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House of Commons, London  

17th May 2023

On Wednesday 17th May, Basira held a Panel Discussion with expert speakers from across all parties and none. The event focused on The Bloom Review, which looked at the Government’s relationship with faith and how it needs to be recognised as an ‘overriding force for good’.  

Basira welcomes the Review and indeed shares many of its findings. In our opinion, the Review correctly asserts that, ‘a small number of individuals and groups can undermine the fundamental rights and values of our society,’ and ‘it would be naive to think that corrupt people do not operate in the faith sector’.   

The Review is right in identifying key areas that need strengthening based on the values and basic knowledge of the faiths themselves. The Report is significant in encouraging faith communities to reflect on how best we are protected as citizens living in a country ruled by democratic values. Moreover, it is a timely wake-up call for Muslim communities to evaluate the way scriptural texts are interpreted and thus highlight those verses in the Holy Qur'an that positively restore respect to religion.

Whilst many people of faith are essentially good, honest, decent, upstanding citizens of our diverse country, we recently witnessed challenges with the rise of the Far Right and Political Islamism. Basira’s intention is to fight against both types of extremism and  to protect the core values of our democracy by putting women's rights at the centre of achieving and maintaining justice and equality. Muslims are obliged by the precepts of religion to follow the laws of the country in which they reside, being enjoined by Islamic rules of etiquette and good behavior in society not to create problems. This was confirmed to me in a meeting with Dr. Saad El Dine AlHilali, a high-profile Egyptian professor who is a graduate of al-Azhar University and who teaches there.  

Muslims believe that Islam is a suitable system by which to serve humanity and protect the dignity of individuals and society anywhere and at anytime; therefore, as humanity evolves, so must all our laws.  Many Muslims all over the world believe that  it is time for a fairer interpretation of Sharia by adopting positive verses in the holy texts to protect all of us.

Outcome of the Event:

Basira’s analysis of the Review, and our recommendations to Government, were clearly articulated by all speakers and the audience responses were positive and constructive; we reiterate that any comment or advice regarding policy issues go beyond any party political lines as we are a non-political organisation. Our overriding emphasis is, and will remain, the protection and advancement of women within the context of promoting equal citizenship and democracy.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes to Baroness Hayter and her office for facilitating the event in partnership with Basira, and equally to Baroness Kennedy KC, Baroness Uddin, Dr Ann Olivarious, and Sayyed Nadeem Kazmi, esq.

What more can we do? 

  1. MPs  particularly of Muslim faith, need to engage more with their continuance and explain how Islamic values of justice and equality meets with our democracy.

  2. That  democracy certainly  will carry on protecting the right of belief in all religions and one. Thus our moral values oblige us to support government policies for the benefit of all different communities.


Basira appreciate your support. If interested to know more, do not hesitate to get in touch and we shall be happy to go further  to find more solutions from within the text.