Islamic Society of Britain elects new President

27th June 2011The Islamic Society of Britain (ISB) elected a new President, Dilwar Hussain, at the Society’s AGM on 25th June 2011. Dilwar has over 20 years of experience in the voluntary and community sector, and will serve as President of the Society in a voluntary capacity. His professional background is in policy research and consultancy.

In his speech to the membership, Dilwar welcomed the newly elected policy board of the Society and paid tribute to the outgoing President who will continue to serve on the board.

Looking at the road ahead, Mr Hussain gave a clear message to outline his vision for the ISB. He said, “the ISB is well placed to help develop a British Islamic practice, based on knowledge,integrity and purpose. Such that Islam feels like a normal and integral part of British life. This also means connecting with the people around us, as ‘our people’, breaking down mistrust and the dichotomy between ‘them’ and ‘us’. To me this is a really exciting venture and I think it gives us a sense of purpose and distinction and allows us to proudly earn and claim the title of being the Islamic Society of Britain.”

He also spoke strongly about the danger of extremism: “as we come to the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and the sixth anniversary of 7/7 – we are reminded of the danger and evil of extremism, violence and terrorism in the name of Islam. I say this because it relates to the safety and security of our country, and it also relates to our role as an organisation…We live in a time when so many people fear Muslims and are deeply suspicious and mistrusting of us…The people that have created this climate are not on ‘our side’…they are in fact our opponents. They remain an obstacle to our cause.”

Dilwar also pointed to some immediate challenges for the organisation in terms of financial stability within the voluntary sector, the need to reach out to members and to communicate more effectively in an age of social media.

The outgoing President, Ahtsham Ali, said, “He is a balanced individual that brings a wealth of academic and strategic expertise in British Muslim communities at a time of significant change and anxiety”.

1. The Islamic Society of Britain can be reached on: 020 7247 8088, [email protected] The Islamic Society of Britain was established in 1990. It was one of the first organisations that sought to evolve a uniquely British flavour of Islam.

2. In his professional capacity, Dilwar Hussain is Head of the Policy Research Centre, based at the Islamic Foundation, Leicestershire and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Islamic Studies, Cambridge University. He is an Advisor to the Institute for Strategic Dialogue; a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Inquiry into the Prevent strategy (2010); Commissioner at the CRE (2006-2007); member of the Archbishop’s Commission on Urban Life and Faith (2006); and co-chair of Alif-Aleph UK (2005), a network of young British Jews and Muslims. His research interests are social policy, Muslim identity and Islamic reform in the modern world. Dilwar is on the steering group of the Contextualising Islam in Britain Project, Cambridge University and is a member of the European Muslim Network. He is married, has four children and lives in Leicester.

3. The Society’s ‘Living Islam 2011’ event is the largest gathering of Muslim families in the UK. A vibrant and inspiring experience, Living Islam is a festival of faith, entertainment and spirituality. It will run from 28-31 July. More details can be found at