Britain's Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles and Home Secretary Theresa May hold up signs reading "I am Jewish"
Britain's Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles and Home Secretary Theresa May hold up signs reading "I am Jewish" during a Board of Deputies of British Jews event in London, January 18, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

British Muslims are outraged after Conservative Party politician Eric Pickles issued a written appreciation of their protest against the terrorist attacks in Paris. The Muslim community in the UK believes that it does not need to be reminded of its responsibilities against extremism.

The Communities Secretary's letter, which was co-signed by Conservative Muslim peer Lord Ahmad, says that they are proud of the way British Muslims reacted to the terrorist attacks in France. The letter, however, says that the British Muslims have "more work to do." The letter further says that Muslim leaders have an "important responsibility" to explain and demonstrate how Islam can be part of British identity. The Muslim Council of Britain has found the letter offensive as it apparently indicates that Islam is not part of the British society. The letter was sent to mosques, while it was also published online. For some reasons, MCB did not receive a copy of the letter. The Department for Communities and Local Government refused to clarify why MCB had not been sent a copy.

MCB believes that the letter reflects a far right ideology which tries to separate Islam from the British society. According to MCB, the letter could have been written in a different way. MCB Secretary General Dr Shuja Shafi says that the organisation rejects suggestions that Muslims must go out of their way to prove their loyalty to the UK.

"We do take issue with the implication that extremism takes place at mosques, and that Muslims have not done enough to challenge the terrorism that took place in our name," The Independent quotes Shafi. The organisation is apparently "tired" of hearing the Muslims in the country are not doing enough to tackle extremism.

The message of Pickles' letter, on the other hand, was strongly defended by British Prime Minister David Cameron. He has said that it is right on Pickles' part to ask the Muslim leaders in the country to enhance their efforts against extremism. Cameron believes that anyone reading the letter will understand that Pickles has appreciated the contribution of British Muslims. He says that the letter also shows the true religion of Islam has nothing to do with extremist terror. Cameron thinks that it is the "most reasonable, sensible, moderate letter" the Conservative Party leader could have possibly written.

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