Archive for the ‘Media Coverage’ Category
Administrator on September 13th, 2012
Leeds Makkah Masjid utterly condemns the release of a trailer for a video mocking the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who is revered by over 1.5 billion people around the world. ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ is a vile, deeply offensive and inflammatory film, which forms part of the Islamophobia global phenomena that is aimed at hurting the feelings of Muslims, causing divisions amongst communities and provoking violence.
Muslims are understandably very upset about the derogatory depiction of their Prophet (peace be upon him) in the film but we urge all Muslims not to rise to the provocation and to make their views known in a measured, peaceful and democratic manner.
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, said: “It is of profound concern that in recent years, attacks on the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Muslims’ sacred text, the Glorious Qur’an, seem to be on the rise. Such irresponsible and provocative actions, in the name of freedom of speech, will only divide communities and destabilize the world even further.
Muslims are not against freedom of speech but with freedom of speech comes responsibility and a need to respect the views and beliefs of others, which this film fails to do.”
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, said, ”Just as we condemn the disgraceful film, the response of some individuals, who are fuelled by anger and hatred, is also appalling. We unreservedly condemn the killings of the American diplomats, including the US Ambassador, in Libya. We also condemn the attacks on diplomatic facilities in the Middle East.
Muslims must vocalise their discontent at attempts to belittle the honour of the Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) and stand united to defend the persona of the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) but Islam does not permit people to cause violence, destruction or take the lives of others in the name of protecting the honour of the leader of their faith (peace be upon him).”
The life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) presents a number of instances in which he had the opportunity to retaliate against those who harmed him, but he refrained from doing so in order to enable people to see the mercy and kindness that is contained in the teachings of Islam. One hadith, states: ‘You [Muhammad] do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
We must not let extremists, whether those who use artistic means or violence, control the political or religious discourse. It is vital that there is a robust approach to dealing with all forms of extremism so that such reprehensible and offensive materials are not produced, and irresponsible and disgraceful responses to them do not take place again in the future.
People of all faiths and no faith must work harder to counter hatred and develop mutual understanding and respect so that neither profoundly offensive works presenting prophets in a derogatory manner are produced, nor violence and bloodshed is caused in the name of faith,” said Qari Asim MBE.
Administrator on September 9th, 2012
An article describing A Week in the life of Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, has been published in the latest edition of Emel, Muslim Lifestyle magazine.
Please click on the link below for further details:
Administrator on September 1st, 2012
Channel 4 aired a programme “Islam: The Untold Story” on Tuesday 28th August 2012 with the show presented by British historian Tom Holland, who has also published a book entitled “In the Shadow of the Sword” . A number of absurd and outrageous baseless claims have been made by Holland against Islam, a faith followed by over a billion people.
Serious debate on Islamic historiography is welcome but it must be based on historical evidence. Holland’s book In the Shadow of the Sword does not seem to be anything more than an addition to the Islamophobia, this is currently a global phenomena.
Please see below links to some responses regarding the programme and the absurd claims made within it:
Administrator on August 21st, 2012
A two-year-old boy, Rehan Saleem, and his 10-year-old sister, Saba Saleem, were critically injured when they were knocked down in a hit-and-run accident outside Makkah Masjid on Saturday at around 5.20pm Saturday, 18th August.
The accident occurred as the children were crossing the road to go home after buying onions, from Makkah Foods, for the family’s Eid celebrations.
Police said a silver Vauxhall Astra was involved in the collision and the driver slowed down to see what had happened before speeding away from the scene.
The boy and girl are still at Leeds General Infirmary and remain in a critical condition after surgery, in particular Sabam who has suffered severe injuries.
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, said: “It is extremely distressing for the family and the community that two local children have been knocked-down in a hit and run accident.
The children were looking forward to celebrating Eid on Sunday 19th August and now they are in a critical condition fighting for their life in the hospital.
We have held a number of special prayers at the mosque for the children concerned and their loved ones. May Allah Almighty grant the children speedy recovery and safe return to their parents.
We also pray that the family is able to endure this distressing and difficult time with patience.
