British Muslims For Secular Democracy To Protest Against Anjum Chaudhry
I think this is a fantastic group that has been set up down south and a similar group could be formed in Scotland. This is a simple template that could be set up in Scotland in order to stop sensationalism in the right-wing press, such as the Daily Ranger and the Scum. It would also make the likes of the SDL seem un-needed. It is Musims who shape sharia and it is citizens who shape the law. The BMSD do state that they are proud tobe British citizens, but I'd rather see myself as a Scot.
British Muslims for Secular Democracy (bmsd) reaction to Islam4UK's planned Sharia law demonstration
British Muslims for Secular Democracy is alarmed by reports that the radical group Islam4UK has launched a campaign to advance the full implementation of Sharia law in the UK. The group - which is headed by former Al-Muhajiroun UK leader Anjem Choudary - has updated its website with details of a rally to take place on 31st October 2009, featuring inflammatory headings such as, "Trafalgar Square under the Sharia."
bmsd believes that this protest will only serve to further exacerbate racial and religious tensions. It is vital to note that:
- Groups such as Islam4UK are in no way representative of British Muslim opinion, and it is irresponsible for the right-wing press to conflate the aims and ideologies of extremist fringe groups with those of ordinary, patriotic British Muslims.
- There is no single overarching interpretation of Sharia law; the version that Islam4UK subscribe to appears to be heavily influenced by the Saudi Wahabi version that was practised by the Taliban.
- Islam4UK's plans to transform Trafalgar Square within 24 hours of establishing Sharia in the UK are offensive and hurtful - not only for non-Muslims, but also for Muslims who are proud of their country's history.
- The fact that Islam4UK's march coincides with the English Defence League protests alludes to ulterior motives, aimed at stoking the fears of the British public, who are already subjected to the mainstream media's gross exaggeration of the extremist elements within the Muslim community. bmsd are concerned that this demonstration - no matter how unrepresentative - will lend credence to the perception that Muslims wish to implement the full legal sanction of Sharia in the UK. This is not true: the vast majority of British Muslims are happy to live in a secular democracy, proud of their country's stance on tolerance and respect. We will counter any such moves to impose a regressive and twisted interpretation of our religion. This was highlighted in Cambridge University's October 2009 research report: "Contextualising Islam in Britain: Exploratory Perspectives."
- bmsd calls upon those who wish to counter-demonstrate to show restraint, not respond to provocation, and to ensure their voices are heard in a peaceful manner.
Dr Shaaz Mahboob of bmsd said: "We are particularly disturbed by this new group which appears to be nothing short of a new front for the likes of Hizb-ut-Tahrir and Al-Muhajiroon under the leadership of those who benefit from living in a secular democracy, yet oppose the very concept of liberty and freedom of expression. No matter how distasteful their views and arguments may be, we believe that they too retain the right to express their opinion. British Muslims are happy living under the British system of justice and governance. It is their responsibility to tackle them rationally within the norms of democratic decorum and civility."