Last year the Government broke off links with the Muslim Council of Britain after its Deputy Secretary General had signed a document which supported the Hamas terrorist group. The so-called Istanbul declaration, this morning's Telegraph reports, also "appeared to advocate attacks on the Navy if it stopped arms intended for Hamas being smuggled into Gaza."
Then Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said that as long as the Deputy Secretary General, Dr Daud Abdullah, was still part of the MCB, the Government should have nothing to do with it. She clashed with The Guardian over the issue at the time. Dr Abdullah is still in place but Blears' successor John Denham has caved. This is not the first time the MCB has been in trouble. They have also consistently boycotted the National Holocaust Day.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said:
"The Muslim Council of Britain has made a commitment to Government to examine their internal processes and ensure that the personal actions of all members, including senior leaders, remain true to the organisation's agreed policies, avoiding a repeat of the issues which arose after one member signed the Istanbul Declaration. The MCB has stated its categorical opposition to attacks on British defence interests and confirmed its unwavering support for British troops across the world. It has also made clear that it stands firmly against anti-Semitism and other forms of racism. The significance of these actions on the part of the MCB has led to the Government lifting the suspension of its formal relationship with that organisation."
Paul Goodman MP [Contributing Editor to ConservativeHome] told The Spectator that the Labour U turn amounted to “appeasement of extremists by a bunch of politicians scared witless of losing their seats.”
The Conservatives remain committed to treating the MCB as an extremist organisation.