News

Prof. Sally Holland, the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, and her team have developed a fantastic resource for schools entitled “Tackling Islamophobia: A Children’s Rights Resource for Secondary Schools in Wales.”

Last year, the advice charity ChildLine reported a sharp rise in calls to their hotline reporting Islamophobic bullying , with children as young as 9 years old being targeted, and some turning to self-harm as a result.

The Muslim Council of Wales were very happy to help with the development of this timely and urgently needed resource, by recruiting young people from the Cardiff Muslim community to a listening session with the Commissioner’s team last summer. We are immensely proud of the wisdom shown and insights provided by these young people into the struggles they face every day as Muslims living in Wales.  

Islamophobia is on the increase.  No child should be the target of hate for any reason, however, there are many ways that everyone, Muslim and otherwise, can work together to end these problems in our society.   

For more information, please visit the Commissioner’s website , download the resource to give to your child’s school, and share the videos below on your social media platforms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MCW co-hosts international Peaceful Coexistence Conference

On December 5th 2017, the Muslim Council of Wales in partnership with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and the Knowledge Exchange Program of Saudi Arabia, hosted a joint international conference on the theme of ‘Ethical Approaches to Peaceful Coexistence’. The conference was held in Cardiff City Hall and attracted over 110 speakers and delegates from around the world and across the UK. The conference aimed to look primarily at religious and interfaith perspectives on the topic to provide ways forward for peaceful coexistence in an increasingly globalised, diverse and conflicted world.

The conference was inaugurated by representatives from the three partner organisations – Prof. Medwin Hughes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), Dr Abdullah Al Lheedan, Chairman of the Knowledge Exchange Program (KEP) and Prof. Saleem Kidwai, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales (MCW).

The keynote speaker was Dr Mustafa Ceric, Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia who spoke on the Islamic concepts of ethics and morality as bases for peaceful coexistence. He reflected on how these ideas relate to contemporary issues such as Islamophobia and violent conflict and how there must be cooperation between Muslims and other communities to address these. He argued for an acknowledgement of issues within Muslim communities and texts as well as an acknowledgement of the moral emphasis in the message of Islam in order to move dialogue forward. The full speech can be downloaded on Dr Ceric’s organisation’s website here:

Konferencija u Kardifu o temi “Etički pristup miroljubivom suživotu”

Other speakers included Prof Gary Bunt from UWTSD who discussed online examples of conflict and coexistence, Catriona Robertson, Director of the Christian-Muslim Forum who argued for a strategic, practical approach to interfaith work, Dr Waqar Azmi from Remembering Srebrenica who reflected on lessons from the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1995, Dr Yasser Babateen from KEP who explored how learning a language can be an opportunity for cultural exchange to promote coexistence, and Rabbi Monique Mayer  who gave an example of a project aimed at coexistence after the eruption of violence in Gaza in 2014.

The initiative resulted in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the three partner organisations which took place during MCW’s annual interfaith dinner the following evening on 6th December 2017. The document was signed by Prof. Medwin Hughes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), Dr Abdullah Al Lheedan, Chairman of the Knowledge Exchange Program (KEP) and Prof. Saleem Kidwai, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales (MCW). The memorandum of understanding will allow further cooperation between the organisations to develop further initiatives and projects aiming to counteract division and conflict in society and achieve peaceful coexistence.

From left to right: Prof. Medwin Hughes (UWTSD), Dr. Abdullah Al Lheedan (KEP) and Prof. Saleem Kidwai (MCW)

For more information, use the contact details below:

Conference website: https://peacefulcoexistenceconference.wordpress.com/ or

Email: conference@muslimcouncilwales.org.uk.

Conference hashtag: #CoexistenceConf (to see social media posts from the day)

 

 

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the leaders of three bodies to formalise our co-operation on various projects over the next five years.

The MoU was signed at the Muslim Council of Wales’ Annual Interfaith Dinner on Wednesday 6th December 2017 by the following representatives:

  • Professor Medwin Hughes, Vice Chancellor of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • Dr  Abdullah Al Heedan, Chairman of the Knowledge Exchange Program
  • Professor Saleem Kidwai, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales 

The MOU came after the three organisations’ first collaborative event the day before, the Ethical Approaches to Peaceful Coexistence Conference 2017, held in Cardiff’s City Hall.  In it, the three organisations to agree to work on joint projects, including the translation and publication of articles, books and research papers, academic exchange and organising shared events, over the next five years.

