First General Assembly Meets in London

9th March 1998

Delegates from more than 250 Muslim organisations representing all parts of England as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland assembled in London on Sunday the 1st of March 1998 and elected the first Central Working Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). After its historic launching on 23 November 97 at the same venue – Brent Town Hall, this First General Assembly was the Muslim Council of Britain’s formal working session where policy decisions were taken and elections held.

The following persons were elected for a two-year term:

  •  Secretary General – Mr. Iqbal Sacranie
  •  Deputy Secretary General – Mr Basil Mustafa
  •  Assistant Secretary General – Dr. Abdul Bari
  •  Treasurer – Mr Yusuf Islam

The Central Working Committee is made up of members elected on national basis as well as from twelve zones of the country. There are also nominees of national and regional organisations and co-opted members. Muslim youth, Muslim women and persons from a variety of religious and professional backgrounds are represented in the Central Working Committee.

Conceived as an independent, non-sectarian broad-based body the MCB brings together most of the significant social forces active in the British Muslim Community. The MCB aims to provide an integrated framework for Muslim self-expression and participation in the life of the country. In his acceptance speech the newly elected Secretary General Iqbal Sacranie placed emphasis on the value of teamwork, he said, “Here in the MCB we are all of equal rank. Those who are elected have accepted a heavy burden of responsibility and they will need the prayers and support of the entire community to discharge it successfully”.

One important feature of the assembly was a keynote speech on “British Muslim Community today and social trends” by Professor Tariq Madood of the Policy Studies Institute, which provided a graphic picture of the community and the problems and challenges it faces. He focussed on the needs of disadvantaged youth who form the bulk of the Muslim population of Britain. He also used recent surveys to highlight the reality of religious discrimination in Britain. His speech helped to set the scene for the MCB.

Agenda in the next two years – Programme of work

The General Assembly adopted the MCB’s programme of work for the first session and entrusted the newly elected Central Working Committee to set short, mid and long-term targets within the following brief:

In order to establish a position for the Muslim Community within British society that is fair and based on due rights the MCB will plan and conduct effective public campaigns on Muslim issues, encourage fuller participation of Muslims in public affairs and provide an informed, competent and authentic representation of Muslim interests at all levels.

– The MCB will actively promote social interaction with the wider society and work towards establishing a society that is based on morality, pure faith and the common good. It will support and encourage all initiatives aimed at promoting what is good and beneficial and discourage what is bad and destructive for society as a whole.

– To strengthen all existing efforts in the Muslim Community the MCB will identify examples of good practice in various areas and promote skills transfers and knowledge sharing across the community.

– To eradicate disadvantages and discrimination faced by the Muslim community the MCB will sponsor social policy planning and research. It will identify skill shortages within the community and encourage training in the relevant areas.

– The MCB will work for a more enlightened appreciation of Islam and Muslims in the wider society and by drawing on the experts in the community and setting up specialist bodies will provide well-informed responses to the media and public at large on issues of concern. It will also plan and implement training programmes to increase the community’s expertise in the field of media.

-The MCB will work towards improved regional co-operation among Muslim organisations. Mechanisms will be put in place so that the Community can be rapidly informed about matters of concern to enable it to respond promptly and effectively.

The full list of the Central Working Committee:

Mr Maroof Adeoye – London

Dr Manazir Ahsan – Leicester

Mr Fahad Al -Awadi – London

Mr Mahmud Al -Rashid – High Wycombe

Mufti Mohammed Aslam – Rotherham

Mr Sher Azam – Bradford

Mr Mohammad Baleem -Rochdale

Mr Younis Ballali – London

Miss Basma El-Shayyal – London

Mr Muslehuddin Faradhi – London

Mr Abdul Wahid Hamid – London

Mr Majdi Hasan – Manchester

Maulana Dr Suhaib Hasan – London

Mr Ibrahim Hewitt-London

Mr Mohammed Aslam Ijaz -London

Dr Ahmad Zaman Khan – Liverpool

Mr Mohammed Afzal Khan – Manchester

Dr Zakaullah Khan- London

Mr Sher Khan – London

Haji Ayub Laher – Bradford

Mr Bashir Maan – Glasgow

Mr Abdul Kadir Malek – London

Mr A H Masrur – London

Maulana Shoaib Ahmed Mirpuri – Birmingham

Dr. Mamoum Mobayed – Belfast

Mr Chowdhury Mueenuddin – London

Mr. Manzoor Moghal – Leicester

Mr Essam Mustafa – London

Mrs Karima Mustafa – London

Maulana Bostan Qadri – Birmingham

Dr Jafer Qureshi – Wolverhampton

Maulana Rashid Rabbani – Bradford

Mr Mohibur Rahman – London

Mr Raja Gul Raiz – Cardiff

Imam Saeedur Rehman – Walsall

Mr Farid Ahmed Reza – London

Mr Muhammad Riaz – London

Mr Mohammed Sabat – Leicester

Maulana Syed Sabzwary – London

Imam Dr Abduljalil Sajid – Brighton

Mr Hassan Satti – New Malden

Maulana Syed Husain Shah – Glasgow

Mr Hussain Shefaar – London

Maulana Ahmed Sidat – Blackburn

Maulana Sharif Ahmed Syed – Manchester

Mrs Najwa Abdel Wahab- Abingdon

Mr Tanzim Wasti – New Malden

Mr Misdaq Zaidi – London

The General Assembly also expressed its appreciation of Mr Khurshid Drabu, Special Judge, for the efficient and energetic way he conducted the election and to Dr. Jamil Sherif, systems analyst, for the enormous amount of work he put in in the setting up of the MCB. The work of the large number of volunteers was also commended.