Commenting on the tragic murder on 7 April of a well-known Imam of the mosque in Acton, West London namely Imam Sheihk Abdul Hadi Arwani, Maulana Sarfraz Madni, the Chairman of MINAB said, “The membership of MINAB which consists of Sunni as well as Shia mosques and Imam Training Institutions, stands united in sharing the grief of the bereaved family. The murder of this scholar is a great tragedy. The causes are unknown. Regrettably, the media appears to have engaged in speculation about who committed this horrible crime and cause of the crime. Speculation about motivation of a crime such as the murder of this Imam is most unhelpful as it has serious potential to cause community tensions. I urge the media to refrain from speculation in this crime and support and allow the investigating authorities time to conclude their investigations. MINAB has full confidence in the investigating agencies to apprehend the criminal/s and to find what caused the perpetrator/s to engage in this act of cowardice.”

The Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board is pleased to be liaising with the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services as part of the new national drive to help create a safer sector for our young people.

NCVYS and MINAB are calling on all children and youth organisations to make 28 February the one day every year where organisations:

  • Stop what they are doing,
  • Look at their safeguarding practices and
  • Listen to young people, empowering them to take an active role in managing their own safety.

As part of this initiative the MINAB in collaboration with Faith Associates, an organisation with a very impressive record in the field of Mosque & Madrassa Management to produce a document , which is aimed at helping in Safeguarding of the young and the vulnerable in our Madrassas.

There is a growing climate of fear in Britain's mosques. Muslim institutions are being violently attacked with increasing frequency by anti-Muslim terrorists - last week's attempted bombing of Wolverhampton Central Mosque was the fourth such attack in two months. Mosques in Walsall and Tipton were targeted with home-made nail bombs, just weeks after a community centre in Muswell Hill was razed to the ground and the area was marked with EDL graffiti.

This is the tip of the iceberg. Evidence from the hate crime monitoring group, Tell MAMA, a government funded project, shows that ten per cent of reported anti-Muslim abuse is against mosques, while the bulk of the violence, abuse and insults are targeted at individuals. These attacks are fed by an unrelenting stream of Islamophobic rhetoric in the national press and the weakness of our politicians, who have too often resorted to dog-whistling electioneering rather than taking a principled stand in making Islamophobia and acts of terrorism against Muslim places of worship unacceptable. The demonisation of Islam and Muslims by some sections of our media and some politicians has provided fertile ground for a slow-burning anti-Muslim pogrom; the effects of which are now being felt throughout Europe.

While MINAB appreciates the efforts that West Midlands Police and other law enforcement agencies have made in response to some of the attacks, and in recognising the broader terrorist threat that underpins them, we find it deeply worrying that our political leaders are not articulating their revulsion and unacceptability of acts of extremism and terrorism that Muslims are being subjected to. This meekness diminishes our rich tradition of tolerance and respect for diversity, and gives succour to extremists of all stripes who seek to marginalise and terrify Muslims in Britain.

The abhorrent murder of Drummer Lee Rigby was widely described, both in the national press, and by Prime Minister David Cameron as an act of terrorism. But when Mohammed Saleem, an elderly Muslim walking to say his prayers in Birmingham, was set upon and killed in a gruesome and brazen attack, it received scant attention in the national media and was at first described as a hate crime rather than an act of terror.

Maulana Sarfraz Madni, the Chair of the MINAB said, “We call upon the government to protect mosques and worshipers without fear of being held to political ransom by extremists. It is hugely tragic that in our own country we are being subjected to acts of terror by a very small minority. We take comfort from the support we have received from leaders of other faith communities and the overwhelming section of the populace and for which we are grateful. We note with deep disappointment that our Prime Minister has not so far condemned the attacks on Mosques whilst the Archbishop of Canterbury has been strong and upfront in his views on the trauma facing Muslims.

Whilst MINAB does not necessarily accept the bona fides of the reports in the Press about the investigation carried out in mosques about “under-age” marriages, it will use this opportunity to remind our 600 plus member mosques, as well as other mosques, that compliance with all the laws of England, Wales and Scotland is of fundamental importance.

In this context it is well to bear in mind that the legal age for marriage in Britain is not a straightforward matter.  “Marriage” of parties, one or both of whom is under 16 years of age is prohibited and invalid and any person who facilitates such “marriage” is liable to criminal prosecution.

If one or both parties are over 16 but under 18, Nikah can be lawfully performed only if the party who is under 18 establishes that he or she has parental consent to the proposed Nikah. For persons who are subject to immigration control the minimum age for marriage is 21.

