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MCB to pick a new leader


by Sunny on 1st June, 2006 at 6:22 pm    

The Muslim Council of Britain will be electing a new leader this weekend, according to Brian Whitaker. I really, really, really hope it’s not Inayat Bunglawala who replaces him. I would much prefer Ehsan Masood or, even better a woman, Fareena Alam! Though I’m dreaming here of course.

Briain makes a lot of statements in his articles I didn’t agree with, and I pointed that out in response. Make of that what you will.

Update Dr Abdul Bari is elected [thanks, Ismaeel and Blue Desi]



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61 Comments   |  


  1. eteraz — on 1st June, 2006 at 6:35 pm  

    Does Fareena Alam fit the progressive agenda of your website?

  2. Abu Jafar — on 1st June, 2006 at 6:43 pm  

    MCB don’t represent anyone but a bunch of washed up ikhwanis anyway.

    Their whole constitution and election system is rigged as well. Have a close look at their list of affiliates and how their constitution deals with elections.

  3. Abu Jafar — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:01 pm  

    Just out of curiosity what is it that Fareena Alam said or done that makes her so popular with u Sunny?

    Oh and i’m sure u know enough about the MCB to be certain that neither of your preffered candidates stand much change and i doubt Bungawala does either.

  4. Ismaeel — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:10 pm  

    Sunny,
    considering Fareena Alam supports the community following traditional classical scholarship and scholars and you are ardently against asian communities following religious leaders, i find your endorsement suprising.

  5. Ismaeel — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:16 pm  

    And Ehsan Masood promotes classical education for the youth, in proper understandings of the arabic language and for Imams to challenge al-Qaeda’s theology. Again an imam-centric solution.

  6. Ismaeel — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:20 pm  

    And the interesting thing is Fareena Alam would probably abdicate in favour of an Imam if she ever was elected.

  7. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

    Personally I think that the MCB are a waste of space and serve only to create disruption and endanger our Muslim population by perso

    That said, I’d rather see a woman get the role. She might have a little more sense the others.

    I suspect this also why Sunny endsores her, less to do with her ideology and more to do with her gender.

  8. eteraz — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:46 pm  

    You know who they need to elect? TJ Winter (Abdal Hakim Murad).

    This is assuming they understand election means one-man one-vote, and is not an oligarchical ‘approval’ process.

  9. eteraz — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:49 pm  

    Don’t get me wrong - I only initiated the Alam discussion b/c she didn’t seem to me as someone who fits the ‘progressive’ perspective all that well.

    Still, I would vote for her even if she is a traditionalist, because I buy into some of the traditionalist arguments. Didn’t think that Sunny would too.

  10. Ismaeel — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:53 pm  

    Abdal Hakim Murad, another traditional scholar.

  11. eteraz — on 1st June, 2006 at 8:59 pm  

    Ismaeel, traditional, so what?

    You should know that I have carried out a long-standing debate with Islamic Traditionalists.

    http://eteraz.wordpress.com/2006/05/03/laid-back-conversation-with-traditionalists/

    http://eteraz.wordpress.com/2006/05/02/reply-to-islamic-traditionalist/

    However, our theoretical disagreements with traditionalists should not preclude us from recognizing where we can and do agree with them. [We being progressives]. We agree that Sufism is good. We agree that peace is good. We agree that engaging the tradition is good. Sure, traditionalists engage the tradition in order to emulate it, but you have to recognize, that they want to emulate its historically “good” periods (even if we are progs know that there was no such thing).

    While I would have a problem with a traditionalists version of Islam, I wouldn’t have a problem with a good hearted traditioanlist like Winter or Alam being the representative of Muslims. They would do a much better job than the current leaders.

  12. Ismaeel — on 1st June, 2006 at 9:01 pm  

    no don’t get me wrong i absoluetly agree with you

  13. Ismaeel — on 1st June, 2006 at 9:03 pm  

    they would make better leaders that is.

  14. Ismaeel — on 1st June, 2006 at 9:04 pm  

    because i’m a traditionalist too

  15. Ismaeel — on 1st June, 2006 at 9:19 pm  

    oh and City Circle and progressive muslims are umbrella groups, who r u kidding but yourself Sunny.

    Though u at least conceded that MAC is an umbrellla group even if you’re not a fan.

