The Muslim Association of Britain
(MAB) is a Muslim group in the United Kingdom
established in 1997
MAB states its aim as to "promote and propagate the principles of positive Muslim interaction with all elements of society to reflect, project and convey the message of Islam in its pure and unblemished form".
Along with Stop the War Coalition
(StWC) and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
, it has co-sponsored various demonstrations against the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq
. MAB first started working with the StWC in 2002 when they agreed to join together a demonstration they had planned to mark the anniversary of the Second Palestinian Intifada
with a demonstration StWC had planned against the looming Iraq war
at the opening of the Labour party
. The march took place under the dual slogans 'Don't attack Iraq
' and 'Freedom for Palestine
It encourages its members to vote certain ways in elections - it supported Labour
's Ken Livingstone
for Mayor of London
and the Green Party of England and Wales
in South East England. In 2004
, its president Anas al-Tikriti
stood down to become a European election candidate for Respect in the Yorkshire
and the Humber
region. He was not elected.
Since Muslims currently make up more than 10% of the local population in 40 political seats, the Muslim Association of Britain believes Muslim voters can influence the results in 40 seats.
Reaction to 2005 London bombings
MAB condemned the 7 July 2005 London bombings
and joined the StWC in holding a vigil for the victims at the Peace Garden in Euston, London on Saturday 9 July 2005 and a further solidarity gathering at Russell Square, close to one of the Underground stations targeted, on Sunday 17 July 2005.
Complaints about discrimination
Osama Saeed, MAB's Scottish spokesman and a prospective and former Scottish National Party
candidate for the Glasgow Central constituency, has compared Islamophobic attitudes in Britain to that of anti-Semitism before Nazi Germany
on 10 December
2006. "We didn't get to the situation in World War II
out of nowhere. Hitler
was a product of a German society where anti-Semitic
attitudes had existed unchecked for decades. We have got to listen and learn from what happened there and be vigilant." He also claimed that "integrated, university-educated" Muslims are considering leaving Britain because of racism
, further stating that he realizes "things could get very, very bad, but I was born and brought up here and leaving the country is just not an option for me."
In discussing racist attacks, he said Britain has "reached a point where there is a sustained barrage of verbal abuse being aimed at Muslims. Ten years ago I would never have dreamt that the kind of statements being directed at Muslims would become common currency in mainstream society. As I was growing up the principal taunts I would receive would be 'paki', 'wog' or other racial abuse. Now this has turned into 'Bin Laden' and 'terrorist'."
Mr Saeed is Chief Executive-designate of the Scottish-Islamic Foundation, a body established in 2008 with funding of over £400,000 from Scottish Ministers in the Scottish National Party dominated Scottish Government.
MAB has been accused of being an anti-Semitic, sexist and homophobic organisation. Liberal writer Nick Cohen accused the group of being the closest Britain has come to having a British Muslim Brotherhood
In 2005 the MAB took control of Finsbury Park Mosque
and expelled followers of the extremist cleric Abu Hamza
who they accused of "promoting hatred". The MAB opposes the US extradition request for Babar Ahmad
, a UK IT specialist who has been accused of setting up websites which urged Muslims to "kill the Americans and their allies-civilians".