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Press Release: WE BELONG HERE TOO: New Report by Civil Society Group Showcases History of Muslim Influence in Britain

Press Release: WE BELONG HERE TOO: New Report by Civil Society Group Showcases History of Muslim Influence in Britain

Categories: Latest News, Press Releases

Thursday June 20 2024

What was the connection of Muslims with The Kingdom of Mercia and the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1 and more historical facts all in one place! 

Rights group Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) has released a new report showing the ways in which Islam and Muslims have had a deep and profound impact upon Britain’s sociocultural, economic and political development. The report’s release could hardly be more timely, as far-right actors continue to spread crude disinformation that tries to cast the ‘Britishness’ of Muslims, and their loyalty to the country, into doubt. Recently, in a grotesque display of this Islamophobia, Reform UK president Nigel Farage claimed that a “growing number” of Muslims “loathe” British Values.

MEND’s new report aims to push back against such ahistorical narratives by showing that:

  • Far from being a ‘newcomers’ to Britain’s shores, Islam and Muslims have long histories of positively shaping Britain’s historical trajectory, from the medieval period through to the massive sacrifices made by Muslims fighting on behalf of Britain during World Wars I & II
  • Muslims and the Islamic world have played a vital role in securing and preserving Britain’s national security throughout the ages, challenging the twenty-first century rhetoric of the War on Terror that presents Muslims as a national security threat
  • Outlines policy recommendations that need to be followed by politicians, the media and education sectors aimed at fostering a greater public consciousness around the huge contributions made to Britain by its Muslims

Commenting on the importance of this report, Azhar Qayum, CEO of MEND, said: 

This report is being released at a very important time, with political parties vying to be the most Islamophobic amongst a bitter election campaign. The timely intervention will provide people with a bit of the historical knowledge necessary to push back against Islamophobic notions that Muslims are not really British” 

The full report can be accessed here: rebrand.ly/we-belong-here

About Muslim Engagement and Development: 

MEND is a not-for-profit company that helps to empower and encourage British Muslims within local communities to be more actively involved in British media and politics. British Muslims have remained on the margins of public and political debate about their religion and place in modern Britain for too long and the level of Muslim participation in media and politics remains woefully low. MEND seeks to enable British Muslims to engage more effectively with political and media institutions and play a greater role in British politics and society by instilling confidence, competence and awareness. Enhancing mainstream participation by communities that are under-represented and vulnerable is an important step towards deepening and strengthening our democracy.

For any enquiries, including information or interview requests, please contact: [email protected]


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