BY SHIRAZ MAHER
Deceit and duplicity are the cornerstones of Gordon Brown’s government – an administration so long in the waiting that like the fruit of the medlar tree it went rotten before it was ripe. From Brown’s unchallenged ascension to the Premiership, to his persistent refusal to call an election, to the Damien McBride scandal, this is a government characterised by cowardice.
Yet, iniquity is not just Brown’s affliction. It is pervasive in his government.
It turns out that although the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) announced it was breaking ties with the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) after its Deputy Secretary General, Daud Abdullah, signed the Istanbul Declaration, the MCB was back and meeting ministers less than a month later.
A parliamentary question by Paul Goodman requesting details of all DCLG meetings with representatives of the MCB during the last twelve months brought this reply:
The former Communities Minister chaired a meeting of the Faith Communities Consultative Council on 11 November 2008 which was attended by a representative of the Muslim Council of Britain. My hon. Friend also held meetings with the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) Steering Group on 2 December 2008, 15 January 2009, 4 March, and 22 April 2009 which were attended by representatives of the Muslim Council of Britain. In addition my hon. Friend met representatives from the Muslim Council of Britain in a separate meeting on 2 December 2008.
* emphasis added
MINAB includes not only the MCB, but also the Muslim Association of Britain: the British franchise of Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood. Its Steering Group includes Al Rawi, who the Times exposed in 2004 as a supporter of military ‘resistance’ against British troops in Iraq. Just a few weeks before that meeting Hazel Blears had written on 25 March 2009, about her decision to suspend relations with the MCB explaining:
We will continue to challenge those who reject, or seek to undermine them [British values] and those who advocate violence against our troops and against particular communities.
What changed in the intervening 28 days?