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IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MOST MERCIFUL Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds may peace and blessings be upon all of his Prophets and upon the last Prophet and Messenger, Muhammed (PBUH). and upon his family and upon his righteously guided companions and all those who follow them with diligence until the Day of Judgement.
Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and strive and struggle, with your goods and your persons, in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew. (9:41) "Oh Allah! To You we confess our weaknesses, our failures and neglect. Oh Allah! Grant us strength and resolve to do good deeds and spread justice. Help us prevent falsehood and oppression with positive action instead of mere words. Oh Allah! Help us unite as an Ummah in defence of the weak, to spread the light of truth and peace. Aameen. Ya Rabbal Aalameen"
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Assalaamu Alaikum, In these turbulent times, where we find Muslims being demonised and the Ummah under attack, MPACUK has pioneered a simple effective solution. Our work demonstrates that pro-active engagement in media and politics can produce amazing successes, Alhamdulillah. Our team works with dedication and passion because where others say ‘there’s nothing we can do’ MPACUK volunteers know there’s nothing we can’t do insh’Allah. We strongly believe that we need an empowered community, with an educated and accountable mosque leadership. We do not have to be victims. We can live proud and confident in our faith and our identity. But we can only achieve this vision with your help, and we hope the contents of this booklet will inspire you to support this vital work insh’Allah. Jazak’Allah khair, Wa Salaam Zulfi Bukhari, CEO.
C O N T E N T S
What is MPACUK? Britain's Biggest Muslim Website Defending Islam in the Media Successes - Case Studies: Pro-War MPs Defeated Kilroy Booted off TV BBC forced into apology MPACUK in the Media More Successes Why Join MPACUK? Why Fund MPACUK? Standing Order Form Eyewitness from Palestine
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‘Muslims Are a Threat to Our Way of Life’ 6
What is MPACUK?
MPACUK began with a handful of individuals on an e-group back in the year 2000. It has now grown into a movement with branches across the country and Britain’s biggest Muslim website, www.mpacuk.org. Our aim is to empower Muslims to fulfil our Islamic duty to strive for justice, in the way of Allah. We work to combat Islamophobia, defend civil liberties and campaign for an ethical foreign policy. MPACUK is driven by dedicated volunteers with an elected and accountable leadership. It is a notfor-profit organisation dependent upon donations from the public. “MPACUK, in my humble opinion, is an organisation that has a great vision for the Muslims in Britain; a vision that many Muslim Organisations and Centres do not have. MPACUK makes great effort to make this vision a reality through hard-work and commitment. As Imam of Lewisham Islamic Centre I fully support the work of MPACUK and pray that Allah rewards all our brothers and sisters at MPACUK abundantly in this life and the hereafter. I also pray to Allah that He gives all members of MPACUK the zeal and Iman to do much more for this Blessed Ummah.” Imam Shakeel Begg (Lewisham Islamic Centre) “I am impressed by the capable and dedicated young people I have met through MPACUK. I think we need stronger and more determined action to challenge the disaster of UK foreign policy, the erosion of civil liberties and the alienation of the Muslim community. MPACUK has a very important part to play.” The Rt Hon. Clare Short MP
MPACUK.org is Britain’s biggest Muslim website, making our huge audience aware of Muslim news, analysis and opinion that is so often omitted by the mainstream media. Powered by a vibrant team of journalists and editors, mpacuk.org has evolved into the influential media outlet that it is today. Boasting over 6 million hits a month, the website has become the one-stop-shop for anyone who wants to know what Muslims are thinking and saying in the UK. What makes the site unique is that anyone can contribute whether you agree with MPACUK or not. This open-minded journalism with a commitment to truth, no matter what, has enabled us to attract over 60,000 subscribers to our newsletter.
