Rt Hon Eric Pickles and Lord Tariq Ahmad,
Thank you very much for your letter dated 16th January 2015. Indeed, violence in the name of Islam is an affront to the vast majority of our community. There can be only one response: outright and unequivocal condemnation, standing united and resolute on our shared values. I attach our statement of condemnation of the atrocities which took place in Paris as released previously. We continue to reiterate that the crimes of a few do not represent Islam or the Muslim community, and share no responsibility for what happened.
We share your sentiments of needing to collectively address the multidimensional challenges which demand a comprehensive response. It is imperative that our communities continue their efforts to come together with the common goal of countering extremism and violence in all its guises. We must, with greater diligence, work together to promote our shared values to preserve and strengthen our diverse societies. This, we believe, will require greater engagement and support from local and national government as a means towards empowering our young people within the fabric of our civil and democratic society.
As a pioneering Islamic institution with over 40 years’ experience in research, publishing and education, the Islamic Foundation has worked to build bridges between Muslims and the rest of society to create better awareness and understanding. The Foundation is already widely recognised for its innovative contributions to both community-based and academic fields.
Some of our relevant projects include:
- Interfaith engagement – Holding seminars, meetings on social matters, study groups and social events with leaders and members of other faiths.
- Training – Our Policy Research Centre (PRC) trained civil servants, government and community groups on crucial Islam and cohesion related topics.
- Education – Markfield Institute of Higher Education and various other educational projects to impart true and correct Islamic knowledge and encourage a balanced approach to religion. We offer courses from entry level through to BA, MA and even PhD level in collaboration with British universities. We have also pioneered and delivered chaplaincy and imam training courses.
- Publishing - Under Kube Publishing, we have published over 400 books on a broad range of subjects, a number of which deal with the practice and integration of Muslims in western societies.
- Supporting New Muslims – The New Muslims Project has worked to meet the needs of those new to the faith and ensure they have a sound and balanced understanding of Islam in theory and practice.
- Responding to relevant issues – The Islamic Foundation remains a respected voice in commenting and providing a correct Islamic perspective on matters which face both Muslims and other communities in the modern age.
We acknowledge that working towards eradicating divisions within our communities is an ongoing effort in which we have been and will continue to be a key contributor, working towards building a pluralistic society where all stakeholders will play a positive role. Since the inception of the Islamic Foundation in 1973, we have received many high profile visits and commendations from academia, civil society, interfaith organisations and government bodies across the world. It was an honour for us that HRH Prince Charles opened our new Markfield Institute complex in 2003.
We would like to take this opportunity to extend our invitation to you to visit our centre. It would be a privilege to welcome you and hear your views about how you think we can add to what we are currently doing. We look forward to hearing from you with regard to such a visit in the very near future.
Dr Manazir Ahsan MBE
Enc. Leicestershire based Islamic Foundation responds to the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris (Press Release).
For more information or to contact the Islamic Foundation please visit