Umbrella Body Heralds New Era For British Muslims

19th november 1997

On Sunday 23 November 1997, representatives of more than 250 Muslim organisations from all walks of life and of all manner of interests will meet in London to launch an umbrella organisation dedicated to the betterment of the community and country.

After years of quiet groundwork and extensive consultation within the community, Sunday 23 November will wee the launching of a UK-wide Muslim umbrella body, The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). Concieved as an independant, non-sectarian and broad-based body, the MCB incorporates most of the significant social forces active in the life of the British Muslim community estimated to number abut 2 million.

The launching of the MCB will take place at a national convention at Londons Brent Town Hall, Forty Lane, Wembley, 10.30am-16.30pm, when the delegates from more than 250 Muslim societies, associations and organisations nation-wide will formally announce the formation of the council.

Affiliated bodies include women and youth societies; student and school associations; human rights and relief agencies; media and publishing institutions; research foundations and learned bodies; medical, legal and professional societies; the society of ‘ulama and religious colleges; mosques and welfare centres; and regional and national bodies.

“The inauguration of the MCB is an important milestone in the evolution of the Muslim community and its institutions in Britain,” says AbdulWahid Hamid, a spokes person for the Preparatory Committee. “Primarily the aim is to highlight the fact that we are an asset to the nation and to celebrate the contribution we have made to society. We are also intent on sending the message that we are a mature community determined to play a full role in the future well-being of our country.”

The Council broadly aims at:
(1) promoting consensus and cooperation within the community,
(2) giving voice to issues of common concern,
(3) obtaining removal of disadvantages and discrimination faced by Muslims,
(4) fostering a better appreciation of Islam and Muslim culture, and
(5) working for the good of society as a whole.

The MCB is structured to provide a devolved but integrated framework for Muslim self-expression and participation in the life of the country. It policies and decisions will be based on consensus and the largest practicable measure of agreement.

The MCB concept is also premised on respect for all other Islamic bodies in the community. The MCB does not see itself as displacing or isolating any existing work and it believes in supporting the good work done by any other body or organisation.

The Convention on 23rd November will set-up a Working Committee which then takes over from the Preparatory Committee. The first General Assembly Meeting of the MCB will be held on 1 March 1998.

The MCB represents the rich and diverse spectrum of Islamic organisations in Britain and the Convention promises to be a defining event in the life of the British Muslim community.

For further information Please contact:
Abdul Wahid Hamid, London 0181 903 9024
Sher Azam, Bradford 01274 414105
Dr Hani al-Banna, Birmingham 0121 605 5555
Yusuf Islam, London 0171 607 6655
Mrs Sarah Joseph, London 0181 795 3476
Dr Abdur-Rahim Khan, Preston 01253 724 859
Bashir Maan, Glasgow 0141 429 7689
Manzoor Moghal, Leicester 0973 411 889
Maulana Bostan Qadri, Birmirmingham 0121 328 0837
Iqbal Sacranie, London 0181 974 2780
Tanzeem Wasti, London 0181 942 5038

The MCB constitution and a full list of affiliated organisations is available on request.