Network MCB - Issue 20: April 2016

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Channel 4 and Mr Phillips Won’t Tell You “What British Muslims Really Think”

“The picture presented by Trevor Phillips of British Muslims is one that the vast majority of British Muslims do not recognise and reject. It has been widely derided for cobbling together all the negative stereotypes people have of Muslims".

The Muslim Council of Britain issued the following response to the build-up to and broadcast of the programme “What British Muslims Really Think?” aired on Channel 4 on 13 April 2016.

'The programme claimed to present ‘the most detailed and comprehensive survey of British Muslim opinion yet’, based on polling conducted by ICM.

We are in no doubt the presentation of these results will be seized by some to create anxieties.  This programme was less about what “British Muslims Really Think” and more about “what we want to think of British Muslims.”

Read the full response

See Also:

- What do Muslims really think? This skewed poll certainly won’t tell us

- Jon Gaunt Show on Talk2Me Radio
Radio Host, Jon Gaunt speaks to Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, Assistant Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain who reacts to Trevor Phillips documentary about Islam in modern day Britain. Listen to the full interview.
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The Muslim Council of Britain is an independent organisation and exists to serve Britain's diverse Muslim community. As a democratically-elected cross sectarian representative body, the MCB seeks to connect with the media, government and wider society so that British Muslims can have their voices heard.

We exist thanks to the modest fees paid by our affiliates, but there is an urgent need to do more with your donations. 

Whether that is responding to the media, contributing to policy proposals or show casing positive Muslim news stories, we need your generous contribution so we can support the British Muslim community at this moment of need. 

Donating is easy. You can donate online with a one-off payment or monthly standing order. You can also donate by texting MCBG33 to 70070 with the amount you wish to donate.
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Affiliate News
Top Positions for the Muslim Council of Britain

On Sunday 17 July 2016, delegates representing MCB’s national, regional and local affiliates will assemble in London for the Nineteenth Annual General Meeting.

In the course of the day, delegates will cast their votes for the election of a Secretary General (SG), Deputy Secretary General (DSG) and 28 members of the National Council (NC) for the term 2016-2018.

The Election Commissioner has issued a Call for Candidates seeking to stand for the SG and DSG positions. Find more information about where to submit, the process and timeline of deadlines here.
MCB News
Election of First Muslim Woman President of National Union of Students

On 21 April 2016, the Muslim Council of Britain congratulated the election of Malia Bouattia as president of the National Union of Students.

Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “Malia Bouattia’s election as president of the NUS should be welcomed by all. As the first Muslim and black woman to lead the organisation, Malia’s election demonstrates to all of us that young Muslim women can aspire to high positions in British public life today. As Malia goes on to serve all students, regardless of religion, colour and creed, we hope she goes on to be a role model to Muslims by demonstrating that Muslims can and should take part in our country’s democratic traditions. We wish her well, particularly in her interest in inter-faith work and in bringing students from different faith traditions together.”
The Muslim Council of Britain and the Ahmadiyya Community

On 26th March 2016, the MCB issued an immediate statement condemning the murder of Glasgow resident Asad Shah. Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: "There is no place for hatred of this kind and I condemn it utterly".

Following several media requests about the MCB's position in regards to the Ahmadiyya community, the MCB released its position statement - see here.

The MCB has set up an Independent Investigation Panel to review allegations made about one of its affiliates. Due to the seriousness and gravity of the allegations, the organisation has temporarily been suspended as an affiliate. Find out about the inquiry and the panel.

Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry
Following the Muslim Council of Britain's submission to the Women and Equalities Committee, Talat Ahmed and Miqdaad Versi from the MCB provided oral evidence on the Committee's Inquiry on 12th April 2016, at the House of Commons.
The session looked at broader islamophobia within society, how that might impact Muslims’ experiences in employment, and how well the Government has engaged with Muslim communities to tackle these issues.
Home Affairs Select Committee - Security, Counter-Terrorism and the Counter-Narrative

