Following the brutal attack and murder upon a British soldier in Woolwich on 22/5/2013, the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) joined other  organisations in its condemnation of the heinous and barbaric attack. The MINAB should like to remind one and all that violence has no place in Islam and that there are evil people in every faith just as there are mentally deranged people in all races and cultures. We feel deeply sorry for the family of thevictim of this horrific crime.

As the national faith related organization, MINAB would like to re-state its commitment to community cohesion and co-operation in our multifaith and multicultural communities. To this end MINAB is asking all its membership to act in unison to defeat through peaceful means those who threaten harmony in our society.

The much awaited programme on a serious subject turned out to be most disappointing. It was a poorly disguised attempt at investigative journalism.  The so-called investigation that it carried out was confined to one Shariah Council and even that was edited and presented in the most one sided and unbalanced manner. Only the negativities relating to that Council were highlighted. None of the positive work done in the many decades of its existence was even alluded to.

It was clearly a predetermined agenda that drove the programme. The agenda appeared to be to create fear and misapprehension amongst viewers that Muslims are running and following a parallel legal system. Nothing could be further from the truth. Shariah Councils are not courts and have no legal basis for their existence. They have no powers of enforcement of their conclusions or recommendations. They operate by agreement of parties and an unhappy party can withdraw from the process at any time. His or her rights under the law of the UK are not compromised in any way. So what, may we ask, is the basis for the allegation or assertion that Shariah Councils are a legal system that is running parallel to the UK law on family matters, property disputes and children’s rights etc. Such suggestions are peddled in the hope that if you tell lies enough times, it may be believed as the truth. But that will not happen, as the overwhelming majority of our society is composed of reasonable, tolerant and fair minded people.

LogoThe Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) is dedicated to increasing the awareness of issues affecting our planet. The environmental crisis that humanity is facing requires the attention and action of all communities in the UK. The Muslim community has an important role to play in this respect. The challenge that we face is enormous.

MINAB calls on all Mosques and Imams to mark the occasion of Climate Week to renew our ambition to combat climate change. The MINAB welcomes the many positive steps already being taken in communities across UK to mark Climate week particularly from the faith sector.

The Chairman of the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, Maulana Sarfraz Madni has said that “MINAB welcomes the opportunity created by the Panorama programme to put the record straight on Shariah Councils."

In this context we should like to emphasise that Shariah Councils are voluntary bodies which function by agreement of parties to a dispute. No person, male or female, can be forced to appear before a Shariah Council nor do the Shariah Councils have any legal powers of enforcing their conclusions or their suggested remedies. A party who feels aggrieved or dissatisfied with decision or conclusion of a Shariah Council is free to seek remedy from Civil Courts.

It is our view that Shariah Councils perform an essential and effective role for the Muslim communities in the United Kingdom. The assumption that such Councils are “forced” upon Muslim women has no evidentiary foundation. On the contrary there is overwhelming evidence of women being the main users of the Shariah Councils by their own will.

Advice for Imams and Mosque Leaders on dealing with the recent abusive film and incidents of hatred against Muslims and Islam generally

It is unfortunate that the world's attention - this past week - has been directed to the insulting and disgraceful film - titled: “Innocence of Muslims”.

This film is full of abusive material and is a vile attempt to ridicule the Prophet (peace and prayers be upon him), as well as the Qur'an and Islam. It has been widely condemned and has led to strong and in some instances, sadly to violent protests.

The MINAB strongly deplores and condemns the film. The MINAB urges that our response to the deliberately provocative act should be peaceful and intelligent. We must not rise to the bait but take heed from the conduct of our noble Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

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