14 September 2010

Extremist Muslims in Phil Woolas's Leaflets

You are probably aware that Phil Woolas is currently in court over allegedly lying about his Lib Dem opponent Elwyn Watkins in election leaflets delivered in Oldham East and Saddleworth just before the general election. One of the dubious claims made by Woolas was that Watkins was "wooing" Muslim extremists.

Phil Woolas specifically names the Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) as these extremists in the "Saddleworth and Oldham - The Examiner" leaflet which triggered the historic legal proceedings against him. Sure enough, MPACUK were openly campaigning for a vote for Watkins to defeat Woolas.

MPACUK have been praised for their work in getting British Muslims involved in mainstream politics and the promotion of women's rights within Islam. While MPACUK subscribe to jihad as a religious duty, they encourage this via democratic means rather than violence. The most extreme view that MPACUK promotes is anti-Zionism, which some argue has crossed the line into anti-Semitism. So it is arguable that MPACUK are extremists in this specific context.

This is the image from the Woolas "Saddleworth and Oldham - The Examiner" leaflet:

This image is not from an MPACUK demonstration. It is from the Danish cartoon demonstration organised by al Ghurabaa and The Saviour Sect in London on February 3rd, 2006. While MPACUK were against the publication of the cartoons, they equally condemned the militant protest, and called for those involved to be prosecuted.

So Woolas called MPACUK extremists, and illustrated Muslim extremists using an image from a extremist protest that MPACUK opposed. This is highly deceptive. It gives entirely the wrong impression of the Muslims who were campaigning against Woolas, or the Muslims that he asserted Watkins was wooing.


Anonymous said...

Did woolas provide any leaflets that mpac delivered that supported watkin? I have never seen any. I did see some anti woolas stuff on the website. But that's not really the same is it?

Duncan Stott said...

I also haven't seen any of the leaflets distributed by MPACUK.