The  Home Affairs Select Committee held a conference in Homerton College, Cambridge on Thursday 21st April to mark the end of the Committee’s inquiry into countering extremism. Speakers included international figures and experts, with Rob Wainwright, Director of Europol; Lt. Gen. Dambazau, Interior Minister of Nigeria; Ali Soufan, Chairman and CEO of the Soufan Group; Rt Hon John Hayes MP, UK Security Minister and art Hon Lord Tariq Ahmed, Minister for Countering Extremism.  
Also invited to speak at the event was Ameena Blake, the MCB's Assistant Secretary General.
Speaking Out Against Islamophobia and Racism

Talha Ahmad, a National Council member of the MCB, represented the MCB at a Stand up to Racism meeting at Portcullis House on 21 April. Prior to the meeting, he had attended and spoke at the Stand Up to Racism Islamophobia March held on 19 March 2016.

MCB in the News
Selected coverage

“There is growing Islamophobia in the UK today, with more and more people having negative attitudes towards Muslims. In such a climate, it is very important that newspapers are careful in reporting facts accurately.” - Daily Star Sunday censured over misleading headline on UK mosques.

The MCB was concerned by the fact there was no representation from Muslim communities on the list, "especially given a significant proportion of those children referred to Prevent teams [formed of police and local officials] in schools are Muslim." - Exclusive: UK Did Not Consult Any Muslim Organizations About Flagship Anti-Radicalization Website.

Huffington Post
“Choosing specifically to poll in areas that are poor and more religiously conservative, skews the results and makes it indicative of these areas and not of British Muslims nationally.” - Channel 4 British Muslims Poll Called ‘Skewed’ For Targeting ‘Conservative’ Areas With 20% Muslims.

No wonder the Muslim Council of Britain’s response to the poll warned explicitly against “stigmatising” and “scapegoating” of Muslims. - Well done Channel 4 - you’ve just made British Muslims feel even more isolated.

In this Newsletter:

* Trevor Phillips - ICM Poll
*Remember to Vote on 5th May 2016!
* MCB Upcoming Election AGM
* Congratulations to First Muslim Woman President of NUS
*Submissions and Inquiries
*MCB in the News
*Affiliate News

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The Muslim Council of Britain is a national representative Muslim umbrella body with over 500 mosques and other organisations affiliated to it.

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Community News
Calling All Londoners:
Remember to Vote on 5th May to decide who you want as your next Mayor of London!

The Mayor of London has a crucial role that affects the lives of all Londoners and controls key policies including housing, transport, education and policing.

See the list of Candidates.

Ensure you take part and have your say in this crucial vote that can change the life for Londoners.
Secretary General's Events
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit

The  Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain attended the Thirteenth Islamic Summit Conference of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) entitled 'Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace' held in Istanbul on 14  - 15  April 2016; chaired by HE Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey.

It was an honour for the MCB to be invited to attend this very important world summit alongside the heads of the state delegation of 57 countries and to showcase a positive image of our country and our community to leaders of the Muslim world.

EU Meeting - Brussels

The Secretary General of the MCB was invited to attend an EU meeting in Brussels on the topic of radicalisation, on 26 April 2016. The SG attended, alongside two British MEPs, Afzal Khan and Syed Kamall who chaired two panel discussions.

Global Islamic Economy Summit

On 29th April 2016, Dr Shuja Shafi attended a roundtable on the topic of the Halal Industry, where he moderated one of the sessions. The roundtable ended with meaningful resolutions for industry leaders to take forward.

Equal Opportunities in Mosques

On 17 April 2016, the Secretary General, Dr Shuja Shafi, and Assistant Secretary General, Miqdaad Versi organised a roundtable discussion looking at the potential for more women participation in mosques and other areas. The roundtable was well attended and covered the current landscape of female participation, and work going forward.

Youth Development Programme

The Secretary General of the MCB alongside Mohammed Adrees Sharif, National Council member of the MCB, working in conjunction with NCVYS, organised a Youth Development Roundtable on 17 March 2016 to discuss and develop its work on its Youth Development Programe. Work is already underway, watch for further updates.
London Declaration on Islam and World Peace

Following the London Conference on Islam and World Peace that was organised by the Muslim Association of Nigeria UK on 9th April 2016, and supported by the MCB, a London Declaration on Islam and World Peace 2016 was unanimously adopted by the end of the conference.

MCB invites you to affiliate your organisation!

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