The Muslim Council of Britain mourns the passing of yet another community pioneer, Dr Mohammad Akbar Ali, inna lillilahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon. Dr Akbar Ali was a leading light of Liverpool’s Muslim community. He died just two weeks after achieving his dream of restoring Britain’s first mosque in Liverpool.
We remember Dr Akbar Ali fondly, as one of the many founding members of the Muslim Council of Britain. He worked tirelessly to establish in 1997 the Abdullah Quilliam Society – named after of the great Muslim of the Victorian age. The Society aimed to restore to its former glory the Grade II listed building where Abdullah Quilliam established Britain’s first mosque at Brougham Terrace in Liverpool’s West Derby Road, Kensington.
In 2009, the Muslim Council of Britain awarded Dr Akbar Ali a Lifelong Contribution to the Muslim Community Award in recognition and in gratitude to his years of service. He was the first chair of the Student Muslim Association Manchester and founder member of the Union of Muslim Organisations UK in 1974, and the Muslim Council of Britain in 1997. He was awarded an MBE for his work in 1992.
Dr Shuja Shafi, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “We will miss Dr Mohammad Akbar Ali. Here was a man who was truly dedicated to his community, who was determined to keep British Muslim history alive by honouring Abdullah Quilliam, and who went on to contribute to the vitality of our community around the country by being one of the many founders of the Muslim Council of Britain.”
Dr Mohammad Akbar Ali was a Liverpool institution, and it is fitting that the city’s paper, the Liverpool Echo, should publish a glowing tribute to the great man.