8th August 2007
In his feature article about the journalist Martin Bright in today's Guardian ('Politically Correct', The Guardian, 6 August 2007), James Silver says that the government has 'decided to bypass the MCB in favour of dialogue with other arguably more representative grassroots Muslim groups'.
And just who are these 'more representative' Muslim groups? Curiously, neither James Silver nor Martin Bright care to actually name them. In fact, the Muslim Council of Britain is easily the UK's largest, most diverse and most representative Muslim umbrella body with an affiliate base of over 500 organisations representing mosques, youth groups and women's organisations,all of them coming from differing Islamic schools of thought, both sunni and shi'i.
The MCB has always been willing to discuss issues with those in government. However, we are an independent body and have always reserved the right to reflect British Muslim concerns and criticise some of the government's actions where appropriate.
You may wish to enquire if those 'more representative' Muslim groups have ever done the same. We would humbly suggest that the answer may well tell you something about just how representative they really are.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,
Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330,