"The current conflicts between regional and national identity, together with the culture of disrespect and individualism in society, do not suggest that Ms Blears’ government are best placed to teach anyone about identity and citizenship."
London, UK, July 18 2008 – Today’s announcements by Hazel Blears only confirms that her ministerial brief is to solely deflect blame and criticism from British Foreign Policy onto Islamic theology regardless of the cost to community relations. The government seems to believe it can silence critical Muslim voices with an attempt to fashion a new compliant British Islam. Speaking on the BBC’s Today program, the Communities Secretary said the new government funded board of Islamic scholars will “look at theology” and provide “a proper interpretation” of Islam.
Commenting on her announcement, Taji Mustafa, media representative of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, said, “Whether it is the proposed state citizenship indoctrination for children in madrassahs, or the new Imam’s board, the British government’s interference in the Muslim community and matters of Islam is unprecedented in comparison with any other religion or community."
"The current conflicts between regional and national identity, together with the general culture of disrespect and individualism in society, do not suggest that Ms Blears’ government are best placed to teach anyone about identity and citizenship."
"Moreover, by constantly deflecting criticism from British Foreign Policy onto their chosen target of ‘Islamic extremism’, the government tries to delude itself and others that the cause lies within theology. They would like nothing more than to have credible figures pronounce that opposition to their foreign policy is tantamount to heretical extremism. Their problem hitherto has been to find such credible figures to do their work."
"Ms Blears protestations that this new body is independent, and set up by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, are scarcely credible. Either she will have vetted its membership to ensure they have compliant views, or government will inevitably interfere and dictate their agenda directly or indirectly – a common practice in UK ‘friendly’ regimes Saudi Arabia and Egypt.”
“Not only will such attempts at social and religious engineering ultimately fail, they are likely to generate more resentment towards the Muslim community as Muslims are exclusively singled out for state interference in this manner, which in turn heightens alienation.”