Letter to The Times – ‘Radical Wrong’ Indeed

In a recent Leading Article published in The Times, which relied on misinformation, the MCB was inaccurately portrayed and extraordinarily attacked by the paper. The Muslim Council of Britain has since written to The Times for clarification. The full letter can be seen below:

To the Times

Sir,

In initiating yet another misinformed and extraordinary attack against our organisation (Radical Wrong, 21 October), you state that the Muslim Council of Britain has launched an alternative Prevent programme – but we have done no such thing. On our website and in our statements to your reporters there was no specific reference to an alternative Prevent strategy, and certainly no details shared about what this would look like.

Instead, we released to you and other media outlets a progress report of our initiative to facilitate a grassroots led, community response to terrorism. In it there were trenchant criticisms about the government’s failure to engage Muslim communities. A critique which your editorial acknowledges but stubbornly refuses to countenance.

This process has been underway for a year and we suspect the newspaper that prematurely reported the MCB’s supposed alternative Prevent strategy did so based on the many suggestions that have been offered around the country and at our forums. We have not officially released or suggested any such alternatives.

Nevertheless, the manner of your response and strident defence of the Prevent strategy is telling to us and to Muslim communities up and down the country. You correctly state that we have long opposed Prevent, but you fail to state that the government has abstained from engaging with the Muslim Council of Britain. That is partly because some are beholden to this absurd idea that we are party to some grand political scheming or linked to terrorism. We are no less linked to terrorists than The Times is to criminals in the form of ex-News International journalist Mazher Mahmood -the link is preposterous.

Yours,

Harun Khan
Secretary General
Muslim Council of Britain