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Muslim Council of Britain Elects New Leadership and Pledges to Build Alliances
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) concluded its 13th Annual General Meeting in London on Sunday 20th June 2010 with the election of a new Secretary General, Farooq Murad, Deputy Secretary General, Dr Shuja Shafi and Treasurer, Harun Rashid Khan.
The opening session of the AGM, at which Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari MBE presented his valedictory report, was chaired by Professor Waqar Ahmad, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Middlesex University. The session also provided a forum for delegates and community leaders to share their aspirations for the MCB, calling for increased efforts to increase the membership base and promote the participation of women and the wider range of Britain's Muslim communities.
The MCB's Election Commissioner, Judge Khurshid Drabu CBE, supervised the national and zonal elections to the MCB's Central Working Committee and also the election of the new office bearers. Over 200 delegates participated in the process, including representatives from Wales and Scotland. The day concluded with a reception attended by interfaith leaders, civil society guests and invited diplomats and parliamentarians.
In his inaugural address Farooq Murad paid tribute to the work of the outgoing office-bearers and build on their work: `To have the honour to serve as the Secretary General of the UK's largest Muslim umbrella organisation is no light task. But I will approach the trust and confidence you have all entrusted in me with great humility and humbleness."
He also pledged, "with grit, determination and heart, I will tirelessly champion the great challenges of our time. We are a diverse, young and evolving community and I want to say to the rest of the country we are all in this together. We may differ in our religious convictions but we all have the same worries and concerns whether we can cling on to our jobs in this recession, whether our schools cater for the needs of our children or whether we are moving in the right direction in creating a more cohesive Britain. The MCB is an evolving organisation and our voice will always be based on justice, equality and fairness'.
He added `I see this as an opportunity to further broaden our base and go back to basics; connecting and engaging with our grassroots. I will continue to work to increase greater participation of women and young people as I believe the MCB should reflect society more closely not merely for window dressing but to give real voice to real people'.
Dr Bari, he noted, had been "a truly remarkable ambassador for our community and our country. He served the MCB during turbulent times and consolidated the MCB as an organisation with renewed vigour and a sense of purpose'.
The new Central Working Committee will be convening shortly to elect three assistant secretary generals and an assistant treasurer.
Mr Farooq Murad, Secretary General:
A resident of Leicester, Farooq Murad has been involved in community work for over two decades. He is a former President of the Islamic Society of Britain and the Chair of Muslim Aid 2004-08 and a current a trustee. He was a founding member of the MCB in 1997 and served as its Treasurer and a Central Working Committee member in the last two years. Farooq Murad is a management and training consultant by profession.
Dr Shuja Shafi, Deputy Secretary General:
Dr Shuja Shafi has led a lifelong career in medicine, working at the NHS; University of London; Public Health Laboratory Service and Health Protection Agency as Lecturer, Hospital Consultant and a Clinical Regional Post Graduate Advisor. He has also been a leading community activist in several grassroots local and national voluntary community organisations, and ran the Islamic and Cultural Society of Harrow's Supplementary School for many years. He became involved with the MCB from 2000 following the meningitis outbreak of British pilgrims to the Hajj, leading the MCB's Health at Hajj and Umrah Research Project. Since then he has led several related activities at the MCB including chairing the Health and Medical Committee, the Food Standards and Chaplaincy Committee and initiating the Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the NHS Project.
Mr Harun Rashid Khan, Treasurer:
Born and brought up in the East End of London, Mr Khan has been actively involved in community work since the age of 15. He has been involved with the MCB, initially as a volunteer, since its inception in 1997 and recently served as the Chair of the London Committee for the last four years. During this period he led 'Eid in the Square', an annual celebration held in Trafalgar Square, in conjunction with the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority. Aged 40, Mr Khan is a Civil Engineer by profession and lives in East London with his wife and three young children.
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.