clearly than ever before what being a British
Muslim means today: proud of your faith and proud of your country. We know that acts of
extremism are not representative of Islam, but we need to show what is."
But the muslim British council (MCB) secretay general shuja shafi said Mr. Pickles letter
"could have been worded differently"
In his reply to the communities secretary, he wrote: "We take the point that your letter
was written in good faith, and we agree with your assertion that British values are indeed
"However, we do take issue with the implication that extremism takes place at mosques, and that Muslims have not done enough to challenge the terrorism that took place in our name.
"This is why we responded to the media, and an assertion in some quarters, that you were somehow endorsing the idea that Muslims and Islam are inherently apart from British society. We reject such notions.
"We also reject suggestions that Muslims must go out of their way to prove their loyalty
to this country of ours."
He said the MCB was working to "bring communities together and defy extremists of all
kinds" - and this was being done "not out of apology, but because it was the right thing
Source:bbc Uk News