We are often asked “What is the CMF’s position on issue X” where X may be a matter of domestic policy or a foreign policy issue.
The CMF website sets out our nine objectives, and our energy is directed towards achieving those objectives. Objective (3) “Undertake campaigning for the Conservative Party at elections and other times”is particularly important as having a Conservative government will make the other objectives easier to achieve.
Our website also records over 175 “News & Events” items going back to February 2008. A review of those will show very few that have any policy aspects. You will also see that those which do touch on policy matters seek to be consistent with the policy of the Conservative party. That is to be expected since all of us are Conservative party members, even though the strict concept of “collective responsibility” only applies to Government ministers and not to ordinary party members except when appearing in the media on behalf of the Conservative party or subsets of the Conservative party such as the Conservative Muslim Forum.
Apart from our general responsibility to support Conservative party policy, there is a practical reason for the Conservative Muslim Forum to avoid taking policy positions. Policy matters can be very divisive; simply because two individuals are members of the CMF does not mean that they will agree about any particular item of policy. Disagreements over policy matters could easily damage the cohesion of the Executive.
Individual members of the CMF will of course hold views, sometimes very strong and passionately held views, about policy issues both domestic and foreign. They are of course free to campaign on any policy issues that they wish, provided they do so in their personal capacity. For example Mohammed Amin, who is our Chairman, frequently writes articles on the Conservative Home website, but is always careful to do so in a purely personal capacity.
This approach does not preclude the Conservative Muslim Forum occasionally making statements on policy issues. Even when one is supporting Conservative party policy, there will occasionally be reasons for the CMF to explain why it supports that policy or to emphasise some aspect of it. That is why some of the “News & Events” items on our website occasionally touch on policy issues.