Muslim Charity Dinner Networking
Open Doors of Mosques for all people – Dr. Dubayan
Dr. Mozammel Haque
Dr. Dubayan was encouraging and urging all Muslim leaders and particularly the Imams of Mosques to open doors of Mosques for all people around us. He said, “I have seen actually during my stay here in the UK that there are many people who are not Muslims; they have never had a chance to come closer to know Islam. And I think this is the role of Mosques. They are supposed to open the doors of the Mosques; each mosque to be transparent and being seen by everybody; not to be like some people who are not Muslims; they look at the mosque and they don’t know what are going on inside; how they are operating; who are managing them. This is to be really integrated with the society. This is the right vision for the future of all these charities working in the society, either in the UK or in any other country,” said Dr. Ahmad al-Dubayan, the Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre (ICC) at an evening gathering entitled, “Muslim Charities Dinner Networking”, organised by the Islamic Cultural Centre, held at its Library Hall and Conference Hall, on Thursday, the 13th of August 2015.
The meeting was attended by distinguished guests including representatives from the Embassy of Indonesia, Brunei, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and special guests from the Charity Commission, special guests from the Home Office, guests from the Muslim Organisations Mosques and other institutions. The event begun with the recitation from the Holy Qur’an by the Imam of the Regents Park Central London Mosque, Imam Khalifa Ezzat with translation.
Dr. Ahmad al-Dubayan
While welcoming distinguished guests and Excellencies, Dr. Ahmad Al-Dubayan, the Director General of the Islamic Cultural Centre thanked all of them for coming to attend this meeting and also expressed his happiness to be able to organise this lovely evening gathering. In this connection he also said, “I believe Islamic Cultural Centre is really home for everybody and also a centre for everybody.”
Mr. Khaled Banakhar, who is representing the High Commission of Mosques in Saudi Arabia, is luckily in London these days. Dr. Dubayan had taken the advantage to invite him who attended the evening event. While welcoming him, Dr. Dubayan said, “The High Commission of Mosques was established recently few years ago and it really aims to help and support mosques around the world. It is really very active organisation in their own society and their local communities in their right way and following regulations of each society.”
Ramadan and After: The Season
for charities and good deeds
This evening gathering took place after the fasting month of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr. After thanking the distinguished guests, Dr. Dubayan greeted the distinguished guests with happy Eid greetings and congratulated them for Eid-ul-Fitr. He said, “It is little bit late after Eid-ul-Fitr but the warm feeling is still alive. Happy Eid for everybody and May Allah the Almighty accept your fasting, your prayers, your deeds and actually everything. Since we were in Ramadan we were not far from the marvellous feeling of Ramadan; that is the feeling for others, the feeling for the society, feeling for the other people, feeling for those who do not find anything to eat and drink This is actually the spiritual meaning of fasting in Islam: to let you feel actually about the other people. It is really the season for charities; season for good deeds; season for doing good for everybody; whoever he is and doing also everything good to your society, to your community and to even natural environment around you. This is very important.”
Dr. Dubayan said a few words about Muslim charities. He said, “I hope we have, may be, more than one hundreds of mosques, here and organisations. There are recently, of course, lots of challenges and always in the field of charities there are always challenges; challenges of doing charitable works; challenges of getting support; challenges of getting the right people in the right position. I know this is really a problem for many of the charities around the world.”
Muslim contributions to British society
Dr. Dubayan said, “Muslims or Muslim communities have really contributed and they are still having contributing a lot to the British society; which is really appreciated. I am sure everybody here remembers this with deep appreciation for their role in education; their role in supporting the social life; their role in helping families helping woman. But I do believe that is still not enough. Our charities need more; we need more development; we need really more empowerment in the Muslim charities to be actually main player in the charitable arena to help Muslim society and to help societies at large, all of it as a whole.”
Dr. Dubayan wished to see the time when “we can see the services of the charities expanding to everybody around the area in the big society; in that moment we can say that there are several organisations they are really working for the welfare and for the prosperity of the societies around us.”
The Role of Mosques in Islam
In this connection, Dr. Dubayan described the role of Mosques in Islam. He mentioned, “The role of Mosque in Islam was different throughout the history; sometimes with governments like Muslim world there are ministries who are taking care of many things like education. In the early days of Islam, mosques were almost doing everything; it was a school; it was a place or house of worship; it was a place for people to come with problems; it was a place of court. Now, of course, the Mosque does not perform this role because there are other institutions in the society; there are other organisations, institutions and authorities from the government which is doing all these services. But the role of Mosques is supposed to continue providing really a place of education; a place of safety; a place of peace for everybody in the society and welcoming everybody.”