The UK’s most popular Muslim discussion forum, where you can talk about anything from politics to cooking Regular Action Alerts for activists Audio interviews with key movers and shakers, including MPs and leading Muslims Videos that other websites are too scared to show Well researched and referenced articles give you the facts and arguments to debate key issues Public comments on all our articles. Just login and join the debate. Advertising at very reasonable rates Contributions from Citizen Journalists (contact us if you want to be one)
If the pen is mightier than the sword, imagine the power of the World Wide Web
Defending Islam in the Media
With the many misconceptions about Islam in circulation, MPACUK have set out to combat ignorance and Islamophobia using the most efficient method: engaging with the mainstream media. MPACUK spokespeople have appeared in many sections of the press and broadcast media, including the BBC, ITV, Ch4, Sky News, CNN, The Independent, The Guardian, The Sunday Times… During the Danish cartoons controversy, MPACUK were at the forefront of condemning both the republication of the cartoons and the extremist protests by a small number of Muslims, who were hijacking the Muslim voice by calling for ‘beheadings’ and ‘another 7/7’. When Jack Straw’s remarks stirred up a media storm against the niqab MPACUK put forward more spokeswomen than any other Muslim group. From the tragic events of 7/7 to media hysteria on Shariah law, through to Gillian Gibbons’ arrest in Sudan for naming a teddy bear Muhammed… no other Muslim organisation in Britain is more active than MPACUK in defending Islam in the mainstream media.
Pro-war MPs Defeated!
MPACUK made history as the first Muslim group in Europe to defeat a pro-war candidate in a parliamentary election, with the Brent East by-election of 2003. Our team mobilised Muslim voters to support the anti-war Lib-Dem candidate: leafleting the mosques, going door-to-door and staffing an intensive telephone campaign. The anti-war Muslim vote was decisive as Labour’s 13,000 vote majority was smashed and Lib-Dem Sarah Teather was elected by just over 1000 votes. Brent’s Muslim voters could no longer be ignored and their new MP has worked hard to represent their views, for example setting up a parliamentary group against Guantanamo. In the general election of 2005 MPACUK used the same campaign tactics in Rochdale, against one of the most virulently pro-war and pro-Israel MPs in the country. MPACUK again made history as Lorna Fitzsimmons MP was booted out of parliament, losing by only just over 400 votes! (The first ever sitting MP to be defeated by a Muslim swing vote). Thanks to MPACUK’s campaign Lorna Fitzsimmons could no longer abuse her position in parliament to support Israel instead of representing her Muslim voters. Following her defeat she was forced to work openly for Israel from the sidelines instead, as head of the proIsrael lobby BICOM.
Lorna Fitzsimmons walks away defeated. Pro-Israel MPs have been warned!
Success as Kilroy booted from BBC
Robert Kilroy-Silk, the BBC daytime chat show host, wrote an article in the Sunday Express titled “We owe the Arabs nothing" calling Arabs, “suicide bombers, limb amputators, women repressors” and a whole lot more. This was not the first time… back in 1995 he wrote, "Muslims everywhere behave with equal savagery". But this time Muslims had had enough; MPACUK was at the forefront of the campaign for the BBC to remove Kilroy and for the Commission for Racial Equality to take action. Not only did we issue Action Alerts on the website and newsletter, MPACUK activists even went door-to-door mobilising Muslims to respond. After weeks of relentless pressure he was forced off the BBC.
Muslim leader says well done to MPACUK:
Dear MPACUK Assalamu alaikum! I'm writing to congratulate you on your efforts to alert people about the Kilroy-Silk article. Too often people stay quiet, as we have almost come to accept as inevitable much of the rubbish written about Muslims and Arabs. The suspension of his programme is a victory for all the groups and individuals involved, and show that if we continue to pressure and inform people that successes are possible. Well done!
