PRESS RELEASE: British Muslim Youth responding to incident in Westminster. #BritainIsStandingTogether
Today at the door of our Parliament, the beating heart of our democracy, we witnessed yet another ghastly example of murder, bloodshed and carnage. An attack on our Parliament, and by extension on our democracy, is an attack on the very fabric of our great nation.
It’s too soon to speculate about the motives behind today’s attack, but there should be no equivocation in condemning this horrific attack in London.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the heroic police officer who has reportedly died, doing his job, protecting each and everyone of us. We also extend our thoughts and prayers to the loved ones of other civilians who have had their lives, so tragically, cut short. The response of all the emergency services can only be applauded. They are a credit to our nation, and represent everything that is good about our country.
The uniqueness of Britain is its ability to come together, to stand strong and resilient in the face of adversity. We have no doubt that as a nation, as we mourn this loss of life we will only come together, stronger, more united and more determined than ever to fight the evils of all forms of terror.
(Please firstly see images of the original email by Muhbeen Hussain to Chris Read and his reply, which led to this response)
RE: Response to your refusal to meet.
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my email and I also apologise for the delay in responding to you.
I want to begin by saying that one of the reasons it has taken me a while to get back to you is due to the fact that I wanted to make sure the contents of this letter are factually true and accurate. If I have in any way fell short in this endeavour, I am profoundly sorry and I am more than willing to retract such counts if I am shown to be wrong.
I have read your email and must express my disappointment at your position and stance, which regrettably is based very much on hearsay and not on reality. I could not fathom if the response was from the leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, or someone impersonating you; such was the callous and immature nature of the response.
A sincere gesture has been turned into a personal attack on my person and sincerity, whereas the request for the meeting was from a member of the Muslim community with the leader of the council; nothing from which a personal attack should have been necessary, which begs the question why? Only you can answer that.
I also want to make it clear that I have never met you. I have never spoken to you. I have never been present at the same place at the same time with you. I have never ever spoken about you. I have never ever criticised you or your leadership in public, until today.
There were many concerns that I had with your leadership, your statements and your approach, but throughout my email I didn’t make judgements on any of these factors; for the simple reason that I have never met you or raised these concerns with you in person. I don’t take hearsay or unsubstantiated half truths to represent you. Sadly, anyone who will read your email will see that the same cannot be said for you, based on your response.
Perhaps if we are to examine the actual facts, starting with the publication of the Jay report, we learn that the main culprits for failing to protecting the children of Rotherham were the local council and South Yorkshire Police (SYP). After the publication it was I, along with a few individuals, who faced the hostile media and defended our town. No one from the council came forward to put the matter into context and instead, allowed my community to be targeted and vilified.
Following the publication of the report the people of Rotherham, from all ethnic groups, male and female, Muslim and non-Muslim, led by the British Muslim Youth, held a rally demanding action against the perpetrators and accountability for the failures. This was one of only two times the Muslim community on the whole has come out (the second time being on 5th September 2015 when we gathered to pay our respects to Mushin Ahmed, following which the Rotherham 12 were arrested). I am proud to have played a role in trying to unite our town through this rally. This was despite personal hostility towards me and my organisation. We could not bury our heads in the sand, nor hide inside the town hall; we stood for our town, we stood for the victims and we faced the storm. I can assure you vanity was not in my mind, but a sense of responsibility in the absence of leadership spurred me to take on this role. My aim has and will always be to unite our town against any divisive forces be they local or external.
On the other hand, as was feared, the responsible authorities deserted the Muslim community; allowed over fourteen marches to take place and allowed Islamophobia to go unchallenged. This was evidenced with the increasing attacks on Muslims, taxi drivers left fighting for their lives, probable firearms being used to attack Muslim females, photos being taken outside schools of Muslim children, Mosques and Muslim owned businesses attacked, Muslim women threatened with rape as retribution and on a whole, a community living in fear. Then almost a year after the publication of the Jay report, we had the brutal and extremist murder of Mushin Ahmed. It came as no surprise as each attack became more ferocious.
As the leader you have not uttered a single, published, public statement condemning this murder, nor have you challenged the extremism that caused this murder. Not a single policy has been devised to tackle this ideology. An act of extremism, from the very same venomous doctrine that murdered Jo Cox MP, murdered Mushin Ahmed; yet the Rotherham Establishment remained mute.
