Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim, was guest of honour at a (iftar) dinner jointly hosted by the Muslim Council of Britain, the East London Mosque Trust and Think Forum held at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel, on Sunday 10th June 2018.
He is a leader of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, which recently won the nation’s general election, leading to the premiership of Mahathir Mohamed.
Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim, a former Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, had been imprisoned on trumped-up charges for eleven years by his political rivals. He has obtained a full royal pardon with affirmation of his innocence and once the incumbent Mahathir stands down, he will assume high office. In a wide-ranging and moving address to an audience of over 300 guests drawn from across the spectrum of UK Muslim civil society, Anwar Ibrahim forcefully pledged his commitment to a reform programme in Malaysia that upholds the freedom of the Press, stands up to nepotism and corruption, and most importantly, defends the equality of rights of all citizens, irrespective of race or creed.
In his address, Anwar Ibrahim remembered his dark days in prison – with the silver lining that it had given him much time for wide reading and reflection. In a wide ranging Q & A session, he outlined a vision for an inclusive society that reflected the spirit of the maqasid al-shariah and usul al-fiqh rather than narrow perspectives. He thanked Shaykh Abdul Qayum, Imam of the East London Mosque, for previously speaking up in his support in a khutba (sermon). At the end of the event, the distinguished guest received a work of calligraphy from the East London Mosque, that had been specially prepared for him, as well as a token gift from the MCB’s Secretary General, Harun Khan.
The event opened with a Qur’an recitation by Imam Mohammad Mahmoud from Muslim Welfare House, who last year prevented public disorder after terrorist Darren Osbourne drove into worshippers with a van and killed one man. Other speakers at the event included John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow and Iqbal Khan, Founder of Fajr Capital and the Baraka Khan Foundation.
The event was sponsored by The Baraka Khan Foundation, Bamfords Trust and Watan Syria and hosted jointly by Harun Khan from the Muslim Council of Britain, Habibur Rahman from East London Mosque and Dr Abdullah Faliq from the Think Forum.