Muslims Want a Better Britain for All Its Citizens

17 May 2000

Muslims have an important role in building a better Britain for all its citizens, says Yousuf Bhailok, the newly elected Secretary General of The Muslim Council of Britain, the umbrella body of Muslim organizations. “We are committed to build on the firm foundation laid by my predecessor and his team in the first two years of MCBs existence. Insha’Allah we will continue to work for the interests of the entire Muslim community and for the common good of the wider society,” he said.

Yousuf Bhailok, a businessman from Preston with 25 years experience in community work with a special interest in education, was elected by delegates representing more than 300 affiliated Muslim organizations from across Britain, made up of 22 national, seven regional and 284 local and other organizations. The third Annual General Meeting of the MCB was held on Saturday, May 13, at Brent Town Hall in London.

The outgoing Secretary General, Iqbal Sacranie, in presenting the Annual Report said: “We are still at a stage where we feel like clamoring for due rights when our heritage tells us that we should rather be engaged in helping to contribute to the fund of what is right in our society.This need can only be fulfilled by greater participation at all levels of society as opposed to mere agitation from the sidelines.”

“We have been heartened by the openness and the positive response we have met after two years of concerted effort to get the Muslim viewpoint and concerns heard at government and institutional levels, ” says the Report. But several major concerns remain. “There is a need to outlaw discrimination on religious grounds while members of the community continue to suffer why is it taking so long to accord these basic human rights?”

“There is widespread backing for the inclusion of the religious question in Census 2001. After years of protracted campaigning why has it been left to the fragile device of a Private Members Bill?” questions the Report.

Where has the principle gone?” it asks of British policy on Russian atrocities in Chechnya. “Why is there so little movement in western government’s dealing with the crippling debts of the world’s most impoverished peoples?”

However, the Report says the MCB is heartened to find that there is a general awareness of the organization within the British Muslim community, and that they can turn to it with confidence, “whether at times of crisis or to deal with any issue of concern or request.”

The MCB has committed itself to a policy of service to the community and to the common good. It is open to any and all Muslim organizations in Britain to join the organization, the MCB continues to invite all Muslim organizations to be part of and contribute to the work for the common good.

“It is true to say, that in its first two years The Muslim Council of Britain has been able to establish itself in the life of the Muslim Community and in the wider society, and also abroad. In many senses, however, our work has only begun,” concluded the Report.

The Annual General Meeting expressed warm appreciation for the dedicated work of the outgoing Secretary General, Iqbal Sacranie (who completed his two year term, the maximum allowed under the MCB constitution), the Central Working Committee and all those who assisted and supported the work of the MCB. Mr Sacranie thanked all the many individuals and organizations in the community and the wider society who have worked with and assisted the MCB.

The membership of the General Assembly expressed satisfaction at the constructive spirit in which the proceedings of the AGM were conducted and in particular with the smooth election process which was presided over by Mr Khurshid Drabu.

The MCB operates through a Central Working Committee which implements policy set by the General Assembly. It comprises of 4 office bearers, 33 members elected by the General Assembly at the Annual General Meeting and 29 members nominated by each of the National and Regional organizations affiliated to the MCB.

The newly elected office bearers of the Muslim Council of Britain, who will serve for the next two years are:

Mr Yousuf Bhailok – Secretary General

Mr Mahmud Al-Rashid – Deputy Secretary General Cllr.

Mohammad Afzal Khan – Assistant Secretary General

Mr Fadi Itani – Treasurer

The new Central Working Committee that will also serve for the next two years is:

Mr Mohammad Afzal, Maulana Syed Sherif Ahmed, Ms Nazia Ahmed, Dr Manazir Ahsan, Mr Mokhtar Badri, Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, Mr Khurrum Bashir, Dr Kamal El-Helbawy, Mr Jamal El-Turk, Mr Muslehuddin Faradi, Mr Zafar Iqbal, Mr Yusuf Islam, Mr Ebrahim Jasat, Dr Ahmed Zaman Khan, Mr Bashir Ahmed Maan, Mr Amjad Mahmood, Mr Ibrahim Master, Mr Farooq Murad, Mr Manzoor Moghal, Dr Mamoun Mobayed, Mr Chowdry Mueen-uddin, Prof Dawud Noibi, Mr Nasim Aslam Rana, Dr Kadhem Al Rawi, Mr Muhammad Riaz, Mr Adam Sabat, Mr Iqbal Sacranie, Imam Dr Abdul Jalil Sajid JP, Maulana Ahmed Sidat, Mr Muhammad Arif Umerji, Ms Najwa Abdul Wahab, Mr Tanzeem Wasti, Mr Misdaq Zaidi.

Members of the Central Working Committee nominated by National and Regional Organisations are:

Mr Muhammad Abdussalaam, Mr Maroof Adeoye, Dr Fida Alaiddin, Mr Bashir Ahmed, Maulana Rafiqul Alam, Mr Ahmed Al-Shaikh, Dr Khalid Anees, Mr Isfandyar Aslam, Mr Qamar Rashid Bhatti, Mr Rani El-Khateeb, Mrs Sahar Faur, Mr Mohammed Aslam Ijaz, Mr Dilowar Khan, Mr Kamrudin Kothia, Mr Ayub Laher, Mr Tariq Mahmoud, Mrs Uznaiza Malik, Mr Shouaeb Ahmed Mirpuri, Mr Irfan Mustafa, Dr Bail Mustafa, Mr Suleman Nagdi, Dr Sibtain Panjwani, Maulana Bostan Qadri, Dr Jafer H, Qureshi, Mr Kolqur Rahman, Mr Hassan A. Satti, Maulana Syed Tufail Shah.

Brief Details of the New Secretary General

Yousuf Bhailok

Newly elected Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Yousuf M.I. Bhailok, 43, is Managing Director and CEO of a property investment company. He studied Law at Preston and business at Manchester.

Mr Bhailok, who came to Britain at the age of five years, is married with 4 children. “I believe we must make our children proud of their Islamic heritage, we should maintain our traditional values but be open minded in our outlook,” he says.

A member of the inaugural Central Working Committee of the MCB, Mr Bhailok has been active in the organization since its inception. He has been working for Muslim organizations, from grassroots to national bodies, for some 25 years. He is presently Managing Trustee of Lancashire Darul Uloon Higher Islamic College and is a former Chairman of Lancashire Council of Mosques, Preston Muslim Forum, the Jame Masjid, Preston, Vice Chairman of Preston and West Lancashire Racial Equality Council. He has served on the committee of several other organizations both locally and nationally.

“I believe we must participate in the mainstream of British society at all levels, local and national. Our task is to work constructively and positively for change from within. Muslims are part of British society, let’s make our mark,” says Yousuf Bhailok.

For More Information Contact: Merryl Wyn Davies, Media Officer, Tel: 0208 903 9024 or 07974-979771 Fax 020 8903-9026