Over 400 Muslim imams and scholars support MEND, CAGE and MAB after Michael Gove attack

Secretary of State for levelling Michael Gove. Editorial credit: Jakub Junek / Shutterstock.com

More than 400 UK imams and scholars have issued a statement rejecting Michael Gove’s new extremism definition and calling on Muslims to support MEND, CAGE, the Muslim Association of Britain and Imam Shakeel Begg.

The statement comes after Government Minister Gove named the Muslim groups in Parliament last week, along with Imam Shakeel Begg of Lewisham Mosque, as examples of groups and individuals who may fall foul of the new extremism definition.

In his speech to the House of Commons, Levelling Up Secretary Gove said the named groups will be “assessed” for whether they met the definition of “extremism.”

He said: “Organisations such as the Muslim Association of Britain, which is the British affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups such as CAGE and MEND, give rise to concern for their Islamist orientation and views.”

But in the statement released today, the Muslim scholars replied: “We observe that Mr Gove has a history of targeting Islam and Muslims under the label of ‘Islamism.’ We further observe that Mr Gove has deep connections with pro-Israel lobbies that propagate Islamophobia and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.

“Given the above, it appears the underlying motivation behind this announcement is the dissatisfaction among neoconservative, pro-Israeli figures within the Government towards legitimate activism opposing Israeli and Zionƒist aggression against Palestine, notably, Gaza.”

Below is the statement in full with signatories underneath:

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“O you who believe, be upholders of justice – witnesses for Allah, even though against (the interest of) yourselves or the parents, and the kinsmen.” (4:135)

In response to the recent announcement by Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, regarding an expanded definition of extremism targeting groups such as MEND, CAGE, and The Muslim Association of Britain, we, the undersigned Imams and Scholars of the UK, issue this statement to underscore the concerning implications of such actions and to reaffirm our commitment combating injustice.

We note that the discourse of “extremism” relies on the faulty and academically baseless neoconservative notion that ideology is a cause of political violence.

We observe that Mr Gove has a history of targeting Islam and Muslims under the label of “Islamism.”

We further observe that Mr Gove has deep connections with pro-Israel lobbies that propagate Islamophobia and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.

Given the above, it appears the underlying motivation behind this announcement is the dissatisfaction among neoconservative, pro-Israeli figures within the Government towards legitimate activism opposing Israeli and Zionist aggression against Palestine, notably, Gaza.

It is evident to us that individuals who prioritise the Israeli-Zionist agenda above Britain’s interests aim to stifle the political engagement of Muslims. The hypocrisy of Mr Gove et al, who coercively apply “British values,” which includes democracy, whilst simultaneously suppressing democratic participation that opposes their agenda, is glaringly obvious.

Despite the Prime Minister’s purported commitment to bridging gaps with the Muslim community, his government’s actions suggest a preference for divisive tactics over genuine dialogue and engagement.

The ability of a select few to influence government decisions, including the alteration of laws and definitions to suit their agenda, raises serious concerns about the integrity and independence of our political system.

The targeting of Muslim organisations also demonstrates how the politicised discourse of “extremism” undermines the rule of law, often at the expense of minorities.

It is imperative that we, as Muslims, unite against such abuses of power and reject this new definition of extremism and its ideological assumptions.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“No (Muslim) man will desert a man who is a Muslim in a place where his respect may be violated and his honour aspersed without Allah deserting him in a place where he wishes his help; and no (Muslim) man who will help a Muslim in a place where his honour may be aspersed and his respect violated without Allah helping him in a place where he wishes his help.” (Abu Dawud)

We call upon the Muslim community and supporters of political integrity and accountability to support organisations like MEND, CAGE and The Muslim Association of Britain for a fairer society.

We also stand in solidarity with Imam Shakeel Begg, recognising his selfless service to his community, while firmly rejecting the ideological, legally flawed, and unscholarly characterisation of him as an “extremist”.

As Imams and scholars, we reaffirm our dedication to working towards a better, more just United Kingdom, free from corruption and injustice. The government’s focus on extremism is a distraction for their failure to address pressing social issues, such as the living expenses crisis, housing crisis, and escalating incidents of violence and anti-Muslim hatred.

We urge the public to remain vigilant in safeguarding against this Orwellian drift and holding our elected officials accountable.


