We, the British Muslim community, are a rich mosaic bound by the universality of our faith. We have diverse origins, cultures and schools of thought which all strengthen our communities.
We are united in the belief that our faith, along with other faiths, can be a force for good for Britain. As British Muslims we reaffirm our conviction in the British values of fair play and the rule of law and we see no incompatibility in these principles with Islam whose fundamental tenets include the pursuit of social justice. The values of fair play should apply when actions of a tiny minority amongst us are used to judge and condemn us as communities and as a faith.
We do not seek parallel legal systems, nor do we aim to enforce on anyone any particular code or way of life. But we do expect a fair discourse free from the current shrill hysteria screaming of impending doom from invading hordes.
Notwithstanding the barrage of hysteria and demonisation; despite the innuendo of disloyalty that bedevils our leaders and our institutions, and even though our media and public officials happily marginalise our faith and community, we are determined to redouble our efforts and seek the common good and reaffirm that we are equal citizens.
As many of our opinion-formers have now have proven to be incapable of creating a positive discourse, it is down to us, at grassroots level, to dispel the misconceptions, the hatred and the divisive extremism both against as well as amongst Muslims.
We urge all fellow British Muslims to reach out and create positive connections with neighbours and friends. We remind ourselves that with rights comes responsibilities and that we remain at all times accountable to God for our thoughts as well as deeds.
Issued by the Muslim Council of Britain, the British Muslim Forum and a coalition of Muslim and concerned organisations.