In your email you refer to the ‘Enough is Enough’ petition which called for marches to be banned. You have used this as a trump card to challenge any assertion that suggests you haven’t done enough to challenge the far-right menace in Rotherham. However, this in itself demonstrates your complete lack of comprehension when it comes to understanding the enormity of the task before you. Now considering everything that the Muslim community have gone through (as briefly set out above), this petition is the most cowardice response to deal with an issue of this magnitude. A community ravaged with violence, intimidation and murder is given sanctuary and security in the form of an almighty petition, signed by a mammoth 686 people out of a populous of 250,000, and you call this an adequate response?
Furthermore, when one examines the petition, coupled with your many statements on the issue of marches, it is predicated on the basis of economics. In the petition, the words Muslim/anti-Muslim hatred/Islamophobia are nowhere to be seen. The mentioning of Mushin Ahmed’s murder is non-existent. Yet, in the measly two lines which do speak about racial attacks, it is prefaced as “apparently racially motivated”. When under your leadership, the local authority does not have the audacity to call a spade a spade in the petition (which seems to be your only defence), it shows your inability to quell the legitimate concerns and fears of a large segment of the community that you lead.
As acts of extremism were being perpetuated, I used the limited means I had at my disposal to raise concerns with SYP. One such example being that I offered to act as a conduit between SYP and the London Met, to help bring the Met’s best practices in dealing with hate crimes to SYP. This fell on deaf ears, despite the Met’s willingness to help.
After a great deal of thought and conversations and having our pleas ignored, the Muslim community decided to boycott political engagement with SYP. It was not a decision taken lightly or for personal gain. It was a cry for help to draw attention to the fear the Muslims were living in. This was recognised; sincere efforts were made to address the issues and actually listen to our concerns by some individuals. Even in those troubled times, sir a failure for you to understand the community and it’s fears were overpowered by an ignorant statement, whereby you labelled it as a bunch of young people seeking attention. Just to clarify a few points, it was not just young people. The boycott was endorsed by all sections of the Muslim community. Secondly, in no way, shape or form was there any threat of a boycott made towards Asian businesses, if they didn’t support our stance, as you claim. I’m sure you are well aware, but just in case you are not; not all Asians are Muslim and not all Muslims are Asian. In any event, if you had taken time to read paragraph seven of the boycott statement, you would see the boycott was limited to a small group of Muslim representative organisations that claim to speak on behalf of Muslims in Rotherham.
As far as Councillor Fenwick-Green’s assertion that the Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign spoke to her and sought an apology from the council goes, it is simply untrue and incorrect. Whilst it is right that the Rotherham 12 campaign does feel like it was being treated in a deeply dismissive manner by the council and in particular, the local Labour Party, it has never asked for, nor expected an apology. Various councillors have totally rebuffed attempts made by individuals to speak to them about the campaign (much like you have done with me). Let it be made crystal clear; never has it been our intention for the council to involve itself in the criminal justice process on our behalf. All we have ever wanted was a fair hearing; so we could explain to the people we have voted for exactly what happened on the day. We wanted to set out in private the catalogue of failures by the police on the day, as well as the attitude of the police both before and after the protest. That is all.
Instead, the Rotherham 12 campaign were treated just like the far-right fascists. You and your colleagues are elected officials. Your job, amongst others, is to hold the police to account. I have spent many hours reading the Jay report and the thing that is clear as day to me is that one of the reasons the council failed the victims of CSE was because they failed in their duty to hold the police to account. I’m sure you know this for yourself and don’t need me to lecture you on it. This was your chance to put it right. Listen to the campaign, then go to the police with the issues raised and make sure those mistakes were never made again; that’s leadership. That is all the Rotherham 12 were seeking from the council. Just a fair hearing. Yet, you and your colleagues were not even prepared to do that.
Let’s just imagine for a minute; if, when the young girls were being abused, you stood up as an elected official and campaigned with the victims back then (hypothetically speaking as I know you were not a councillor at the time), by calling for prosecutions etc, you would have been holding the police to account. No one would have accused you of involving yourself in the judicial process, rather your courage and valour would have been justly rewarded. That is the sort of leadership that is needed to make sure Rotherham never fails its citizens again.
To conclude, from your email the public will glean far more about your leadership (or lack off?) than any of the charges you level at me. Real leadership is having the ability to engage with different people that you don’t always agree with or may not even necessarily like, to find solutions to real problems. Personally, I have been extremely critical of the Conservative Government at times. Nevertheless I have always accepted invitations towards dialogue, where I believe positive outcomes can be achieved. For example, in recent weeks I have met directly with Amber Rudd (Home Secretary), Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government) as well as several other Ministers. Whether anything positive comes from this remains to be seen, but I wasn’t prepared to shut the door in the face of what might be an opportunity to put past wrongs right.