Representatives signing the Memorandum of Understanding

(left to right) Prof Medwin Hughes (UWTSD), Dr Dr Abdullah Al Heedan (KEP), Prof Saleem Kidwai (MCW)

Following the news of the incidents in Barcelona last night, the Muslim Council of Wales has issued the following statement:

“The Muslim Council of Wales is shocked and saddened by the news of the attacks on members of the public and police officers in Barcelona on Thursday. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families at this difficult time.

“We pray that these senseless criminal acts will only serve to further unite the public in the face of those who seek to spread hatred, violence, and divisions between communities. We trust that the Spanish authorities will investigate and prosecute the perpetrators within the full extent of the law.”

Muslim Council of Wales
Broadway House, Broadway
Cardiff CF23 1PU
E-mail: info@muslimcouncilwales.org.uk
Tel: 029 2048 7667

Notes to Editors:

The Muslim Council of Wales is Wales’ largest Muslim umbrella body, with regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools as affiliated members.

Following the news of the terror attack in Finsbury Park last night, the Muslim Council of Wales has issued the following statement:

“The Muslim Council of Wales is horrified by the news of the attack on Muslim worshippers on Sunday evening. Our prayers are with the victims.

“It is even more horrific that there is a potential Welsh link with the attacker. We trust the authorities and police investigation, and await further information.

“We hope that this is an opportunity for communities to come together, as our nation has done with terror attacks in the past, and with the Grenfell disaster.

“Unfortunately, so long as Muslims are held collectively guilty for terror attacks committed by those with a Muslim identity, then Islamophobic violence against Muslims will remain common. The responsibility is on politicians and the media to discuss all cases of terrorism with care and diligence.

“One year ago Jo Cox was assassinated on the street. This weekend was declared by the Jo Cox Foundation as a moment to celebrate her legacy – that we have more in common than divides us. We urge all to remember her message today.”

Muslim Council of Wales
Broadway House, Broadway
Cardiff CF23 1PU
E-mail: info@muslimcouncilwales.org.uk
Tel: 029 2048 7667

 

Notes to Editors:

The Muslim Council of Wales is Wales’ largest Muslim umbrella body, with regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools as affiliated members.

Press Release:

Saleem Kidwai OBE, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales, has issued the following statement following the attack on London Bridge and Borough Market on Saturday 3 June 2017:

“What has happened in London yesterday, barely a fortnight after the tragedy in Manchester, has left me and our communities in shock.  We are saddened by this senseless loss of life, and our prayers and thoughts are for the victims, their families and for all those affected.

“We commend the emergency services and Metropolitan Police force for their swift action and especially their efforts to keep the people updated of developments via social media.  We urge the public to allow the police to do their job, without undue speculation, and to only share news from trustworthy sources.

“Again, as happened in Manchester, the many stories of people opening their homes, businesses and places of worship as shelter to those caught up in the events of last night, show the true nature of the British people in pulling together during times of need. We pray to God Almighty to protect us all from those who seek to divide us.”

END.

Notes to Editors:

The Muslim Council of Wales is Wales’ largest Muslim umbrella body, with regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools in Wales.

For further information please contact:

The Muslim Council of Wales

Broadway House

Broadway
Cardiff
CF24 1PU
Tel: 0845
Fax: 029 2048 7667

Email: info@muslimcouncilwales.org.uk

 

Press Release

Saleem Kidwai OBE, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Wales, expressed the following in relation to the death of Rhodri Morgan:

“Rhodri Morgan’s death brought sadness to all who knew him, and many who did not know him but had benefited from his tremendous good work as a politician.

During his tenure as First Minister, he was an impeccable politician, professional but always good humored. Many Muslims in Wales knew him as a friend too, he was as comfortable in a mosque as he was in the Senedd, and represented a vision of Wales which was progressive, open to the world, welcoming and multicultural.

One of his lasting legacies is establishing the Faith Communities Forum, bringing together religious communities in Wales to meet with each other and with the Welsh Government. His leadership in recognising the integral role of faith traditions has made Wales a pioneer, and many countries have since followed the example set by Rhodri. 

