I would like to invite all peaceful and moderate Muslims to read the Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding, and to the sign the Affirmation it contains.
Over the last half century or more, millions of Muslims have chosen to migrate and settle in European and Western countries. It is not unreasonable to suppose that they have done so because they wanted to enjoy the material, educational, professional, social and political benefits that those countries offered.
The Muslims that most non-Muslims meet in their everyday lives are hardworking, decent, honest, and honourable. These Muslims are the doctors, dentists, teachers, restaurateurs, office-workers, shopkeepers, cab-drivers, and co-workers and colleagues of all kinds that we meet in everyday life.
Unfortunately the face of Islam frequently shown to non-Muslims is not that of the Muslims described above, but that presented by extremists. This has happened because the extremists have had some success in representing themselves as the authentic face of Islam.
The Proposed Charter of Muslim Understanding is an initiative intended to offer peaceful and moderate Muslims the opportunity to stand up and be counted as believers in those values that bind people together rather than separate them, irrespective of their personal beliefs.
By signing the Affirmation those groups that represent Muslims can give a clear lead to their followers on where they stand, and isolate the extremists who do not subscribe to the values of tolerance, equality and peaceful co-existence.
I urge all individual Muslims, and groups representing Muslims, to read the Proposed Charter, to sign the Affirmation, and to support the values it seeks to promote.
Member of the European Parliament for London
UK Independence Party