Bradford Council for Mosques celebrates 40 years of championing diversity

Worshippers at the Bradford Central Mosque. More than 100 mosques in the city will be celebrating the council's 40th anniversary. Credit: PA Images

Bradford Council for Mosques is celebrating 40 years since it set out to create a fairer society for all.

The organisation was the first Muslim umbrella body of its kind in the UK when it launched in 1981.

Founders and representatives are joining leaders from other faith groups and partners from the council, the NHS and the university to mark the major milestone.

Guests at the celebrations include Zara Mohammed, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain; Tracy Brabin, West Yorkshire Mayor; MPs Naz Shah and Imran Hussain; and the Bishop of the Leeds diocese, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, who will speak on behalf of Bradford's inter-faith community.

The event will commemorate the many ways in which the council has lead the community and brought about positive change, both locally and nationally, through campaigning initiatives, including providing halal food for schools and ensuring pupils were taught a multi-faith syllabus.

The sixteenth and current CfM President Zulfi Karim said: "This is a tremendous milestone for us and for Bradford. 

"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 to equality and a level playing field for all. We have lifted barriers to equality not just locally, but also at the highest level nationally.

"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. 

"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.

"All of this is a far cry from our early days yet it is a signal of the remarkable journey of progress we have been on.

"We now have the strongest platform from which we can continue to strive to make even 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."

  • CfM President Zulfi Karim tells ITV Calendar about some of the milestones the council has reached.