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31 Jul 2002
MCB Meets Home Office Minister: Protest on Police Raid on Stourbridge Mosque
A delegation from The Muslim Council of Britain met with the Immigration Minister Beverley Hughes to protest about the police raid on Stourbridge Mosque. At a meeting held at the Home Office on 30 July, the delegation conveyed the shock and anger of the Muslim community following last weekend's raid. Police forcefully entered Stourbridge Mosque to evict an Afghan family seeking asylum in the UK.
Iqbal Sacraine, Secretary-General of the MCB argued that instead of forcing entry the police should have approached the mosque authorities. "Using a battering ram to gain entry violates the sanctity of the mosque, damages good community relations and was wholly unnecessary".
The MCB welcomed the Minister's acknowledgement that it was essential that the police and immigration authorities showed respect and sensitivity towards places of worship. Mrs Hughes also gave assurances that the harsh and dramatic manner in which the enforcement order was applied would not be repeated.
The delegation emphasised that Mosques were places of worship. It would not be appropriate for anyone to abuse that sanctity or use it as a place of refuge in violation of the law.
Mr Sacranie also urged the Immigration Minister to deal with the case of the Afghan couple and their two young children with compassion.
The delegation comprised of the Secretary General, Iqbal Sacranie; Assistant Secretary General Unaiza Malik; Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, Chair Mosques & Community Affairs Committee and Shiban Akbar, Chair Social Affairs Committee. The Deputy Director of the UK Immigration Service, Colin Harbin and Rolf Toolin, HM Assistant Director for Midlands were also present.
For further information please call the MCB on 07734 219338 or 07956 353738
For further information please contact the MCB:
The Muslim Council of Britain,
PO Box 57330,
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079