Letters to NABA

Subject: ISLAM NEEDS TO BE MODERNISED - received 24 March 2006

The case of Shabina Begum makes Islam look barbaric and non-Muslims hate Muslims.  They would of course also resent it wasted at least £100,000 in legal costs to taxpayers.  Your organisation should have tried to stop her from taking this silly step but you did not.  It implies that you were in favour  of her action.   Whereas Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia does not allow the building of any religious institution like a church or temple to be built there, Muslims in western and non-Islamic countries always demand mosques and separate state-funded Muslim schools to be built there.   Is it fair?
In the Koran there are many verses where Muslims are urged to kill non-Muslims. These passages should be removed from it, otherwise Islam will be regarded as a barbaric religion and even I would agree with that view.
Salma Janmohamed

NABA Reply

Thank you for your email which raised some very fair points for discussion.
We have not become involved in this case because we are primarily a secular organisation that 
works with governmental and non-governmental agencies for civil rights, discrimination and for the recognition of Arabs in the UK.  This may sound contradictory after we issued a statement on the case of the Danish cartoons; however that statement reflected what we felt was a case of double standards in the European media, which we understand from our discussions with European writers, are in some cases being fuelled by their media and in other cases by xenophobia.  The same cartoons were not reproduced by the British media.  In addition we did condemn the behaviour and attitude of the demonstrators who marched in London and stated that their messages were unacceptable.
As I have said previously, it is a very fair point that you have raised and I would be happy to put it to our Council members for further discussion if you wish as religious issues do not fall within our remit.

Spokesman for the MCB

Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Great Britain, has openly priased Osama Bin Laden in the past.  He has called one of the men jailed in connection with the first attack on the Twin Towers, Sheikh Omar Abdu Rahman, "courageous" and he regularly abuses high profile jews.
Fatima Gulmohamed

NABA reply

Thank you for your email and the points you raise.  We are essentially a secular organisation and have no links to the Muslim Council of Britain.  Our work is with governmental and non-governmental organisations and is aimed at civil rights, discrimination and the recognition of Arabs and their role in the UK, although this has not been helped by the stance taken by the CRE of recognising only religious groups and marginalising others.  
We believe that the issue you raise, which is very valid, should be addressed by the Muslim organisations such as the Muslim Association of Britain or the European Federation of Muslim 
Organisations (President is Dr Ahmed Al Rawi).  However, we would agree that in the current 
politico-religious climate, both in the UK and worldwide, there is a desperate need for bridge 
building between all communities to repair the enormous damage done in the name of religion on all sides.