US Embassador hosts iftaar party

  • From: "" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <news@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 00:44:33 -0000

Britain: Uncle Toms dine with Uncle Sam

      Leaders of Britain?s Muslim community have drawn searing criticism
for attending an iftar party hosted by the US embassy in London, just as
Washington prepares to launch phase two of its crusade with a new war
against Iraq.

      The event, which was put on earlier this month by the US
ambassador, Mr William Parish, at his swanky residence the capital,
attracted some 70 guests. Among them were some of the most high-profile
figures in the nation? s 2.5million strong Muslim community.

      The US embassy said the participants were drawn from a broad
cross-section of the "Muslim and diplomatic community" but refused to
supply the full guest list. However Ummahnews has learned that among the
guests were Iqbal Sacranie, the secretary general of the Muslim Council
of Britain, the Labour parliamentarians, Khalid Mahmood, Lord Ahmed of
Rotherham and Baroness Uddin.

      Also in attendance were Yusuf al-Khoei from the Ithna Ashari
community, Imam Sajid of the Sussex Muslim Society, Dr Zaki Badawi of
London ?s Muslim College, and Ahmed Versi, editor of the Muslim News.

      Last week, Muslim groups in the US attended a similar reception
hosted by President George Bush in the White House.

      A spokesman for the US embassy said the aim of these events was to
"demonstrate the country?s respect for Muslims great traditions of

      But the fact that the event was the first of its kind in Britain
has led others to view it as a public relations exercise to counter the
widespread perception that the US-led war on terror is actually a war
against Islam. The attendance of leading Muslims will also be seen as a
slight by those who are taking part in the biggest ever Muslim boycott
of US companies as a gesture of defiance, particularly over Washington?s
stand on Palestine.

      Explaining his decision to go Mr Sacranie, who gave a speech at
the reception, said: "Whenever we receive an invitation from an embassy
to attend functions like these or we respond in the normal way. They
give us an opportunity to meet people, gives a chance to interact, and
to convey our message"

      But it has also emerged that Mr Sacranie was warned against
participating by at least one member of his own organisaton. Inayat
Bunglawala, chair of the MCB?s media committee, said he had advised
against the attendance of a senior delegate.

      "I was one of those consulted about whether the MCB should take up
the invitation to the iftar. I advised that the Secretary general should
not attend personally as it could cause offence to Muslims in the UK but
we should send someone less senior just to convey the opposition of UK
Muslims to any strike on Iraq. This is a Qur'anic principle - even Moses
was forced to go to the Pharaoh to urge him to repent even though Moses
believed it to be a lost cause!"

      News of the event only came out this week through leaks since none
of the participants have publicised the meeting, a strange omission for
people whose invitations was purportedly based on their status as
?representatives? of the Muslim community.

      Yusuf al-Khoei, a native Iraqi who heads the al-Khoei Foundation
said the meeting was not controversial since it was an apolitical event.

      "A lot of western embassies are doing now inviting Muslims for
iftar, it?s not supposed to be a political event."

      "They have to respect us, it?s a kind of recognition of our faith,
It wasn?t like a stage managed thing. The idea is not a bad one. I hope
its nothing to do with Iraq, I hope it won?t be just limited to this
year and will be an annual event because we have to have a

      However, the reasons have not washed among the rank and file of
the Muslim community.

      But Jahangir Mohammed, director for the Manchester-based Centre
for Muslim Affairs, said: "These people are confused. They don?t know
right from
wrong. On the one hand they?re asking people to boycott America but they
themselves are dining at the embassy and eating at their table."

      "And its particularly insulting in Ramadan when you?re supposed to
get closer to Allah that they are drawing closer to America.. Right now
the Muslim community needs a policy of active non-cooperation with US
and British politicians," he added.

      Dr Muhammad al-Masari of the Committee for the Defence of
Legitimate Rights in London said: "Any such invitation should have been
rejected out of
hand. The US is at war with Muslims and these leaders? presence merely
gives legitimacy to their war. The Muslim position should be one of
active and
enduring opposition."

You can choose whether you prefer to receive regular emails or a weekly digest 
by visiting


You can subscribe by sending an email to request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
"subscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line, or by visiting

You can unsubscribe by sending an email to request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the 
word "unsubscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line, or by visiting

You are welcome to submit any relevant news story to submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

For regular Islamic cultural articles by email, send email to 

Other related posts:

  • » US Embassador hosts iftaar party