Dr Haitham Al Haddad, London
Dr Mufti Abdur Rahman, London
Shaykh Zahir Mahmood, Birmingham
Shaykh Muhammad Yasir al-Hanafi, Aylesbury
Dr Mufti Yusuf Shabbir, Blackburn
Shaykh Asrar Rashid, Birmingham
Imam Shakeel Begg, London
Imam Mohmed Tahir, London
Imam Mohammed Nadat, London
Imam Muhammad Anas, London
Imam Abdul Mateen, London
Imam Abu Muhammad, London
Imam Raza Ali, London
Imam Sajid Patel, London
Imam Hishaam, London
Imam Zubair Mangera, Blackburn
Imam Aadil Chuniya, London
Imam Raja Imaad Ishaq, Batley
Imam Ali-Haider Abdul Rashid, Sheffield
Imam Muhammad Hussain, London
Imam Mahmudal Ali, Slough
Imam Uzair Patel, London
Mufti Shah Shuaib, London
Imam Mashud Ali, London
Imam Vahab Bhikhi, London
Imam Salim Patel, Plaistow
Imam Shokat Patel, London
Imam Shah Qurayshi, London
Imam Afzal Ahmed, London
Imam Shaykh Ebrahim Noor, Coventry
Imam Ismail Mulla, Blackburn
Imam Huzaifah, Edinburgh
Imam Mohsin Ali, London
Imam Anas Khan, London
Imam Husain Patel, Bolton
Imam Mohammed Abubakar, Huddersfield
Imam Amin Sadak, London
Ustadha Fatima Patel, Blackburn
Imam Iman, Blackburn
Imam Irfan, Bolton
Imam Abu Aasiyah Muhammad, London
Imam Fadhil Choudhury, London
Imam Imran Patel, London
Ustadha Hajra Mayet, Blackburn
Imam Abdul-Rehman Karam, Bury
Imam Suheil Patel, London
Imam Bashirulhaq Hafejee, Blackburn
Imam Mohammed Langree, Manchester
Imam Hajrabibi Randera, Preston
Imam Abdulsamad Randera, Preston
Ustadha Khadija, Leicester
Imam Rasheed Ahmad, Preston
Imam Mohamed Bhikhi, London
Imam Mufti Adeel Zaman, Brierfield
Imam Abbas Afzal, Darlaston
Imam Shah Muaz Ahmed, London
Ustadha Sharifa Nakhuda, Preston
Imam Abdul Musaib, Shipley
Imam Mohammed Aminur Rahman, Birmingham
Imam Dr Ghulam Ashraf, Bolton
Ustadha Ayesha, Blackburn
Imam Mo Ahmed, Kidderminster
Ustadha Anisa Mayat, Blackburn
Imam Mohammed Hussain, London
Imam Mohammed Rahman, Birmingham
Imam Shah Hamzah Ahmed, London
Imam Ahmed Zaman, Birmingham
Imam Liaquat Zaman, Birmingham
Imam Bodrul Hussain, London
Imam Moulana Omar Ghanchi, Leicester
Imam Zeeshan, London
Imam Shah Musa, London
Imam Emad Uddin Ahmed, London
Imam Zeeshan Qayum, London
Imam Shah Yahya Ahmed, London
Imam Imam Waseem Amin, Glasgow
Ustadha Salma Kadia, Dewsbury
Imam Mohsin, Bolton
Imam Mawlāna Ayaaz Chikhalia, London
Imam Abdus Sattar, London
Imam Mohammed Patel, Leicester
Imam Muhammed Patel, Leicester
Imam Mohammod Abdulla, London
Imam Masjid Taybah, Leicester
Imam Serajul Islam, Kidderminster
Imam Mufti Mohammed Haroon Hussain, Birmingham
Ustadha Fatima, Manchester
Imam Abdul Mateen Khandoker, Milton Keynes
Imam A Rawat, Bolton
Ustadha Bint Nazir, Lancashire
Ustadha Maryam Aswat, Blackburn
Ustadha Sumaiyah Shaikh, Blackburn
Imam Arif Patel, London
Imam Yasin, Bradford
Imam Iftekhar Alam, Norwich
Imam Huzaifah, Blackburn
Ustadha Hafsah Khan, Bradford
Imam Huzaifa Kolia, London
Imam Moonaf Bapoo, Bolton
Imam Zhuhaa, Oldham
Imam Ashraf Madari, London
Imam Sheikh. Zakaria Al Andalusi, Leicester
