Dr Martin Parsons negotiated with the Taliban and other radical Islamist groups in Afghanistan as an aid worker there and in Pakistan. He has a PhD in Islam and Christian Muslim Relations and is on the Party’s candidates list. Here, he outlines ways in which the Labour government has gone too far in appeasing Muslim groups.

On Thursday Gordon Brown’s spokesman denounced Archbishop of Canterbury
Rowan Williams’ claim that the introduction of sharia to the UK was
inevitable. However, Gordon Brown himself has been quietly seeking to
appease certain aspects of the agenda of ‘peaceful’ Islamist groups in
the UK – including what amounts to a partial implementation of sharia. 

In the 2005 general election Labour’s share of the Muslim vote
collapsed from its normally rock solid 85% down to around 70%. It lost
safe Labour seats to the Lib-Dems like Rochdale (5,650 maj), Hornsey
and Wood Green (10,600 maj)  – not to mention losing Bethnal Green and
Bow (10,000 maj) to George Galloway – and nearly lost several other
Labour seats. This was partly due to a Muslim Vote card campaign run by
the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), a Muslim umbrella organisation
whose leadership was largely taken over by Islamists as soon as it was
formed. Candidates of all parties were told to sign up to a range of
Islamic issues – public funding Muslim schools, changes in UK foreign
policy etc the MCB told Muslims told to vote against candidates who
refused to do so. The MCB claimed it could swing the vote in at least
20 constituencies – as the Muslim majority was greater than that of the
sitting MP – who was almost always Labour.

So whilst Labour’s record of appeasement may disappoint us, it perhaps
shouldn’t surprise us. Labour has a similar relationship with Islamic
organisations as it had with the trade unions in the nineties. It wants
their votes – but doesn’t agree with all of their agenda. So, it
appeases them by giving them some of what they want.

appeasement of Islamism in the UK – including sharia:

  1. Immediately after the 2005 election, which saw Labour share of
    the Muslim vote collapse – the government announced the incitement to
    religious hatred legislation. This was widely seen by Islamic
    organisations as the ‘Muslim blasphemy law’ they had campaigned 18 long
    years for since the Rushdie affair. Blasphemy against Muhammad is THE
    most serious offence in sharia – and carries the automatic death
    penalty in countries such as Pakistan.
  2. August 2006 Ruth Kelly and John Prescott met Islamic leaders
    immediately after the Heathrow terrorist arrests. They were asked for a
    partial implementation of sharia for family law in the UK and Muslim
    festival to become bank holidays. Ruth Kelly then set up a commission
    to look into implementing the first.
  3. June 2007 (Brown now Labour leader and as PM in waiting making
    joint decisions with Blair) – a government sponsored report on the
    teaching of Islam in British universities was published. One may well
    ask exactly what the Labour government was doing asking a senior member
    of the Islamic Foundation – the UK’s largest overtly Islamist group –
    to write this government sponsored report ON HIS OWN? The report
    recommended that non Muslims should be banned from teaching the main
    Islamic subjects in British universities! The PM publicly welcomed this
    report! (99)
  4. Gordon Brown appointed David Milliband as the new Foreign
    Secretary. Almost the very first public statement Milliband made was to
    publicly praise Hamas – the Islamist terrorist group that is
    ideologically committed to the complete annihilation of the state of
    Israel – the ONLY state in the entire Middle East that even remotely
    resembles a liberal democracy.
  5. In September 2007 Ed Balls – Gordon Brown’s chief lieutenant, and
    newly promoted to be Secretary of state for families, children and
    schools – offered state funding to Islamic schools – again part of the
    Muslim Vote Card agenda (However, many ordinary Muslims recognise
    Islamic schools as part of the Islamist agenda and won’t send their
    children to them).
  6. September 2007 (remember Brown’s team had really seriously
    whipped up election fever now!) Des Browne, Labour’s part time Defence
    Secretary, told the Labour Party conference that we should negotiate
    with the Taliban! (Why exactly have 87 British soldiers given their
    lives and hundreds of others paid the ‘daily living sacrifice’ of the
    wounded and disabled?)
  7. Des Browne ALSO told the Labour Conference that the future
    government of Afghanistan MUST include Islamic law. Actually apart from
    during the Taliban era, Afghanistan has since the early twentieth
    century had a western style constitution – with sharia courts having a
    much more informal, non constitutional role. As a former aid worker in
    Afghanistan, I KNOW that there are hundreds of thousands of people in
    the towns and cities of Afghanistan that DESPERATELY DON’T’ want
    government imposed Islamic law – they just want the Afghan
  8. THEN – in November 2007 Treasury minister Kitty Ussher (and let’s
    not suppose anything significant has ever happened at the treasury
    since Labour came to power in 1997 – without Gordon Brown’s explicit
    say so!) announced a 3 month consultation on the Treasury introducing
    Islamic sukkuk bonds that are compliant with sharia. Now if we do that
    – we effectively create a whole area of government and economics that
    can ONLY be governed by Islamic lawyers and sharia courts – and guess
    what..?/ sharia forbids any non Muslim from sitting as a judge in a
    sharia court. Moreover, the commercial law aspects of sharia ALWAYS
    favour Muslims when there is any deal between Muslims and non Muslims.
    In fact this is a principle of sharia because sharia fundamentally
    assumes that Muslims – as the people in submission to Allah – must
    always govern non Muslims…).
  9. Then in February 2008 (yes only a week ago!) – the Department for
    Work and Pensions announced that where there was a ‘valid’ polygamous
    marriage it would pay extra benefits. The government admitted this
    would mainly benefit Muslims (as sharia allows men to have 4 wives).
    Quite how a polygamous marriage in the UK could in any sense be ‘valid’
    when bigamy is a criminal offence in the UK beats me…! but perhaps the
    government was intending to legalise bigamy to make it ‘sharia

So, Gordon Brown has been at it all along appeasing the agenda of
‘peaceful’ Islamist groups in the UK, who reject violence, but have
stated they want to see a gradual move towards an Islamic state in
Britain by means of a step by step alignment of British law with

Now what’s that word for someone who criticises someone else for
suggesting something that they are actually covertly doing

Conservative MPs rightly condemned Rowan Williams for his
extraordinarily ill judged, naïve and wrong headed comments, but we
must also hold Gordon Brown to account for the way he is playing fast
and loose with the Islamist agenda.