Inayat Bunglawala


Inayat Bunglawala

Inayat Bunglawala is media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain. He has written articles for "The Times", "Daily Telegraph", "The Guardian", "Daily Express", "The Observer" and "The Sun" focusing on Islam and current affairs. He is an activist for Islamic concerns and joined The Young Muslims UK in 1987. He is also a co-presenter of the weekly 'Politics and Media Show' on the Islam Channel (SKY 813) [cite web |url=http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/inayat_bunglawala/profile.html |title=Comment is free profile |publisher=The Guardian]

Work

Inayat's views as media secretary for the Muslim Council of Britain are often quoted in the press. He often discusses matters of religion as well as politics. [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3233518.stm |title=Reflections on Ramadan |publisher=BBC]

Tackling Extremism Together

He was selected as one of seven conveners for a Home Office task force with responsibilities for tackling extremism among young Muslims. Their proposals included:

* A national Advisory Council of Imams and Mosques: This would: advise mosques on how to prevent them being used by extremists; on how to reduce their reliance on using ministers of religion from abroad; set standards; and increase the cohesion and leadership skills of imams.
* A national forum against extremism and Islamophobia: This independent initiative would: provide a regular forum for a diverse range of members of the British Muslim community to discuss issues relating to tackling Islamophobia and extremism that impacts on the Muslim community; involve both respected scholars and community activists in addition to others; and have access to Government in order to share outcomes and understandings.
* A country-wide ‘roadshow’ of influential, populist religious scholars: This would: expound the concept of Islam in the West and condemning extremism.

Inayat Bunglawala said: "“Extremism in all of its manifestations is a dangerous affliction that has to be tackled in a forthright manner. We believe that this proposal of a National Forum against Extremism and Islamophobia will provide a platform for Muslim communities around the country to openly discuss their concerns about the activities of extremists and Islamophobes and to also work in partnership with the authorities in helping build a safer society for all of us. One of our additional key objectives is to make it easier for young Muslims to obtain access to mainstream Islamic teachings in the English language which robustly oppose extremist ideology and their malignant misinterpretation of Islam”.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke said in response: "I am grateful to the working groups for drawing up such constructive ideas. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with Muslim communities and supporting the work that they are undertaking.” [cite web |url=http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/about-us/news/tacklilng-extremism?version=2 |title=Tackling Extremism Together: Working groups report back to Home Secretary |publisher=The Home Office]

Political Views

* Inayat has commented that many Muslims believed the UK's involvement in wars against Afghanistan and Iraq were a "key contributory factor in the radicalisation" of some young Muslims, but added: "extremists often paint a very unfair picture of the West. We all benefit from freedoms and opportunities here that are not exactly plentiful in many Muslim countries." [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5144438.stm BBC NEWS | Politics | Muslims 'must root out extremism' ] ]

* He has been a strong critic of U.S. foreign policy, saying: "“The US government needs to demonstrate that it is prepared to be more even-handed in its relations with Muslims and Muslim countries.” [ [http://thinkexist.com/quotes/inayat_bunglawala/2.html Inayat Bunglawala quotes ] ] Regarding the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib by U.S. soldiers, he said: "“I think this type of activity by U.S. forces will only further anger the Muslim population of Iraq." [ [http://thinkexist.com/quotes/inayat_bunglawala/ Inayat Bunglawala quotes ] ]

Controversies

In January 1993 Bunglawala wrote a letter to "Private Eye", a satirical magazine, in which he called the blind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman "courageous." After Abdel-Rahman's arrest on charges of masterminding the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in July that year, Mr Bunglawala guessed that it was only because of his "calling on Muslims to fulfill their duty to Allah and to fight against oppression and oppressors everywhere". Five months before the September 11, 2001 attacks, Bunglawala also circulated writings of Osama bin Laden, whom he called a "freedom fighter", to hundreds of Muslims in Britain. [ [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,1553441,00.html "Muslim leaders accuse BBC of witch hunt"] , by Martin Bright, "The Observer", August 21, 2005]

References


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