As the member of Parliament for Wycombe since 2010, I am here to represent all of Wycombe: people of all faiths and none. That is why I am proud to have many Muslim constituents, voters, members and friends.

Temperatures are running extremely high in our country over Gaza, and understandably so. The plight of Palestine has concerned many people, including many members of the Muslim community. I recognise that the vast majority of British Muslims have serious and legitimate concerns about the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in Gaza, including children.

The Government shares these concerns. Nevertheless, last week’s uproar in the House of Commons over the vote on Gaza presented serious cause for concern about the conduct of public debate, to which we should all pay careful attention.

In the run up to last week’s vote, and since then, it has become increasingly clear that British democracy faces a grave problem if Members of Parliament are influenced to act in a particular way under the threat of violence or intimidation. We have seen unrelated events across the country disrupted by pro-Palestinian groups. I would ask these groups whether they honestly believe that disrupting a Conservative Association dinner, for example, is likely to bring a ceasefire in Gaza.

The problem becomes even more serious if Members feel so threatened that it affects how they vote, or even if it dictates the democratic procedures we follow in the House, as we saw last week.

That is not acceptable on any level.

Every MP has stories to tell of harassment, intimidation, and death threats. During the time I have been an MP I have had several serious threats. It would seem we have, unfortunately, reached a situation where some believe that as public representatives, MPs are fair game for any kind of abuse.

We are not.

Threats to MPs must be dealt with seriously. A country that falls to mob-rule cannot be a democracy, and we cannot expect the freedoms under the rule of law we have come to cherish to thrive in these circumstances.

The vast majority of British Muslims, of course, do not wish any harm to anyone. Despite this, in recent weeks I have seen an increase in anti-Muslim bigotry, whereby the Muslim community as a whole has been blamed for the unacceptable actions of a minority of Muslims. This bigotry often comes from individuals who have little interaction with the Muslim community and so have little understanding of mainstream moderate Muslims.

It is wrong to think the minority who intimidate and threaten MPs are representative of those with legitimate concerns for the suffering of innocent Palestinians. To say so is highly inflammatory and makes constructive debate practically impossible, as last week showed.

The Government shares the concerns of the reasonable majority of British Muslims and acknowledges their legitimacy, which is why the UK has tripled its aid commitment to Gaza since the conflict began and called for an immediate humanitarian pause so that the aid can reach those in need and so that hostages can be released from Hamas captivity, and then progress towards a sustainable ceasefire. Of course, we all want a lasting peace.

Navigating the politics of this conflict at home and abroad will remain complex and emotive. Protest in a democracy is an important right which I have defended yet it must be persuasion, not intimidation. But we are also seeing events used to caricature the whole Muslim community in ways that are ignorant and spread fear.  Let us respect all the proper boundaries of discourse together.

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