MCB and TUC join together to combat Islamophobia and far right threat

11 Apr 2007

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and the Trade Unions Congress (TUC) are to hold a joint seminar to look at how trade unions can work more closely with the Muslim community to improve the job prospects of Muslim workers and combat the threat the far right poses to the UK’s many diverse communities.

Last September at the TUC Congress in Brighton, the MCB and the TUC signed an agreement committing the two organisations to joint working to support workplace justice and to combat the threat of Islamophobia. This event is aimed at giving practical effect to those commitments.

The seminar, which takes place at Congress House on Thursday 12 April starts at 10.30am and will be chaired by TUC General Council member Mohammad Taj, of the Transport and General Workers Union.

The participative seminar includes sessions on: the Muslim community and work; the media and portrayals of the Muslim community; and countering the threat of the far right.

There will be keynote addresses from MCB Secretary General Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari and TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, who said: `We do not underestimate the scale of the challenge facing us today. Islamophobia is a real and present threat, fuelled by prejudice and misunderstandings, and the rise of the far right and electoral success of the BNP are alarming features of recent years. Local elections are approaching once again, and by working together the TUC and the MCB can expose the far right for what they really are and work towards a better deal for everyone in the workplace.’

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said: `We believe in social justice and equal rights for all. The Muslim community is facing real problems of discrimination and poverty – a third of Muslims are living in the 10% most deprived neighbourhoods of the country – but we have a tremendous amount to offer the UK workplace in terms of skills, optimism and energy.’