The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) has issued a statement condemning the recent Stockholm car bombing while at the same time attempting to place blame for the radicalization of Muslim youth on “Islamophobes.” According to the MAB statement:
The Muslim Association of Britain strongly condemns the criminal terrorist bombing in Stockholm and proposes that the best way to uproot terrorism effectively is through a rigorous fight against Islamophobia. The Muslim Association of Britain strongly condemns the criminal terrorist bombing in Stockholm. Terrorism has hit again in Europe and European Muslims, in particular British Muslims, have been alarmed by the very unusual connection between Luton, Iraq and Sweden. The Muslim Association of Britain emphasises on the many lessons that all parties involved, must consider seriously: 1- Terrorism has been unabated in recent years, it has been operating as a global phenomena and that ‘Al-Qaeda’s discourse and ideas are still inspiring some Muslim individuals or groups, not only in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf and Somalia …., but also in Britain and Europe. 2-The increasing rise of far right and fascist groups such as the EDL targeting Islam and Muslims in addition to unjust wars, coupled with increasing demonization trends against the Muslim faith and Muslim figures, institutions and mainstream organisations by some sections of the media, and few so called ‘Think tanks’ in Britain and Europe. This has all been counterproductive and has promoted the case of the terrorist excuse used to convince the very few young Muslims. Therefore these ‘islamophobes’ have been providing the right ammunition to help Al Qaeda justify a corner stone of its propaganda: ‘in which the West perceives Islam and Muslims as the enemy’ and that strengthens the terrorists’ rationale, in order to recruit more and commit more crimes in Europe and the west. 3- It is imperative to be extremely sensitive when treating issues related to Islam and Muslims, so that we can work together to fight terrorism and Islamophobia as fighting islamophobia deprives the terrorists from the corner stone of their excuse. Finally, the Muslim Association of Britain calls upon a very serious and candid discussion amongst all the shareholders and the stakeholders to more efficiently combat the root causes of both terrorism and islamophobia in Britain and even in Europe.
The MAB describes itself as “a British organisation dedicated to serving society through promoting Islam in its spiritual teachings, ideological and civilising concepts, and moral and human values.” In fact, the MAB had for many years been the most active organization in the U.K Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the leaders of the MAB left in 2007 to form a new organization known as the British Muslim Initiative (BMI). According to sources in the U.K, the breakup appeared to be the result of a conflict between traditionalists in the MAB who were unhappy with the high level of involvement in U.K left-wing politics while those who who formed the BMI wished such activity to continue. Prior to the split, the MAB often joined in coalitions with far-left U.K groups such as the Stop the War Coalition and the Respect Party. The MAB is still part of the European Muslim Brotherhood umbrella group known as the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) as well as the U.K. umbrella group the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), also dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. After a period in which the MAB appeared to be moribund and only active in Scotland, the web site was reactivated in February 2008 and announced one month later that Ahmed Al-Rawi had been chosen as the new MAB President. Al-Rawi himself had been the long-time president of FIOE and was replaced sometime following the assassination of his brother in Iraq.