Muslims, multiculturalism and muscular liberalism
London, 19th February 2011: Around 70 invited guests, made up of local and national Muslim community leaders, activists, teachers, khateebs and others attended a meeting organised by Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain, titled Cameron’s Multiculturalism Policy: Responsibility of Islamic organisations in Britain.
The meeting was chaired by Jamal Harwood of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s UK Executive Committee, and was addressed by several speakers including Massoud Shadjareh, Chairman of the Islamic Human Rights Commission, Mohamed Ali CEO of Islam Channel and Dr Abdul Wahid, Chairman of Hizb ut-Tahrir’s UK Execuitive Committee.
Dr Abdul Wahid explained Cameron’s hostile comments about multiculturalism and his calls for a ‘muscular liberalism’. He put this in the context of the British government’s on-going agenda to secularise the Muslim community, and linked it to Britain’s colonial foreign policy, recently characterised by it’s statements against any Islamic government in the Arab states currently experiencing uprisings at the moment. He said Cameron’s comments will only increase propaganda attacks on Islam leading to a heightened climate of anti-Muslim hatred – part of a campaign to bully Muslims into accepting western values, which they had hitherto been unconvinced by. Abdul Wahid explained that the attacks on Islam were to prevent the rise of Islam that would give independence to the Islamic world from western colonial control.
Massoud Shadjareh argued that subjugation of the Muslim community occurs when we allow our minds to be enslaved, and Mohamed Ali talked about Europe’s terrible history towards minorities, and that that Muslims needed to fear their Islamic beliefs and valued being wiped out from Britain (others argued strongly that this was a greater fear than any physical threat) and that it was important to view Islam as a complete way of life.
There were comments of general agreement from those present that Muslims have to counter the growing propaganda attacks, by protecting their Islamic values in the community. This could only be done by Muslims using their community institutions to enable Muslims to understand their deen – Islam – so they know how to rebut these attacks. They encouraged Muslims to build their institutions independent of state finance, and to convey the Islamic values through discussions with the wider society; this could include the opening of Mosques to non-Muslims on open days, in order to counter the propaganda.
Finally, Muslims were urged to support the call for Islam in the Muslim world, saying that the call for Islam was growing across the world, as shown by the recent demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere, and that the campaign to ‘reform’ Islam was one around the world.
Jamal Harwood, chairing the meeting, invited guest to take HIzb ut-Tahrir Britain’s new report regarding the on-going challenge for Muslims.
Download PDF: The Future for Muslims in Britain