The New Year is a momentous occasion for all of us. It is a time for reflection and provides an ideal opportunity to renew our faith, our hopes and our commitments. I wish everyone a happy, peaceful and fulfilling 2011. I pray that this turning of page helps all of us to discover and realise the potential within us to achieve and contribute to the wellbeing of our families, our societies and our world.
Collectively, we begin the year facing many challenges, from the economic downturn and hardships, conflict around the world, and from increasing global poverty and inequality to the growing risks to our environment. The effects of these will not only be felt in the coming year but most probably continue for many more. As we come together to welcome the New Year, we must do the same to deal with the challenges confronting us. I believe engagement, inclusiveness, dialogue, recognition and respect are the key terms for the coming period.
The British Muslim community can look ahead at the coming year positively and confidently. The New Year Honours List 2011 alone highlights the distinguished contributions made by a number of British Muslims to our country. Those honoured include the Armed Forces' highest-ranking Muslim, Rear Admiral Amjad Hussain who becomes a Companion of the Order of the Bath. We extend our warmest congratulations to all those named. They are great ambassadors for our country and illustrate the enormous contributions British Muslims make to our country, in all walks of life, day in day out. Their achievements provide an excellent foundation for us to build on for 2011.
Despite the community's massive contribution to British society, we still face the scourge of Islamophobia and the rising anti-Muslim hate crimes, often fuelled by ignorance, prejudice and irresponsible association of the heinous crime of terrorism with our community and faith, sometimes directly and at others subtly and indirectly. We must counter this by playing a greater role in engaging with wider society. MCB is committed to working together with all our partners in the civil society, particularly the faith communities.
The extensive contribution of our mosques, charities and numerous community institutions is a testimony to the Muslim community’s commitment to the values of compassion, justice and service. I hope that as our institutions plan for the New Year they also think anew to deal with the new challenges.
Happy New Year!
Muslim Council of Britain Click here
for New Year Honours List 2011.
Notes to Editors:
The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK's largest Muslim umbrella body with around 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.