Muslim Council of Britain intimidation: Abdul Bari incites Muslims to"confront" politicians to show opposition to Rushdie knighthood
June 22, 2007
MIM: This blatant threat was played down in the media when it should have been the main focus of the story.
In a letter to more than 500 mosques and affiliated organisations, the Muslim Council of Britain accused Tony Blair personally of rewarding an author who had "vilified" Islam. "Muslims can only see this action as an attempt to create deep offence to Muslims and divert their attention from contributing to community cohesion in these challenging times," said secretary-general Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari. "This ill-advised decision approved by the Prime Minister should not divert you from your course of peaceful protest in the face of this deliberate provocation. "We should not allow the situation to be inflamed in any way or exploited by unsavoury groups so as to bring our community and our noble faith into disrepute." Dr Abdul Bari calls on Muslims to employ peaceful protests including writing to MPs and councillors and, where possible, confronting them at their surgeries.
The knighthood, announced in the Queen's Birthday Honours last weekend, provoked condemnation in Pakistan, where a minister apparently claimed it would justify suicide bombings, and Iran. In Pakistan - a close ally of Britain and the US - protesters have burned effigies of Rushdie and the Queen and demanded Britain takes back the award.
Britain's knighthood for Salman Rushdie has been attacked again in Muslim countries during Friday prayers, with a cleric in Tehran recalling that the fatwa against Mr Rushdie remains in force.
The prayer leader in Egypt said the novelist would get a "medal in hell", while the Afghan Taleban called him "the cursed devil whose killing is a duty".
There was also fierce criticism from MPs and newspapers in Pakistan, which has been prominent in condemning the award, but a Saudi paper said the Muslim world had more important problems to think about.
SEYYED AHMAD KHATAMI AT FRIDAY PRAYERS ON IRAN RADIO
In Islamic Iran the Fatwa of the Great Imam [Ayatollah Khomeyni] is very much in force and irrevocable... The old and decaying government of Britain ought to know that the mythical era of colonial power has well gone... You Britain will not achieve anything. What you have gained, instead, is the rage of Islam
AHMAD UMAR HASHIM AT FRIDAY PRAYERS ON EGYPTIAN AL-MISRIYAH TV
If those who have no conscience honoured this sinful devil and this vicious unjust person and gave him a medal, it is a medal in hell.
TALEBAN STATEMENT ON JIHADIST WEBSITE
We strongly condemn and denounce this action by Britain which deliberately targets Muslims... We hope that Muslims will force the British government to apologise, to withdraw the honorary title from the cursed devil, whose killing is a duty.
PAKISTANI PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
The British government and prime minister has not only disappointed the Pakistani nation but also has hurt its feelings... This house again demands that Britain immediately withdraw the title and apologise.
PAKISTAN MP KHAWAJA SA'AD RAFIQ IN CAPTION ON ARY ONE WORLD TV
Whoever kills Rushdie will be a hero for Muslims.
PAKISTAN PEOPLE'S PARTY IN CAPTION ON ARY ONE WORLD TV
We condemn both Salman Rushdie and suicide bombings; the federal minister Eijaz-ul-Haq has given the wrong impression to foreign countries by declaring suicide bombings legitimate.
PAKISTAN'S ISLAM NEWSPAPER
The UK has tried to deceive 1.5 billion Muslims, which is a shameful and condemnable act. It is surprising that, since the publication of Rushdie's book, no Muslim country has ended diplomatic ties with the UK or even lodged a strong protest.
Freedom of expression does not mean insulting others and mocking their values and beliefs. The title has been given on the recommendation of the prime minister who is known for his anti-Muslim credentials.
SINDH PROVINCE CHIEF MINISTER ARBAB GHULAM RAHIM
I will now return these [titles given to his ancestors by Britain] as no Muslim can accept any title from the Queen after she honoured Salman Rushdie.
INDIAN KASHMIR REBEL GROUP HEZB-UL-MUJAHEDEEN
Awarding a knighthood to Rushdie amounts to blatant anti-Muslim bias, and Muslims all over the world condemn the move.
INDONESIAN CLERIC TARMIZI TAHER ON ANTARA NEWS AGENCY
Powerful countries cannot do as they like, or say anything under the cover of freedom of expression... Dialogues between civilizations and on peace and equality are proving to be mere lip service.
INDONESIAN MUSLIM ACADEMIC ZANNUBA ARIFAH CHAFSOH ON ANTARA NEWS AGENCY
We deeply regret and strongly criticise the knighthood... But we cannot revoke his right to express his views. Even those who do not believe in God have rights. They cannot be punished or killed or subjected to arbitrary acts. Islam does not teach violence.
INDONESIA'S SUARA MERDEKA
We ought to worry that the fanaticism and motivation of hard-line groups will once again revive as a result of the "provocation".
ABEER MISHKHAS IN SAUDI ARAB NEWS
I think we Muslims are wasting our time protesting about what happens in other countries when the whole Islamic world has far bigger problems to face within its own borders... We should stop causing trouble outside our borders, no matter how strongly we feel.