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UK: UK ‘moral vocation’ to maintain reputation of compassion, says Clegg


By Ahmed J Versi & Hamed Chapman

London, (The Muslim News):

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has expressed his admiration of Muslim generosity and compassion during the fasting month of Ramadan as an “example to all,” particularly in responding to Pakistan’s worst-ever floods.

Clegg suggested that it may be because “so much of the misery is difficult to see on our television screens” why the world was not yet responding with urgency to the disaster afflicted 20 million or a third of Pakistan’s population.

“I am full of adoration for Islamic Relief because the call is one that so uniquely captured the spirit with which you all acted in great urgency and compassion in so many places around the world of this country,” he said in a speech to the charity on Monday evening.

International aid agencies have also expressed concern about the unbalanced response to the UN aid appeal, which comes after Prime Minister David Cameron accused Pakistan of exporting terrorism.

Clegg, who is currently deputising for Cameron while on holiday, insisted that Britain “will be doing our bit as a government to support you and your work and also to encourage others to follow your example.”

“It is also important to represent you and to represent our country at the Millennium Development Goals summit in New York in September,” he said.

“If we do not help the poorest and wretched wherever they find themselves, the consequences are what we all have to live with. Whether its deprivation of the environment, whether it’s mass displacement of people, whether it’s conflict or extremism.”

“We have a moral vocation to maintain our reputation as a country of compassion and commitment to the cause of development one which you at Islamic Relief has done so well and it is in our interest to do so now and in the future,” the deputy premier said.

He said “the rich world collectedly has a duty to show the promises that the promises we have made will not be forgotten at a time when we have plenty of domestic issues to deal with.”

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