Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The one pledge I'd like to hear from the podium this afternoon

As he delivers his first speech to conference as prime minister, will Gordon Brown make an ambitious statement?

Monday September 24, 2007

Tariq Ramadan
Fight all kinds of racism

Gordon Brown should pledge to reconsider the policies that divide the communities that make up British society. If we are serious about British values of democracy, freedom, equality and fairness, it is crucial to start by trying to be consistent in our domestic policies.

It means fighting all kinds of racism, the old (anti-semitism) as well as the new one (against Muslims).

It also means stopping connecting terrorism with integration: the generalisation on this topic sheds suspicion on a whole segment of the British population, while Muslims are already integrated and contribute a great deal to the richness of this country.

And finally, it means having the courage to say that the government has to reassess its involvement in Iraq: it was and remains a great mistake.

Gordon Brown will get immense recognition, nationally and internationally, if he dares to set a new independent policy for the UK, stop listening to the lies of the current US administration and take the leadership for a new, just and reasonable policy in the Middle East, and especially towards Iran.

· Tariq Ramadan is president of the thinktank European Muslim Network

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