Best wishes, Salma Yaqoob, Chair, Birmingham Stop the War Coalition
Muslims Are a Threat to Our Way of Life
Cummins is Going "All Muslims like all dogs, share certain characteristics.” This quote is from an article titled “Muslims are a threat to our way of life” by Will Cummins in the Sunday Telegraph - just one of his series of four Islamophobic articles on “the black heart of Islam”. MPACUK issued Action Alerts and got letters published in the Sunday Telegraph… and the campaign really took off once Cummins was exposed as a British Council employee! MPACUK used press releases, online coverage and Action Alerts to lobby the British Council to abide by its own policies and dismiss Cummins. The final step in the successful campaign was phoning the British Council, which works extensively in the Middle East, to let them know we were planning to expose them via Al Jazeera and other Arabic satellite channels. After a 2 month long campaign Cummins was finally sacked for his Islamophobic rants! Fulfilling the Fard of Jihad
Jihad is the protective armour of the Most Gracious Lord. It is the function by which the reality of truth is upheld, sanctity of life and property is preserved and the freedoms of faith and liberty defended. MPACUK understand Jihad in its comprehensive meaning as opposed to the narrow misrepresentation propagated by the misinformed media and elements within Muslim communities. MPACUK strives to be at the forefront of changing things by hand and word as the Prophet (saw) commanded; for to hate oppression and injustice in the heart and do nothing about it, is the weakest of faith. Jihad is an undeniable duty on all Muslims, especially at a time when Muslims are under attack through political decisions and media misrepresentation. “Those who strive in the cause of Allah will certainly be guided, for verily Allah is with those who do right.” (29:69)
BBC forced into apology
BBC Forced To Admit Jerusalem is NOT Israel’s Capital! During its coverage of the England v Israel football match, the BBC falsely stated that Jerusalem was the capital city of Israel. We all know that Jerusalem isn’t the capital, it’s Tel Aviv. Why would the BBC make such a schoolboy error? Under UN Security Council resolutions (237, 242 & 405) East Jerusalem is considered by the International Community to be illegally occupied by Israel. Declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital is an attempt to change this status and legitimise Israel’s illegal land grab and violation of these UN resolutions. MPACUK ran a vigorous and persistent campaign for over two months to ensure that that BBC never made the same mistake again. Our team put out Action Alert videos on YouTube, organised an open letter from prominent Muslims and lodged an official complaint with the BBC Editorial Complaints Unit. We couldn’t forget the importance of Jerusalem, host to Masjid AlAqsa (the Furthest Mosque), the third holiest site in Islam and the first Qibla of the Muslims. Eventually the BBC not only accepted their error but also agreed to make a public acknowledgement of their mistake. In a letter received by MPACUK, the Head of Editorial Complaints at the BBC also stated: “It will be discussed by senior managers, who will try to ensure, as you suggest, that the mistake is not repeated… I'd like to add my apologies for this most regrettable, but I'm sure accidental, factual mistake. I appreciate that the status of Jerusalem is of particular concern to Palestinians, and it is important that it is not misrepresented.” Jerusalem is NOT the capital of Israel and it should never be described as such again!
MPACUK in the Media
Operation Muslim Vote is a groundbreaking Channel 4 documentary that followed two MPACUK activists as they took on pro-Israel, pro-war MPs in the 2005 General Election - Lorna Fitzsimmons of Rochdale and Jack Straw of Blackburn. MPACUK worked relentlessly with few resources to wake the Muslims up politically. The film documents one of MPACUK’s greatest successes to date becoming the only Muslim group in Europe to have de-seated an MP (Lorna Fitzsimmons). Unfortunately, in Blackburn the Muslim leadership blindly supported Jack Straw despite his anti-Muslim record. But many Muslims supported MPACUK’s campaign and on election night, when Straw was asked about how he had lost votes due to the war, he blamed MPACUK for this - live on TV. In October 2006 Channel 4 aired Women Only Jihad, following a campaign by MPACUK sisters to force British mosques to open their doors to them. They held mosque leaders to account, challenging the excuses used to justify their refusal to allow women to enter. This documentary catapulted the neglected issue of women’s rights in the mosque to the top of the community’s agenda.