Finally, If this response is genuinely reflective of your character, then I have to say with a heavy heart that you are most ill-suited to be leader, which brings your position and your council into disrepute. However, as I do not know you, nor have I ever met you, I am willing to believe this response was most out of character for you. With that in mind, I hope we can put personal opinions aside for the betterment of our town. Therefore, my original offer to meet, discuss and engage still stands.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Muhbeen Hussain, Founder,
British Muslim Youth
The BBC’s Experiment on British Muslims #MuslimsLikeUs
I alongside many other young people founded the British Muslim Youth after the tragic murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, to reach out to other young Muslims across the nation, to provide a narrative of hope in some of the nations darkest days.
The foundations of our organisation have been to stand against all types of hate, bigotry and extremism. My argument has always been that there is no force greater to stand against groups like Daesh/ISIS than young British Muslims condemning them and calling them out for what they are. Yet, when the BBC commissioned the show, Muslims like us, they showed people like me that they were not interested in the same.
It made me feel that industries such as the BBC were willing to use British Muslims as a political football, so long as it would hit ratings and viewership.
After watching both episodes of the show, I would not question the intentions of many of the participants within the show. Maybe they had the best of intentions and many of those participants showed the diversity of ordinary British Muslims and how they are like ordinary members of the British society.
But what I found difficult to comprehend is the fact that we can place ten British Muslims within a house, on television to almost ask what do British Muslims really think? This for me, is like seeing British Muslims as aliens that have just landed on earth, placing them within a lab experiment to see how they react and if they are safe to live amongst us.
Would we do this to any other community? Or is this microscopic view only reserved for Muslims, whether on the media, on these types of TV shows or even in governmental reports, such as the recent integration report by Dame Louise Casey.
Even if I contend for a moment that the experiment they conducted was ethical. What was the motive of including an individual like Anthony Small, (also known as Abdul Haqq), when all along they were well aware of his extremist views? An individual that was an associate of Anjum Choudary, who ran the banned group, Al Muhajiroun. Is it because Choudary has now been in-prisoned for showing support for Daesh and the BBC can no longer give air time to him; so they counter this imbalance with an old associate?
Groups like Daesh have directly attempted to build a sectarian divide between Sunnis and Shias and even radicalised individuals to believe it was their religious duty to kill Shia Muslims for some theological views they hold. We have worked tirelessly to stand against that propaganda that has been fiercely plunged across social media. Yet within this very ‘social experiment’ Small, inadvertently condoned such narratives and used a British public institution to share this view that could have led to further sectarian divides between Sunnis and Shias and even the radicalisation of some young people.
So I ask the BBC, what is next? Do you stay consistent with this racist and xenophobic narrative with other social experiments on marginalised groups? Blacks like us? Jews like us? Immigrants like us? Gays like us? Women like us? I guess you’d get the picture by now. However, I hope we can learn lessons from this, in not marginalising a group further or giving an opportunity to clear extremists, just to build ratings.
Muhbeen Hussain is the Founding member of the British Muslim Youth. He has uniquely proven with his abilities that young people can make positive, lasting impacts within society. His success has come through his engagement both with people on the grass routes, whilst also being a regular contributor and leading voice on many media platforms. Muhbeen writes in a personal capacity.
Date: 12th December 2016
Subject: Forrest Hill Train Station Stabbing.
News has surfaced the media of an alleged stabbing at Forrest hill train station in London, where a man had been running around, violently, shouting, ‘I want to kill a Muslim.’ In such times, we call for message of peace.
This, as it seems, maybe an isolated event and we should refrain from panicking in such a situation.
However, the way this situation has been dealt with by the authorities brings to the forefront a continuous, worrying narrative that far-right extremism is almost receiving acceptance within our society. Can you imagine if a Muslim was running around a train station shouting ‘I want to kill a non-Muslim’?
Rightly so, the situation would be dealt with as a terror threat, yet the authorities have arrested the man in question on suspicion of GBH. This shows either a lack of understanding on the side of the authorities or a lack willingness to treat far right extremism for what it is.
Just last week, Dame Louise Casey released her findings on integration within a report. The report included examples of different types of extremism and went to the extent to mention aspects of sectarian ‘Islamist’ extremism.
However the report didn’t only fail to mention examples of Mushin Ahmed or Mohammed Saleem that were murdered by individuals who were clearly influenced by far-right extremism, the report didn’t even, on a single occasion, mention the murder of a representative of our parliamentary democracy, Jo Cox MP, who was murdered by terrorist.
Sadly, post-Brexit, post Trump there has been a rise of far-right extremism, radicalising a small number of individuals throughout the country, leading to some serious attacks. Yet, this unwillingness or complete incompetence has left many living in fear.
