The Islamic Human Rights Commission has written to the BBC demanding that it retract apologies it made to Maajid Nawaz and Douglas Murray after both were accused of hate preaching.
IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh named Majid Nawaaz, the director of the Quilliam Foundation and an LBC radio presenter, along with Douglas Murray of the Henry Jackson Society as well as Mail columnist Katie Hopkins as cheerleaders for anti-Muslim sentiment following the terrorist attack on Muslims outside Finsbury Park Mosque on June 19.
One man was killed in the attack and many more injured after a supected Islamophobe rammed his van into them as they left late night prayers in Ramadan.
Following the incident Mr Shadjareh was invited by BBC News to offer his views on the possible motivation for the attack.
Shadjareh named the individuals as partially responsible for creating an environment of hate for the Muslim community which encourages and fuels acts of hostility, discrimination and violence.
Since the Finsbury Park attack it has emerged that the suspect’s original goal may have been to target the Al-Quds Day procession in London on June 18, an event that was demonised by Majid Nawaaz in the Jewish News and on his radio show as sympathetic to terrorism.
The IHRC letter to the BBC says: “What these individuals do is takes acts of terrorism and extremism of fringe individuals, which horrify us all, and equate them with the mainstream Muslim community. By equating terror to the wider Muslim community, they incite and justify hatred of Muslims, which in turn, based on our last research, creates and strengthens the environment of hate where it is normal to hate and attack Muslims.”
After the BBC received complaints about Mr. Shadjareh’s remarks from Nawaz and Murray it apologised to the pair.
Nawaz says he targets “Muslim extremists” rather than ordinary Muslims and Murray has condemned the Finsbury Park attack. Both have instructed lawyers over accusations of hate preaching.
But the IHRC letter condemns the BBC for apologising to the pair without first seeking clarification from Mr Shadjareh about his comments.
It says the decision undermines freedom of speech and the widely-held view among Muslims that while everyone else is entitled to express their opinions on air without fear of being censored different standards apply to Muslim contributors.