United Statement Against the Criminalisation of Islam in UK

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Source: Islam21c.com

Muslim community rejects the State’s criminalisation of Islām and condemns moves to silence legitimate critique and dissent

This joint statement expresses a position with respect to the ongoing demonisation of Muslims in Britain, their values as well as prominent scholars, speakers and organisations.

We, the undersigned Imāms, Sheikhs, advocates, activists, community leaders, community organisations and student bodies of the Muslim community, make the following points in this regard:

1) We reject the exploitation of Muslim issues and the ‘terror threat’ for political capital, in particular in the run up to a general election. Exploiting public fears about security is as dishonourable as exploiting public fears about immigration. Both deflect attention from crises in the economy and health service. They are crude and divisive tactics by which the big parties inevitably try to outdo each other in their nastiness.

2) We deplore the continued public targeting of Muslims through endless ‘anti-terror’ laws. There have been approximately ten pieces of legislation since the year 2000, all giving huge powers to the state, which have fuelled a media hysteria even though in most cases no crime was committed. This has created a distressing and harmful backlash towards Muslims, especially women and children.

3) We reject the portrayal of Muslims and the Muslim community as a security threat. The latest Act of Parliament, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, threatens to create a ‘McCarthyite’ witch-hunt against Muslims, with nursery workers, schoolteachers and Universities expected to look out for signs of increased Islamic practice as signs of ‘radicalisation’. Such a narrative will only further damage social cohesion as it incites suspicion and ill feeling in the broader community.

4) The expedient use of undefined and politically charged words like ‘radicalisation’ and ‘extremism’ is unacceptable as it criminalises legitimate political discourse and criticism of the stance of successive governments towards Muslims domestically and abroad. We strongly oppose political proposals to further ‘tackle’ and ‘crack down’ on such dissenting voices in the Muslim community despite their disavowal of violence and never having supported terrorist acts.

5) Similarly, it is unacceptable to label as ‘extremist’ numerous normative Islamic opinions on a variety of issues, founded on the Qur’ān and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), implying there is a link between them and violence, using such labels as an excuse to silence speakers.

6) We affirm our commitment to robust political and ideological debate and discourse for the betterment of humanity at large. The attempts by the state to undermine this bring into question its commitment to its very own purported values and liberal freedoms.

7) We affirm our concern about peace and security for all. We, however, refuse to be lectured on peace-building and harmony by a government that plays divisive politics and uses fear to elicit uncertainty in the general public, whilst maintaining support for dictators across the Muslim world, who continue to brutalise political opposition to their tyranny.

8) We affirm our intention to hold on to our beliefs and values, to speak out for what is right and against what is wrong based on our principles, whether that be on matters such as the securitisation of society, corporate hegemony, war and peace, economic exploitation, social and moral issues in society, nationalism and racism. Not to do so would be dangerous and would leave our community unguided.

9) We call on all fair-minded people in Britain – including politicians, journalists, academics, bloggers and others concerned about fairness for all – to continue to scrutinise the scare tactics, fear-mongering and machinations of politicians, which do not bode well for societal harmony and only increase the alienation felt and experienced by Britain’s Muslim community.

It is time that politicians stop diverting the attention of the British public away from its domestic crises and disastrous foreign policies by repeatedly playing the ‘Muslim’ or ‘national security’ card.

Signed:

  1. Abdurraheem Green, iERA
  2. Anjum Anwar, Teacher/Chair of Woman’s Voice
  3. Arzu Merali, Islamic Human Rights Commission
  4. Dr Abdul Wahid, Hizb ut-Tahrir, Britain
  5. Dr Musharraf Hussain, CEO and Chief Imam, Karimia Institute
  6. Dr Reza Pankhurst, Author and academic
  7. Dr Saeed Al-Gadi, Presenter at Islam Channel
  8. Dr Shahrul Hussain, Birmingham
  9. Dr Uthman Lateef, Hittin Institute
  10. Hodan Yusuf, Journalist
  11. Ibrahim Hewitt, Leicester
  12. Ibtihal Bsis, Barrister, Broadcaster,
  13. Imam Abdul Wahhab, East London
  14. Imam Abdul-Malik Sheikh, Imam & Khatib, London
  15. Imam Abdul Mateen, East London
  16. Imam Aziz Ibraheem, Iman Trust Community Centre, St Helens
  17. Imam Irfan Patel, Jamiah Masjid, Gillngham
  18. Imam Shakeel Begg, Lewisham Islamic Centre
  19. Jahangir Mohammed, Centre for Muslim Affairs
  20. Lauren Booth, Journalist
  21. Mahmud Choudhury – Secretary Poplar Shahjalal Masjid
  22. Massoud Shadjareh, Islamic Human Rights Commission
  23. Moazzam Begg, Director of Outreach for CAGE
  24. Muhammad Mustaqeem Shah, Al Mustaqeem Centre, Bradford
  25. Shaikh Abu Abdissalam, London
  26. Shaikh Haitham Haddad, London
  27. Shaikh Haitham Tamim, Chairman of the Utrujj Foundation
  28. Shaikh Khaled Fekry, Imam, London
  29. Shaikh Omer Hamdoon, Muslim Association of Britain
  30. Shaikh Sulaiman Gani, South London
  31. Shaikh Zuber Karim, Intelligence Finance Consultancy
  32. Shaikh Tauqir Ishaq, CEO Hijaz College
  33. Ustadh Kamal Abu Zahra, Lecturer on Islamic studies, London
  34. Yusuf Chambers – Freelance community activist
  35. Yusuf Patel, SRE Islamic
  36. Azad Ali, Muslim Safety Forum
  37. Asghar Bukhari, Muslim Public Affairs Committee, UK
  38. Roshan Muhammad Salih, Broadcaster and journalist
  39. Ghulam Haydar, Director of Myriad Foundation
  40. Shoaib Khalid Bhatti, Muslim Lobby, Scotland
  41. Dr Daud Abdullah, British Muslim Initiave
  42. Shaikh Chokri Majoli, Imam, London
  43. Yvonne Ridley, Vice President European Muslim League
  44. Muhammad Shafique, Ramadan Foundation, Rochdale
  45. Hasan Alkatib, Journalist
  46. Mazhar Khan, Manchester Muslim Forum
  47. Saaqib Abu Ishaaq, Project Medinah, Rochdale
  48. Omar Ali, Chair of Brighton and Hove Muslim Community
  49. Sofia Ahmed, Activist & founder of Muslim Women Against Femen
  50. Nalini Naidoo,  Newham Muslim Women’s Association
  51. Irfan Hussain, Bradford Dawah Centre
  52. Leyla Habibti,  humanitarian activist
  53. Tasmin Nazeer, freelance journalist
  54. Ali Anees, Eccles Mosque
  55. Saeed Akhtar, Cheadle Mosque
  56. Yousef Dar, Community Safety Forum, Manchester
  57. Dr Shameela Islam-Zulfiqar, Humanitarian campaigner
  58. Majid Freeman, Humanitarian aid worker, friend of Alan Henning
  59. Laura Stuart, Humanitarian aid worker, journalist and activist
  60. Salman Sayyid, Author and Academic
  61. Shezana Hafiz, Humanitarian Activist
  62. Abdus Samad, IQRA TV / TV Producer
  63. Alomgir Ali, MDRF, London
  64. Shamsuz zaman, CYCD Chairperson, Luton
  65. Tahir Talati, Imam Zakariya Academy, London
  66. Abdul Razaq, Principal Iqra Academy, Peterborough
  67. Fahad Ansari, Human Rights Solicitor
  68. Abdullah al Andalusi , Muslim Debate Initiative
  69. Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn Muslim Association
  70. Suhail Akubat, Imam, Masjid e Salaam, Preston
  71. Bilal Toorawa, Imam, Blackburn
  72. Councillor Salim Mulla, Blackburn
  73. Mohammed Alsheikh Mousa Attari Alhijazy, Alhuda Prophetic Medical Centre, London
  74. Haji Mohammed Walayat, Sunni Council of Mosques, Luton
  75. Edris Seth, Political Activist, Bolton
  76. Ali Ahmad, Imam, East London
  77. Zahid Akhtar, Founder Documenting Oppression Against Muslims, Walsall
  78. Shirajul Haque, Imam, London
  79. Ismail Rawat, Preston Muslim Forum, Preston
  80. Khaleel Ur Rahman, The Deen Project / Activist, Derby
  81. Ilyas Abu Yusuf, Imam, Bolton
  82. Yaseen Ahmedabadi, General Secretary, Nuneaton Muslim Society
  83. Munir Aya, Volunteer, Zakaria Mosque, Bolton
  84. Raheema Bux, Community Worker, Blackburn
  85. Nasima Begum, Solicitor, Luton
  86. Mustafa Mustafa, Youth Worker, South London
  87. Amanpaul Dhaliwal, Islam21c.com, London
  88. Tahir Alam, PHD Student, SOAS, London
  89. Dr Ajmal Hussain, GP, Stoke on Trent
  90. Hafiz Kasim Javed, Community Activist, Rochdale
