This week Luke joined 107 MPs in signing an open letter to condemn a column written in The Sun that asked readers “what will we do about the Muslim problem?”
The open letter, written to the editor of The Sun, condemns the “hate and bigotry” and “Nazi-like language” of the recent comment piece on Sunday 13 August by former Political Editor, Trevor Kavanagh. You can read The Sun article here.
The open letter Luke signed compares what The Sun column calls “the Muslim Problem” to “The Jewish Problem” used in the last century, to which the Nazis responded with “The Final Solution” – The Holocaust. When such vile language is used to attack a minority we have a choice, to stand by or to tackle it head on. The Sun article concludes, asking “what will we do about the Muslim Problem then?”
Making a stand
Led by Labour MP, Naz Shah, the open letter has been signed by MPs from all parties. Two of Plymouth’s three MPs have signed the letter with Conservative MP Gary Streeter joining Luke in adding his name to the letter.
The letter states the role of media reporting has “created an atmosphere of hostility against Muslims and that hate crime against Muslims is on the rise,” referencing former Sun columns that compared migrants to “cockroaches” and an inaccurate headline in 2015 “1 in 5 Brit Muslims’ sympathy for jihadis’, which it later admitted was misleading.
“Hate is on the rise. At home and abroad those people who seek to divide us and stir up tensions and hatred based on race, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, gender or background are on the rise. To defeat hate, we need to all take a stand. Neutrality only helps the aggressor.
That's why as your MP I've joined over 100 MPs from every party in standing up to hate and bigotry in the Sun newspaper this week.
You might have read the article where the Sun asks what is the solution to the "Muslim Problem". Using language that harks back to the Nazi's final solution to the "Jewish Problem" in the 1940s is sickening and wrong.
In 2017, this statement is a shocking and deliberate attempt to stir up fear, hatred and Islamophobia. Hate crimes are on the rise in Plymouth and across the country and to tackle the rise in hate it is important MPs, as community leaders, take a stand. I'm pleased that Conservative MP, Gary Streeter, was also a signatory to this cross-party letter backing an official complaint to the media regulator about this vile article in the Sun.
When neo-Nazis are marching on the streets of Charlottesville in the United States, we cannot give this kind of far-right language a platform in our country.
My position is clear: there is no place for hate in Plymouth and in our society. You can see a copy of the letter I signed with 107 MPs below.”
You can see the letter in full below. Let Luke know what you think, or add your comment to his Facebook post on the letter here.