PCS condemns suspension of Civil Service Muslim Network

On Thursday, the deputy prime minister suspended the Civil Service Muslim Network.

While civil service networks sit outside of the remit of PCS, it is concerning that Oliver Dowden should suspend a network whose purpose is to represent and support Muslim civil servants. That this has taken place during Ramadan is entirely insensitive. 

Added to government departments such as HMRC claiming that donating to a legitimate humanitarian charity, Medical Aid for Palestine is contrary to civil service values, raises deep concerns of Islamophobia at the heart of government.

PCS was the first national trade union to condemn both the Hamas attacks and hostage taking in October and subsequent Israeli government's war on Gaza, in which more than 31,500 civilians have now been killed.

As a union we condemn both antisemitism and Islamophobia, and we do not believe suspending support groups for staff and closing down discussion addresses these issues.

Our general secretary, Fran Heathcote is seeking a meeting with the Cabinet Office on the civil service code and the rights of our members to support humanitarian causes, attend protests and vigils calling for peace and a ceasefire in Gaza.

In the meantime we call on all Muslim civil servants to join PCS and get involved in the union's Black* Members’ Network.

*Black: In PCS “Black” is used in the political context to apply to people who are Asian, Chinese, African, African/Caribbean, Arabic etc. i.e. people from African and Asian Diaspora, including people of dual heritage.