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Minister hits back at 'Islamophobic' allegations

PUBLISHED: 18:00 04 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:40 05 October 2010

A LABOUR MP who spoke of his concerns about the infiltration by a secretive Islamic Group into mainstream politics says Muslims sharing his concerns proves he is not Islamophobic.

By Else Kvist

A LABOUR MP who spoke of his concerns about the "infiltration" by a "secretive" Islamic Group into mainstream politics says Muslims sharing his concerns proves he is not "Islamphobic"

Jim Fitzpatrick said community members speaking out about their fears of the Islamic Forum Europe influencing Tower Hamlets Town Hall and party politics on Channel 4's Dispatches programme this week proves he is not Islamophobic as some claims.

The Farming Minister told the Advertiser the secrecy and lack of transparency surrounding the IFE's agenda "weakened local democracy."

As a politician he has to declare membership of a political organisation such as a trade union but said it was impossible to know who IFE members are as membership lists are kept "secret."

The Poplar and Canning Town MP said it made a "mockery" of parties and the political platform.

The IFE this week issued a statement denying it had "infiltrated" Tower Hamlets Labour Party and received public funds. The forum also refuted seeking to establish an Islamic State or Sharia Law in Britain.

The IFE did not make anyone available for interview with the Advertiser or respond to our questions.


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