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Board of Trustees

East London Mosque Trust

As-Salaamu Alaikum,

Re: Notice of Resignation from post of CEO

Further to the discussion at the PMC meeting of the 26 July and my further discussion with the
chairman, I am writing to formally give my notice of resignation from the post of CEO. I indicated at the
PMC meeting I may be able to continue until the AGM. However I will be starting a new role
elsewhere, and can therefore only work until Wednesday 31 October 2018. I should be in a position
by then to complete all the keys areas of work I initiated.

Having had the opportunity to work at the helm of this organisation, I have a number of observations
which I wish to highlight for the benefit of the organisation, at the same time I wish to keep this letter
brief, so I will only pick up a few matters for trustees to note.

When I was first offered the post I felt elated to have the honour to serve the East London Mosque-a
mosque I always called ‘my mosque.’ I had a reasonable understanding about the internal and
external challenges facing the mosque, and was initially hesitant in submitting my job application.
However the opportunity stated in the job description was attractive enough for me to consider giving
something back on a full time basis as a sense of duty to the mosque.

Having undertaken the role for almost a year, I can point out a number of issues that should have been
addressed or properly considered prior to advertising the role.
 Staff that were not supportive of the creation of the post- they should have been better
informed about the role and brought into trustee decision before the post was advertised. This
was an awkward situation for anybody to be put into and not fair on the person coming into
the role.
 Clash of stated role of CEO in JD with the role of Director of Finance and Engagement,
Chairman, Secretary, as well as EC, GCA and Media Committee. This was a clear oversight
which I was left to sort out without input from trustees. This lead to contention between
myself and others, as I was, based on my JD, making them or certain functions they were
responsible for defunct. This was the most arduous task of all work here, which left me
unnerved within the first 2 months where I wanted to hand in my resignation.
 Expectations of CEO varied considerably amongst core trustees. I was asked to write three
different work priorities and plans within 6 months, with an unrelenting demands for new and
different targets, KPI, outcomes, etc., each time. The week before I started I was told that my
key priorities were to look at improving the school, staff supervision and monitoring and
income generation.
o My management of the head teacher was discussed with the chair and the head
teacher, only later to be told that no consultation had taken place. My October report
to BoT has clear reference to the arrangement that was put in place.
o At my first BoT meeting, I could not believe that I was shouted at by a trustee and told
my views were not required. No objections were made by trustee to address this.
Similarly incident happened at a PMC meeting. This is very unprofessional and
inappropriate behaviour which I have never witnessed elsewhere. Again this was
evident that the role of CEO was not understood.
o Improvement to staffing and performance required for me to make changes that were
obviously going to be unsavoury for those staff effected. Instead of getting trustee
support or understanding, trivial matters raised by some staff due to the changes were
being highlighted to me by trustees.
o Trustee engagement on operational matters is a major cause for concern. This is very
frustrating for staff and procrastinates decision making, as often trustee have very
differing views amongst themselves.

My work with ELMT has been like a roller coaster ride, often exhilarating, but on occasions nauseating.
Overall a useful experience. I leave with only good memories, as I have a tendency to quickly forgive
and forget. My conscious is clear that I gave everything to this organisation and took nothing from it
other than what was due to me. I have on many occasion come across circumstances where in my
mind there were clear conflict of interest amongst many people associated with this great institution,
where people were taking more benefit from the organisation than they were giving, almost enshrined
as an acceptable norm- one that was not to be challenged and certainly not to be changed. We all
have to give our account for the roles and responsibility Allah has bestowed on us, let us help each
other to lighten this burden and address things that are not quite right, which we all know about but
seldom speak openly.

Having been associated with the mosque for more than 20 years and now having worked here, has
given me a sound insight to better understand than most, the trajectory of its culture and its people.
And I can honestly say that the environment is not conducive to change and progress, hence why there
has been no new services or improvement to services in any of the core areas over the last few years.
This is not just my view, but majority view of the people who come to this mosque. As a mosque the
only thing we do well is provide a massive prayer space. However when it comes to religious services
we are far behind in almost all areas.

How did we get here? ELMT changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about
ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. That is why in the past we have been ahead of the
game and admired for our creativity. In the last few years it was all about constructing more building
and getting more money to do it. Our leadership needs to be bold enough to make the right decisions
to better the Islamic and social needs of the community which are always going to be uncomfortable
to some. Trying to keep everything sweet is a sure recipe to make things sour.

I wish the mosque continued success. My daily dua for all trustee will continue. As a member of
ELMT I will continue to strive for the best outcome for this mosque. I ask you for your forgiveness if I
have offended you in any way, it was by no means deliberate or personal. I did what I believed to be
right for the mosque and to fulfil the role you had entrusted to me. I will be more than happy to
expand and give a fuller brief on my observation and insight into the organisation should trustees
request this.

Yours truly,

Nozmul Hussain

HR Advisor