We appeal to everyone who has some information about this collision to share it with the Police. We also appeal to the driver or any passengers in the car to come forward as soon as possible;” he said.
We are grateful to the Police, law enforcement agencies, local MP Greg Mulholland, local councillors, faith leaders and everyone who has sent in messages of support and prayers.
Interview of Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, can be seen on the link below:
Administrator on July 7th, 2012
On the seventh anniversary of 7/7, we express solidarity with victims of terrorism. The atrocities committed on 7/7 and the whole war on terror has cost too many lives and it must be stopped.
Imam of Leeds Makkah Mosque, Imam Qari Asim, said : “violent extremism, terrorism and taking lives of innocent people is against the teachings of Islam.
All forms of terrorism must be stopped and the root causes that lead to such extreme actions must be fully explored and eliminated in the most efficient and amicable manner.
On the anniversary of 7/7, we must resolve to work towards creating a better world for all – a world full of hope, justice and harmony.”
Now is the time to look to the future with greater optimism. Our common humanity, our spirit of community, the values we share as human beings, will give us the strength to confront those – individuals, organisations or governments- that seek to cause chaos in the world.
The anniversary of 7/7 is also a time to reflect why British Muslims are still seen as “outsiders” when they often express a stronger sense of belonging to the UK than other citizens.
A recent report by the University of Essex found that Muslims actually identify with Britishness more than any other Britons.
This study is just one of several recent studies that have consistently found that British Muslims express a stronger sense of belonging in Britain than their compatriots. Consider the following finding:
• 83% of Muslims are proud to be a British citizen, compared to 79% of the general public.
• 77% of Muslims strongly identify with Britain while only 50% of the wider population do.
• 82% of Muslims want to live in diverse and mixed neighbourhoods compared to 63% of non-Muslim Britons.
• 90% of Pakistanis feel a strong sense of belonging in Britain compared to 84% of white people.
“Muslims live a life of service to God and to fellow human beings. The constant negative depictions of Muslims portray Muslims as similar to the 7/7 bombers who caused mayhem and destruction seven years ago but an average Muslim living in Britain is no different to a non-Muslim Briton in having a sense of belonging to Britain and identify with Britishness – the recent report by the University of Essex, once again re-affirms that;” said Imam Qari Asim
The report by the University of Essex can be found by visiting the following link:
Imam Qari Asim’s interviews on the 7th anniversary of 7/7 can be listened on Leeds Aire Radio and BBC Leeds Radio.
Administrator on June 16th, 2012
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Muhammad Asim has been awarded an MBE for his groundbreaking initiatives in enhancing community relations and for his work in engaging young people.
Imam Qari Asim has been named in the Birthday Honours list and will be invited to Buckingham Palace to receive the award. He is the first Imam ever, who leads daily prayers in a mosque, to be awarded an MBE.
Imam Qari Asim has served the Muslim communities of Leeds as an Imam from a very young age and has won the award of “UK’s Model Mosque” for his mosque, Makkah Masjid.
Imam Qari Asim said, “I am incredibly humbled and immensely honoured by the MBE award. I am deeply indebted to my family and friends and the attendees of Leeds Makkah Masjid, all of whom have played an important part in enabling me to serve the Leeds communities.”
“I dedicate this award to my late father Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad, who has been an inspiration throughout my life”, said the Imam.
A spokesperson for Makkah Masjid, said, “Imam Qari Asim’s award is a cause of celebration for us all because it signifies and recognises the ground-breaking work that Qari Asim has being doing to enhance communal relations, engage with disenfranchised young people and lead the way in tackling some of the taboo issues in the British Muslim community.”
A young member of the Mosque’s congregation, commented, “We are delighted that Imam Asim has received this prestigious award and we are immensely proud to have him as our leader.”
A female student of Imam Asim stated that she is “thrilled” by his award, which is “richly deserved.”
Leeds Muslim Council said, “We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Imam Qari Asim and his family and wish them every success and blessings for the future, insha’Allah.”
