Conservative Muslim Forum


Conservative Muslim Forum

The Conservative Muslim Forum is a group within the British Conservative Party. It aims to increase Conservative Party's knowledge and comprehension of issues and circumstances that have particular relevance to Muslim communities and develop suitable responses. It also seeks to increase support for the Conservative Party within the Muslim community. Anyone who is eligible to vote in British general or local elections regardless of race, colour or creed may become a member of the Conservative Muslim Forum. It will however be necessary for a person applying for membership of the Conservative Muslim Forum to be an existing member of the Conservative Party or apply for such membership simultaneously.[1]

Lord Sheikh (Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh) is Chairman of Conservative Muslim Forum. Members of the Executive Committee are listed on the Conservative Muslim Forum website. [2]

Contents

Objectives

The Conservative Muslim Forum's objectives, as set out on its website [3] are:

  1. Engage with Muslims of all persuasions and encourage them to participate in political life at all levels, from grassroots to Parliament.
  2. Engage with Muslims and all other communities and encourage them to support and vote for the Conservative Party.
  3. Undertake campaigning for the Conservative Party at elections and other times.
  4. Encourage Muslims to make effective and positive contributions to the development of an inclusive and cohesive society in the United Kingdom.
  5. Work to maintain and build bridges with all communities and religions within the United Kingdom.
  6. Strive to maintain unity, brotherhood, tolerance and goodwill between all persuasions of Muslims and with the wider community and strengthen its social and cultural heritage.
  7. Collate factual information on issues and circumstances relevant to Muslims of all persuasions in the UK.
  8. Create an enabling environment to influence policy development from within the Conservative Party and safeguard the interests of Muslims.
  9. Strive to improve the quality of life of all Muslims through addressing issues including health, education, women's issues, disability, integration and mentorship of prospective Parliamentary and other candidates within the Conservative Party's wider objectives.

Criticism

The Conservative Muslim Forum wants the history curriculum taught in schools to be changed to give “full recognition to the massive contribution that Islam has made to the development of Western civilisation”.

It also argues that Muslim preachers who advocate a rejection of democracy and its institutions should not be denied entry into Britain.[4]

The organisation claim that British relations with Israel could "damage Britain’s relationships with 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, including those in Britain.” and calls on the party to be more sympathetic towards Iran's nuclear ambitions.[5]

Melanie Philips, a Jewish columnist for the Daily Mail and Spectator magazine, and a strong promoter of Israeli use of force against Muslims in Palestine, has said of its report An Unquiet World: A Response, that, "The recent paper written for the Tories by the Conservative Muslim Forum is a deeply troubling document. Set up to provide a dialogue with Britain’s Muslims and advise on tackling Islamist extremism, the group merely demonstrated depressingly that it shares many of the culturally belligerent attitudes driving that extremism."[1]

Nile Gardiner, a strong defender of Israel, in the National Review Online criticized the same report, suggesting that it "openly appeases Islamic radicalism." Gardiner said in the same article that, "The establishment of the Conservative Muslim Forum is a dangerous flirtation with Islamic extremism that should be brought to an end"[2]

A. Millar in The Brussels Journal has remarked, "A radical form of Islam is on the rise in Britain. It is facilitated by sharia courts, and, in my personal opinion, by the Conservative Muslim Forum."[3]

References

External links


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