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UK govt sensitive towards Muslims:British delegation

THE DANISH cartoons that infuriated Muslims all over the world and were reproduced by media everywhere in Europe were not carried by any paper in Britain. So sensitive is the government of the United Kingdom and so large-hearted the country?s people that when it comes to expressing solidarity with the 1.8 million Muslims living there, an equal number of people, mostly non-Muslims, rallied to protest war against Iraq and Afghanistan.

india Updated: May 17, 2006 01:32 IST

THE DANISH cartoons that infuriated Muslims all over the world and were reproduced by media everywhere in Europe were not carried by any paper in Britain. So sensitive is the government of the United Kingdom and so large-hearted the country’s people that when it comes to expressing solidarity with the 1.8 million Muslims living there, an equal number of people, mostly non-Muslims, rallied to protest war against Iraq and Afghanistan.

This insight was offered today by a delegation of British Muslims, led by Lord Adam Patel, welcomed by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Foundation here today. Such questions arose particularly since people here were curious to know predicament of the British Muslims post 7/7 blasts in London.

“The interpretation of Islam in the world is disturbing and painful,” said Dr Rabia Malik, educationist and family counsellor, when asked to comment on the linking of Islam with terror. “We being British citizens feel all the more responsible to find means to present Islam to non-Muslims,” she added while answering a question about the poor credibility of the Western world in the eyes of Muslims in the historical context. 

The delegation interacted with people at the Nadwatul Ulema, Jamaitul Ulema and during sessions held at two city hotels where they were addressed by prominent citizens of Lucknow, including Tourism minister Kaukab Hamid, agriculture production commissioner Anees Ansari and several others. Maulana Salman Nadwi succinctly summed up the attacks and atrocities sustained by Muslims since time immemorial at the hands of the Western powers.

“Beauty is inherent in Islam,” said Pakistani-born Uneza Karim, in keeping with her profession of fine art. “I feel proud of my British heritage and sharing the great religion with my colleagues.”

“Muslims anywhere in the world could free themselves of their invisible minority status if they contributed constructively to the nation building process,” suggested Waqar Azmi, OBE (Order of the British Empire), who is chief diversity adviser to the Cabinet Secretary. “We follow the law of the land and find nothing unIslamic about the constitution. In fact, following rules and adapting the civilised courtesies of our country is what makes us better Muslims,” he said.

On the question of discrimination, businessman Museji Takolia was of the opinion that it was only through active and positive action and participation that any minority could  have their say in the realpolitik. “There are as many as 11 Muslim members in the House of Commons,” he cited as a case in point. After Lucknow, the delegation is headed for Hyderabad.