Imam Qari Asim’s interviews can be heard today on BBC Leeds Radio, Real Radio , Radio Aire and Asian Fever. There is also coverage of this prestigious award being given to Imam Asim on BBC Look North, ITV Calendar, Yorkshire Evening Post and other local Asian newspapers.
Administrator on May 24th, 2012
Below are Extracts from a PRESS RELEASE issued on 24 May 2012
Faith Matters launched the TELL MAMA project in the Makkah Mosque on 24 May 2012, between 2-4pm.
The project supports those who have encountered anti-Muslim incidents and encourages them to seek help and support through the national project.
The third party reporting project was initially trialled in London and is now focussing on Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester as centres where there are large and significant Muslim populations. The project works with partners such as Victim Support, Neighbourhood Watch, local Safer Neighbourhood Teams and local police forces to ensure that support is provided to those who have suffered anti-Muslim attacks. The TELL MAMA project also ensures that where possible, information about perpetrators is passed onto local police forces.
Commenting on the launch in Leeds on Thursday the 24th of May 2012, the Director of the TELL MAMA project, Fiyaz Mughal OBE stated:
“For many years, Muslim community members, particularly Muslim women, have complained of anti-Muslim incidents and abuse, especially if they wear the Hijab. Some of these visibly Muslim women even fear to leave their homes and this is not acceptable and healthy for anyone, let alone females in a community. We believe that all hate crime is wrong and that anyone conducting a hate crime should be reported into the Police if possible and to third party reporting projects like TELL MAMA.”
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Imam Qari Asim, stated that: “For far too long Muslim communities have been the subject of anti-Muslim sentiments. We therefore welcome the Tell MAMA campaign and Makkah Masjid is pleased to host its launch in Yorkshire.
There have been grave concerns in the Muslim communities regarding the growing tide of anti-Muslim sentiment which manifests itself in a number of ways including verbal abuse and physical attacks on individuals and their property.
Given the alarming rise in the anti-Muslim hate crimes in recent years, a clear and consistent approach should be adopted by the Police to record and investigate incidents of Islamophobia and the anti-Muslim hate crimes.”
“Anti-Muslim sentiments are fuelled largely due to ignorance and misinformation about Muslims and Islam. More Education in schools can play a key role in combating the rise of Islamophobia”, said Imam Asim.
Administrator on May 10th, 2012
British Muslims have been deeply appalled and shocked by the high profile stories about child sexual exploitation and sexual violence that have been perpetrated by men of Pakistani origin. However, the issue has nothing to do with Islam. It is rather the lack of spirituality in the perpetrators that could be said to be one of the key factors in them committing such uncivilized and indecent acts. Islam protects the rights of women and young, irrespective of their faiths, and therefore abusing young females is contrary to the teaching of Islam.
Workshops are being held by Leeds Makkah Masjid, conducted by Imam of Makkah Masjid, Imam Qari Muhammad Asim, in West Yorkshire on Friday and Saturday 11-12 May2011 to discuss the way forward.
Imam Asim will also be discussing the matters arising from the Rochdale Grooming trial on BBC Radio on Sunday 13 May at 8am.
Please also click on the attached link to read Imam Asim’s interview:
For further details, please e-mail: email@example.com
Administrator on April 14th, 2012
In the month of April, the great works and significant contribution of honourable Shaykh Professor Hafiz Fateh Muhammad Sahib (May Allah have mercy on his soul) is particularly remembered.
It has been 7 years since the founder of Leeds Makkah Masjid, Professor Qari Fateh Muhammad Sahib suddenly passed away on the evening of Tuesday 26 April 2005 (17th Rabi ul-Awwal 1426).
As Leeds Makkah Masjid was built on the vision of Shaykh Qari Fateh Muhammad, it is only appropriate that the following video on ‘My Yorkshire’ is shared with everyone.
My Yorkshire is a collection of digital stories created with communities by museum, library and archive collections in Yorkshire. My Yorkshire website states:
“The Makkah Masjid Mosque in Leeds 6, which was built in 2003, has a forward thinking progressive mission to encourage visitors to learn about the Islamic faith, to marvel at the unique and fascinating interior, especially the beautiful hand painted dome and to come to the programmed exhibitions, displays and lectures held there every year.
