Former UKIP leader criticised for linking Qur’an to Rigby murder

24th Dec 2014


Former UKIP leader, Lord Malcolm Pearson Muslims to “address the violence” in the Qur’an

Elham Asaad Buaras

Former UKIP leader, Lord Malcolm Pearson, is to be reported to the Speaker of the House of Lords by a Muslim MP after he called on Muslims to “address the violence” in the Qur’an following the publication of the report on the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.

UKIP defended Pearson who led the anti-immigration party from 2009 to 2010 but Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said Pearson’s remarks showed that UKIP is a “party of Islamophobes”.

Speaking about the findings of the report by the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee on November 25, Pearson argued that the Prime Minister’s insistence that Rigby’s murder was a betrayal of Islam was wrong.

The Tory defector told peers: “Rigby’s murderers quoted 22 verses of the Qur’an to justify their atrocity Therefore, is the Prime Minister accurate or helpful when he describes it as a betrayal of Islam?” Since the vast majority of Muslims are our peace-loving friends, should we not encourage them to address the violence in the Qur’an – and indeed in the life and the example of Muhammad?”

Birmingham Perry Barr MP Mahmood said Pearson’s speech lifts the: “veil of Farage when he tries to say he believes in all the communities and would work together with people as a serious party. This is not a serious party. This is a party, in this instance, of Islamophobes and people who just generally can’t understand and tolerate the different heritages and cultures that we have in the UK.

“Virtually everybody has condemned – and I, again, for the record condemn – the atrocious attack on Lee Rigby. Obviously he hasn’t read the Qur’an. Islam is about submission to the Almighty. It is not about war against anybody else.”

Mahmood vowed to make a complaint formally to the Lords Speaker. While Labour MP for Bolton South East, Yasmin Qureshi, said: “These are lies. Trying to say this comes from some text in the Qur’an or there is some justification in the religion – it isn’t there. To suggest that Muslims should be apologising and somehow having to take responsibility for the actions of a handful of people is absolutely diabolical. This is nonsensical rubbish.”

A UKIP spokesman defended Pearson insisting he was: “Calling on Islamic scholars to treat the Qur’an as Christian scholars treat the Bible – to use it as a subject for debate and discourse around the core message. He is talking about how Islamic scholars are constrained by the comprehension that the Qur’an is the perfect word of God unencumbered by human frailty, unlike the Bible. In contrast the apostles are human and like all human beings are prone to error.”

This is not the first time Pearson made controversial comments about Islam, last year he said he feared “the dark side is moving strongly within Islam.”

He spoke of a growing Muslim communities re set against integration and “thousands of home-grown potential terrorists; we see Sharia law running de facto in our land; and we see a birth rate several times higher than ours, to which our democracy is already exposed.”

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