  16. David T — on 1st June, 2006 at 11:25 pm  

    Sacranie is not well.

  17. Fundu Chadi — on 2nd June, 2006 at 12:05 am  

    I’d put my bets on Mohammed Bari as next MCB gob. Also, key so-called ‘trads’ being promoted today are wahabbi-salafis, moderate only in the most despicable way, and entirely in a (publicly non-adversarial) league with JI+Ikhwan+Ahle-Hadith. No brelvis to be seen anywhere important or powerful, and in UK asian muslim context, they are the real trads and the actual majority.

  18. Sunny — on 2nd June, 2006 at 12:58 am  

    Mohammed Abdul Bari - yes of course. I didn’t even think of him. I was in a debate with the guy once. His English was bloody terrible. If he takes over the MCB is truly doomed.

    The MCB website press release doesn’t say anything about Sacranie standing down though. Just says election. What’s to stop him staying?

    Traditional values such as loving thy neighbour, having respect for all people, not killing people, not oppressing women etc I don’t have a problem with. They fit in with a progressive, liberal agenda. Most of the time, though not all.

    My feeling is that Fareena and Ehsan are sufficiently British enough to worry more about inter-community issues, about the need for stopping the Biradari system from dictating everything etc to take things forward.

    More British based imams would be a great idea too. There is too much to say on this, but given that the MCB is not saying much about the whole issue suggests the system is as closed as ever. And another idiot will get elected.

    And given Bunglawala hates Fareena (another reason to like her), I doubt she will get even a look in. Hell, people called up Q-News to complain when she was editor! Can they imaging a woman representing them. Never.

    Ismaeel - just because they don’t invite silly front organisations to join them doesn’t mean they don’t have their supporters.

  19. Ismaeel — on 2nd June, 2006 at 8:45 am  

    Sunny, that was not the question i asked you and as i said i would support them myself.

    Fundu, you’re right most of the Brelvis are with the MAC.

  20. Ismaeel — on 2nd June, 2006 at 8:47 am  

    Oh Fundu- Fareena Alam and Abdul Hakim Murad are Salafys??? I don’t think so, they’re not Brelvis, but then any traditional Sunni outside the Indian subcontinent aren’t either.

  21. Ismaeel — on 2nd June, 2006 at 8:55 am  

    Meanwhile Sunny twists and turns and doesn’t answer the question about people following religious leaders.

  22. Fundu Chadi — on 2nd June, 2006 at 11:18 am  

    No Ismaeel dear, I don’t think (nor would I say) Farina (since she’s so flowery) or AHM are ’salafis’.

    I was thinking of the suits and the tacheless beards who have appeared in the last few years to weep and denounce terrorism, vast maj of whom are on sa, k, q and even l payrolls. They are pushed as the ‘trads’ though they hate asians and their trads. Happy to swap names in a dark alleyway. Brelvis on other hand (especially the imams) tend to be nice and friendly and poor and argue too much with each other over henna, and so can’t defeat the (mainly) saudi funded flow of ‘non-violent’ salafis. No one likes the brelvis, not even their kids who are leaving them in droves to join Hissy Butter or Al-Madge. Real shame, real, real shame. I am weeping into my chador.

  23. sonia — on 2nd June, 2006 at 12:13 pm  

    i don’t see why the MCB should imagine its an organization that represents ‘Muslims’ in some sort of blanket sense. they may represent some Muslims - and that’s about it.

    and all talk about leaders in relation to ‘religion’ ought to be viewed with strong suspicion. Surely the Catholic Church has demonstrated that ( along with other forms of religious ‘authority’)

  24. Fe'reeha — on 2nd June, 2006 at 1:15 pm  

    Well at least MCB decided to promote the election this time a bit. Only because there has been noise against their secret elections.
    MCB usually hires a Secretary General for one term. Last time, it was a “unanimous decision” that Iqbal Sacranie should not go, and hence a change was made in MCB’s constitution (sort of reminds me of Pakistan’s constitution where all PM’s and Army generals have a right to change the constitution as and when it suits them).

  25. Roger — on 2nd June, 2006 at 1:35 pm  

    Like the old USSR: “The party offices were broken into and the results of tomorrow’s election were stolen.”

