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Eric Pickle’s letter to mosques may be downloaded from the Government website here. The Prime Minister’s reaction to criticism is on the BBC site here.

Given that the problems we face together are so grave, I hope people will read the letter for themselves before forming a view. It is a subject altogether too serious for the usual party political pantomime.

I am satisfied that local leaders of all faiths and none are already working exceptionally hard for the long term to deliver cohesion in our community. Their success could be seen once again in yesterday’s successful and happy parade in celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday.

The letter begins:

We have recently seen terrible atrocities committed in Paris. Finding the right response to these events is a challenge for everyone. The hijacking of a great faith to justify such heinous crimes sickens us all. As Muslims around the world have made clear, such actions are an affront to Islam.

And yet, amid the carnage, came a sign of hope – over three million people of all backgrounds, marching to defeat the gunmen and to protect our values: free speech, the rule of law, and democracy.

We are proud of the reaction of British communities to this attack. Muslims from across the country have spoken out to say: not in our name.

I hope local people will read the rest of the letter for themselves. Responses are welcome in the comments or via my contact form.

One Comment

  1. I have to admit I do find the letter rather condescending. I am sure the community is all too aware of it’s responsibilities, probably better than the government do.

    However I fail to see what all the fuss is about. The letter is not offensive in any way, just stating the obvious really.