Thus we call for action to be taken and all types of extremism to be condemned; the full iron fist of the law to be used to prevent any such hate from spreading.
For enquiries contact:
British Muslim Youth and Student Leadership Network registration-
Participants will gain the skills and confidence to engage with their peers and address their challenges – this includes countering extremism; effective social media engagement training sessions; leadership skills, critical thinking, team building and debating skills; various physical activities; CV screening sessions. Participants will be selected from faith institutions, such as mosques & Islamic centres, and campus-based student networks and student societies
Register using the link below, for the British Muslim Youth Leadership Network Programme –
For more info or bursary applications please email – email@example.com
PRESS RELEASE (06/07/2016): This is a statement from British Muslim Youth in response to the ‘Chilcot Report’ into the Iraq War.
Today the long overdue report into the Iraq War has finally been published. The size and volume of the report effectively means that it will take some time for us to digest and immerse ourselves in the findings of Sir John Chilcot. In due course we look forward to dealing with the detail of the report and as an organisation, to assist in ensuring that lessons are learned.
This latter point here is key. There are some, albeit a minority, who claim that the Iraq War happened over a decade ago and that we must now look beyond it. To those people we say; history teaches us quite eloquently that if you fail to learn the lessons of the past, you are doomed to repeat them. This is precisely why the findings of the Chilcot Inquiry are so fundamental to us as a nation. There is a plausible argument, that has traction amongst ordinary people, of all political persuasions – from the right and the left of politics – that the lessons of Iraq have not be learned. Our interventions in Libya and Syria lend support to this point of view.
Sir John Chilcot made clear that in March 2003, military action was not the last resort, as all peaceful options had not be explored. War cannot and must not be the first option. It has to always be the last option. In 2003 our government fell majorly short of this maxim. Intelligence was weak or even dubious to say the least. The legal advice, from the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, was far from satisfactory. And there simply was no planning for what came next after the Saddam regime had been removed. The British Military didn’t have the resources to mount the operation. The price of these mistakes has been too high a consequence. Death and destruction has followed.
As a Muslim organisation that works overwhelmingly with young British Muslims, one of the biggest gripes this particular category of people have is our involvement in the Iraq War. For most of these people, their political activism and worldview has been defined in large parts by this conflict. When we speak to young Muslims about topics of violence and extremism; whilst they always abhor the actions of terrorist groups that commit murder in the name of Islam – they always point to the Iraq war as a point of alienation and in some cases, vehement opposition to our countries political institutions and foreign policies.
There are some Muslims/Muslim organisations that argue that the entire cause of radicalisation of Muslims is as a result of British foreign policy. We have never subscribed to this point of view. For us, a perverted ideology of extremism, which manifested itself by carrying out a suicide attack in the grounds of the Prophet Muhammed’s (peace be upon him) mosque in Medina on Monday, also plays a potent role. However, to diminish or outright deny our mistake in going to war in Iraq as not being part of the radicalisation process, is at best, misguided.
Similarly our legacy in Iraq still haunts the people of that region till today. The so-called Islamic State rose out of the burning embers of our intervention. Again, we accept it is too simple, even disingenuous, to lay the blame for the rise of Daesh totally at the feet of the last Labour government led by Tony Blair, but our folly in Iraq undeniably was a major contributor in the rise of Daesh. There was no Al Qaeda in Iraq before we went in there, but there is a monster there now, which ridiculously makes Al Qaeda seem reasonable and moderate. Only this week 250 people were killed in Baghdad at the hands of Daesh. In Fallujah, children till this day are born with deformities as a result of Depleted Uranian, used by our ally the United States of America. This narrative provides groups like Daesh and Al Qaeda the perfect recruiting sergeant. They conveniently use the war and the atrocities committed to say to young Muslims around the world that the West is at war with Islam. For such groups this is an easy sell, hence the reason for large number of British Muslims who have gone over to Iraq and Syria.
We are not arguing that Britain should never go to war, or intervene in a conflict ever again because of Iraq. The Second World War, the Falklands and the intervention in Kosovo (to name a few) were just wars. Things were done properly and the case for war in these cases were fully made out. There was no alternative to war, and our involvement was a force for good. It improved the lives of those who were suffering. It liberated the Jewish people from the gas chambers, saved Muslims from genocide and pushed back a fascist despot. Unfortunately, none of this can be said for Iraq. Saddam Hussein was a vicious and violent dictator. There is no question about this. But our actions in going to war in Iraq leaves so much to be desired.
