Muslim leaders have accused Prime Minister David Cameron and his Cabinet colleague Eric Pickles of adopting the mindset of the far-right by suggesting followers of Islam must prove their “British identity”.
In an open letter to Downing Street provided to The Independent, one leading campaigner said Muslims had been left feeling their loyalty to Britain was permanently in question after Mr. Pickles wrote to imams asking that they underline being a British Muslim involves being “proud of your faith and proud of your country”.
Mr. Cameron was accused of pouring fuel on the fire when he defended his Communities Secretary by saying the letter sent to 1,000 clerics and other Muslim leaders had been “reasonable, sensible and moderate”. The Prime Minister suggested anyone who disagreed with it “really has a problem”.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the inter-faith Ramadhan Foundation, told The Independent that it was wrong to appear to question the commitment of British Muslims when he and others combating extremism had been put on an Islamist death list precisely for speaking out against radicalisers.
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