On behalf of Welsh Muslims, I offer condolences and prayers to Julie Morgan and Rhodri’s family. He will be deeply missed by so many. The traditional Muslim prayer for the deceased is “From God we have come, and to God we return”. I know that Rhodri would have loved to have heard the Islamic prayer made in Welsh – “O Duw dyn ni wedi dod ac i Duw dyn ni’n mynd nol”.

Notes to Editors:

The Muslim Council of Wales is the Wales largest Muslim umbrella body with regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.

We at The Muslim Council of Wales are are deeply troubled by the reports that a Welsh Muslim teacher, Mr. Juhel Miah of  Llangatwg Comprehensive in Aberdulais, was denied entry into the US.

It is outright Islamophobic discrimination that a British citizen school teacher travelling with his school party should be denied entry into the US. This is the latest in a series of incidents in which Muslims have been denied access to the US, incidents which do in fact predate Trump and his Muslim ban. 

According to reports, Mr Miah is a British citizen who holds no dual nationality.  He is not from one of the seven banned countries, but he is Muslim.  

We are extremely concerned about the normalisation of discrimination against Muslims which fan the flames of hatred and add fuel to far right organisations that aim to divide communities and create a “them and us” society.

Incidents like this undermine equality and civil life; society as a whole must unite together in order to resist.

Muslim Council Wales are offering support services to anyone affected by similar travel problems. 

Trump signs ban

US President Donald Trump signs travel ban.

Muslim Council of Wales’ Secretary General Mr Saleem Kidwai OBE has spoken to ITV over concerns in the wake of the travel bans imposed by US President Donald Trump:

“The Muslim Council of Wales is extremely concerned by the Trump administration’s Muslim ban.

We must call the ban by what it is. It has banned citizens from seven Muslim majority countries, with an exemption for religious minorities. He has come through on his election pledge of a Muslim ban.

We have heard of many people living in America with green cards concerned about leaving.

This is a dangerous step. We must all be vigilant of the slowly creeping fascism.

I ask Theresa May and our politicians to use every influence to resist this Muslim ban.”

Visit My Mosque

The Muslim Council of Wales is pleased to announce the 2017 return of #VisitMyMosque nation-wide mosque open day events!

On Sunday, 5th February 2017, mosques around Wales will open their doors to the public from 11 am to 5 pm (individual mosque times may vary, see below.)

This is a wonderful opportunity for the wider community to visit their local mosque, meet the local Muslim community, learn about the religion of Islam, and most importantly, make new friends! Please see the list below to find the mosque closest to you!

No appointment needed, please just drop in! The mosque is open for all. No special dress code is needed, but do bear in mind that mosques are active places of worship so short or revealing clothing is best avoided, for both men and women.

Cardiff

Dar Ul-Isra Centre, 21-23 Wyverne Road, Cardiff, CF24 4BG
www.darulisra.org.uk   11 am – 5 pm

Al-Manar Centre, 2-4 Glynrhondda Street, Cardiff, CF24 4AN
www.almanar.org.uk  11 am – 5 pm

South Wales Islamic Centre, Alice St, Butetown, Cardiff, CF10 5LB
www.southwalesislamiccentre.com   11 am – 5 pm

Newport

Iqra Community Centre, 276 Corporation Rd, Newport, NP19 0DZ    
11 am – 5 pm

Swansea Swansea Mosque, 14-15 St Helens Road, Swansea, SA1 4AW 
www.swanseamosque.org  11 am – 5 pm
Rhyl

Rhyl Islamic Cultural Centre, 30 Water Street, Rhyl LL18 1SS
www.nwis.org.uk/rhylislamicculturecentre   11 am – 2 pm

Wrexham

Wrexham Islamic Centre, 6 Grosvenor Rd, Wrexham, LL11 1DN
www.wrexhammosque.org.uk   11 am – 5 pm

Bangor

Bangor Islamic Centre, 57 High Street, Bangor, LL57 4FA 
www.bangor.nwis.org.uk  2 – 3 pm 

Please note that, due to unforseen circumstances,
Belal Mosque (Aberkenfig) in Bridgend will not be participating this Sunday!  
Apologies for any inconvenience.