In the coming days we will hear a lot about the legality of the war, and questions about war crime charges. We learned this week from the office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) that they will not be investigating whether Tony Blair committed war crimes, by partaking in this war. However, the ICC have said that they could prosecute individual soldiers, if they find evidence of potential war crimes. In the interest of international law and justice, there is an argument that if soldiers have broken the law, they should be prosecuted. Nevertheless, it makes us somewhat uncomfortable knowing that soldiers are being prosecuted; yet the politicians who sent these men and women into harm’s way, on a pack of lies, are free of any responsibility. If there are questions about potential war crimes allegations then those at the very top like Tony Blair, and the then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw should also be investigated. This is was the principles of natural justice require.
On a side note, much of the intelligence for garnering the pre-text for war in Iraq came from the use of torture and rendition. If there are questions to be answered, about British Secret Service involvement in this and about who in the government knew about this, then we would urge those in positions to do so. This should be investigated as a matter of urgency. Values of international law and human rights must always be upheld, without fail.
The truth is that this total blunder in Iraq could have been easily avoided. There was no second United Nations Security Council Resolution, therefore this brought into question the legality of the war. Hans Blix, the UN Weapons Inspector, said there was no evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq. Over a million people marched through London urging the Prime Minister Tony Blair not to take us to war. The French President Jacque Chirac was loud and clear in his opposition to the war. Yet all these people were ignored. The result was, hundreds of thousands innocent Iraqis killed, the Middle East thrown into chaos, hundreds of British soldiers killed and thousands of soldiers were maimed, injured and scarred for life.
On this day, we remember the Iraqi’s who have been killed and the millions displaced and made refugees. Our thoughts are with the families of British personnel who lost their lives or were injured. Today is also a day to remember politicians like Robin Cook and Charles Kennedy who are no longer with us. They courageously told us in 2003, what we learned officially today. Whilst today is not a day to bask in vindication or “I told you so” politics, it is difficult not to imagine just what if we had heeded their advice? If anything comes from this inquiry, we hope that that it makes clear the logical steps and evidence threshold required, in order for our country to go to war in the future.
Put simply: we cannot afford another Iraq.
PRESS RELEASE (31/05/2016): This is a statement from British Muslim Youth confirming that they have signed a letter that has been sent to the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, Dave Jones, calling on the upcoming Pegida march to be banned, which is due to take place on 04 June 2016 in Rotherham.
British Muslim Youth have co-signed a letter with 68 other organisations, businesses, religious groups, local politicians etc. It is addressed to the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, namely Dave Jones, calling for the forth coming Pegida march (04 June 2016) in Rotherham to be banned.
For the reasons set out in the letter, we feel that this is a justified step, considering the current circumstances.
As an organisation, we believe in open dialogue, discussion and debate; even with those that you most passionately disagree with. It was for this very reason that our founder, Muhbeen Hussain, openly agreed to public debate with Tommy Robinson (the current leader of Pegida). However, on this occasion we feel that seeking a ban for this march is the right course of action to pursue.
We hope the Chief Constable acts on our request. Furthermore if called upon, we are willing to work with him to ensure that we can help mend the broken bridges in Rotherham, so that we can once again have a cohesive and integrated society.
Press Release (24/02/2016)
Today, finally justice has been served, for all those involved in this grotesque debacle that has clouded Rotherham. We hope the victims can put the horrors they have suffered behind them, and start to rebuild their lives. If only they had been believed earlier; they would not have had to endure this horrific ordeal.
For those convicted, we hope the sentences passed match the gravity of their offences. Only lengthy custodial sentences will suffice. These criminals are a blot on all our communities. They have nothing to do with us or our community.
The wheels of the justice do grind slowly at times. However, when justice is delivered, it is a great day for all. The victims have been been proven to be telling the truth, the guilty will finally get their just desserts.
PRESS RELEASE (14/02/2016): This is a statement from the British Muslim Youth setting out our reasons for endorsing the ‘Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign’, which will be officially launched on the 27th of February 2016 on the national platform.
In the last few days we (British Muslim Youth) have been liaising with the Alliance of organisations which were involved in last year’s boycott of South Yorkshire Police. There is a feeling amongst some of these groups that some of the things agreed in order to end the boycott have not been delivered to the extent envisaged. This particular concern surrounds the Independent Inquiry into the policing tactics during the 5th September 2015 demonstrations.
When the proposal for the Independent Inquiry were agreed on between Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings (PCC), Muhbeen Hussain, and Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham; it was done on the understanding that it would provide an avenue towards justice for the 12 Asian men who were charged from the counter-demonstration to Britain First. We appreciate that it would be legally, ethically and morally wrong for anyone to directly intervene in the criminal justice process, in a manner that may potentially undermine or derail police investigations. Nevertheless, we hoped that the Inquiry would produce something tangible that truly reflected the things that happened on the day in question.