Imam Muhammad Patel, London
Imam Lyba Raza Mir, Oldham
Imam Abdul Rozak, Bradford
Ustadha Areebah, Oldham
Ustadha Aneesa, Manchester
Imam Zubair, London
Imam Mohammed Yahya, Manchester
Ustadha Zainab, Oldham
Ustadha Farzana, Oldham
Imam Akhtar, Oldham
Imam Abdul Hadi, Oldham
Ustadha Zulaikha Farooqi, Manchester
Ustadha Zakiyya, Leicester
Imam Mohammed Patel, Leicester
Imam Rabia Gulam Ismail, Blackburn
Imam Mohammed Samee-Ur-Rehman, Chorley
Imam Abul Monsoor Riyad, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Ustadha Amina, Nuneaton
Ustadha Irtikha Arif, Blackburn
Ustadha Sarima Arif, Birmingham
Imam Sheroze Arif, Blackburn
Ustadha Sarima Arif, Lancaster
Ustadha Hanifa, Manchester
Imam Hafiz Sha’ban, Luton
Imam Shoaib Mohammed, Blackburn
Imam Shaykh Ammar Salim, Manchester Imam Jamil Jeeva, London
Ustadha Suria Zainab, Oldham
Imam Iqra Mahmood, Manchester
Imam Taybah Hussain, Manchester
Ustadha Sara Shah, Bradford
Imam Ahmed Desai, Bradford
Ustadha Shaakirah Arif, Birmingham
Ustadha Irtiqa Arif, Birmingham
Imam Zeibun, Leicester
Ustadha Fatima Limbada, Bolton
Imam Abdul Patel, Leicester
Ustadha Farzana Haroon, Manchester
Imam Tariq Mahboob, Ilford
Imam Muhammed Ahad, London
Imam Shaheda, Leicester
Imam Mohammed Yasir, Luton
Imam Sajid Safdar, Bradford
Imam Mohmad Zuber Shaikh, Leicester
Ustadha Safiya Koser, Oldham
Imam Siddique Patel, Leicester
Imam Muftī Ismail ibn Nazir Satia, Blackburn
Imam Hana Farman, Manchester
Imam Ozma Qayyum, GLASGOW
Ustadha Fazila, Hackney
Imam Mohammed Waseem, Bradford
Imam Mohammed Yusuf, London
Imam Muhammad Valli, Leicester
Imam Laiba Qayyum, Glasgow
Ustadha Hafsa, Blackburn
Ustadha Ayesha Sheikh, Blackburn
Ustadha Fatima Bharucha, Manchester
Ustadha Khadija Begum, Manchester
Imam Zakaria Wolf, London
Imam Idrish Nekiwala, Leicester
Imam Ashfaq Rafiq Patel, Blackpool
Imam Saif Ali, Glasgow
Imam Majid, Glasgow
Imam Mubassar Ashfaque, Glasgow
Imam Mufti Mohammed Dilwar Hussain, London
Imam Ziyaad, Leicester
Imam Mahfuz Ahmed, London
Imam Shah Ishtiaq, Manchester
Imam Huzayfah Mangera, London
Imam Redwan Ahmed Omor, London
Ustadha Sadia, Birmigham
Imam Shaqur Rehman, London
Imam Shakir Hussain, Irchester
Imam Abdul Mitha, Leicester
Imam Suleman Sidat, Leicester
Imam Aqif Naqash, Edinburgh
Imam Mohammed Irfan, London
Imam Fokhrul Islam, London
Imam Zakir Umar, London
Imam Fuad Abdo, London
Imam Minhaj Haque, Luton
Imam Mohmed Yasin Patel, London
Imam Moulana Qasim Amir Hussain, London
Imam Shah Muhammed Anas, London
Imam Nizam Hussein, Leicester
Imam Mohammad Zakariyya, Batley
Imam Hanif Dudhwala, Blackburn
Imam Siddiq Rahman, Walsall
Imam Hammad, Birmingham
Imam Abubakr Ahmed, London
Imam Tahmid Ahmed, London
Imam Mohammed Ahmed, London
Imam Imam Ammaar Domun, London
Imam Muhammad Hussain, Wednesbury
Ustadha Aatiqa Khalifa, Leicester
Imam Riyadh Patel, Birmingham
Imam Sayed Ahmed, London
Imam Yusuf Badshah, London
Imam Jabir Divelli, Bolton
Imam Shah Zaman Hussain, London
