Reception of MWL’s Secretary General
At the House of Lords
Dr. Mozammel Haque
The Secretary General of the Muslim World League (Rabita al-Alam al-Islami) H.E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Abdul Karim Al-Isa attended a reception at the House of Lords on Thursday, 11th of May, 2017 hosted by Baroness Uddin.
H. E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed came to the United Kingdom on Saturday, the 6th of May 2017 and left on Thursday, the 18th of May 2017. During this period, he has a very tight schedule and busy programme of meeting ambassadors, representatives of different embassies in London, religious leaders, parliamentarians, academics and senior members of the Muslim communities and attending Mosques, Islamic Centres and meeting members of the wider society at large.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad al-Isa in Scotland
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad al-Isa went to Edinburgh Islamic Centre and King Fahd Mosque for two days and attended the Board of Trustees meeting on 7-8th of May, 2017. H.E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Isa, Secretary General of the Muslim World League was hosted by the Edinburg Central Mosque for a good will tour and to conduct the AGM (Annual General Meeting of the Board of Trustees). The Secretary General held an interactive forum with Trustees and the Director of the Mosque, Dr. Naji Al-Arfaj where he addressed an august gathering of the Muslim community in Scotland.
Dr. Ahmad al-Dubayan, Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre, London & Trustee of the Edinburgh Central Mosque accompanied His Excellency the Secretary General and his delegation during his visit.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammad al-Isa’s Programme in London
On 9th of May, 2017 The Secretary General of Rabita attended the Board of Trustees AGM meeting of the Muslim World League London Office and met MWL London Office staff, Imams and religious leaders. He attended a reception at the House of Lords hosted by Baroness Uddin on Thursday, 11th of May, 2017 where he gave a lecture on integration.
On 12th of May, the Saudi Embassy London arranged a reception for His Excellency at the Saudi Embassy in London. On 13th of May, 2017 His Excellency was supposed to visit the King Fahd Academy, London.
Then, on Sunday, the 14th of May; the Islamic Cultural Centre, London invited him to a reception at the Conference Hall of the Centre where he met and addressed an audience of ambassadors, representatives of different Embassies in London, religious leaders, imams, leaders of the Islamic centres and senior members of the Muslim communities and spoke on integration. Then the Muslim World League organised a day-long Conference on Tolerance in Islam at the Brunei gallery, SOAS, University of London on Monday, the 15th of May, 2017.
On 16th of May, HE The Secretary General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League went to Oxford to inaugurate the new office of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford in the morning and attended the meeting of the UK Board of Shari’ah Council in the afternoon. And on 17th of May, His Excellency Sheikh Dr. Mohammad went to Birmingham to visit different Mosques there. He left for Germany on Thursday, 18th of May, 2017.
Here I am writing a report on the MWL’s (Muslim World League) Secretary General Reception at the House of Lords, British Parliament.
Rabita’s Secretary General’s Reception
at the House of Lords
Baroness Manzila Uddin organised a Reception in honour of the Secretary General of the Muslim World League at the Peers’ Dining Room of the House of Lords, British Parliament on Thursday, the 11th of May, 2017.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Abdul
Karim Al-Isa Addressed the Gathering
H.E. Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Abdul Karim al-Isa, the Secretary General of the Muslim World League started by saying, “We meet today with you to renew our resolve and our pledge to work together to achieve the values of tolerance, love and peace in our world. Let us stand against the forces of evil that lead to extremist ideas and material gains, which come at a price and at the expense of human values and rights. Among the ideas that we must strongly confront are the sentiments of hatred that constitute the most important bet of terrorist extremism in its quest to win the moderate region to its ranks through firing up its religious passion and zeal.”
