The first umbrella body for mosques in Bradford has marked its 40th anniversary in an event held this month, celebrating decades of efforts to champion diversity and create a fairer society.
Launched in 1981, Bradford Council for Mosques (CfM) was the first of its kind in the UK.
Celebrating the occasion, CfM founders and past presidents joined leaders from other faith groups as well as partners from the council, the NHS, and the University of Bradford in a special event, The Telegraph & Argus reported.
“This is a tremendous milestone for us and for Bradford,” the sixteenth and current CfM President, Zulfi Karim, said.
“We have become the cornerstone for community cohesion in this, our great city, and are proud of the many positive changes we have helped achieve towards equality and a level playing field for all.
“We have lifted barriers to equality not just locally, but also at the highest level nationally.”
As the brainchild of five people, CfM was first created to promote and support the Islamic code of live, encourage understanding, cooperation and mutual support between its members, and foster links with all other faiths.
“Many Muslims across the UK look upon Bradford CfM as an exemplar – the go-to source for guidance, insight and leadership on many issues of the day that touch our lives,” Karim said.
“We have also played a key role at the heart of different Governments, lobbying for change and reforms as well contributing to the development of new policies.”
He added: “All of this is a far cry from our early days, yet it is a reflection of the remarkable journey of progress we have been on.
“We now have the strongest platform from which can continue to strive to make ever greater impact towards building a stronger, safer, greener, fairer, healthier and more cohesive community in a city which boasts the highest percentage of young people in the UK.”
The population of Bradford is ethnically and religiously diverse. The largest religious group in Bradford is Christian (45.9% of the population). Nearly one quarter of the population (24.7%) are Muslim.