  26. Fundu Chadi — on 2nd June, 2006 at 2:06 pm  

    Abu Jafar: not sure MCB are washed up ikhwanis - i’ve been close to some of them and they definitely have an unpleasant whiff about them - not washed up at all. They also have a tendency to stare glassily into the middle distance as if they are permanently seeing the ghosts of maududi and al-banna performing the dance of the seven veils before their eyes. But the leadergob is largely irrelevant (though I still think Bari is worth watching) - their board of counsellors and their direct appointees are key.

  27. Fatwadodger — on 2nd June, 2006 at 4:56 pm  

    Ugh! MCB elections - Gollum (Bunglawala), Bari and Fareena Alam.

    Maybe I should stand, I am a girl too, and I like gays and jews (some of my best friends…).

    On the other hand, since the MCB regard people like me as apostates I’m not sure they’d want me as their leader.

    Can’t the MCB go back to Pakistan and try and garner support there? I know that their bredren Jamaat-e-Islaami have been doing very well since the start of the war on terror (smart move Bush).

    Sadly MCB are far from washed up. Stupid, stupid government has given them far too much money and attention for that to be the case.

    I went to a conference on Islam organised by the government recently - at least 70 per cent of people there were MCB, in some capacity or the other. Of the rest, there was a mad girl from FOSIS (federation of Student Islamic societies or ’student MCB’). There were some pretty cool people there too but they seemed pretty uncomfortable with the whole Mullah alliance around them.

    I got accused of being a secularist fundamentalist by an MCB dude there, which is ironic as I am regularly lambasted on Comment is free by a particularly nasty poster by the name of Skoobydude, who calls me a ‘Muslim apologist’.

    Is the government just lazy, or is it just stupid enough to think that the MCB really do represent us?

    btw - Fundu you are spot on - sick of these fundies weeping into their beards going on about how they abhor terrorism. Obviously clueless and uncritical lefties (just to make it clear, I am a leftie too, but not a clueless one) like Ken Livingstone wheeling them out as evidence of the ‘majority of moderate, peace-loving, Muslims.’

    Next time Ken needs to do that, he can drop me a line and I will send my dad down (practicing Muslim, doesn’t hate gays or jews - pretty impressive eh?)

    On a childish aside, can they at least elect someone good-looking. Sacranie used to give me the heebie-jeebies (and they said Michael Howard was the prince of darkness).

  28. Robert — on 2nd June, 2006 at 5:15 pm  

    Surely the easiest way to sort this out would be to put them all in the Big Brother house?

    Although, I imagine Davina McCall would be a bit shit at the Call To Prayer.

  29. Ismaeel — on 2nd June, 2006 at 8:12 pm  

    Press release says only delegates (presumably of their affiliates) and guests will be admitted to the meeting and election.

  30. Ismaeel — on 2nd June, 2006 at 8:28 pm  

    IRNA has this:

    Several likely candidates for the top post include the outgoing deputy secretary general, Muhammad Abdul Bari, and Manqazir Ahsan, director general of the Islamic Foundation.

  31. Ismaeel — on 2nd June, 2006 at 8:39 pm  

    Oh and Fundu, just a correction that i think is needed alot recently al-Muhajiroon don’t exist anymore, haven’t done for ages- they’re stragglers have divided into two relativly small group- the Saviour Sect and Al-Ghurabaa. Word on the street is the latter bearly has 50 members.

    As for us brelvis, we’re making a comeback, the kids are flocking back. Check out the Urs at Hijaz College for instance, full of youth.

  32. Fundu Chadi — on 2nd June, 2006 at 9:55 pm  

    Ismaeel: Thanks. It’s worse than that, the saved sect have renamed themselves a few months ago back as(you won’t believe it - wait for it, wait for it…deep intake of breath):

    ‘Ahlus Sunna Wal Jamaa’ (aka ASWJ)

    The tinier they get the larger their claims are.

    Al-ghurabaa used to exist mostly as a geezer (I wonder if he had phone conversations like: ‘Hi Honey, its The Stranger here, I’ll be late home’. ‘Who?’ ‘The Stranger.’ ‘Who?’ ‘The Stranger’. ‘Sorry luv, I don’t know any strangers, bye.’). There is also another new offshoot group whose name I can’t remember. Al-madge allegedly ‘don’t exist officially’ but I don’t think their supporters have entirely disappeared - might even make a comeback.