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed mentioned Islamophobia is the terrorists’ lifeline. He said, “The terrorists belonging to Da’esh and al-Qaeeda pin their hopes on Islamophobia which is considered to be their most important and dangerous lifeline. We can but imagine how much the Islamic world with more than 1.6 billion Muslims, has suffered from this hatred, while the carriers of terrorists thoughts rejoice for the misery of others. With this hatred, we are providing free services to terrorism that perhaps surpass any other strategies he wished for.”
MWL Secretary General also said Islam is blameless of this criminal extremism. He said, “After every operation perpetrated by al-Qaeeda and for which they accept responsibility, we must declare our increased conviction that Islam is blameless of this criminal extremism, and that we, along with our Muslim citizens and friends will defeat extremism.”
“Moreover, we firmly believe that once faced with such a conscious, wise and sincere reaction, terrorist extremism will feel deeply disappointed and deprived of the opportunity to perpetuate its wicked activities,” he added.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed also mentioned that terrorism is the product of a radical thought and it can only be defeated through the eradication of its ideology. He said, “Terrorism has not been established through military power or a political entity, Nay! It is the product of a radical thought; thus, it can only be defeated through the eradication of its ideology.”
Saudi Establishment of a Global Centre
To Fight terrorism intellectually
MWL Secretary General mentioned about the establishment by Saudi Arabia of a global centre to fight terrorism intellectually. He said, “Saudi Arabia has established a global centre to fight terrorism intellectually. It’s the centre for Intellectual Warfare under the umbrella of the Ministry of Defense. The abovementioned Centre has provided a number of intellectual initiatives to a number of bodies, including the Saudi-led Islamic Military Coalition to combat Terrorism. It will also provide intellectual initiatives to the countries of the International Coalition against the US-led actions against Da’esh.”
“The ideology of terrorist extremism is based on extremely flimsy and weak ideas; however, it has expanded in the free space it has found during its confrontation. This ideology focuses on stirring religious emotions and carrying out terrorist acts with hardly any financial costs,” said Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Isa.
He said “We need to raise added awareness of Muslim communities against the dangers of extremist terrorist messages, in the countries where they live.”
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed also mentioned that the instigators exploit the suffering. He said, “The instigators exploit the suffering of some community that find themselves in difficult social or psychological conditions. Hence, they attempt to link any of the communities’ final decision to religion. And Da’esh is readily available to find excuses for their actions, and provoke their emotional state of minds towards the hateful and provocative media discourse.”
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Isa also mentioned, “Some of the bombings that were carried out by some criminals who, one night before these terrible acts, were clubbing in night clubs - A matter which is completely contradictory to the teachings of Islam.”
“If we are able to control the funding of terrorism financially, we cannot control its intellectual supply source as easily. It will continue to lure the target audience through its expansion into the virtual world,” he said.
“What makes the things more complicated,” said Sheikh Dr. Mohammed, “is that Da’esh and Al-Qaeeda’s terrorism doesn’t adhere to a particular religious school. Its elements come from 101 countries around the world with different ideas brought together by hijacked emotion to serve a single objective. As a matter of facts, 1,500 fighters have joined Da’esh from Belgium alone.”
Muslim World League, a global
Organisation of Islamic peoples
The MWL Chief then mentioned about the Muslim World League, its vision and activities. He said, “The Muslim World League, founded on 18th of May, 1962 is a global organisation of Islamic peoples based in Makkah. It’s a respected and appreciated by the peoples of the Muslim world. In its new vision, the MWL recognised these dangers and developed programs to raise the consciousness of Muslim communities, and show them the true image of the conciliatory, tolerant, accommodating Islam; carrier of the message of love and mercy. These traits and attributes are explicitly stated in the religious texts and the biography of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.”
“The Rabita has also developed programs to intercept extremist messages launched by Da’esh through websites, and social networking sites in particular,” he said.
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed also mentioned that extremism is not limited by a particular geographical area. He said, “The bitter truth is that extremism is not limited by a particular geographical area, but rather by a virtual world. This blight will never die even if it is militarily defeated at Da’esh’s different locations in Iraq and Syria. The same thing applies to al-Qaeeda; it has not been defeated, it has become more widespread after the fall of its former protector Taliban. The survival of terrorism is closely linked to the survival of its ideas which serve as its nourishing lines.”
