LONDON/MANCHESTER: British Prime Minister David Cameron has stressed that his government was committed to tackling anti-Muslim hatred at any costs and condemned the recent Islamophobic attacks in the strongest possible terms, saying the UK needed to be intolerant of intolerance.
PM Cameron along with Faiths Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi met Hazrat Allama Qamaruzzaman Azmi during a historic visit to North Manchester Jamia Mosque. The Prime Minister said it was as part of his government’s commitment with Britian’s nearly three million Muslim communities that a cross government working group on anti-Muslim hatred has been set up and that his government was funding a major project called ‘Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks)’ - which records attacks on Muslims and their places and offers supports to victims of hatred.
The PM discussed with Hazrat Allama Qamaruzzaman Azmi the current issues and challenges facing the world including, the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, Syrian crisis as well as the safety and security of Mosques and Muslim communities in the UK. The PM appreciated the community services of the renowned spiritual scholar Allama Azmi and said that his work was contributing greatly towards community integration and promotion of inter-faith dialogue.
The Prime Minister and Faiths Minister Baroness Warsi took a tour of the mosque which caters for 2,000 people through daily worship, after-school clubs, youth projects and support groups and had a frank and open discussion with a mixed group of young and old people where Mr Cameron heard the concerns of Muslims about attacks on their community following the horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.
David Cameron spent two hours with the mosque community during his visit and stated his support for the Big Iftar programme, which has seen scores of mosques up and down the country open up their doors to Muslims and non-Muslims to demystify the faith of Islam and connect to communities.
After a tour of the mosque he helped them prepare for their own Big Iftar by chopping onions and making samosas, providing his own cooking tips along the way. The Prime Minister was impressed by the vibrancy of the mosque, which is set for redevelopment to cater for an ever-growing community.
Allama Qamaruzzaman Azmi told The News over phone: “I thank the Prime Minister for taking time out from his busy schedule to come and meet with the British Muslim community in Manchester. During his landmark visit he championed the contributions that British Muslims are making in all walks of life and listened to some of the real concerns that the community are facing.”
Faiths Minister Baroness Warsi said: “It was brilliant to accompany the Prime Minister to the Jamia Mosque and help them prepare for their Big Iftar that evening.
“Jamia Mosque is a fantastic example of a model Mosque that reaches out to its community, providing vital services to the local Muslim population. The Prime Minister was given a fantastic opportunity to see this vibrant Mosque in action. He also spoke at length to the Mosque members about their concerns over the recent anti-Muslim attacks and was able to reassure them of this government’s unwavering commitment to tackle and stamp out this unacceptable form of hatred.”