08 FEB 2011 CMF Statement regarding David Cameron’s speech at the Munich Security Conference

The CMF Executive encourages all members, supporters and the general public to read for themselves the full text of Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech delivered on Saturday 5 February 2011 at the Munich Security Conference which is available at this link.

We congratulate the Prime Minister for reminding people that terrorism has many sources. As he said:

“It is important to stress that terrorism is not linked exclusively to any one religion or ethnic group. My country, the United Kingdom, still faces threats from dissident republicans in Northern Ireland. Anarchist attacks have occurred recently in Greece and in Italy, and of course, yourselves in Germany were long scarred by terrorism from the Red Army Faction.”

We concur with his statement that sadly the greatest terrorist threat that we face today comes “from young men who follow a completely perverse, warped interpretation of Islam, and who are prepared to blow themselves up and kill their fellow citizens.” Such people have brought death and destruction not just to the UK, but also to countries such as Pakistan with many attacks on innocent worshippers.

We congratulate the Prime Minister on drawing a clear distinction between Islam and the ideology that motivates such terrorists, which he refers to as “Islamist extremism.”

“… we need to be absolutely clear on where the origins of where these terrorist attacks lie. That is the existence of an ideology, Islamist extremism. We should be equally clear what we mean by this term, and we must distinguish it from Islam. Islam is a religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people. Islamist extremism is a political ideology supported by a minority.”

The Prime Minister went on to criticise “state multiculturalism.” Many have misunderstood his remarks as an attack on cultural diversity, which it is not. While the Munich speech did not give time to elaborate on “state multiculturalism”, David Cameron explained what he meant by this concept in a speech given three years ago on 26 February 2008. That can be read in full at this link and contains a simple short explanation of “state multiculturalism” as “More generally, it means treating groups of people as monolithic blocks rather than individual citizens.”

In Munich, the Prime Minister listed certain values as being typically British: “Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.” These are values which should resonate with all British Muslims as we build our shared futures together with all of our countrymen.

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The Conservative Muslim Forum was founded by Lord Sheikh in 2005. All of its members are full members of the Conservative Party.