David Cameron must apologise to Suliman Gani
This petition had 4,900 supporters
We are friends of Suliman Gani, a British citizen, Muslim community organiser and human rights campaigner, and in recent weeks we have watched his good name being dragged through the dirt by the Conservative Party's efforts to inflict damage on Labour's Mayoral campaign. First Zac Goldsmith called him "one of the most repellent figures in this country", which deeply shocked and distressed us, then, at Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron called him a supporter of Islamic State (IS), which is completely untrue. In fact this poster shows he was on a panel speaking about the 'evils' of ISIS earlier this year. A piece of evidence the PM chooses to ignore.
Some parts of the media have criticised Zac Goldsmiths’s campaign as racist, but there has been no apology from him or from the Prime Minister to Suliman, the real victim of this smear campaign. It is a very serious thing to call a Muslim an extremist and terrorist sympathiser in today's world and it appals us that they have used the reputation of our gentle friend Suliman as collateral damage in their dirty campaigning, without caring that there is not a a single shred of proof to back their assertion. We worry that without an apology and a full retraction from the Prime Minister, he and his family are put at great risk. Please read our petition to the PM below and join us, friends of Suliman, in demanding a full apology.
In an open letter to Downing Street journalist Peter Oborne calls for an immediate apology to Mr Gani http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/open-letter-downing-street-suliman-gani-1992410235
Suliman's friends: Joanne MacInnes, Joy Hurcombe, Dr David Nicholl, Anna Perera, Andy Worthington, Ray Silk, Helen White, Imogen Tranchell
On 20th April, during Prime Minister’s Question Time, David Cameron made a damaging and unfounded allegation about Suliman Gani, a British citizen, a teacher and broadcaster, and the former imam of Tooting Islamic Centre, which we call on him to retract.
Seeking to undermine Labour's Mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, he said that Khan had shared platforms with extremists, and proceeded to name Suliman Gani, describing him as a supporter of Islamic State (IS). Nothing could be further from the truth. Suliman Gani is a man of peace and a campaigner for human rights who has spoken out publicly against the evils of IS and has regularly engaged in events designed to bring different faiths together.
This personal, disgraceful attack on a well-known and widely respected figure in the Muslim community was made using parliamentary privilege and if expressed outside Parliament would be regarded as defamatory and libellous.
It has caused great distress to Suliman Gani and his family, as well as the many members of the Muslim community and other communities who know him. The Prime Minister must follow the code of conduct for all government ministers, including himself, which he updated last October. Paragraph 1.2.c states: “It is of paramount importance that ministers give accurate and truthful information to Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation.”
The Prime Minister must retract his words and issue a full and unreserved apology in the House of Commons at the earliest opportunity.
Please support this appeal from friends of Suliman Gani.
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