Warsi raps Cameron, MCB

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi during an official engagement as foreign office minister

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said Cameron is undermining the efforts to stem extremism and the MCB is not reflecting the views of the Brtiish Muslims…reports Asian Lite News

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi during an official engagement as foreign office minister
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi during an official engagement as foreign office minister

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the former chairperson of the Conservative party, said Prime Minister David Cameron wrong to target British Muslims over radicalisation, the Guardian reported.

She also criticised the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the largest Muslim forum in Britain, for “continuing to produce a leadership that is neither equipped to represent, nor is genuinely reflective of, the contemporary aspirations of large sections of British Muslim communities”.

Warsi quit the post as Foreign Office minister over Cameron’s failure to condemn Israel’s military actions in Gaza as disproportionate. She was the first Muslim to sit in the cabinet when she was made Conservative party co-chair by Cameron after the 2010 general election. She was subsequently moved to the post of minister of state at the Foreign Office and minister for faith and communities in the 2012 reshuffle.

Lady Warsi says prime minister’s focus on ‘some’ Muslims who condone extremism will demoralise those already fighting Isis threat.

“Cameron is at risk of demoralising British Muslims with his “misguided emphasis” on saying that some people in the community are quietly condoning Islamist extremism,” Lady Warsi said in an article in the Guardian.

She said the prime minister may have further alienated Muslims with a speech about tackling radicalisation.

She warned that Cameron and ministers lacked the credibility to demand that British Muslims do more to weed out extremism when the government was itself failing to adequately champion and support them – although she said she did support the prime minister’s anti-extremist intention.

Criticising Cameron’s heavy focus on “Muslim community complicity”, Lady Warsi wrote:“My concern is that this call to Muslims to do more, without an understanding of what they already do now, will demoralise the very people who will continue to lead this fight. As one prominent female Muslim activist told me: ‘This speech has undermined what I’ve been doing.’

Saeeda Warsi during a visit to Afghanistan
Saeeda Warsi during a visit to Afghanistan

“David Cameron is right that there are ‘some’ – a minority within a minority within a minority – who condone the Isis view of the world, but there are many, many, many more of this minority who are fighting a very real and sustained battle, the same battle he is fighting. They know they have to do more, they are willing to do more but they will do it a lot better knowing we are on the same side.

“The government needs to champion them, support them. Only then will it

have the credibility to demand that communities themselves do more.”

Warsi said Cameron’s own advisers should have been aware of how the intervention “with its misguided emphasis and call to action, would at best fall on deaf ears, at worst further alienate”.

Warsi, who, as party co-chair, led the Conservative effort to attract more ethnic-minority voters, also criticised Cameron for deciding to make the speech in Bratislava rather than Bradford or Birmingham.

She said Cameron was right to say Isis posed a massive threat – one of the biggest Britain faces today – but added: “What concerns me about the prime minister’s speech is his emphasis on one aspect of the challenge while overlooking all the other aspects of the problem.

“He has apparently decided to focus on the idea that ‘some’ in our Muslim communities condone the activities of Isis and ‘perhaps’ encourage young people to take the ruinous path of joining the terrorists.

“Although he rightly said there are ‘many reasons’ why young people become radicalised and then take the next step towards acting on those warped beliefs, his speech focused only on the notion of Muslim community complicity. Friday’s newspapers were also heavily briefed to that effect ahead of the speech.”