Sheikh Dr. Mohammed emphasized “the more we raise our fears about Islam without revealing the moderation ratio which represents 200,000 people compared to one person of terrorist extremism; and the more moderate Muslim communities are provoked against the backdrop of those desperate terrorist attempts that take place every now and then among all daily crimes everywhere in the world; when this happens, we give terrorism great support and a big boost.”
“The more we move towards defeating terrorism,” said Sheikh Dr. Mohammed, “the lesser followers will it have, and eventually will fade into isolation. Then history’s lesson would have been served on its account, the same way it has been served with its predecessors in all religions.”
MWL Chief concluded by reiterating his thanks and appreciation to the host for her hospitality and thank the gathering for their attention.
Baroness Uddin Welcomed
The MWL Secretary General
Baroness Manzila Uddin, Peer of the House of Lords, while welcoming the distinguished guest Sheikh Dr. Mohammed al-Isa, other distinguished and honoured guests, mentioned about the middle of the month of Shaban. She said, “Today is a special day in the Islamic calendar. It is the middle of the month of Shaban popularly referred to as Shab-e-Barat or the Night of Forgiveness. Traditionally it is a day that marks self-reflection and a period of forgiveness that precedes the Holy Month of Ramadan.”
Baroness Uddin also referred to the forthcoming month of Ramadan and what the British Muslims do during this month. She said, “Ramadan is a special time – a Divine gift from God. It is a period of introspection, contemplation, restraint, generosity and sharing; all the things that epitomize the basic teachings of Islam.”
“It is a month where British Muslim joins their brothers and sisters in Islam across the world, not only in intensifying their acts of worship but acts compassion. During this month British Muslims, despite the socio-economic challenges they face, collect millions of pounds in charity to share with those less fortunate around the world. It is an acknowledged fact that we are by far the most generous of communities in giving,” she mentioned.
Talking about the system of alms distribution, Baroness Uddin said, “In Britain our system of distribution of alms is still developing and we need to focus and invest more in basic institutions that are essential for nurturing, creating and sustaining healthy and viable communities across the country.”
Muslim World League and its efforts
Appreciating the global efforts of the Muslim World League and looking forward for fruitful cooperation with it, Baroness Uddin said, “Your Excellency we welcome you and your organisation wholeheartedly and look forward to years of fruitful co-operation. The global efforts of the Muslim World League on the work it does serving Muslim communities as they face the challenges of modernity, relevancy and for supporting infrastructure building is much appreciated. Besides charitable giving the MWL does invaluable work in the field of education and inter and intra faith dialogue. We hope and pray that the MWL under your leadership can further increase its role as peacemakers in a world caught in chaos, turmoil and change.”
Baroness Uddin emphasized “the most outstanding task of our times is to bring people together in an atmosphere of peace and justice.”
Baroness Uddin emphasized the Role of Women
While emphasizing the role of women in this critical endeavour, Baroness Uddin mentioned, “Like most of our sisters across the world, British Muslim women are dynamic, eager for change and in the frontline in the struggle for social engagement and social justice. I daresay that no meaningful change can take place without their partnership, insight and commitment. Thanks be to God we in Britain have no legal issue in the wearing of hijab in public in both private and public places. Our struggle is much more fundamental than dress code; it is about our society lifting the glass ceiling or ‘veil’ that makes it difficult for our contribution in society to be taken seriously and valued.”
“We are weary of excuses and shibboleths that actively deny us the role of being agents of change – in our masjids, our madrassas and even our homes,” she mentioned.
Baroness Uddin also said to the MWL’s Secretary General to fully integrate women in all its work. She said, “Your Excellency, we pray that an organisation like MWL, which has pioneered the art of soft diplomacy, will embrace this challenge of fully integrating women in all spheres of your work which you lead. Muslim women need to be facilitated and empowered to take the destiny of their children, their families and their communities in their nurturing hands, defined by compassion, accountability and ethical behavior.”
