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On Trade Unions and Islamic organisations

This Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain statement is regarding the April 2007 joint seminar by the Trade Union Congress and the Muslim Council of Britain entitled Trade Unions and the Muslim Community:

Few of the ordinary people who are identified in Britain as ‘Muslim’ are represented by the Muslim Council of Britain; they are in fact secular and want religion and the state to be kept separate.

For British Trade Unions – that have an outstanding record of fighting for justice and fairness, defending free speech, fighting for workers’ right and defeating the Far Right – to engage with and give credibility to a right wing organisation such as the Muslim Council of Britain is unfortunate and mistaken. The MCB draws inspiration from the neo-fascist Jammaat-e-Islami. British Trade Unions have pioneered the struggle for equality, diversity and the rights of women and LGBT members. The Muslim Council of Britain has, for example, openly declared that gay and lesbians are unacceptable and harmful and maintained the discrimination against millions of women by the imposition of sexual apartheid and the veil.

For British Trade Unions to link to such right-wing Islamic groups is to betray the memory of Trade Unionists across the world who have died in the struggle against political Islam and the struggle for political and trade union freedoms British workers have fought for over centuries.

British Trade Unions should approach British ‘Muslims’ as fellow workers and encourage them to fully participate and integrate with other workers in Britain . It is a mistake to give credence to self-styled and self-appointed leaders of reactionary religious organisations.

We appeal to UNISON, Unite, SERTUC and other Trade Unions in the UK to maintain their heritage of secular and progressive thinking and not link to stereotypes of medievalism.

One law for all

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain notes with concern the Islamist campaign to give legal weight to Sharia law within British law. The campaign seeks to influence family and legal practitioners into dealing with particularly children of Muslim parents in accordance with Sharia law.

Universal principles and laws must apply to all, and practitioners must understand that no section of the population should come under the jurisdiction of religious laws under the guise of multiculturalism and legal pluralism. It is discriminatory and unfair to have different and separate standards and norms for ‘different’ people. Children in particular must be given full protection, rights, and equality.

Priority must be given to the welfare of children not religion.

A healthy society cannot privilege religious belief

British Universities have a public duty to immediately terminate the studies of any medical students refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases. If a medic is not competent to deal with such diseases then there can be no question of that person ever becoming a doctor; it follows therefore that there is no point in training doctors with such critical gaps in their knowledge.

A healthy society cannot privilege religious belief. We do not allow vegetarian medics to turn their backs on mad-cow disease, or non-smokers on emphysema. This is an Islamist campaign to push boundaries, to undermine civil society and the universal right to health care and to discriminate on the basis of religion. It must be met with zero tolerance.

The General Medical Council and the British Medical Association should make clear that those who put their own personal beliefs before the health of patients and the public have no place in the medical profession.

Support Early Day Motion in favour of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain!

6 MPs have called on UK MPs to support the following Early Day Motion in
favour of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. You can help getting more
MPs on board by doing the following:

  1. Write to your MP, identifying and quoting the motion and ideally offering
    arguments in favour of it. If you don’t know who your MP is or how to
    contact them, visit http://www.parliament.uk /people.
  2. If your MP has already signed, congratulate them.
  3. Government ministers don’t sign EDMs. If your MP is a minister, ask them
    what the Government are doing about the matter. You may be more likely to
    elicit a response by asking more specific questions.
  4. If your MP hasn’t signed and isn’t a minister, urge them to sign.
  5. Encourage others to follow the same steps.

UK members please consider supporting the following House of Commons
Early Day Motion:

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi /EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=33607

EDM 1770
Challen, Colin

That this House supports the human right to freedom of religion or
belief, including the right to change one’s religion and welcomes
the launch on 21st June of the Council for ex-Muslims of Britain,
an organisation dedicated to speaking up for the rights of those
raised as Muslim but who have now left that religion.

Signatures (6)

Challen, Colin
Bottomley, Peter
Conway, Derek
Jones, Lynne
Drew, David
Cryer, Ann

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