Muslim Council of Britain reserves 20% seats for women

By TCN News,

London: The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has re-elected its key officials for another two-year term, at its annual general meeting held in London yesterday. National and zonal representatives were also elected.

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Farooq Murad, the returning Secretary General, was joined by Dr Shuja Shafi, also re-elected as Deputy Secretary General, and Harun Khan as Treasurer once more.

The several hundred delegates at the London Muslim Centre in Whitechapel also decided to impose a minimum 20% quota for women on the MCB’s key decision-making body, its Central Working Committee (CWC).

Speaking to the packed assembly, Murad said: “Looking ahead, I see before us many opportunities to grow as a confident and emerging Muslim community, and for the MCB as an organisation working on behalf of that community.”

However, he said that both the MCB and wider Muslim community needed to listen far more intently to Muslim youth, and that the MCB would be working on a series of measures including educational bursaries and business support in the near future. This was reinforced by a specially convened session at the AGM where radical ideas for youth participation were offered by young civil society activists including the respective vice-presidents of the National Union of Students and the Federation of Student Islamic Societies.

He also said that more must be done to bring women forward into Islamic institutions, as he spoke about the importance of promoting ‘family’, including tackling forced marriage and resisting calls to change the legal definition of marriage.

The MCB would be working hard to lobby and re-engage with Government and other political forces, fighting for the rights of Muslims as well as campaigning on specific issues, like detainees-without-charge Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan.

With the spectre of Islamophobia and hate groups like EDL on the horizon, Murad said that the MCB would be standing firm with a coalition of like-minded groups, fighting to prevent the country slipping into the spectre of the intolerant past.

The constitutional changes to the MCB come after a two-year review, led by its outgoing Election Commissioner, Judge Khurshid Drabu CBE, whom Murad widely-praised.

The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.