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October 04, 2001
Prosecute Thatcher for incitement, says Muslim News
Former Prime Minister Lady Thatcher should be prosecuted for her “inflammatory and irresponsible remarks against Muslims,” The Muslim News said Thursday.
“We hope that Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens stretches existing laws on the incitement of racial hatred to include Lady Thatcher,” editor Ahmed Versi said. Her remarks were “deliberate and provocative at such a sensitive time,” he said.
In an interview with The Times, published Thursday, the former Prime Minister claimed that she had “not heard enough condemnation from Muslim priests” for the September 11 attacks in the US. She further criticised Muslims for not saying the terrorist atrocities “was not the way of Islam.”
“It is difficult to believe that Lady Thatcher, in her position, was not aware of extent of instant condemnations expressed by Muslim leaders and Islamic organisations not only in British but by virtually every Muslim country,” The Muslim News editor said. “Prime Minister Tony Blair and several of his senior cabinet colleague on several occasions welcomed the numerous statements voiced and expressions of condolences,” he said. The extent of condemnations were also highlighted in last month’s The Muslim News in its headline story on the “Outpouring of Muslim Grief.”
Versi also questioned the timing of Lady Thatcher’s outburst, which coincided with Home Secretary David Blunkett announcing plans to extend the country’s race relations legislation to include the incitement of religious hatred. “She must be well aware that Muslims are not protected under current laws. Sir John Stevens admitted as much last week, when he acknowledged that it would be difficult to prosecute the backlash of abuse suffered by Muslim since last month’s attacks in the US,” he said.
“Her remarks were not only Islamophobic, but inflammatory and deliberately timed and we hope that the Met Police Commissioner sends her case to the Crown Prosecution Service for action. She should not be allowed to feed the flames against Muslims at a time when the Government and community leaders are trying to restore calm just because she was prime minister,” The Muslim News editor said.
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