Wednesday February 22, 2017

Britain’s Muslims to hold event to celebrate their contribution to society

The awards – attended by Members of Parliament, charity leaders from faith and non-faith organisations, and ambassadors from across the world – are being held to showcase the contributions British Muslims have made to societies in need in the UK and abroad and in response to a growing trend of Islamophobia  and hate crime.

Data* of its members collected by the Muslim Charities Forum shows the extent of British Muslims’ commitment to humanitarianism. The data from 16 of the Forum’s 17 members shows that: 

  • British Muslim volunteers give 29 years of time towards charity every year, equivalent to 10,000 days in a row or 250,500 hours a year;
  • MCF members have invested more than £3m in domestic UK programmes last year;
  • and benefited directly more than 36m people around the world;
  • MCF Members raised more than £162m last year.

The data provides a snapshot into the generosity of the Muslim community in Britain. If extrapolated to include all of the 2,500 Muslim-led charities in the UK, the figures would increase many times over. In 2016, the Charity Commission confirmed that British Muslims were the most generous givers in the UK after the community raised more than £100m during Ramadan 2016.

The awards presented will feature inspiring stories of British Muslims going above and beyond in places torn apart by war including Syria and Iraq, places of severe famine and drought such as Ethiopia and Somaliland, as well as countless others, throughout the Middle East, Africa and here in the UK.

The event comes two days after Parliament debated Donald Trump’s proposed State visit and will feature a keynote speech by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who recently criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for “bowing down” to the US President after the signing of an Executive Order restricting the rights of Muslims travelling to the United States of America.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi said: “It is very important that we recognise the contributions British Muslims have made to civil society here in the UK and abroad.

“At a time when Islamophobia, hate crime and misrepresentations of Muslims in the press remain prevalent, it is upon us to offer an opposing narrative, one which celebrates the humanitarianism of the British Muslim community.”

 

Monowara Gani, Director of Operations at the Muslim Charities Forum, said: “These awards couldn’t have come at a more critical time.

“When global leaders and volatile political movements attempt to turn Muslim and non-Muslim against each other, it is important that we stand up for our shared values of compassion, strength and solidarity.

“The Muslim-led charity sector in Britain continues to do inspiring work all over the world, whether it be feeding starving Syrian orphans or giving out coats to the homeless in the UK.

“Now more than ever, at a time of darkness for many marginalised communities and when the principles of international aid are under serious attack, we must continue to stand together and celebrate what we have achieved.”

 

Tufail Hussain, Deputy Director of Islamic Relief UK, who is also a trustee of the Muslim Charities Forum, said: “British Muslim charities are making a positive contribution to people’s lives both here and overseas because putting the needs of others is at the heart of the Muslim faith and the values of Islamic Relief.

“We hope these humanitarian awards will become a permanent fixture on the calendar. They showcase the depth of social concern nationally and internationally that drives the values of British Muslims to donate hundreds of millions of pounds each year and contribute to such worthy causes.”

The Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) is the leading umbrella charity for British Muslim-led NGOs working in the humanitarian sector. MCF represents 17 member charities such as Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid and Human Appeal, who provide humanitarian aid and international development support to people in need abroad and here in the UK. MCF supports its members through capacity building, advocacy and facilitation of collaboration in addressing humanitarian situations.

The Muslim Charities Forum’s Humanitarian Awards are the first-ever awards dedicated to the charitable giving of British Muslim-led NGOs. Thirty-three years since the first British Muslim charity was established, it is now a sector that makes an important contribution to British civil society and a transformational difference in areas of humanitarian need.

 

*The data is based on activities of MCF member charities in the year 2016.
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