Groundbreaking Mosque Media Training: In partnership with forward-thinking mosques MPACUK are delivering Media Workshops, providing simple practical solutions on how to successfully tackle media bias. Boycott Israeli Blood Dates Campaign: It is a shocking fact that many Muslims during Ramadan are breaking their fast with Israeli dates – and therefore helping to fund the slaughter and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians! MPACUK’s campaign has begun to put an end to this, distributing thousands of leaflets, persuading Muslim shopkeepers and raising awareness through events, media and mosque announcements. Coalition for Palestine: MPACUK joined forces with over 40 diverse groups (including Christians, anti-Zionist Jews, Trade Unionists and other campaign groups) in the Enough! Coalition to organise a rally and mass lobby of Parliament for Palestine. Lobbying for Lebanon: As Israeli bombs rained down on the children of Lebanon MPACUK mobilised Derby Muslims to pressurise their MP – Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett. Hundreds marched from Friday prayers to the MP’s office, with the national media following, as she faced further pressure from the mass defection of local Muslim councillors. Stopping Support for Extremist Christians: MPACUK exposed the so-called ‘charity’ Samaritan’s Purse, run by Franklin Graham (who calls Islam “a very evil religion”), for bribing poverty-stricken Muslims to convert. As a result of our campaign many withdrew their support, including the Prime Minister’s Office, schools across the country and High Street companies such as The Co-Op.
“This workshop definitely has motivated me to become more proactive” (Asjad, Harrow)
MPACUK Stops BNP Islamophobia: The printing of the BNP’s racist and Islamophobic magazine ‘The Voice of Freedom’ by Saudi-owned company Satellite Graphics was halted thanks to the actions of ordinary Muslims responding to MPACUK Action Alerts. Enoch Powell Plaque Stopped: Birmingham Civic Society ruled out a proposal to honour the racist former MP Enoch Powell after MPACUK organised an open letter signed by prominent community organisations and leaders. Within an hour of receiving the letter the chairman of Birmingham Civic Society promised that Powell will never be awarded a commemorative plaque. Football Club Snub to Israel: Arsenal FC was inundated with calls and emails when MPACUK alerted its readers of Arsenal’s invite to the 53rd British-Israel Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner at the Savoy. Arsenal FC responded by agreeing that there should be “no official Arsenal Football Club representative at the function.” Orange Suspends Islamophobe: A campaign kick-started from the MPACUK Forum got Inigo Wilson, Community Affairs Manager at Orange, suspended after one of our forum members spotted Islamophobic comments posted by him on the blog site ConservativeHome. MPACUK Helps Mosque Lobby MP for Palestine: With MPACUK help, Nelson’s Madina Mosque put a petition of 100 signatures together and a letter to the local MP, Gordon Prentice. This succeeded in persuading him to sign EDM 913 raised to counter Israel’s desire to upgrade its relationship with the EU. Harper Collins Forced to Change Atlas: MPACUK successfully pressured Harper Collins to end its policy of naming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
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The BBC & ‘Muslim’ Forced Marriage: The BBC stated that Shafilea Ahmed, a 17 year-old MUSLIM schoolgirl was murdered, after concerns she was about to be compelled into a forced marriage. Whilst abhorring the tragic events surrounding her death we had to ask why her religion was made central to the argument when Islam forbids forced marriages. MPACUK urged people to contact the BBC and point out their mistake. Within a week the BBC acknowledged their shortcomings, acknowledged that forced marriages were a cultural problem and agreed never to falsely associate Islam with ‘honour’ crime again. Channel 4 Swamped: MPACUK heard that pro-Israeli groups were pressuring Channel 4 to pull the programme 'Ramallah Daily'. MPACUK issued a counter-alert and Channel 4 informed us that hundreds of calls had come in demanding the programme remain on air – which it did! Newspaper Corrects Palestine Falsehood: The local 'Ilford Recorder' described the West Bank as ‘disputed territory’. MPACUK mobilised complaints and not only did they print a correction stating that it is, in fact, occupied - but it was on page 3, whereas the original article was on page 22! Hundreds Call in to Stop Starbucks Partnership: MPACUK launched a relentless campaign against Oxfam demanding that they terminate their contract with the multinational Zionist company Starbucks. Oxfam will not be renewing their contract with Starbucks after being bombarded with complaints.
