MOSQUES across Bradford have hit out at a new report aimed at trying to help Muslims play a greater role in society.

The document – The Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim potential for the Benefit of All – was the result of an 18-month commission sponsored by Citizens UK and chaired by former attorney-general Dominic Grieve.

As reported in last Friday’s Telegraph & Argus, it was broadly welcomed by the Bradford-based Muslim Women’s Council but now the city’s Council for Mosques has accused it of reinforcing the idea that “Muslims are the problem.”

A spokesman said: “‘Missing Muslims’ - missing from where? Muslims are very much alive and present in British society and, truthfully, they are not going anywhere.

“It may be that their presence is not acknowledged or only acknowledged as a ‘problem’ or only on terms acceptable to the British establishment and their stakeholders.

“The report reinforces the view that Muslims are the problem. It implicitly absolves the establishment and its stakeholders from the responsibility to invest in the Muslim community as an integral part of British society and not as an ‘undesirable other’.”

He said Muslims were already visible in all walks of life: politics, business, community, charity, and service sectors.

“One third of the elected members on Bradford Council are Muslims; May 2017 saw the inauguration of 8th Muslim Lord Mayor; Bradford is now the accepted ‘curry capital’ of Britain,” he said.

“Muslims have a dominant presence in law, accountancy and financial industries as well as other business.

“Bradford has become a city of domes and minarets, standing proudly alongside church towers. Also, two out of our five Members of Parliament are Muslims.”

The Council of Mosques said more did need to be done to be done to increase the visibility of British Muslims in political, business, civic and faith fabrics of the British society.


But there were some fundamental challenges that lay ahead for the community and the British establishment highlighted in this and previous reports.

“Of course, the community has to do more to nurture and harness its enormous human talent whilst at the same time rethinking and realigning its priorities,” the spokesman said.

“The fact that Muslims are disproportionally over-represented in British prisons is not a coincidence. Even allowing for the disparities of treatment within the British criminal justice system, the community has to take share of its responsibility.

“Somehow our collective moral compass has gone directionless. Along with this, the establishments must stop blaming the Muslim community in order to deflect attention away from their deep-rooted prejudices and longstanding failings.”

Launching the report, Mr Grieve had said: “British Muslims have mixed views about the extent to which they have equal status or access to equal opportunities within the UK. This dynamic creates the risk of a downward spiral of mutual suspicion and incomprehension, which makes the need for action to break down barriers and bring people together all the more necessary.”

The report sets out 18 “practical and actionable recommendations on how to enable British Muslims to take on a more active and visible role in public life.”