    Didn’t mean to take away from the good works of the genuinely honorable Brelvi traditions (i mean ‘genuinely’ in CAPS). Just to say how many young ppl from Brelvi families rejected all that, became ashamed of their asian cultures and religions and started hanging round the fish-eyed non-henna beardies looking up to them like they were gods on earth.

    Also, fatwadodger: i think key to govt funding is the foreign office’s long relation with Ikwanis and Jamaatis abroad. That ends up in situations like eg, when Captain Hook got kicked out of Finsbury Park Mosque, it got taken over by Muslim Brotherhood folksies. And why MCB is what it is. Govt want Muslim communiteis to deal with extremism while it actively fosters and funds that same extremism - a lose lose situation, if you ask me. I’m gonna wash my hair, paint my toenails and then get under my duvet for a decade or so.

  33. Fundu Chadi — on 2nd June, 2006 at 10:05 pm  

    Bunglawala = Gollum - hahaha - that’s hysterical! Does this mean Saccharin is his precious.

  34. Ravi4 — on 3rd June, 2006 at 11:04 am  

    I don’t know if thee’s any hope for the MCB. Why do the government engage them so assiduously?

    Re influence of Saudi funded salafis - I’m always surprised by how many young south asian-origin Brit muslims try so hard to emulate these Saudi Salafis. Don’t they realise that many of these Saudis - like many other Gulf Arabs - hate and despise all “monkeys from the sub continent” (as I heard one of them describe us once) equally, regardless of religion etc? Lots of them look on us as communities of toilet cleaners, street sweepers and maids … and precious few young gulf arabs (even those educated over here) challenge that view.

  35. mirax — on 3rd June, 2006 at 3:01 pm  

    It’s been quite fascinating to read fundu chadi(what does the moniker mean and are you female too?) and fatwadodger on this thread. Hope you continue to hang around PP.

  36. Fundu Chadi — on 3rd June, 2006 at 4:08 pm  

    mirax - thenku thenku (blush). Will hang about only a tichy little bit more, as off to the lands of women seclusion soon. fatwadodger, any chance of swapping notes in the real fantasyland?

    about me - that would be telling, so I’ll tell all. funduchadi means fundamentalist knickers. My knicks have pictures of Khomeini, the Pope, Dubya, L.K. Advani, Pat Robertson, Mullah Omar, Ashok Singal, the late Bin Baz, and Ayman Al Zawahiri on them. I wear them daily and try my best to soil them forcefully and deliberately, which has the side effect that I have very few remaining friends. I also have a much wider collection of fundy lingerie - it’s my thing, I know, and I desperately need help. My baby is also made to wear fundie nappies, as she is more efficient with the soiling.

    I’ve just been allowed to say some other things by my husband (who watches everything I write - it’s his pc, unless I’m at work): I have boobs, have to shave my pubes, and use dr sebagh spacenk products when I’m visiting UK (they are so expensive - my riyals have to be squeezed until Fahd poos himself). I also like boots no7 and retinox. I also like to be glamorous when not forced into a black tent, but when I am, I hang around a flotilla of like-minded black tents (a niqab camp, really) and we scurry furtively and quickly from home to mosque, mosque to home, occassionally stopping by dalston market to buy cucumbers, bananas, carrots and mooli for our husbands to use (on themselves)

    I have a HUGE problem regarding both gays and jews (sorry fatwadodger). I like to think of myself as from the extreme right politically (sorry again, fatwadodger) - ideally, I’d like to be a pro-zionist pro-imperialist neocon like Irshad Manji, who is my heroine. With one major exception - her sexuality; she should be stoned and they should collapse the pyramid of giza on her.

    I was thrilled to have discovered the people at Harry’s Place, Normblog and the Euston Manifesto - my type of boys - strong, hard, really, really, really, really ginormous dicks, hate peace, love war, love israel, love america, hate arabs, hate even more arabs, hate smelly brown people - you know the darlings. Is that enuf? Is any of it true? Who cares, really.

  37. mirax — on 3rd June, 2006 at 5:16 pm  

    >Is any of it true? Who cares, really.