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The Case of Professor Mona Baker: UMIST Professor Mona Baker had disciplinary proceedings drawn against her for becoming a signatory to the International Academic Boycott of Israel and dismissing two Israeli academics from the board of a journal she owned and edited. After a strong campaign by MPACUK amongst others, the vice-chancellor of UMIST stated: "Professor Baker has broken no rules of the university and there are no grounds for UMIST to take disciplinary action". Manchester Aquatic Centre Successfully Lobbied: No one within the city council or the aquatics centre was willing to provide women-only swimming sessions. MPACUK successfully lobbied and negotiated a womenonly swimming session, complete with female lifeguards. Tesco Forced Into Israeli Admission: When MPACUK asked Tesco where precisely their mint labelled as a product of the West Bank - was being grown, we were met with typical corporate bluff. Tesco claimed this was sensitive information! We issued an Action Alert and a few weeks later Tesco was forced to “confirm that our herbs are grown by Israelis in the West bank.” The MPACUK website exposed Tesco for sourcing products from settlements deemed illegal under international law! Masterfoods Left With Chocolate On Their Face: Confectionery giant Masterfoods, manufacturer of Mars, Snickers and Bounty amongst others, decided to abandon its “suitable for vegetarian” policy, by using animal rennet making their products not fit for Muslims and vegetarians alike. MPACUK alongside others ran a campaign to lobby Masterfoods and within a week six thousand complaints had been lodged, ensuring Masterfoods made a quick uturn on their previous announcement.
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Why join MPACUK?
Do you want to make a real difference to help the Ummah? As an MPACUK member you will build on our successes insh’Allah. You can gain training, skills and opportunities within:
advocacy and networking (from within your local community to top politicians)
writing articles, creating video-casts and research
campaigning and diverse project work
putting on groundbreaking events and conferences
training, leadership and teamwork skills
Our members come from all backgrounds bringing a range of different skills, from students to professionals to full-time mothers. If you can find just a couple of hours a week to defend Islam, you can make a real difference insh’Allah. Contact us today to find out more details of your local MPACUK branch: Email: email@example.com, Phone: 0870 760 5594 “My personal struggle has always been to create a better environment for my children” (Tariq, Manchester) “Media campaigning to stem the increasing Islamophobia that is why I joined MPACUK” (Darnel, London) “I know I have to do something to help other Muslims and to protect what is sacred and true” (Tasneem, Birmingham)
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And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of the weak among men, women, and children, whose cry is: "Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!" (4:75)
MPACUK relies on your generosity. By donating to MPACUK you know that your money will be working hard as our track record proves. Please consider your donation to MPACUK as an investment that returns successes in both this life and in the hereafter insh’Allah. Set up a Standing Order To make a payment by standing order, please fill in the MPACUK standing order form on page 15 in this booklet and post to: MPACUK PO Box 55136 London N12 7UY Donate by Cheque Please make your cheque payable to "MPAC" Only. Please send your cheque to the above address. Should you wish to receive confirmation please also include your contact details. Make a Transfer/ deposit You can pay money straight into the MPACUK account using the account details below. Should you wish to receive confirmation please send us your contact details and the amount of your payment and/ or payment reference number. Account Name: MPAC Account Number: 71621025 Sort Code: 40-25-27 Bank: HSBC Address: 126 High Road, Ilford, Essex IG1 1DA If you wish to talk to someone about any of the payment methods, please call us on 0870 760 5594 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Standing Order Donation to MPACUK
Please fill in this form and post to: MPACUK, PO Box 55136, London, N12 7UY (DO NOT return this form directly to your bank)
Your Bank Details
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Eyewitness from Palestine
An MPACUK sister visited Palestine extracts from her diaries appeared on the MPACUK website: I’ve campaigned on Palestinian for many years, yet nothing could have prepared me for the harsh reality on the ground. Palestinians being marched off buses to go through checkpoints while on their way to work, school or just anywhere, is not normal. Crazy settler kids as young as 10 carrying weapons in places like Hebron... none of it is normal. Even to enter the Al Aqsa for prayer you face constant hassle from the Israeli security guards On my first demonstration at Ni’lin Israeli soldiers shot at us with live rounds, rubber coated bullets and tear gas – burning and choking. The next time the soldiers came with new tactics: sewage water and fierce dogs. My stomach churned with anger, sadness and despair and I wondered how the Palestinians around me showed such courage and perseverance - “We don’t have the luxury to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves” I was reminded.
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