We now know from the PCC’s comments during the follow up hate crime summit on the 7th of February 2016 that the Inquiry is in its final stages. However, some of the people in attendance were concerned by the comments and believe that there would be very little, if anything, in the final report that would highlight the catalogue of failures that happened on the day, and help prevent future injustices.
We appreciate that the PCC stuck to his words and ordered the Inquiry. We would like to thank him for this. We also believe that the report will have many positive recommendations that will considerably improve policing at future demonstrations. If called upon, we look forward to working with the PCC in implementing these much needed changes.
Unfortunately, the report, in our view, does not go far enough in helping provide the justice that we believed it would. It is against this backdrop that British Muslim Youth fully supports and endorses the Defence Campaign that is going to be launched by the 12 men and their supporters. They feel that with the Inquiry being fruitless, they have no alternative but to take this course of action. The ‘Rotherham 12 Defence Campaign’ will be officially launched on the 27th of February 2016. The campaign is being led and co-ordinated by Suresh Grover from The Monitoring Group. Suresh has been a lifelong campaigner against injustice and racism. Most notably, Suresh has led the political campaign for Stephen Lawrence’s family.
British Muslim Youth looks forward to working with Suresh, the accused and their supporters in their campaign for justice. These men were defending their community from attacks by members of a far right group. Defending oneself from attack cannot and must not be a criminal offence. We believe this campaign is morally justified in seeking its overall objective.
We urge all those who sympathise with this cause to attend the launch* on Saturday 27th February 2016. We call upon the Crown Prosecution Service to review its decision to charge these men. To echo the motto of the Defence Campaign: Self Defence is No offence.
*The venue of the launch is the Unity Centre, St Leonard’s Road, Rotherham, S65 1PD. Some of the speakers include Imran Khan (Lawyer for Stephen Lawrence’s family), Michael Mansfield QC and our founder Muhbeen Hussain.
*This statement is an extension of the previous statement (see the previous post for more info). This is supported by a broad list of Muslim individuals and organisations, along with many individuals and groups from other faiths. Includes the full official list of signatories.
14 November 2015
We are profoundly saddened by the loss of innocent lives in Paris, and our deepest condolences are with the family and friends of the victims, and the French nation.
Britons of all backgrounds, of every faith, every denomination, and none, are horrified by what we have learned, and are determined that those who seek to divide our diverse and peaceful communities in Europe will not succeed.
There is no justification for murder, and all British faith communities agree that those who commit acts of violence cannot do so in the name of any faith. Any such claim is illegitimate.
British Muslim communities are equally appalled by the violence, and angered by those who commit abhorrent acts in the name of religion. The perpetrators do not represent us; their views are perverse and self-serving.
We urge all communities in Britain and France to stand firm with compassion and solidarity. We must not let these terrorists divide us, otherwise the terrorists will win. Let us not play into their divisive narrative, and instead show them that people of all faiths and none can live peacefully, together.
Like the terrorists who want to divide communities, there will be some in the days ahead who will try to use this atrocity to attack innocent people. We equally reject their intentions.
It is evil people who do evil things; such acts will only increase our resolve to remain united.