The Imam has already been a TV star appearing on Look North and works for a Leeds legal firm. In this short film he describes the stunning decorations inside this unique and inspirational Mosque, and a second clip shows the service at the end of Eid (see links below).”
Administrator on November 23rd, 2011
Leeds Makkah Masjid has come together with NHS Leeds to develop a guide for the Muslim community to tackle the taboo subject of domestic violence which will be launched on Friday 25 November 1pm.
‘Domestic abuse – a guide for Muslim communities’ will be launched before Friday prayers at Makkah Masjid in Hyde Park Leeds. The guide aims to help the Muslim community to understand, raise awareness and respond appropriately to domestic abuse.
Thousands of women, as well as men, around the world are victims of abuse every year by their husbands and other family members, usually in-laws. Domestic abuse and violence occurs against women in all societies. However, Muslim victims of domestic abuse find it more difficult to seek help due to cultural pressures.
This new resource helps the Muslim community to identify and understand what domestic abuse is, recognise the signs that someone is at risk of domestic abuse and ensure that they are aware of support services available to them locally.
Bushara Bostan, Health Improvement Specialist for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, says: “Domestic abuse – a guide for Muslim communities’ deals with domestic abuse in the Muslim community. It aims to help the Muslim community to understand, raise awareness and respond appropriately to domestic abuse. This guide has been produced not because Muslim women are more likely to be subjected to violence than non-Muslim women, but because the way it impacts on them can be different.
“It is hoped that Muslim advocates and communities can use this resource to understand the issue of domestic abuse and provide appropriate support to individuals and families affected by domestic abuse.”
Qari Muhammad Asim, Imam for Makkah Masjid, adds: “Makkah Masjid is pleased to support the development of this guide and hopes that it helps to reduce incidences of domestic abuse within the Muslim community. We also hope that it will help people to talk more openly about any concerns they may have both in their own households or those of their friends and families.
“Domestic abuse and violence occurs against women in all societies regardless of culture, ethnicity, religious background and socioeconomic status. This guide reminds Muslims that such un-Islamic practices should not take place in Muslim households.”
Maulana Shahid Raza OBE, Chair of the MINAB said:
“The Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) welcomes the efforts of the Leeds Makkah Masjid and NHS (Leeds) who have produced this guide to support Muslim communities to tackle domestic abuse. The guide provides practical recommendations to enable faith institutions, leaders and their congregations to respond to domestic abuse.”
”This is an excellent example of how faith institutions and statutory agencies can work together to address pertinent issues by providing resources, guidance and advice which is both practical and culturally sensitive.”
What is domestic abuse?
Domestic abuse (also referred to as domestic violence) is any form of physical, non physical, sexual, emotional or financial abuse that takes place within the context of a close relationship. This relationship will usually be between partners or ex-partners (usually in the home) but it can also occur in extended family situations where abuse may be from other family members.
Some common abusive acts include:
- physical assaults i.e. hitting, punching, slapping, kicking;
- calling your partner names;
- not allowing them to see friends or relatives;
- refusing to interpret properly; and
- blaming your partner for your own behaviour
Key facts about domestic abuse
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience at least one incident of domestic abuse in their lifetime. Women are more likely to experience multiple repeat incidents and fear as a result of this pattern.
- In Europe, domestic abuse is the major cause of ill health for women aged between 16-44, more common than cancer or traffic accidents.
- In the UK at least 2 women are killed each week by a current or former partner
- The Police in the UK receive one call from the public every minute for assistance for domestic violence.
- In an average year 1 in 10 women are known to have experienced violence form a partner or ex-partner. In Leeds this equates to over 35,000 women.
- Although men are also victims of abuse, the vast majority of victims are women.
- Domestic abuse has direct health consequences including higher rates of mental illness in women, contributing to depression, anxiety, stress, self-harm and suicide.
- For children the emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to the psychological trauma associated with being a victim of child abuse.