Sunday, 11 September 2011


Ten years ago this week, we witnessed the loss of thousands of lives during the horrific terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

As Muslims we look back with sadness at what happened on September 11, 2001, it was undoubtedly an evil and criminal act of monstrous proportion. Muslims the world over have nothing to do with such an act of hate and destruction that drove the 9/11 bombers. Our prayers today are for the three thousand innocent lives lost, and thousands of other innocent men, women and children who have since lost their lives elsewhere as a result of the senseless wars unleashed in its wake.

On this anniversary, we recall with regret that this attack has been used to falsely accuse our cherished religion of Islam – a religion of humanity, being a target of irrational anger and hate, setting a global course of retaliatory action with little respect for human life, national sovereignty and rule of law. Terrorism is a crime and the perpetrators are not representatives of any faith, colour or race.

A lot has changed in the last 10 years but one thing remains the same: ordinary Muslims have continued to live by the values that have always made them decent, hard-working and community-oriented citizens. These were the values shown at the recent riots, where Muslims joined with people of all faiths and none to restore normality in our communities.

It has been a sad decade but has ended with grounds for optimism. It began with wars, more terror and even more lives lost. But it ended with Muslims in the Arab world demanding peace, democracy and the freedom to live their lives without fear and intimidation. The Arab Uprising was the best repudiation to the terrorists of 11 September 2001.

As we express our sympathy and solidarity to the families of all those who have lost their lives and suffered in 9/11 and since, let us honour their memory by rejecting the divisive agendas and placing our faith on our cherished values of global justice, freedom, and equality. We must redouble our efforts to achieve enduring solidarity amongst our diverse communities.

The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK's largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques, charities and schools.
For further information please contact the MCB:

The Muslim Council of Britain 
PO Box 57330
London,E1 2WJ
Tel:  0845 262 6786   
Fax: 0207 247 7079 

Friday, 2 September 2011


This is a most concerning book that every airline passenger should consider - but will be afraid to read. The contents should make anyone think twice before taking a seat on a commercial airliner and it certainly will force many passengers to be more discerning over their choice of carrier particularly if the culture exposed in the book is taking place elsewhere.

John Warham's account of the pressures his employer, Cathay Pacific Airways, had imposed on their pilots shows how absolutely deplorably the CX management behaved. The book clearly defines just how the 'number crunchers' dictated that commercial considerations should override flight safety issues and the welfare of Cathay's loyal employees and customers.

I was once proud to be a Cathay Pacific regular flyer's club Gold Card member during the period covered by the book. In fairness the airline looked after me superbly well but most passengers could not have known about what was really going on behind the scenes. I had been aware of the action taken by the cabin crews and later heard about the pilot dispute that ultimately led to the dismissal of the 49ers in 2001, but I never knew any of the details. Perhaps this was because at no time was I ever inconvenienced and the airline did a wonderful job of deliberately keeping their customers in the dark over the causes of the dispute, at least in the UK. I was invited on to the flight deck on several occasions but there was never any talk or indication of any pilot unrest and as far as I was aware, despite accusations from their management to the contrary, the pilots only ever demonstrated that they had the company's interests at heart. I only learnt about the reasons behind the pilots concerns in John Warham's book. As far as passengers were concerned - it was business as usual and Cathay Pacific certainly did a great job to paint a reputable picture of their airline to customers, although it seems from the evidence contained in this book, they were stretching the truth.