-Imtiyaz Damiel, Abu Hanifah Foundation
-Shaykh Imran Abdali, Chair, Ahle Sunnah wal Suffiya Foundation
-Imam Ajmal Masroor, Broadcaster, Alchemiya
-Adil Mohammed Javed (British Muslim Actor), CEO & Artistic Director, Alchemy Arts
-Dr. Hussain Alsaffar, Alderhey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool
-Ayatullah Sayed Fazel Milani, Al-Khoei Foundation
-Raheed Salam, Director, All Faiths and None (AFAN)
-Shaz Manir, CEO, Amirah Foundation
-Stuart Andrew MP, Chair, APPG on Islamophobia, & Member of Parliament for Pudsey
-Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Co-Chair, APPG on Islamophobia
-Naz Shah MP, Co-Chair, APPG on Islamophobia, & Member of Parliament for Bradford West
-Hayyan Ayaz Bhabha, Secretary, APPG on Islamophobia
-Henna Rai, Director of Counter Extremism, Association of British Muslims (AOBM), Kaleidoscope Arts Faith & Culture, & Women Against Radicalisation
-Ahsan Gulabkhan, Association of Muslim Lawyers
-Ifath Nawaz, Vice President, Association of Muslim Lawyers
-Asif Sadiq, Chair, Association of Muslim Police
-Rasool Bhamani, Baab-Ul-Ilm Centre Leeds
-Sir Iqbal Sacrani OBE, Balham Mosque & Tooting Islamic Centre
-Esmond Rosen, Chair, Barnet Multi-Faith Forum
-Yunus Dudhwala, Head of Chaplaincy, Barts Health NHS Trust
-Dr. Imran Awan, Birmingham City University
-Dr. Chris Allen, University of Birmingham
-Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah, Bradford Imams Forum
-Fadel Soliman, Director, Bridges Global
-Sunder Katwala, Director, British Future
-Maulana Ahmed Nessar Beg, British Muslim Forum
-Aamer Naeem, Editor in Chief, British Muslim TV
-Muhbeen Hussain, Founder & Director, British Muslim Youth
-Shaykh Michael Mumisa, University of Cambridge
-Sayyed Zafrullah Shah, Chair, Care and Relief Foundation
-Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei, Centre for Academic Shia Studies
-Matthew Bolton, Deputy Director, Citizens UK
-Rameez Kaleem, Chair & Trustee, City Circle
-Yousef Dar, Chair, Community Safety Forum
-Cllr. Hashim Bhatti, Windsor, Executive Member of Conservative
Muslim Forum, & Three Faiths Forum Alumni Board
-Dr. Anas Altikriti, CEO, The Cordoba Foundation
-Chaudhary Shafique, Chairman, Council For Christian Muslim Relations, High Wycombe
-Dr. Akber Mohamedali, President, The Council of European Jamaats
-Council of Mosques and Muslim Organisations of Newport (COMMON)
-Qari Muhammad Asim, Senior Imam, Makkah Mosque Leeds, &Independent Member, Cross Government Working Group Tackling Anti Muslim Hatred
-Iftikhar Awan, Chair, Independent Members, Cross-Government Working Group on Tackling Anti-Muslim Hatred
Karim Sacoor, Community Activist & Independent Member, Cross-Government Working Group on Tackling Anti-Muslim Hatred
-Zaqir Shaikh, Darul Arqam Educational Trust Leicester, Wayfarers Trust Nottingham, & Imam Masjid al-Mustapha, Leicester
-Dr. Abul Kalam, Khatib, Docklands Community Organisation Mosque
-Imam Ghulam Rasool, Director, Dome and HSBT Sandwell, Tipton
-Imran & Aina Khan, Head of Islamic Department, Duncan Lewis Solicitors
-Akeela Ahmed, Equalities Campaigner
-Shaukat Warraich, CEO, Faith Associates, & Chief Editor, Imamsonline.com
-Fiyaz Mughal OBE, Founder & Director, Faith Matters & Tell MAMA UK
-Bharath Ganesh, Tell MAMA UK
-Muddassar Ahmed, Patron, Faiths Forum for London
-Mustafa Field MBE, Faiths Forum for London
-Haroon Bhabha, Family Support Worker
-Mohammed Kozbar, Finsbury Park Mosque
-Imam Umar Hayat Qadri, Senior Imam, Ghousia Mosque Huddersfield
-Shaykh M Shabbir Sialvi, Executive Imam, Golden Mosque, Rochdale
-Ufuk Secgin, Chairman, Hasene Humanitarian Aid UK
-Khurshid Ahmed CBE, CEO, Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust
-Sultan Niaz ul Hasan-Jade, Chair, Hazrat Sultan Bahu Trust UK
-Nick Lowles, Hope Not Hate
-Sayed Qassim Al Jalali, Huda Surrey Islamic Centre
-Aamer Anwar, Human Rights Lawyer, Scotland
-Esmat Jeraj, Hyderi Islamic Centre
-Imam Abdullah Hasan, Imams Against Domestic Abuse (IADA)
-Khurshid Drabu CBE, Judge, Upper Tier Tribunal, Immigration & Asylum Chamber, London
-Ragih Muflihi, CEO, Inclusive Muslim Action Network
-Nasar Iqbal, Founder & Operations Director, Innovate Walsall
-Rasheeda Begum, Interfaith Activist
-Sarah Ager, Interfaith Activist
-Rubab Mehdi, Chairwoman, International Imam Hussain Council
-Iqbal Bhana OBE, DL
