Muslim Council vows action to stop children being groomed for sex

The Muslim Council of Britain has said it will take action to prevent girls being “groomed” for sex. Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra of the council said people were sometimes reluctant to speak out – but they have a “religious duty” to do so. He said the council was working with groups including the NSPCC, police and Muslim organisations to educate people. The action comes after high-profile sex abuse cases involving Muslim men in Rochdale and Derby. “This is an appalling and abhorrent kind of behaviour which is totally unacceptable regardless of race or religion,” said Sheikh Mogra, the MCB’s Assistant Secretary General, on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme.

Newcastle United’s Muslim players come under pressure over the controversial sponsorship deal with moneylenders

10 October 2012


Football team Newcastle United cut a controversial £24 Million bound sponsorship deal with moneylender company Wonga. The deal drew immediate criticism from public for the high interest rate that the company charges for the loans. One of the harshest criticisms came from Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle City Council, who said: “I’m appalled and sickened that they would sign a deal with a legal loan shark. It’s a sad indictment of the profit-at-any-price culture at Newcastle United. We are fighting hard to tackle legal and illegal loan sharking and having a company like this right across the city on every football shirt that’s sold undermines all our work.”


The criticism over the deal received a new dimension when Muslim Council of Britain, one of the largest Muslim organizations in the UK, joined the debate and warned the Muslim team players that if they wear the lending company’s logo they would be breaching Islamic law. According to Islamic law giving and taking interest is considered to be a major sin. Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, assistant secretary general of the MCB, said: “The idea is to protect the vulnerable and the needy from exploitation by the rich and powerful. When they are lending and are charging large amounts of interest, it means the poor will have short-term benefit from the loan but long-term difficulty in paying it back because the rate of interest is not something they can keep up with. The Islamic system is based on a non-interest-based system of transaction.”


The statement put the four practicing Muslim team players, Demba Ba, Papiss Cisse, Cheick Tiote and Hatem Ben Arfa in a difficult situation, though they have not made any statement on the issue.

Moderates attack ‘fundamentally wrong’ approach to teaching Islam

Riyadh ul Haq, who has preached of the evil influence of the West, may be a faithful representative of the Deobandi school of Sunni Islam but he does not speak for all Islamic scholars, let alone all Muslims. No one knows that better than Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra. Mr Mogra, the chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain’s interfaith relations committee, is a graduate of the same Deobandi seminary in Bury, Greater Manchester, that Mr ul Haq attended, but he does not like to call himself a Deobandi. Andrew Norfolk reports.

Muslims Fault Blair’s Imam Strategy

CAIRO – The British government is misguided if it thinks that imams whether homegrown or foreigners are to blame for extremism and that training them in UK university is the solution, Muslim experts and university imams told the Guardian on Tuesday, June 12. “The problem is not imams and their countries of origin,” said Ibrahim Mogra, an imam at De Montfort, Leicester and Loughborough universities. “The tiny proportion of extremists usually have nothing to do with imams,” he insisted. Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Glasgow, agreed. “People who are involved in extremism will not usually involve their imam,” she stressed. “Imams are not the solution to the problem of terrorism.”

Imams are not the solution to terrorism’

By Jessica Shepherd {Muslim spiritual leaders say Blair’s call for training in UK universities is misguided} University imams have reacted angrily to comments made by Tony Blair last week about their education. The prime minister said imams should be trained in UK universities. Too many, he told a conference of Islamic religious leaders, entered Britain with poor English and an insufficient grasp of the country’s traditions. University imams and prominent Muslims on campus say they believe the prime minister’s words were really about reducing extremism, and not about imams’ standards of English or their understanding of British culture. “We are aware we need UK-trained imams who can speak English and know what is happening on our streets,” says Ibrahim Mogra, an imam at De Montfort, Leicester and Loughborough universities and chairman of the Interfaith Relations Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain. But in any case Mogra and others question what they see as an underlying assumption by the government that the solution to extremism lies with imams from overseas, university training for imams, or even imams at all. Blair is misguided and misinformed, they say.

Islamic Banking ‘Goes Mainstream’

The bank has taken advice from Islamic scholars A new High Street bank account compatible with Islamic sharia law is due to be introduced. The Lloyds TSB account will offer no interest or overdraft facilities, as under Islamic law the receipt and payment of interest is forbidden. The introduction of the account follows the opening of a specialist Islamic bank in the UK last year. Gordon Rankin of Lloyds TSB said its new account would make Islamic banking “mainstream”. “Our research shows that over three-quarters of British Muslims want banking services that fit with their faith. “However, until now their banking needs have been largely uncatered for and many British Muslims have often had to bank in a way that is against their principles,” Mr Rankin said. Scholars’ Guidance Ibrahim Mogra, the chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain’s Mosque and Community Affairs committee, agreed that many of the UK’s two million Muslims have had little choice but to use interest-paying accounts. I think all High Street banks will take this route sooner or later because there’s a huge Muslim market in the UK. “What the sharia scholars tell us to do is whatever interest you gain you get rid of it without the intention of gaining reward from God. “Even though at the end of the year I just take the interest out and give it away, I’ve still, in a way, handled money from interest which I really shouldn’t be doing,” he said. Until the opening last year of the first UK-based specialist financial institution – the Islamic Bank – Muslims were able to access sharia-compliant current account facilities only through Middle Eastern banks with branches in the UK. The Islamic Bank opens its third branch in Leicester on Tuesday and plans to open five more by the end of 2005. Ibrahim Mogra of the MCB believes other high street banks will now follow Lloyd’s TSB’s lead: He said: “The high street banks want to hang on to their customers and now there is an Islamic bank available they may be anxious they might lose their customers. “I think all High Street banks will take this route sooner or later because there’s a huge Muslim market in the UK.”