27th July 2007
Mr Paul Goodman MP
Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA
Dear Mr Goodman
Firstly, I would like to congratulate you in your recent appointment as Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government. I wish you well in your work to ensure a more cohesive and united Britain.
Unfortunately, after reading your letter to the Daily Telegraph, I am afraid there is much to do. I would like the opportunity to meet and discuss this and dispel any misunderstandings you may have of the MCB.
Of course, you may be reticent given your claim that we are supposedly "soft on separatism." It is becoming a popular sport to cast aspersions on our patriotism and bypass our work on tackling extremism and ensuring British Muslims are part and parcel of our democratic society.
Perhaps you are not aware of (amongst others) our work to make British mosques accessible to all, or our voter participation campaigns that have drawn the ire of many an extremist.
To prove your point, your letter reproduces the misrepresentation of my comments on the media treatment of British Muslims. On 7 September 2006 the Sunday Telegraph, wrongly attributed the following statement to me: 'Britain will have to deal with 2 million Muslim terrorists, 700,000 in London.'
What I actually said was 'sections of the British media should not treat as terrorists all of the two million British Muslims, of whom 700,000 reside in London.' My letter - which was printed in the 14 Sept 2006 edition of the Sunday Telegraph can still be read on the MCB website at:
Nevertheless, we are not bitter. We still hold true to our commitment to seek the common good and extend our hand of co-operation to work together on this matter. Anything less would betray our founding values.
I look forward to meeting with you in due course.
Mr Muhammad Abdul Bari,
Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330,
The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP