Muslim groups accuse government of criminalising Islam

More than 60 imams and leaders of Muslim organisations have signed an open letter to the government accusing it of criminalising Islam.

They said that the “terror threat” was being exploited for political capital ahead of the general election.

Signatories include journalist Yvonne Ridley, former Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg and members of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The umbrella body, the Muslim Council of Britain, has not signed the letter.

The 61 signatories criticised the “demonisation of Muslims in Britain…. despite their disavowal of violence and never having supported terrorist acts”.

The letter accused the government of trying to deflect attention from crises in the economy and health service, while trying to silence criticism of foreign policy