British Muslims reject Tony BlairThe following Petition to the UK media was created by and written by Bilal Patel (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To: UK media
On Tuesday 19 July, the Prime Minister Tony Blair will meet with self-appointed leaders and representatives from various Muslim communities in order to discuss and tackle what he calls the 'evil' within these communities. We the undersigned, as Muslims in Britain, totally reject this approach and will take no part in it. We believe that the conduct of the Prime Minister is part of the problem and not the solution. Unelected community leaders who associate themselves with the Prime Minister will also been seen as part of the problem.
Our communities reject any lessons on morality or evil from politicians and commentators who make constant excuses for the tens of thousands of Muslims killed in Iraq and the continuing violence in that country as a result of the American-led invasion supported by Britain.
It is a mark of the Prime Minister's double standards that our communities are asked to account for bombs which killed 70 people in London, and yet are asked to turn a blind eye to the huge number of fellow Muslims killed in Iraq when he led this country into that disaster. Unlike the Prime Minister, we say unequivocally that the bombs which ended innocent Iraqi lives and which he is responsible for, are every bit as evil as the bombs which exploded in London.
Just like the Prime Minister, Muslims too say that we stand shoulder to shoulder with others, and that an attack on one country is an attack on us all. In Islam, Muslims are all part of one worldwide community (Ummah). We believe that an unwarranted attack on Iraq was an attack on all Muslims.
Neither do we believe that the Prime Minister has the remotest interest in pursuing a solution to prevent further terror attacks. He ignored a recent Home and Foreign Office report which stated an increased likehood of a terror attack because of policies pursued by this government in Iraq. Any discussion on finding a solution for preventing terror attacks must therefore include an acknowledgement that Iraq is an issue. The Prime Minister refuses to make such an acknowledgement.
Further, we believe that the government is actively discouraging dialogue with young Muslims in particular, which is something that could prevent future attacks. Progress can only come from open and honest discussion and debate of all views without rejecting them as moderate or extreme. However, the government has already alienated a large section of the population through existing anti-terror legislation. By trying to further silence genuine grievances through tougher legislation, the government is causing more problems. Exclusion is not the answer.
Lastly, unelected Muslim leaders have comprehensively failed to represent the interests of their communities, or to articulate the real anger and frustration of Muslims in Britain today. It is utterly contemptible that not a single community leader has challenged the hypocrisy of politicians who sanctimoniously preach about good and evil, even as the rest of us have to suffer as a result of their policies. These unelected leaders are not representative of the communities and neither will they be seen as such. Therefore individual Muslims must now take the initiative and argue their case without apology. Muslims should not be afraid of stating that the continuing British support of the American led 'war on terror' has made has made her an enemy of those who previously saw her as a friend.
The aim of Tony Blair is to deflect criticism from his policies at this crucial time. He will not succeed. We shall and will continue to remind the truth that the disaster which befell London recently is in no small part due to him. He is part of the problem and he should be held to account for it.