Imam Waqar Khan, Birmingham
Imam Ustadh Anwar, Huddersfield
Ustadha Yasmeen Salloo, Walsall
Imam Abul Kalam, Ipswich
Ustadha Hamida Begum, Oldham
Imam Ikram Haq, Slough
Imam Syed Ahmed, Kidderminster
Imam Rayhan, London
Imam Md Kayser Ahmed, London
Imam Muhammad Osama Sabreen, Bolton
Imam Muhammed Sharif Uddin, London
Imam Usman Iqbal, Leeds
Ustadha Sumeya Gani, Dundee
Imam Aa’sim Aswat, London
Imam Mawlana Adam Ayub, Bolton
Imam Muhammad Motara, Batley
Imam Muhammad Usman, Bradford
Ustadha Humaira, Bolton
Imam Yahya Motara, Heckmondwike
Imam Mubashshira Dawod, Blackburn
Ustadha Khadija Hussein, Dundee
Imam Muhammad Gous, Birmingham
Imam Mohsin, Bolton
Imam Shuja Ahmad, Birmingham
Imam M Ilyaas Limbada, Yeovil Somerset
Imam Sheema Usmani, Oldham
Imam Huzayfah Patel, Birmingham
Ustadha Sameenah Kausar, Birmingham
Imam Shafa Ahmad, Birmingham
Imam Sidra Qamar, Birmingham
Imam Abdul, Leicester
Imam Dhoimini, London
Ustadha Zakiyya, Leicester
Imam Amir, Sunderland
Imam Muhammad Haroon,
Imam Shahzad Ahmed, Great Harwood
Imam Amjid Amin, Glasgow
Ustadha Uzmaa Butt, London
Imam Molana Yahya, Batley
Imam Ahmed S Sidat, Blackburn
Imam Syed Faisal Ahmad, Sunderland
Ustadha Amina Nagori, Blackburn
Imam Ml Saeed Ahmed Nagori, Blackburn
Imam Mohammad Hamza Ashraf, Birmingham
Imam Faydhullah Redhwan Shaikh, Birmingham
Imam Salim Mansur, Birmingham
Ustadha Fatima Tariq, Greater Manchester
Imam Mohammed, London
Imam Mohammed Aslam, Villiers-le-bel
Imam Tauseef, Bradford
Ustadha Tasnim Patel, London
Imam Khalid Sharif, Keighley
Imam Saif, Todmorden
Imam Farheen Sheikh, Preston
Imam Muhammad Mamaniat, Batley
Imam Uvais Ismail, Blackburn
Imam Mohamed Seedat, Batley
Imam Mehnass Tariq, Oldham
Ustadha Fatema Patel, Blackburn
Ustadha Zabina, Bradford
Imam Razika Azim, Luton
Ustadha Maariyah, Wakefield
Ustadha Zayneb, Blackburn
Imam Zaria Nadeem, Greater Manchester
Imam Mohammed Hamid, Slough
Imam Khaleel, Rochdale
Ustadha Samina Kausar, Blackburn
Ustadha Aisha Khan, Stockport
Imam Muthiur Rahman, London
Ustadha Adilah, Leicester
Imam Irfan Patel, Blackburn
Imam Adnan, Leicester
Imam Ahmed Patas, Leicester
Imam Hassan Natha, Blackburn
Ustadha Fatima, Luton
Imam Shah Talha, London
Imam Junaid Gulraiz, Leicester
Ustadha Aisha Satchell, Birmingham
Imam Shah Usman Ahmed, London
Imam Salmaan Patel, Kettering
Imam Shaykh Ahmad Sidat, Blackburn
Imam Maulana Mohammed Dawood, London
Imam Salma, Dundee
Imam Harun Holmes, Nottingham
Ustadha Samira Patel, Leicester
Imam Jamila Umarji, Preston
Imam Haroon Adam, Bradford
Imam Shahnaz, Leicester
Ustadha Noorjahan Patel, Leicester
Imam Sheikh Zubair Miah, Milton Keynes
Imam Muhammad Abdur-Rahman, Birmingham
Ustadha Irfana, Leicester
Imam Muzzammil, UK
Imam Mufti Zubair Patel, London
Imam M M Salloo, Redditch
Imam Ahmad Raja, Batley
Ustadha Fatima, London
Imam Ajmal Hussain, St Albans
Ustadha Ateka Nurgat, UK
Imam Aftab, Dewsbury
Imam Umaira, Birmingham
Imam Momodou Jobe, Norwich
