London, Asharq Al-Awsat – Baroness Pola Uddin launched a new initiative under the name “Muslim Women Talk” on Thursday, which hopes to make British society and the government aware of their concerns, in what is being described as the first action by Muslim women in the wake of the London bombings on July 7, 2005 .
Speaking during a press conference at the House of Commons, the Baroness indicated Muslim women have an important role to play within the family and British society “to decrease the alienation felt by some young Muslims which drives them to extremism”. She revealed the initiative was Supported the home Office and includes leading Muslim women and organizations.
Baroness Uddin explained the initiative had two main aims. “Firstly, we want to prove that the Muslim woman has a say in British society and a role to play. We also want to bring attention to the position of Muslims in Britain and inform the government of our opinions and the problems we face.”
Other leading Muslim members of the community who took part the press briefing were Humera Khan, one of the founders of the An Nisa charitable foundation, the founding director of the All Wales Saheli Association, Shahien Taj, and the activist Roxan Fayiz. For her part, Khan said the new coalition sought to build a dialogue with British politicians through a series of local meetings and submit recommendations to the government. She added the Muslim community was obliged to act against the social problems that many young Muslims suffer from and to help them integrate into mainstream British society.
The initiative “Muslim Women Talk” will feature a series of open debates throughout the United Kingdom to encourage Muslim women to speak out as well as persuade Prime Minister to engage with the community and discuss their concerns in an honest and transparent manner.
Taj indicated the attacks on the capital on July 7th, 2005 “motivated us to come together and join forces under an umbrella organization”, reminding representatives of the media, “Muslim women have been working and contributing to British society for many years. Recent events have made it necessary to reinforce this.”
The open discussion was sponsored by the An Nisa foundation and attended by a number of women from the voluntary sector. The debate centered on how to respond to last month’s attacks and the negative repercussions on the Muslim community.