British minister hits back at ‘unacceptable’ Muslim council

Harun Khan from the Muslim Council of Britain. (Courtesy photo)
Updated 05 June 2018
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British minister hits back at ‘unacceptable’ Muslim council

  • The MCB is an umbrella group which says it represents around 500 smaller organizations in the UK
  • “The Muslim Council of Britain does not represent Muslims in this country

LONDON: The row between the UK government and the country’s biggest Muslim organization has intensified after the British home secretary said the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) did not represent Muslims in the UK.
The MCB last week called for an independent inquiry into alleged Islamophobia within the ruling Conservative Party, claiming that verbal attacks on Muslims were occurring “more than weekly” and listing a number of such attacks by Conservatives from the past two months.
But Home Secretary (interior minister) Sajid Javid has hit back, saying the government has no dealings with the MCB because some of its members express “unacceptable” views on extremism.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr weekly politics show, Javid said: “The Muslim Council of Britain does not represent Muslims in this country. You find me a group of Muslims that thinks they’re represented by the MCB. I would be suspicious of anything that they’ve got to say, not least because under the last Labour government and a policy continued by us, we don’t deal with the MCB because too many of their members have had, you know, comments on extremists and that’s not acceptable.”
But the MCB’s secretary-general, Harun Khan, said the home secretary’s response showed the British government’s unwillingness to confront the issue.
“If the response is to instead attack the Muslim Council of Britain, it sadly indicates that the [Conservative] party has no interest in dealing with this matter with the seriousness it deserves.
“We have long spoken out and proactively challenged terrorism and extremism, as have British Muslims across the country.”
The MCB is an umbrella group which says it represents around 500 smaller organizations in the UK, including schools and mosques.


New York City Mayor de Blasio ends 2020 presidential bid

Updated 20 September 2019

New York City Mayor de Blasio ends 2020 presidential bid

  • The mayor, who is barred from seeking a third four-year term in New York in 2021, struggled to build a national profile and stand out in a crowded field
  • De Blasio had failed to qualify for a Sept. 12 debate that featured the 10 leading candidates for the party’s nomination

NEW YORK: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday said during an MSNBC television appearance that he was dropping out of the 2020 presidential campaign.
De Blasio, 58, launched his candidacy in May with the central campaign message “Working People First,” becoming the 24th Democrat to attempt to take on President Donald Trump in next year’s election.
The mayor, who is barred from seeking a third four-year term in New York in 2021, struggled to build a national profile and stand out in a crowded field that includes former Vice President Joe Biden and a long list of experienced politicians.
News of the mayor ending his presidential bid was greeted with sarcasm by Trump.
“Oh no, really big political news, perhaps the biggest story in years! Part time Mayor of New York City, @BilldeBlasio, who was polling at a solid ZERO but had tremendous room for growth, has shocking dropped out of the Presidential race,” Trump tweeted early on Friday. “NYC is devastated, he’s coming home!“
De Blasio had registered little support in polls and was eclipsed by progressive US senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
De Blasio said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that a “central reason” for his decision was the party’s rules for qualifying for televised debates. He had failed to qualify for a Sept. 12 debate that featured the 10 leading candidates for the party’s nomination.
“The bar is so high so early that for a lot of us — clearly, some of my fellow chief executives, governors — couldn’t make that cut,” de Blasio said. “It’s clear to me it’s a high bar, and that it’s one I’m not going to be able to meet.”
De Blasio had emphasized during the campaign a list of progressive wins under his leadership, including universal pre-kindergarten, the end of the policing practice known as stop-and-frisk and paid sick leave, all in a city that has a bigger population, more than 8 million, than most US states.
Most New Yorkers had appeared unenthused about de Blasio’s presidential aspirations. A Quinnipiac University poll in April found more than three-quarters of New Yorkers did not feel he should make a White House bid.