To learn about the values around in the society
Dr. Dubayan then spoke about the values around us in the society. He said, “Let the mosque to be the big supporter of the values around us in the society. Now the new generation really need to learn more and more about the values around us. Many of the values that we have seen and our education about 30 40 years ago; now they are not strong in the same way as it was in the curriculum; as it was in the mind of the teachers who really taught us at that time; not in the society around us. Some of these values actually are now little bit weak in the minds of our new generation.”
Muslim charities to be big
supporters of these values
Dr. Dubayan said, “We need Muslim charities most to be a big supporter to support these values: the values of peace, the value of justice; the value of equality; the value of women; actually the value of children; the value of families; all these need to be shown and to be highlighted through your way; through your work. This is really the vision of work for the future of the Mosque in the UK; the vision for the Muslim organisations generally. Those who work either in the relief organisations; or in mosques or in Islamic schools; wherever we are sharing a common ground that is the ground of value with the society; with everybody; the value of regulation; of course the value of citizenship in this country is very very important.”
“The best we can do is: we encourage the new generation to be more integrated; to be positive player in the life of the society around us which is really very very important,” mentioned Dr. Dubayan.
Before concluding his speech, Dr. Dubayan once again expressed his thanks to everyone for coming; participating and for making this evening very lovely; very nice; very remarkable. He said, “We have to welcome and congratulate the Ambassador from Indonesia. We would like to thank you so much for coming for being with us this time, the representative of our chairman, the Kuwaiti Ambassador; he is with us; he is welcome; and the representative of His Royal Highness Muhammad bin Nawaf the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia and the representative of the High Commissioner of Brunei also with us. Everybody I say thank you very much for coming and thank you for participating.”
“We always remember you and always remember us from your side that is the Islamic Cultural Centre is the centre for all communities; centre for all Muslims. We might have different opinions about something; but let us work together for the common interest and common things that is we have the same opinion together. I should mention the Nation of Islam who may be participated with us may be for the first time. Welcome to the Islamic Cultural Centre,” concluded Dr. Dubayan.
After Dr. Dubayan’s speech, the spokesperson of the Centre said, “I do hope all the Masajid leaders here today do follow the advice of the Director General of the ICC for opening up the Mosque for everybody; like I said every time, Mosque today does not serve only Muslims it also serves the British society and this is why because all of us brothers and sisters are in humanity. Let us open the mosque to everyone and let them know who we are.”
The next speaker was Ms. Paula Sussex who joined Charity Commission as Chief Executive Office in June 2014. Paula has extensive leadership experience particularly in delivering solutions to the public and voluntary sectors. Paula is qualified as Barrister.
Ms. Paula Sussex
Ms. Paula Sussex the Chief Executive Officer of the Charity Commission who came with a team of officers first introduced her team and said, “a number of other colleagues who are scattered around the room ready to take over all your different and difficult questions throughout the evening. I would love to say that they are mostly here what would be fantastic evening and the quality of conversations but I suspect some of them are here for the quality of food I know we will receive in a few minutes time.”
Ms. Paula said, “We are here to celebrate the role of charity in civil society and that in England and Wales. You know we regulate for England and Wales. That does not mean we don’t care about the Scots; we really just focus on England and Wales. I don’t need to say at all most eloquently by your Imam or by Dr. Dr. Dubayan that it is so central to Islam; 50 million pounds was raised just by members of the Muslim Charity Forum during Ramadan which is quite extraordinary. Congratulations.”
“I think I am in this job just over a year and the breath and reach of the Charities in England and Wales 160,000 of them is just extraordinary,” mentioned Ms. Paula.
The Charity Commission CEO also said, “I think you would not miss perhaps the ongoing story about the ways charity raised funds. Fund raising techniques and you have noticed how it raised the temperature suddenly in the media and throughout all communities and I think this reflects the facts that charities are loved and that also we ascribed abruptly higher standard of behaviour to charities.”
Duties of the trustees
Speaking about the duties of the trustees, the Charity Commission CEO Ms. Paula also mentioned, “Trust is fragile; based on faith which is based on love is not always rational thing. So it is incredibly important; incredibly important that we think trustees of these organisations are critically aware of their duties; there are one million trustees on our register.”
“How many of you are trustees of your charities and how many of you have read the revised guidance on your duties essential trustees from the charities commission,” she enquired and asked the audience to raise their hands; and said, “Well done Dr. Dubayan Thank you.” Because Dr. Dubayan raised his hands and said he had read the charity commission’s revised guidance.