-Shaykh Dr. Umar Al-Qadri, Chair, Irish Muslim Peace & Integration Council, & Imam, Islamic Centre Ireland
-Farooq Murad, Director General, The Islamic Foundation, & former Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
-Sughra Ahmed, President, Islamic Society of Britain
-Mubarak Ali, Secretary, Islamic Society of Wales
-Mohammad Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society
-Farhad Mawani, Vice-President, Ismaili Council for the UK
-Salim Janmohamed, Ismaili Council for the UK
-Jahan Mahmood, Military Historian
-Hafiz Saeed Makki, Finance Secretary, Jamaat Ahle Sunnat
-Harris Iqbal, Head of Operations, Khadeejah Welfare Foundation
-Imam Tahir Mahmood Kiani, Knowledge Initiative Academy
-Dr. Mohammad Mozaffari, Co-Founder & Trustee, Leeds Muslim Youth Group
-Moulana Shahid Raza OBE, Head Imam, Leicester Central Mosque, & Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB)
-Cllr. M Aslam Choudry, London Borough of Brent
-Yasmin Choudhury, Founder, Lovedesh & Amcariza Foundation
-Zafar Khan, Chairman, Luton Council of Faiths
-Imam Irfan Chishti, Manchester Central Mosque
-Sayed Ali Reza Rizvi, Markaz Ahlul Bayt Islamic Centre
-Moulana Abdul Wahhab, Markaz ud Da’wah wal Irshad, London
-Shaykh Talat, MCEC, Palmers Green Mosque
-Rashid Brora, Chairman, Medina Mosque, Southampton
-Afzal Khan MEP, Vice-Chair, Security & Defence, Member of European Parliament
-Jalal Fairooz, Secretary General, Bahrain Campaign, & Former Member of Parliament (Bahrain)
-Khalid Mahmood MP, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Perry Barr
-Yasmin Qureshi MP, Member of Parliament for Bolton South East
-Caroline Lucas MP, Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion
-Commander Mak Chishty, Metropolitan Police
-Laura Marks, Founder, Mitzvah Day
-Dr. Omar Hamdoon, President, Muslim Association of Britain
-Dr. Shuja Shafi, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain
-Dr. Javed Gill (Convener), Muslim Council of Scotland
-Adbul-Azim Ahmed, Muslim Council of Wales
-Fahim Mazhary, Consultant, Al Manaar, Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre
-Saleha Islam, Director Al Manaar, Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre
-Mohammed Khaled Noor, Muslim Professionals Forum
-Fayyaz Haji, President, Muslim Shia ithnathery Jamaat, Essex
-Jawad Kadhum Alkhalisi, Muslim Youth Association
-Dilwar Hussain, Director, New Horizons
-Julie Siddiqi & Laura Marks, Co-Chairs, Nisa-Nashim Jewish and Muslim Women’s Network
-Sheikh Mohammad Al-Hilli, Noor Trust, London
-Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Office of British Imams
-Abdul Buhari, 2012 GB Olympic Athlete
-Makhdoom Amjad Shah, TV Anchor, Journalist & CEO, OverseasPakistan Community
-Adeem Younis, Director, Penny Appeal, & Founder, singlemuslim.com
-Syed Faruq Shah, Chair, Qamar UK Islam
-Dawood Masood, Quba Trust
-Adam Deen, Quilliam Foundation
-Usama Hasan, Quilliam Foundation
-Shaykh Khalil ibn Elyas Laher, Quwwat-ul-Islam, London
-Shaykh Muhammad Umar ibn Ramadhan, Chairman, Ramadhan Foundation
-Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive, Ramadhan Foundation
-Mohammed Mojibul Hoque, Redcar Cleveland Islamic & Cultural Organisation
-Dr. Waqar Azmi OBE, Chairman, Remembering Srebrenica
-Rimla Akhtar MBE, Equality Activist
-Julie Siddiqi, Founder, Sadaqa Day
-Jawad Fairooz, Salam for Democracy & Human Rights
-Jagjit Singh Khambe, Sant Nirankari Mission UK
-Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi, Director General, Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society
-Yusuf Rios, Shaukani Institute, USA
-Sheikh Zymer Salihi
-Peter Herbert, Chair, Society of Black Lawyers
-Muhammad Muneeb Noorani, Imam, South Indian Sunni, Shafi’i Community, London
-Sheikh Nazim, Sufi Centre London UK
-Maulana Bustan Qadri, Secretary, Sunni Confederation of Mosques
-Imam Hashmi, Sunni ‘Ulema Council
-Sheikh Bahri Boja, UK Albanian Muslim Community & Cultural Centre, London
-Shaykh Haytham Tamim, Chairman, Utrujj Foundation
-Dr. Masood Yousef, Wales Institute for Muslim Affairs/Sefydliad Materion Mwslemaidd Cymru
-Waqar Ahmed MBE
-Tamina Mir, Women Buzz Network
-Mohammad Al-Musawi, World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League (WABIL)
-Dr. Asgar Moledina, President, The World Federation of KSIMC
-Zulfikar Hasham, Community Activist