Imam Saleha Sayeed, London
Imam Mohammed Tariq, Glasgow
Imam Khadijah Anwar, Manchester
Imam Imam Omar Saddique, Nottingham
Imam Mubeen A, London
Ustadha Rabia, Manchester
Imam Shaykh Dr Rafaqat Rashid, Bradford
Imam Ilyas Khalifa, Bradford
Ustadha Hind bint Awf, Leicester
Ustadha Rubina Sattar, Leicester
Imam Ahaed Zhulfikar, Wolverhampton
Imam Adnaan Yaqoob, Bradford
Imam Umran Amin, Bradford
Imam Fatih Atmaca, Edinburgh
Imam Zain, Bolton
Ustadha Najiba Habib, London
Imam Rashid Adat, Bolton
Ustadha Farzana Sheikh, London
Imam Shuaib Esmail, Batley
Imam Jesan Ahmed, UK
Imam Zaid Tootla, Leicester
Imam Adam Sabat, Leicester
Ustadha Summiya Ali, Oldham
Ustadha Hafsa Patel, London
Imam Musarrat, Manchester
Ustadha Aisha, Bury
Imam Syed, Leicester
Imam Ziauddin Bhaiyat, Bradford
Imam Mufti Umair Zulfiqar, London
Ustadha Tasneem Ali, Edinburgh
Imam Mustafa Abdulhussein, Manchester
Imam Afraz Aslam, London
Imam Jahid, London
Imam Amin Buxto, Edinburgh
Imam Arif Master, London
Imam Amro Abdallatif, London
Imam Yahya Govalia, Birmingham
Imam Muhammad Umar Draz, Newport
Imam Mr. Zubier Ismail, Blackburn
Imam Hussain Ahmad Rabbani, Cardiff
Ustadha Siddiqa, Oldham
Imam Nasir Hussain, London
Imam Khalid Karim, Treforest Pontypridd
Ustadha Sonia Malick, Manchester
Ustadha Roswana Mann, Solihull
Imam Riaz, London
Imam Yaseera Adam, Coventry
Imam Shamsul Islam, Colchester Ustadha Raeesa, London
Imam Tariq Rehman, Bradford
Imam Asad Khan, Manchester
Imam Syed Shah, Leicester
Imam Raffick Chamurally, Maidenhead
Ustadha Siama Azhar, Manchester
Imam Qari Khalil Ahmed, Leicester
Imam Seham Kassim, London
Imam Dr. Abid Hussain, Huddersfield
Ustadha Farida, Preston
Imam Mohammed Abubakar, Huddersfield
Imam Sharafat Ali, Huddersfield
Imam Sajid, Manchester
Imam Nasser SATTAR, Leicester
Imam Mohammed Imran, Birmingham
Imam Muhammad Gora, Batley
Imam Sirin Begum, Birmingham
Imam Nizamul Islam, London
Imam Saduf Chaudhri, Manchester
Imam Ayub Patel, Falkirk
Imam Faiza Ali, London
Imam Ebrahim Bhikha, Birmingham
Imam Habib Khan, Sheffield
Imam Muhammad Kaysar Hussain, St Albans
Imam Mufti Yousaf Baig, Batley
Imam Subhi Abduljalil, Cardiff
Imam Adnan, Cardiff
Ustadha Rehana Baig, Middlesex
Imam Yunus Patel, Batley
Imam Ibrahim Hassan, Manchester
Imam Mohamed Vankad, London
Imam Shakeel Amir Razak, London
Ustadha Ms Attia Razzaq, London
Imam Khurshid Qureshi, Ilford
Imam Naseem Khan, London
Imam L Karim, Reading
Imam Rehaz Abdoolla, Cardiff
Ustadha Zeenat Karim, Leicester
Imam Anis B, Romford
Imam Mohammed Sarki, Birmingham
Imam Zubair, Luton
Imam Asif, Bristol
Imam SHAFQAT ALI, Cardiff
Imam Tarek Issa, Harrogate
Imam Arshad Ahmed, Birmingham
Imam Shaz khan, Romford
Imam Shahid Rasheed, Ripon
Ustadha Shahida Lambat, Coventry
Ustadha Iqra Khan, London
Ustadha Asma Khan, London
Imam Cerie Kaleem Bullivant, London
Imam Shazad, Bradford
Imam Rafiq Ali, Blackburn
Imam Khaleel Asmal, Preston

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