Below is a joint statement signed by more than 170 prominent scholars and leaders from the British Muslim community in response to unjust attacks and defamation of scholars such as Shaykh Suliman Gani, following a recent humanitarian trip to Afghanistan.
We, the undersigned, express our support for the recent visit by a delegation of UK Muslim scholars to Afghanistan and extend our support to Shaykh Suliman Gani. He has become the unjust target of a deliberate defamation campaign by certain publications, with the intent to jeopardise his professional standing.
The stated purpose of the delegation — organised by UK-registered charity Human Aid & Advocacy in coordination with Prosper Afghanistan — was to assess the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people and gain insights into ongoing aid projects sponsored by the charity in the country.
The delegation also met with several Afghan ministers to discuss both the post-conflict problems in the country and the concerns that many Muslims in the West had for the plight of the Afghan people.
We categorically reject any attempts to malign this visit. Its primary intent was to shield the Afghan people from additional years of war, hunger, and impoverishment. In the face of a humanitarian crisis as a result of the political blockade by Western countries, economic sanctions, and the freezing of almost $10 billion dollars of Afghan funds, it is critical that dialogue continues to take place. The alternative is for the world to stand by and witness the horrific deaths of Afghans, both at home and in the sea, as they drown on their way to these shores, desperate to survive.
Dozens of governments and international organisations including the US, the UK, the EU, Turkey, China, Russia, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, and Canada have held meetings with the Afghan government in recognition of the new reality. Prominent policy makers and think-tanks have also acknowledged that despite their circumstances, the Afghan government has secured a number of successes in the short time it has been in power, such as: bringing peace and security to the majority of the country; reducing inflation; partially recovering imports; doubling exports; collecting customs and taxes; and eradicating the drug trade. This is the context within which the delegation’s visit must be viewed.
Finally, we stand in unity with all Muslims who aspire to see a prosperous Afghanistan, and we urge all Western countries to lift the sanctions, unfreeze the assets of the Afghan people, and persevere in normalising relations. It is high time that the Afghan people are allowed to shape their future and determine the path that best suits their unique circumstances and aspirations.
- Syed Ali (Norbury Muslim Centre)
- Shakeel Begg (Lewisham Islamic Centre)
- Yahya Batha (South London Imam & Scholars Council)
- Imam Mohmed Moosa (Newham Imams)
- Tariq Amin (Masjid Ur Rahmah)
- Umar Muqaddam (Al-Rahmah Masjid)
- Inamul Haq (Masjid Quba)
- Ataur Rahman (Limehouse Masjid)
- Ali Ahmad (Shahporan Masjid & Islamic Centre Trust)
- Muhammad Ashraf (West Norwood Masjid)
- Mohammed Irfan (Al Ansar Islamic Education Center)
- Fatima Essa (Masjid-e-Noor)
- Abdullah Rawat (Musallaa an Noor)
- Khuzema Umar (Masjid Noor)
- Vali Hussien (Imam)
- Edris Seth (Islamic Cultural Centre, Z.J.M.)
- Mohamed Anas Shaikh (As-Salaam Centre)
- Zaid Masud Raza (Alhidaya Croydon)
- Abdul-Aleem (Al Khaleel Institute)
- Mufti Tayyibah Afzal (Darulifta Lancashire)
- Umm Aaeshah (Madrasah Abu Hurayrah)
- Mohammed Abdur Rahman (The Ta’aleemul Quran Trust)
- Masihullah Kathrada (Madressa Ibrahimiya Islamia South Africa)
- Muhammad Abdul Latif (Ilm Foundation)
- Shaqur Rehman (Sabeel)
- Zaqir Shaikh (Darul Arqam Revive Trust)
- Sikander Iqbal (Voice of Truth Academy)
- Hamid Mahmood (Fatima Elizabeth Phrontistery)
- Zanib Yaqoob (Fatima Elizabeth Archery Club)
- Anas Altikriti (The Cordoba Foundation)
- Yusuf Patel (SREIslamic)
- Moazzam Begg (CAGE)
- Roshan Muhammed Salih (5Pillars)
- Yusuf Shabbir (Islamic Portal)
- Mohammed Hussain (Ummah Awareness Media)
- Salman Butt (Islam21c)
- Ahammed Hussain (Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK))
- Moulana Abdullah Ahmed (Islamic Crescents Observation UK)
- Abdul Malik (Slic Funeral Service)
- Ismail ibn Nazir Satia (Al Qamar Ruqya)
- Syed Ali (Al Waqi’ah)
- Shaykh Ammar al-Madani (As-Salaam Foundation)
- Zain Ashref (Creative Studioz)
- Muhammad Uddin (Newham Muslims)
- Misbahullah Waziri (Muslim Youth Network)
- Razaull Ahmed (Ikhwa)
- Tariq Jung (BHMF – Brighton and Hove Muslim Forum)
- Nur Choudhury (Human Aid & Advocacy)
- Mohammed Rahim (One Ummah)
- Muhammad Tahir Fayyaz (Noah’s Ark)
- Mohammed Rahman (Fountain of Mercy)
- Minara Begum (Human Nation)
- Amir Isap (Zidna Foundation)
- Siddiq Rahman (Prophetic Footsteps)
- Bodrul Hussain (The Hudhud Trust)
- Asif Sheikh (Freedom & Peace)
- Mohammed Rahim (Umatee)
- Suhaib Farooque (New Muslim Community Hub)
The full list of signatories can be found here.