The emergence of the Conservative Muslim Caliphate
The Conservative Muslim Forum, a body established by Michael Howard and supported by David Cameron to advise the Conservatives on Muslim issues, has articulated some of its policy demands. In summary: Iran has a right to nuclear weapons, the Party should cease its support for Israel, a compulsory history curriculum in schools should give ‘full recognition to the massive contribution that Islam has made to the development of Western civilisation’, and preachers who advocate a rejection of democracy and its institutions should not be denied entry into Britain. They even support al-Qaradawi’s message of ‘gay-hate’.
Are these Muslims really Conservatives, or are they plants intent on subversively undermining the Party’s liberal foundations and Judaeo-Christian heritage?
By giving Iran nuclear weapons, they facilitate President Ahmadinejad’s desire to ‘wipe Israel off the map’. By juxtaposing Iran and Israel, they suggest moral equivalence, yet one is a democratic nation which recognises the rights of minorities; the other is a barbarous totalitarian theocracy which executes women and children. By allowing them input into the history curriculum, they will be able to brainwash children with the ‘massive contribution’ Islam has made to Western civilisation, when in reality it could be summed up in a few lines (if not two words). By defending Iran, they give succour to Holocaust-deniers. And by advocating the admission of Muslim preachers who wish to destroy British democracy, they fuel the flames of the Islamist agenda and offer them the Conservative brand in support of a totalitarian Shari’a system. The rights and liberties of the British people are inalienable, and the Conservative Party above all parties should stand in their defence.
Here was an opportunity for Conservative ‘moderate’ Muslims to distance themselves from their ‘extremist’ co-religionists, yet they have done no such thing. Instead, they challenge the Party Leader, repudiate Conservative policy, undermine the FCO, and assert that their way is the only ‘sensible’ way. And further, they demand censorship:
‘We accept that some terrorists do abuse Islam for their purposes. However, an incoming Conservative administration must deny their attempt to link criminal acts to any religion. The term ‘terrorism’ must be separated from any religious references. We reiterate that the Conservative Party should not explicitly or implicitly link terrorism with Islam as, similar to other major religions, Islam forbids terrorism.’
What of the Muslim voice which perceives the link between terrorism and Islam? What of the Muslim voice which opposes Iran? What of the Muslim voice which supports the existence of Israel? What of the Muslim voice which does not want to see homosexuals summarily executed? The Conservative Muslim Forum is acting like a Muslim Conservative Caliphate. It will be a source of great rejoicing that Sayeeda Warsi, the unelected Shadow Cabinet Spokesperson for Community Cohesion, sits at the right hand of the Leader to further their cause. But in reality there are many Conservative Muslims who find a natural home in the Party and would view the proposals of this Forum with extreme distaste.
The Forum works out of the Conservative headquarters in London, and is thereby financially subsidised by the Party. It is chaired by Lord Sheikh, a party donor who was given a peerage last year. His wife works in Tory HQ, and appears tolerant of her husband’s adultery. That is no reason, however, for the Conservative Party to be tolerant of his hypocrisy.
The Conservative Muslim Forum holds itself apart from those same Conservatives with whom they wish to convey ‘shared values’, and they also hold themselves apart and separate from British democracy and Western civilisation.
Yet it should not be for Cranmer to respond to this, but the Conservative Christian Fellowship, which is also similarly accommodated and equally subsidised. The problem is, unlike its Muslim counterpart, it is congenial and diplomatic. It is therefore perceived to lack teeth. If it cannot bite, and will not bark, the Conservative Muslim Forum is free to advance its reactionary, anti-Semitic and homophobic cause - all at the Conservative Party’s expense, electorally and financially.
UPDATE (9 Nov 2007)
The former director of the Conservative Christian Fellowship has written an open letter to the Chairman of the Conservative Party, posted on ConservativeHome:
Has CCHQ taken all necessary measures to ensure the Conservative Muslim Forum cannot be infiltrated?
You will be aware of the recent controversy caused by the Conservative Muslim Forum's response to Pauline Neville-Jones' national security report, 'An Unquiet World'. The CMF, which is headquartered at CCHQ and uses the party's logo, took issue with a number of The Unquiet World's conclusions. You will remember that it opposed the proposal that preachers who campaign against our nation's democratic institutions be refused entry to Britain. It also called for full engagement with the MCB, an organisation that Baroness Neville-Jones said "uses identity politics to pursue a domestic and international policy agenda sympathetic to Islamists.”
It is, of course, vital that free speech flourishes within the Conservative Party but I would value your reassurance as to what steps have been taken to ensure that the CMF has not been - and cannot be - infiltrated by groups or individuals with hostile agendas. Given its privileged place inside Conservative HQ I hope you agree that these are reasonable concerns.
I understand that Lord Sheikh is Chairman of the CMF but does the Forum have a governing board? If so, who sits on the CMF's board?
How often does the CMF meet?
Are any of its meetings minuted? Who has access to those minutes, if they exist?
Is it a democratic body?
Who exactly wrote the CMF's recent paper and its criticisms of the policy group report?
Is the CMF part-sponsored by Conservative Party funds? Who, for example, pays for its website?
Do you know if its leading players are attached to some of the groups that Baroness Neville-Jones has criticised?
Thank you for your time.
I will be publishing this letter on ConservativeHome.