On a very serious note, Commission’s CEO Ms. Paula said to the trustees, “You are the stewards and you are legally accountable for those charities. And whilst we are busy team of 300 regulators; we rely on trustees ensuring those charities are doing everything in their power to meet the charitable objectives.”
Ms. Paula also mentioned to work in partnership with the charities. She said, “We also like to work in partnership getting the message out.” She also mentioned, “My team told me that we had several more hits on twitters /YouTube.”
Charity Commission CEO also mentioned, “We had some 46 Radio interviews over the years; 31 on Radio Ramadan 100 Radio interviews on safe giving and we have done five times a day on the Islam Channel.”
Charity Commission CEO concluded her speech on a very cheerful note, “It was a very remarkable Ramadan. I am impressed. A very very belated Eid Mubarak and enjoy the evening.”
One-day course on the Human Resources
and Employment Rules
After the Charity Commission’s CEO’s speech, the ICC spokesperson remarked, “We will take action straightaway. We will be emailing all of you here from the Mosque. We will do a one-day course delivered by the Charity Commission and also on the Human Resources and Employment Rules I will get that sorted out and I will be inviting all of you so that you can get all right instructions.”
The next speaker was Charles Farr, the Director General of the Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT) at Home Office. Charles Farr was appointed as Director General of the newly formed Office of the Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) at the Home Office in June 2007. Charles Farr joined diplomatic service in 1985 and served in the British Embassies in South Africa and Jordan. He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 2002 Honours List for his service overseas for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and CMG in 2009. Since 2003 he had a number of senior posts across Whitehall concerned Security and Counter Terrorism. As Director General of the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism Charles Farr is a senior officer responsible for the UK security and counter terrorism and work on organised crime.
Mr. Charles Farr, Director General of the Office of the Security and Counter Terrorism at the Home Office, said, “May I take the opportunity really to say three things. Firstly, I listened to Dr. Dubayan my friend what he said at the beginning. I just really want to say how much I recognise, appreciate and agree, of course, what you are saying. Not just about how events like this bring together people from all communities of the country, government non-government, less government than non-government, around a common sets of values but also actually what you are saying to me listening as a non-Muslim around the world this institution organisations and above all mosques in communities in this country.”
“I suspect we should sometimes find ourselves talking about as government officials particularly not as government officials dealing with security. But we may use this occasion informally and as a personal view entirely eco and support what you said about the world that mosques in our experience can play in communities and how profoundly important that is and how much to the extent that is appropriate for us to do so. We would encourage entirely; support the ambitions that you mentioned; I am grateful for that,” said Mr. Charles Farr.
Mr. Charles Farr, the Director General of OSCT, said, “Secondly, if I may, Paula talked about the role of Charity Commission very succinctly a word about what we do. Some of you I heard you say of course our jobs on papers or rather will be entitled counter terrorism and security but our job fundamentally is to protect the communities of this country and part of our job is to protect Muslim communities and if we don’t do that we are not succeeding I am completely clear about this.”
“We are here to protect people in this room and your friends and families up and down the country. And I am afraid it is simply true to say Muslim communities in this country are sad to say uniquely affected, more affected than some other communities at this particular time different in the past and it will be different in the future, by the phenomenon of violence and terrorism,” mentioned Mr. Charles Farr and added, “And I am clear that you are the victims of this trend and it is our jobs to protect you from them. And you may say that we are not doing well. I hope we are; I believe we are but people from our communities are getting are hurt; losing their lives in Syria and Iraq and you know that is not the case. And most certainly so we do.”
Mr. Charles Farr again mentioned about partnership. He said, “Thirdly and finally; this reminds us about this partnership. Paula has spoken about this. Like me, the partnership between the Charity Commission and people who really work with the communities should be and in many cases this partnership between you and us. Because there is certainly should be, in my view, point of interest. There is no difference between your part is; your priority is to protect people in a particular Muslim and often in my experience we are talking about the same people. You are charities reaching out to vulnerable people and you are providing them with support. Thank you for that and long it may continue.”
Mr. Charles Farr finally mentioned, “Paula has said we will do whatever we can to encourage that. Of course, Paula said, giving campaign but fundamentally this can be wanted to be seen more a partnership based on your concerns and our concerns which are similar and more identical. Thank you for this event as always. This great organisation. You can bring people together even the government can not do that. We welcome it and we look forward to meeting people as much as we can.”