Muslims should get politically active says MP

Young Muslims need to get involved in the UK political system if they want to see change, advised a top politician during a visit to Manchester. Mohammed Sarwar, the UK’s first Muslim Member of Parliament and the first MP to swear his oath of allegiance on the Qur’an said young Muslims who were angry about what was happening in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine needed to channel their frustration in a positive way.

He said: “Understandably they are angry when they see the unjust that happens in Muslim countries with the international community turning a blind eye. They are frustrated but they need to take that energy and do something positive. To see change and to make change they need to get actively involved in their local political parties.”

Sarwar opposes Brown’s anti-terror plans

Previously loyal backbench Muslim MP Mohammed Sarwar turned against Gordon Brown’s counter-terrorism plans and prepared to deliver the first parliamentary defeat of his premiership. Sarwar warned that tension in Muslim communities was rising as a result of the plans. Opponents said they were “reasonably optimistic” they would be able to throw out plans to extend the time terror suspects can be held without charge from 28 to 42 days. Their case has been strengthened by around a dozen MPs who voted in favour of similar laws in 2005, including Sarwar, who have changed their minds. Speaking about his decision for the first time, Sarwar reportedly said that he regretted supporting a 90-day limit and was concerned the legislation would unfairly target the Muslim community. The Glasgow Central MP said: “Last time I voted out of loyalty with the Government. “But since then there has not been a single case where prosecutors or the police have asked for an extension beyond 28 days. Only six people have been held for 28 days – three of whom were released without charge. The Government should think twice about doing this.”