The New Statesman
27th Feb 2006
Re: The New Statesman Interview, NS, 27th February 2006
Your reporter, Rachel Aspden claims that the Muslim Council of Britain dismissed the pre July 7 terror threat to the UK as �hysterical scaremongering�. This is quite simply untrue.
At the end of March 2004, following the Madrid bombings, the MCB issued an emergency appeal to every Islamic organisation and mosque in the country urging vigilance against the terror threat and cooperation with the police. In addition, in September 2004, the MCB printed 500,000 copies of a Pocket Guide on Rights and Responsibilities. This contained a section on �Vigilance and the Terror Threat� in which we prominently printed the Anti-Terror Hotline Number. The Pocket Guide had been produced in consultation with ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers).
Furthermore, during a �Take Two� debate organised by and printed in The Guardian in September 2004, I clearly stated:
�Both the [MCB] letter and the [MCB Pocket] guide accept that, in the wake of the terrible Madrid train bombings last March, there is an increased terror threat to the UK. We reiterate that averting a terrorist attack in which innocents would be put in jeopardy is an Islamic imperative, and it is the duty of all - Muslims included - to help the authorities prevent such an atrocity.�
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,