in News March 16, 2017

Open Letter to the Prime Minister

Europe’s highest Court, The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that the wearing of “any political, philosophical or religious sign” such as headscarves need not constitute direct discrimination. This ruling comes after an employee, who observes the headscarf, was fired from her workplace in Belgium.

Whilst this may be perceived as a Muslim focused issue,  it has wider implications for many faith traditions who express religious symbolism. This has therefore promoted dialogue among faith institutions and communities, to stand against any form of discrimination.

Theresa May PM addresses the recent ruling at the House of Commons:

In light of Theresa May’s speech and her reassurance that the ban will not be incorporated into domestic law;  faith communities have come together to support her commitment in protecting religious freedom.

Below is a letter to the Prime Minister, commending her  stance.

Dear Prime Minister,

We the undersigned are writing to commend your powerful and reassuring statement at the House of Commons today concerning the recent ECJ Judgement on the wearing of religious symbols at the workplace. The Judgement was specifically about the wearing of the Muslim headscarf (hijab) although is great concern about the application of the judgment across all faith communities.

In the wake of regrettable tensions across the continent, it is easy to see the ECJ’s ruling – no matter how well intentioned in principle – being used to justify discrimination against people of faith, in particular.

Faith communities are part of the fabric of our country. As organisations working at the coalface we see everyday how faith groups make a real difference to the lives of so many people.

We have always held that an attack against one faith is an attack on all faiths, and it is at times like this when it is so important to restate the UK’s values and our proud record of tolerance and freedom of belief. That you, as the Prime Minister, did this so eloquently and clinically speaks volumes about your leadership and it is hugely welcome at this time.


Abdul Malik, Chair, Easton Jamia Masjid
Adrian L Cohen, Chair, London Jewish Forum
Aisha Ali-Khan, Writer & Editor, Asian Mum’s Network
Akeela Ahmed, Founder, She Speaks We Hear
Arshad Ashraf, Director, British Muslim TV
Asif Ali, Head Teacher, Suffah Primary School
Rabbi Avrohom Pinter, British Charedi Community
B. Kahlalech, Vice President, ALB
Dawood Masood, Director, Quba Trust
Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Community Educator, Movement for Reform Judaism
Dr Deesha Chadha, Hindu Forum of Britain and Vice Chair of the Faiths Forum for London
Farooq Murad, The Islamic Foundation
Fred Ashmore, London Quakers
Father Gerard Mitchell S.J., Joint Chair, Faiths Forum for London
Imam Ghulam Rasool, QTS Tipton
Hayyan Ayaz Bhabha, Secretary, APPG on Islamophobia
Mrs Hifsa Haroon-Iqbal MBE DL MPhil, Chair, Communities Against Crimes of Hate
Iftikhar Daad, Imam, Darul Ikhlas
Imran Hussain, Bccc
Imran Iqbal, Bath & North East Somerset Council
Jazvir Singh OBE, Chair, City Sikhs
Julie Siddiqi, Co-Chair, Nisa-Nashim Jewish Muslim Women’s Network
Khadar Egeh, Sca Manchester
Laura Marks OBE, Co-Chair, Nisa-Nashim Jewish Muslim Women’s Network
Leonie Lewis, Vice Chair, Faiths Forum for London
Professor Masood Akhtar Hazarvi, Director, Al Hira Centre
Maurice Ostro OBE, Chairman, Fayre Share Foundation
Mohammad Shabir
Muhammad Shahid Raza OBE, Head Imam, Leicester Central Mosque
Sayyed Mohammed Husain, WABIL
Muhbeen Hussain, Founder, British Muslim Youth
Mustafa Field MBE, Director, Faiths Forum for London
Naka Alkhzraji, Project Manager, International Centre for Integration and Cohesion
Rabbi Natan Levy, Head of Operations, Strengthening Faith Institutions
Major Nick Coke, The Salvation Army
Dr Qadir Bakhsh MBE, Chairman, East London Law Services
Imam Qari Asim, Makkah Mosque
Raheed Salam, Director, All Faiths and None
Mr. Ranjish Kashyap, Director/Trustee, Hindu Council UK
Dr Sarfraz Jeraj, Hyderi Islamic Centre
Shaheer Ali, Student
Sulaiman Egeh, Chairman, Brent Cultural Centre
Sh. Talat, Trustee/Chairman, MCEC
Tariq Dar, Chairman, Pakistan Community Centre Brent
Dr Waqar Azmi OBE, Chair, Remembering Srebrenica
Shaykh Yazdani Raza Misbahi, Chairman, London Fatwa Council
Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE, Director, Al-Khoei Foundation
Sayed Zafar Abbas, Imam, Anjuman e Husainiyah
Zaheer Shabir, Chairperson, Building the Bridge


in News March 16, 2017