Muslim leaders accuse govt of damaging relationship with community by sacking Qari Asim

Qari Asim. Pic: Facebook

One hundred and twenty scholars and imams have written to the government accusing it of undermining its relationship with the Muslim community over the sacking of Qari Asim as a government advisor.

Qari Asim, who is the imam of Leeds Makkah Mosque, was sacked two weeks ago after appearing to advocate the banning of the blasphemous film The Lady of Heaven.

The Department of Levelling Up, Housing & Communities said that his support for a campaign to limit free expression, and which has encouraged anti-Shia sentiment, means he can no longer work with government to promote community harmony.

But in a letter to the Minister Michael Gove, the scholars describe the removal of Qari Asim as “a step backwards in our collective efforts to enhance community cohesion.”

Here is their letter in full:

Dear Secretary of State and The Minister for Local Government, Faith and Communities,

Re: Imam Qari Asim

We are writing to you as religious leaders of British Muslim communities to raise our profound concerns and reservations around the way DLUHC has removed Imam Qari Asim from his roles as the Deputy Chair of the Government’s Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group and an Independent Advisor to define Islamophobia, and the claims that have been made about Qari Asim in the recent letter published on 11 June 2022 on the Government’s website.

We understand that Qari Asim was not contacted to clarify his position regarding the contentions made in the letter by DLUHC. The process adopted by DLUHC to remove Imam Qari Asim is contrary of British values of civility and mutual respect, and undermines dialogue and communication between the government and Muslim communities.

Imam Qari Asim has been an ardent campaigner for fostering inter-faith and intra-faith relations. He has a strong track record of standing up against hatred and extremism, and has contributed enormously to the work of community relations over many years.

The removal of Imam Qari Asim from his roles, in our view, represents a step backwards in our collective efforts to enhance community cohesion. It also reinforces the perception that the government does not intend to adopt a definition of Islamophobia to capture the increasing anti-Muslim hatred in our country.

We would strongly urge the government to take urgent steps to tackle the growing anti-Muslim prejudice and improve its engagement with religious and civic voices across Muslim communities.

Yours,

British Muslim Scholars

List of Signatories:

Sahibzada Pir Sultan Niaz ul Hasan Qadri, Birmingham

Sahibzada Pir Muhammad Noor ul Arifeen Siddiqui, Birmingham

Sahibzada Hafiz Pir Mohammad Anwar ul-Haq Qadri, Bradford

Sayyid Muhammad Zafrullah Shah, Birmingham

Mufti Muhammad Ansar-ul-Qadri, Bradford

Mufti Hafiz Fazl Ahmad Qadri, Derby

Allamah Zafar Mahmood Farashwi, Manchester

Mufti Muhammad Ayyub Ashrafi, Bolton

Professor Masood Akhtar Hazarvi, Luton

Mufti Akhtar ul Qadri Ashrafi, Sheffield

Mufti Muhammad Faiz Rasool, Bristol

Allamah Barkat Ahmad Chishti, Birmingham

Sahibzada Mohammad Asrar Ul-Haq Owaisi, Bradford

Mufti Ghulam Sarwar Naqashbandi, Huddersfield

Sahibzada Muhammad Imran Abdali, Birmingham

Allama Muhammad Din Sialvi, Nelson

Allamah Umar Hayat Qadri, Huddersfield

Allamah Muhammad Naseerullah Naqshbandi, Bolton

Imam Hafiz Muhammad Saeed Hashmi, Woking

Allamah Muhammad Afzal Saeedi, Bradford

Mufti Fazl Quyyum Subhani, Manchester

Qari Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, Sheffield

Allamah Muhammad Hanif Hasni, Birmingham

Mufti Muhammad Saeed Mujadadi, Accrington

Mufti Muhammad Wajid Iqbal, Bradford

Maulana Muhammad Shabir Sialvi, Manchester

Professor Hafiz Saleem Akhtar, Sheffield

Allamah Muhammad Arshad Jamil, London

Hafiz Muhammad Ghulam Rasool, Birmingham

Sahibzada Mohammad Naveed Sialvi, Dewsbury

Qari Muhammad Ghulam Yaseen, Sheffield

Qari Zahoor Ahmad Saifi, Manchester

Dr Mustafa Raza Khan Baig, Exeter

Allama Nazir Mehrvi, Walsall

Mufti Muhammad Ismael, Nottingham

Qari Tariq Mahmood Qadri, London

Imam Muhammad Tahir Baghdadi, Oldham

Allamah Sanaullah Sethi, London

Allamah Raza ul Mustfa, Burton on Trent

Allamah Muhammad Yasir Sialvi, Wolverhampton

Allamah Muhammad Zeeshan, London

Qari Syed Abulshkoor Qadri, Oldham

Maulana Waqar Baig Qadri, Manchester

Imam Adam Kelwick, Liverpool

Imam Hasan Rabbani, Glasgow

Hafiz Abdul Rasool, London

Imam Siddiq ul Rehman, Newport

Allamah Munawar Saleem, London

Hafiz Zahid Basheer, Sheffield

Imam Farhan Siddiqui, Birmingham

Hafiz Hammad Raza Noorani, Huddersfield

Hafiz Naseer ud Din, Sheffield

Qari Muhammad Rasib, Oldham

Maulana Najeeb Ziai, Huddersfield

Allamah Sajid Mahmood Farashwi, Bradford

Imam Rafiq Ur Rehmam Newoprt

Qari Shabeer Saeedi, Birmingham

Hafiz Hazoor Ahmad Hashmi, Sheffield

Qari Naveed Ahmad, Newcastle

Mawlana Masroor ul Haq Hussaini, Ravensthorpe

Maulana Abdullah Sultani, Birmingham

Qari Rahat Mahmood Chishti, Oldham

Hafiz Muhammad Akhtar Hussain, Sheffield

Qari Muhammad Ayyub Shazli, Huddersfield

Hafiz Muhammad Hasan Chishti, Birmingham

Qari Ghulam Farid Usmani, Newcastle

Maulana Muhammad Farooq Ashrafi, Blackburn

Hafiz Muhammad Yasir, Birmingham

Mawlana Manzoor ul-Haq, Leeds

Allamah Sher Muhammad Qadri, London

Imam Muhmmad Muneer Chishti Oxford

Maulana Hafiz Ijaz Rasool, Sheffield

Imam Hafiz Muhammad Qasim, Leeds

Hafiz Muhammad Ramzan Raza, Birmingham

Imam Muhammad Bilal Walthamstow

Hafiz Amjad Husain Naqshbandi, Huddersfield

Hafiz Allah Bakhsh, Birmingham

Qari Muhammad Ijaz Ahmad, Newcastle

Allamah Muhammad Ameen Qadri, Birmingham

Mawlana Hafiz Mohammad Shafeeq, Leeds

Maulana Hafiz Ibrahim Naqashbandi, Middlesbrough

Hafiz Muhammad Ali Al-Azhari, Warrington

Maulana Abdul Rahman Sultani, Birmingham

Maulana Muhammad Abu Bakr Al-Azhari, Bradford

Maulana Waqar Baig Qadri, Manchester

Hafiz Muhammad Ramiz, Leeds

Imam Muhammad Altaf, Bristol

Mawlana Munir Asim Qadri, Birmingham

Allamah Hafiz Abdul Saeed, Accrington

Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Ashrafi, Blackburn

Qari Muhammad Faqir, Reading

Allamah Sayed Tariq Shah, Birmingham

Syed Haidar Tirmizi Shah, Halifax

Maulana Aftab Muhiyyudin Al-Azhari, Batley

Hafiz Muhammad Israr Oxford

Imam Abdal Al Rehmaan Alazhari, Burnley

Maulana Muhammad Kadir Ali, Leicester

Hafiz Muhammad Bilal Mudasir, Nelson

Mawlana Mohammad Saqib, Luton

Hafiz Muhammad Maroof, Warrington

Hafiz Muhammad Nisar, Derby

Hafiz Muhammad Farooq, Nelson

Qari Ata ur Rasool, Birmingham

Maulana Mazhar Hussain Chishti, Glasgow

Ustadh Abdullah Ali, Norwich

Hafiz Yaseen Azam, Huddersfield

Imam Afaq Ali Khan, Nelson

Ustadah Dawood Masood, Luton

Qari Ghulam Mustafa Qadri, Dewsbury

Hafiz Mahmood ul Hasan Chishti, Nelson

Hafiz Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, Bradford

Hafiz Dawood Ashrafi Lehri, Blackburn

Ustadah Khalil Mohammed, Woking

Qari Muhammad Abdul Rauf, Rochdale

Hafiz Muhammad Ihsaan Ullah, Luton

Hafiz Meharban Sultani, Sheffield

Imam Muhammad Imran Qadar, Dundee

Hafiz Muhammad Khurum, Leeds

Qari Muhammad Farooq Noorani, Oldham

Mawlana Mohammad Saqib, Dewsbury

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