Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC MP is the former Attorney General of the UK. He had chaired an enquiry on Islam, Participation and Public Life and it published its report entitled The Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Good of All in July 2017.
It has a number of recommendations to improve integration and one of them was that Imams in the UK should be fluent in English and ideally be British-born.
Following the report and in light of its focus, Dominic was invited to Jamia Ahmadiyya, whose invitation he accepted. The visit took place on Thursday 11 October 2018 and he was also invited as a guest speaker.
On arrival, Dominic met with Mirza Nasir Inam Ahmad Sahib (Principal Jamia Ahmadiyya UK) as well as Akram Ahmedi Sahib (Naib Amir UK), Fareed Ahmad Sahib (National Secretary Umur-e-Kharijah) and Mahmood Rafiq Sahib (Umur-e-Kharijah team). After refreshments, Abdul Quddus Arif Sahib and Jamia students gave Dominic a tour of Jamia and then proceeded to the main hall for the programme. All Jamia students were in the hall for the speech.
After tilawat and translation, Fareed Ahmad Sahib introduced Dominic who then spoke for about 20 minutes on Faith, Freedom and the Role of the State. In his speech, Dominic recalled the history of freedom of religion issues in the UK as well as other countries and spoke on the need for the right to robust debate. He said his enquiry had shown that there was a need for greater engagement by Muslims and a wider recognition of the work of Muslims in the UK.
He also called for integration of all communities including Muslims and the critical role of Imams in this work so that the message was relayed internally to communities rather than from external bodies. Throughout his speech, he acknowledged and applauded the work of the Jamaat and its openness, positive engagement and said that he always referred to Ahmadis as role models in how to preserve one’s beliefs and religious duties while actively engaging with other communities.
The speech was followed by a question and answer session where the subject of integration and Brexit were discussed.
After the questions and answers, Akram Ahmedi Sahib gave the vote of thanks and this was followed by silent prayer and, dinner with Dominic and senior Jamia staff.
The 3-hour visit went very well and Dominic was very impressed by the set up and functioning of Jamia. Alhamdolillah.