MP Shabana Mahmood hits back at David Cameron: “British Muslims can’t stop extremism”

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SHAFAQNA – After the Prime Minister warned that extremist ideas were “condoned” in parts of the British Muslim community, Birmingham MP Shabana Mahmood tells him Muslims “have no more knowledge and ability to step up to the plate” than anyone else.

A Birmingham MP has urged the Prime Minister to stop demanding that ordinary British Muslims condemn extremism.

British Muslims are no more able to confront extremism than anyone else, said Ladywood MP Shabana Mahmood.

She spoke out in the House of Commons to condemn the “horrific” murders in Tunisia, in which 18 Britons are so far believed to have died.

And she warned David Cameron that he was wrong to insist British Muslims must “step up” and condemn extremism.

But the Prime Minister insisted there were some Muslims who did not advocate violence, but did express opinions which might encourage violence, such as a view that Muslims and Christians could not live in peace together.

It followed a speech on June 19 in which he said that some young Muslims in Britain were exposed to an extremist view of the world “that is quietly condoned online, or perhaps even in parts of your local community.”

Ms Mahmood (Lab) spoke out after the Prime Minister delivered a statement to the Commons about the murders. She said: “The thrust of the Prime Minister’s comments today and last week is that as part of the dealing with symptoms and causes, British Muslims must step up and call out those who are silently condoning extremist ideologies.

“But will the Prime Minister agree that most ordinary British Muslims, of which I count myself as one, have no more knowledge and ability to step up to the plate and call out in this way than any other ordinary British person?

“And would he further agree that it will be from an acceptance of our combined lack of understanding of where this plate is that we all need to step up to that we can better work together to find a solution?”

Mr Cameron said: “The answer I would give is to say actually British Muslims, Imams, mosques, community centres, Muslims in our communities, they are stepping up and saying that they condemn utterly what ISIL does, and saying it is not in their name.”

But he added: “The second point I would make is that I think we’d make a mistake if we just say it is those that support violence that we need to confront.

“There are some people and some organisations, and frankly we know who these organisations are, who go along with some of the narrative.

“Who think a caliphate may not be such a bad idea, that actually Christians and Muslims can’t really live together, that actually democracy is inferior to some other type of system . . . I think those people we must call out too.

“Because I want us to have an appeal to young British Muslims actually about what this country can be for them.

“I think this is a great multi-racial democracy and a country of opportunity,

“So we must also raise our game and make this a society that people want to integrate into.”

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