    It was enormously entertaining and PP does need more ballsy women (niqab encampments are excusable as long as subversive undies are on under). Why poor Sunny has been bemoaning and dementedly beating his manboobs all over the blogosphere over the lack of xx chromosomed bloggers . Keep the boy happy.Stay.

  38. Sid — on 3rd June, 2006 at 5:25 pm  

    My manboobs have been dilating happily in sympathetic hyperlactation in concert with Mrs Sid’s pregnancy related breast-enlargement.

    But reading Fundu Chadi has given me a huge boner. Not sure what to do with the(m) since Mrs Sid has no use for them at the moment. And I hate to waste an erection.

    So Fundu, please STAY!

  39. Sid — on 3rd June, 2006 at 5:52 pm  

    cheque please!

  40. mirax — on 3rd June, 2006 at 5:53 pm  

    Congrats on the pregnancy, Sid. How many many sidlets are there btw?

  41. mirax — on 3rd June, 2006 at 5:55 pm  

    sorry for the typo. Knowing how touchy you are, did not mean to isinuate anything.

  42. Sid — on 3rd June, 2006 at 5:57 pm  

    Thanks mirax. One, I’m babysitting. One on the way.

    As El Cid said: there’s nowhere to hide now.

  43. Sid — on 3rd June, 2006 at 5:59 pm  

    don’t mind me mirax. my hormones have been all over the place.

  44. mirax — on 3rd June, 2006 at 6:35 pm  

    >there’s nowhere to hide now.

    Hehe. Kids are a real joy, so quit all that fake complaining. Parents in the n’hood have collared me into babysitting since I was 12 (and never got paid for it!). Practically have had all my siblings’ sprogs offloaded on me and some of the neighbours’too. Always a gaggle of kids around me and I don’t even like some of them. I can offer expert childcare advice should you need it… some of the british kids we’ve seen on Supernanny were terrible brats, no wonder you need ASBOs…

  45. Kismet Hardy — on 3rd June, 2006 at 7:36 pm  

    Sid don’t do a tom cruise and forget about your other children

    It’s like i never mattered to you father

  46. Fundu Chadi — on 3rd June, 2006 at 7:39 pm  

    Kids are a real joy? [Gagging into gin bottle] They are when you are not tripping over barbies and tubs of sudafed or skidding on pooey nappies. And they are when you have two industrial freezers connected directly from Antartica to both your nipples to deaden THAT pain. And they are when they are od’d on calpol and tixylix and chloral hydrate and a large glug of brandy in soya milk, AND you are simultaneously shooting Gordons into your veins while plastering your eyes and ears shut with tarmac so that you can get some SLEEP. And they are when you are not transformed yet again into a niqab-clad zombie by the thousandth replay of Balamory caused by yet another tyrannical tantrum. I wake up nightly in cold sweats because of yet another Balamory nightmare. Miss Hoolie - aaaargh! Mr and Mrs Sid, congratulations, but if you ever want more in future, I’d be happy to swap my sprogs for a spare toothpick you might have lying about. They also all been ASBOed, and one even has an electronic tag. We are so proud.

    I do love them really (awwww!)

  47. Fundu Chadi — on 3rd June, 2006 at 7:41 pm  

    PS think we’ve gone off topic

  48. mirax — on 3rd June, 2006 at 8:48 pm  

    if it’s cruise-bashing time, I’m all for it. It is almost criminal how his adopted, coloured kids (what a combination, poor things) have been marginalised in the euphoria over the biological sprog.

  49. HighCommissioner — on 3rd June, 2006 at 8:55 pm  

    I prefer Faria Alam.

  50. Fatwadodger — on 4th June, 2006 at 11:25 am  

    Fundu, Mirax, I too am female. And quite chuffed. Normally people tell me to go and hide in my ‘ugly darth vader costume’ (quote -evil neocon archenemy on comment is free), not hang around their chatrooms.

    I don’t wear hijab by the way, it’s just that brainless neo-con assumes I do.

    Where did Faria Alam enter the discussion?

  51. Ismaeel — on 4th June, 2006 at 7:28 pm  

    They elected Dr Abdul Bari

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5045552.stm

  52. Ismaeel — on 4th June, 2006 at 7:30 pm  

    I’ve got to say i love Bungawala’s confession over on comment is free:

    “However, there are also practical limitations. Eg, the MCB secretary-general position has been a more or less full-time role in recent years. However, it is also a completely unpaid role. That automatically rules out most decent candidates.

