The Conservative Muslim Forum has been shocked and saddened by the outbreak of looting, arson and other violence on the streets of England’s major cities. Night after night we have seen shops being vandalised and robbed and properties being set on fire with no concern for the safety of residents, while the police have struggled to restore order. Most tragically, in Birmingham three young men seeking to defend their community were killed by a “hit and run” driver.
There can be no excuse for such behaviour. Those who perpetrate it are criminals who must be met with the full force of the law. We applaud and appreciate the bravery of our Police Officers who have confronted the criminals and dealt with the situations under very difficult circumstances. We urge all Britons to give full support to the police for whatever measures are required to restore law and order to our streets.
There has been a total lack of responsibility amongst some of our citizens and we should all do whatever is necessary to restore the sense of responsibility. It is important that we all stand united and deal with unacceptable behaviour of the unruly elements amongst us who threaten the wellbeing of our society.
After order has been restored will be the time for analysis and policy prescriptions. Meanwhile, politicians and commentators should not seek to score political points, or attempt to justify such criminal actions by reference to poverty or social deprivation. In our society, poverty can never be an excuse for theft or violence.
The behaviour of the rioters and the comments some of them have made in the media both point towards their lack of values. All religions teach a clear distinction between right and wrong, and teach that poverty cannot justify robbery. Sadly in Britain today many young people are growing up without learning such values either at home or at school.
We believe that the common shared values of all religions need to be restored to a central place in our education system so that young people no longer grow up lacking any appreciation of the difference between right and wrong.