Each and every Mosque Management Committee must remain engaged and vigilant in the provision of Nikah services to its congregations, ensuring that Imams are carrying out their duties in this area with complete adherence to the laws in the United Kingdom and maintaining proper records of the functions.

The Chair of MINAB, Maulana Sarfraz Madni accompanied by Sayed Yousif and several member mosques visited the Somali Brevanese Association and held a meeting with its chairman and other prominent members of the community on 8 June 2013.

MINAB expressed support and solidarity with the Somali Brevanese Association at their difficult time and welcomed the response by the local community in the wake of the terrible fire attack earlier in the week, which saw the Association's building razed to the ground. The talks acknowledged the warm support and encouragement coming from Muslim and other faith and interfaith leaders as well as civil society organisations and politicians.

 

The talks also covered finding accommodation and giving practical assistance to the young Bravanese students. As a gesture of solidarity the delegation offered to find alternative venues to help ensure that the needs of the community were catered for at this time. MINAB additionally offered to help the Somali Brevanese Association recover from the incident over the coming months through raising awarness and calling for our member mosques to raise funds.

 

 

Following  the latest attack on a mosque in Harlow, the Trustees of MINAB have expressed deep concern about the escalation of acts of criminality and hatred against Muslims and their places of worship that are taking place in the country. Whilst MINAB recognises that the law enforcement agencies are taking such matters seriously, it is not convinced that political leadership at local as well as national level is dealing with these tragic events in a manner that would be effective.

Maulana Sarfraz Madni, the Chair of the MINAB Board of Trustees said, “ I urge the government to be more forthright in its speech and conduct to build an environment of respect, trust and protection for the Muslim communities and our Mosques. The latest attack on Harlow Islamic Centre is most worrying. The Centre has an excellent reputation for its work with all communities living in the area. The current trend of copycat criminality is generating fear and alienation and could lead to unpleasant reaction. I call upon people of all faiths and those of no belief to help us to live as valued citizens and prevent the miniscule minority of criminals and extremists from causing damage to peaceful co-existence.”

The MINAB leadership has written to Harlow Islamic Centre offering sympathy and support.

The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board expresses deep concern and shock at the rising threats to mosques and the attack on the Al-Rahma Islamic Centre in Muswell Hill.

Our support and sympathy goes to the congregation of the Mosque and the local community. It is particularly disturbing that fire crews have reportedly seen the letters 'EDL' graffitied on the side of the building.

Maulana Safraz Madni, Chair of the MINAB said:

“Since the abhorrent murder of one of our soldiers in Woolwich there has been a significant rise in Anti-Muslim hate and attacks. We must not be complacent in these times, Mosques and Imams must take all precautions to protect communities, buildings and businesses.”

The National Association of Muslim Police has issued guidance about safety and security for individuals, Mosques and businesses. Please find documents below:

If you are aware of Anti-Muslim attacks we encourage you to report this to the TellMAMA project, a monitoring and reporting service.

This is not meant to be a replacement for the Police Service. In an emergency, please call 999.

 

The long awaited news of the Prince and the incredible weather has delighted the nation.

And this year, Ramadan, the Islamic holy month, coincides with the height of summer. As usual, Muslims have welcomed the month of mercy, forgiveness and salvation with their trademark enthusiasm and resolution.

Eid will be the well-earned reward for their voluntary hunger, remembrance and devotion. But first, and to mark this auspicious month by going that  extra mile, many Muslim communities around the country are sharing Iftar with their non-Muslim neighbours and with those in need. This unique effort, known as the 'Big Iftar' is a community-led scheme administered by the MINAB to build lasting trust - through the simple, but crucial, act of encouraging people, regardless of their background, to break bread together.

Maulana Sarfraz Madni, chair of MINAB attended a Big Iftar and said: "The event was well attended by Muslims and guests from other faiths and communities. For most of the invitees, it was the first time they were attending a mosque in their life. They were very much impressed and we were pleased to be able to host them.”

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.

On behalf of its over six hundred mosques and Islamic training institutions membership, the MINAB is delighted to offer its sincere and joyful congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on becoming parents.

As loyal citizens our membership takes particular pleasure in noting that the baby prince will Insha Allah one day become our King and we pray for his good health. We also pray that he remains God conscious as he grows up and shapes the destiny of our country to even greater heights.

Our humble congratulations are also sent to the grandparents of the Prince and to the great grandparents HRH the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. May this joyous and very special occasion bring greater harmony amongst people in our great country.

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.

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