The MCB’s Iqbal Sacranie
Britain’s Asian News reports on a major initiative by the Muslim Council of Britain to “counter anti-Muslim propaganda.” Apparently that “propaganda” revolves around the idea that Muslims condone violent jihad and suicide bombing.
So I suppose Osama bin Laden, Sheikh Yassin and all his successors in Hamas, Omar Bakri and Abu Hamza in Britain, Abu Bakar Bashir in Indonesia, as well as jihadists in the Philippines, Thailand, Kashmir, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, and elsewhere, are all spreading “anti-Muslim propaganda”?
To blame “anti-Muslim propaganda” for the identification of Muslims with violence (including suicide bombing) manifests an outrageous unwillingness to acknowledge the existence of the enormous number of voices within Islam who justify that violence on Islamic grounds. When is the MCB going to confront them?
A MAJOR initiative to counter anti-Muslim propaganda is to be launched in Greater Manchester schools.
Teachers will be receiving packs containing books, CDs and posters explaining the culture and principles of Islam in a positive light.
For older children more controversial issues like jihad and suicide bombings will be covered.
The scheme, launched by the Muslim Council of Britain, and backed by the education chiefs throughout Greater Manchester, will also tackle controversial topics like the war on terror.
At a recent fund-raising dinner in Manchester Â£28,000 was collected for the campaign, enough to buy over 100 teaching packs enough to supply half the schools in the city.
Dr Sangeeta Dhami is a leading organiser of the Books 4 Schools campaign.
She said the material was principally aimed at white non-Muslim children who may have picked-up prejudiced views on Islam from the media.
“We are trying to get away from things like ritual and the five pillars of Islam to look at common principles that bind Islam to humanity and other religions.
“For example one of our posters has the names of the prophets including Jesus who of course is an important figure for Christians but who is also an important Muslim prophet.
“In the secondary schools, the packs we will be tackling more recent and controversial issues like what is jihad.
“Jihad means struggle but not necessarily a violent struggle. It can mean the struggle for tolerance and freedom.
“We will be leaving issues like suicide bombing up for discussion to encourage pupils, having heard about the general principles of Islam and jihad, to discuss and decide for themselves whether suicide bombers are carrying out their principles of jihad.”