    So, the MCB needs to concentrate on building a decent financial infrastructure before it can attract quality candidates who can be elected on merit instead of other qualities.”

  53. Fundu Chadi — on 4th June, 2006 at 9:01 pm  

    See, you dissheveled sceptics, I was completely rite about Bari. Champagne, chocolates (opium-laced cherry liqueurs only please, none of that projectile-vomit inducing organic freetrade crap) and roses to me@bedouin.tent.of.gadhafis.camel. But why was I rite - psychic or psycho? I have so much to spill on Bari, that my cleavage is already damp. But have a crying baby to punish…

  54. Sunny — on 4th June, 2006 at 9:05 pm  

    Ismaeel - Ahhh.. yes, just saw that. Very interesting and quite comical to be honest. In a way he’s admitting himself he is a bit rubbish just because all the best candidates had better things to do.

  55. Fatwadodger — on 5th June, 2006 at 8:55 am  

    Fundu, would love to hear your dirt on Bari, I have plenty myself. Lots of dodgy going ons at East London Mosque.

    Bohot Bari mistake.

    Gollums statement comes as no surprise. Maybe he should add that decent people don’t want anything to do with the MCB, which also, in fact, ‘automatically rules out most decent people’.

    I don’t think Gollum was being humble though - it was just another dig for more taxpayers money via our ever efficient home office (oh poor useless MCB gen sec needs cash for those few days when he is not at a freebie meal with the home office/foreign office/livingstone/galloway/unite against facism/anyone else stupid enough to take the MCB seriously.)

  56. Fundu Chadi — on 5th June, 2006 at 9:45 am  

    Fatwadodger: agree - Bohot bari bari mistake, but actually good from our point of view, as bari a brit senior figure at nexus of the motley crew we love so much. you are abs right about elm / lcm (and ife & ymouk.) Also, do you know anything about east pak?

  57. Sid — on 5th June, 2006 at 10:44 am  

    I’m waiting for you ladies to really let things hang out and start dishing the dirt. Shall I make the tea and bring our the digestives and bombay mix? East London mosque is a den of old-school East Pakistani genocide-bombers from 1971.

  58. Fundu Chadi — on 5th June, 2006 at 12:27 pm  

    It is such a den, Mr Sid sir, it most surely is (but who, how, where and whatever?). What’s bombay mix when it’s at home?

  59. mirax — on 5th June, 2006 at 1:05 pm  

    Ahh, all I know is that Bari’s the one with the dodgy english and now, it seems, other skeletons are rattlin in the closet. Come on Fundu, leave off smacking the baby and let out the frustration here on PP. You too, fatwadodger. How came you two lovely women by all the spicy tidbits?

  60. Fatwadodger — on 6th June, 2006 at 5:55 pm  

    The fundis like to talk to ladies because they think we’re too stupid to understand.

    Yes I have lots of gossip on Bangladesh (I think that’s what they prefer to be called these days ;-) ) but I will have to keep it to myself till August as I’m involved with a project exposing the evil meanies and don’t want to let the proverbial billi out of the bag.

    In the meantime check out shobak.org - subscribe to it and email the moderator with any questions, he is pretty clued up.

    fyi, I am off bombay mix at the moment but seriously drawn to ginger nuts (the biscuits that is).

    I have a job interview I am supposed to be preparing for but have become a pickled politics addict. If I don’t get the job I will become one of those mental single-issue ranters, here from dusk till dawn (and probably through the wee hours) slagging off the MCB, the glow of my laptops backlight emphasising the rapidly disintegrating state of my skin, as my backside grows ever more enormous, melding into the sofa until the point where the grey suede of my couch ends and I begin becomes indiscernible.

    Signing off till after the interview. Wish me luck.

  61. Fundu Chadi — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:07 am  

    Fatwadodger: are you looking at al-badr specifically? A few others apart from Molly Moeen worth looking into. This issue HAS to be resurrected again, it is far too serious and glad you are working on it. Also Prince Charles etc etc etc support. G’luck with interview. (btw, was joking about gays and jews - all of my best friends are…)

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