  91. Ahmed Desai, Imam, Bradford
  92. Muhammad Hansrot, Imam, Croydon, London
  93. Muhammad Rahman, Teacher, Ilford, London
  94. Rizwan Ahmed, Imam, Sheffield
  95. Abdul Rehman Saleem, Khateeb / Activist, London
  96. Inamul Hussain Yusuf, Teacher, Bolton
  97. Dr Suhel Ahmed, GP, Bolton
  98. Nasar Khan, Quran Project Volunteer, Birmingham
  99. Asad Zaman, Imam & Chair Inter-Mosque Sports Association, Cheadle
  100. Dr Siema Iqbal, GP, Manchester
  101. Professor Yasin Patel, Senior Professor and Academic, London
  102. Mohammed Makeen Salloo, Imam, Walsall
  103. Qasim Asad, Community Voice, Blackburn
  104. Ibrahim Bismillah, Director of Darul Ihsan Academy, Bradford
  105. Faisal Mahmood, President, UKIM Peterborough
  106. Muhammad Haque, Imam, Romford
  107. Juwel Mahmud, Activist, London
  108. Kosser Mohammed, College Lecturer, Newham, London
  109. Suhail Rafique, Lecturer, Bolton
  110. Majed Iqbal, Freelance Journalist and Blogger, Rochdale
  111. Mufti Hussain Mohammed Sultan, Imam, London
  112. Dr Imran Rafiq, Ilford, Essex
  113. Dr Colin Turner, Reader in Islamic Thought, University of Durham
  114. Nabeela Siddiqui, Barrister, Derby
  115. Nadeem Khan, Normanton Youth Association
  116. Mahmud Amirat, Chair Preston Gujarat Muslim Welfare Society, Preston
  117. Mohammed Tahir, Teacher, Oldham
  118. Imran Khan, Youth Worker, Birmingham
  119. Syed Nurul Islam, Community Activist, Bedford
  120. Hamid Chaudry, Chair,  Bayyina Foundation, Blackburn
  121. Muhammad Rashid, Imam, Peterborough
  122. Sadiyya Ali, Teacher, Oldham
  123. Mohammed Tahir, Teacher, Oldham
  124. Muhammed ibn Ayub, Director MBYG, Blackburn
  125. Aisha Mirza, Author / Activist, Manchester
  126. Sajid Varda, Producer / Broadcaster, London
  127. Paul, Muslim Blogger at bloggingtheology.net, London
  128. Belal Ballali, Muslim Association of Britain, Birmingham
  129. Zaid Mohammad, Imam, Central Mosque Rochdale
  130. Abyd Quinn Aziz, Lecturer, Cardiff
  131. Dr Zavid Chariwala, GP, Bolton
  132. Rahim Jung, Broadcaster / TV presenter, London
  133. Badr. J. Akhter, Teacher, Stockport
  134. Mumtaz Malik, Imam, London
  135. Shaban Ul Haq, CEO The Reflections Institute, Luton
  136. Lukman Harees, Social Activist / Author, Reading
  137. Moinul Abu Hamza, The Qur’an Initiative, London
  138. Shujah Hamid, Deputy Head Teacher, Slough
  139. Usman Qureshi,  Norbury Muslim Centre, London
  140. Mohammad Quraishi, Principal, Quantum Ruqya Education Trust
  141. Imam Khalid Hussain, Masjid Tajdar E Madina & Jamia Sufia, Leicester
  142. Dr Zeshan Ali, Doctor, Manchester
  143. Moulana Afrooz ali, Al Hikmah Trustee, Bradford
  144. Nabil Khan, Hemel Muslims, Hemel Hempstead
  145. Muhammad Rubel Amin, Community Worker, Bedford
  146. Abdul Munaim, Journey to Islam, Derby
  147. Sadat Hussain, Founder- Street Dawah Walsall, Walsall
  148. Mubarak Patel, Teacher, Blackburn
  149. Asif Batha, Lecturer, Bolton
  150. Abid Khan, Imam, Cheadle Mosque, Manchester
  151. Faisal Khan, Councillor, Bradford
  152. Shah Asad Ahmed, Director, Oxford Muslim Society, Oxford
  153. Abu Isa, Inquisitive Minds Tuition, Leeds
  154. Abd As Sabur, Activist, Rochdale
  155. Mohammed Imran, Teacher, Wakefield
  156. Shah Shuaib Ahmed, Vice Principal, Imam Zakariya Academy & Al-Ashraaf Islamic College, London
  157. Mohammed Amjad, Councillor and Human Rights Lawyer, Aylesbury
  158. Adnan Ahmad, Actvist, Uxbridge
  159. Dr Imran Satia, Chair, Blackburn Muslim Association, Blackburn
  160. Dee Jenoch, Youth Club co-ordinator, Bedford
  161. Dawud Islam, Former Deputy Leader, RESPECT, Rochdale
  162. Zubeir Hassam,Principal, Muslim School Oadby, Leicester
  163. Rehana Parveen, Lecturer, Birmingham
  164. Aminur Rahman, Imam, Birmingham
  165. Latif Rajput, Trustee, Cambridge
  166. Abdul-Samad Billoo, Community Activist, London
  167. Sajaad Rauf, Youth worker, Sheffield
  168. Leonie Campbell, Teacher, London
  169. Riyadhul Haque, Nottingham Muslim Community (FB), Nottingham
  170. Mamoon Al-Hassan, President, Young Muslim Organisation UK, London
  171. Dr Anas Altikriti, CEO & Founder, The Cordoba Foundation, London

Notes:

Official statement and a realtime list of signatories can be found on the campaign site, https://jointmuslimstatement.wordpress.com/

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