“Humanity is caught up in tsunami of conflict, war and suffering and plight, there is much need for peacemakers,” she said and added, “One of the critical component of a peaceful society is the empowered role of women in playing their full part in rebuilding communities, joining hands to build peace with their fellow brothers and sisters and respond collectively to the many challenges of our time.”
Talking about her activities, Baroness Uddin mentioned she first began working in her community thirty five years ago; there were not enough encouragement for Muslim women in the public arena. She mentioned, “Over the past 19 years as parliamentarian I am glad to say we have witnessed some progress. Your Excellency, you will appreciate it is not enough. I hope you will employ your good office to improve this situation - for there has never been greater impetus for unity for promoting peace and security.”
Baroness Uddin also mentioned about her programmes and projects. She said, “In my small way I continue to work on various programmes to ensure women who wish to work across all the communities, engage on a national platform have access to this House. Indeed, we can take pride in the immense contribution we and our families have made to making of this nation. I am currently undertaking one such project which celebrate our heritage and history which I know will provide a powerful message for our young people. I hope you will join hands with us in this endeavour and personally support this programme.”
Dr. Ahmed Al-Dubayan
Dr. Ahmed al-Dubayan, Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre, London said, “First of all, it is a great privilege for me and honour to stand here to talk to you. I would like to express my deep thanks to the right honourable Baroness Uddin inviting me today actually to speak. As she just said it’s a really remarkable day that we have this biggest figure for us in London and we are so happy and pleased to come together.”
Muslim World League and
Its Secretary General
Dr. al-Dubayan then introduced the Secretary General of the Muslim World League by saying, “The Secretary General of the Muslim world League is a very very important figure in the Islamic world for many reasons. For those who do not know about the Muslim World League allow me a few more minutes, or a few minutes to summarize the facts about this great international organisation. Muslim World League was established in 1962 and since that time this leading organisation working in all continents of the world providing a lot of services, establishing many institutions, schools, centres, mosques etc.”
“The role that they have played are very major and important; serving different fields - relief, education, dialogue, developing Islamic institutions and centres, women care, supporting peace among the communities etc,” Dr. al-Dubayan mentioned.
Dr. al-Dubayan also mentioned about the new dimension which Secretary General of the Muslim World League was talking about. He said, “You have just mentioned I listened to you yesterday the new dimension that you have. The new dimension is the most important thing coming to now; after the stage of establishment. It is time now to start really as you just said yesterday and I hear from you to support really the communities to be connected, to be integrated and to be involved in civil societies in which they live here in the U.K. and in other countries around the world.”
Dr. al-Dubayan also mentioned about our mission to fight radicalisation, fight Islamophobia. He said, “It is really our mission, all of us, is to fight radicalisation, is to fight Islamophobia, Islamophobic feeling.”
Mentioning those many leaders from the Muslim communities along with many friends of Muslim communities in the gathering, Dr. Al-Dubayan said, “We have many VIPs and distinguished guests. I think this is a good chance to open this and put our hands together to have really better future and to have a better chance.”
Speaking about the need of the Muslim communities in the United Kingdom, Dr. al-Dubayan said, “Muslim communities in the UK need lot of things; we have lot of things and we have lot of unaccomplished projects that we have started. We really need support our hands together for better future, for safety and well-being of the society.”
Speaking about the forthcoming month of Ramadan, Dr. Al-Dubayan said, “We have mainly 15 days before Ramadan. I would like to express my congratulations to all of you actually for the coming of the month of Ramadan, the month of peace and the month of worship. It is really the time when all Muslims during fasting go through spiritual experience. For this experience also brings to let them feel they have families of other people; have feeling about the poor, the needy have those who don’t have really find food, all only one month in a year.”