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Official Visits: Muslim Delegations

Volume 703: debated on Monday 30 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many delegations from the Muslim community on behalf of the Government have gone abroad since 7 July 2005. [HL4264]

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much delegations from the Muslim community on behalf of the Government on overseas visits have cost the British taxpayer since 7 July 2005. [HL4265]

The projecting British Islam project has cost £442,067 since 7 July 2005. (The figure originally given was £564,162. The Government corrected this in August.)

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which countries delegations from the Muslim community on behalf of the Government have visited; and what benefits these trips have had to the British taxpayer. [HL4266]

Delegations have visited 24 countries with Muslim majorities or significant Muslim minorities since 2005:

Pakistan (three visits);

Bangladesh (two visits);

Indonesia (two visits);

Sudan (two visits);

USA (two visits);

Egypt;

Iran;

Libya;

Afghanistan;

Bahrain;

Qatar;

India;

Singapore;

Malaysia;

Algeria;

Bosnia;

Morocco;

Germany;

Netherlands;

France;

Nigeria;

Kenya;

Tanzania; and

Canada

The aim of the programme is to provide high profile platforms for British Muslims to share their experiences of life in the UK and engage in constructive dialogue with their hosts. The programme has proved effective at challenging widespread misconceptions about the reality of life for Muslims in Britain.

This directly undermines the extremist narrative that Muslims in the UK and the West are oppressed—thereby supporting a key element of the Government's work to challenge extremism. A key aim of each visit is to enable a cross-fertilisation of ideas between British Muslims and influential figures in the Muslim world. We tailor the objectives for each visit to UK priorities on the ground in each country.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What criteria are used in the selection of individuals who participate in delegations from the Muslim community on behalf of the Government on overseas visits. [HL4267]

The criteria for selecting delegates depends on the particular objectives of the visit to each country. We take into account the likely resonance of individuals and their background and experience in the country, links or background in the country and relevant professional experience in the UK. Overall, we aim to ensure that delegations reflect a broad cross section of individuals from across the UK Muslim communities and reflect the diversity of opinion within the British Muslim communities—including young people and women.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Which individuals have been a part of delegations from the Muslim community on behalf of the Government since 7 July 2005. [HL4268]

Seventy-three individuals have taken part in the projecting British Islam delegations since 7 July 2005. They include the following:

Lutfur Ali;

Lord Adam Patel;

Yusef Tai;

Asim Siddiqui;

Manzoor Moghal;

Jawaid Akhter;

Shareefa Fulat;

Dilwar Hussain;

Saifuddin Ahmed;

Fareena Alam;

Waqar Ahmed;

Aiysha Malik;

Mohammed Abdul Aziz;

Nabeel Rauf;

Yusuf Tai;

Shaaz Mahboob;

Ibrahim Mogra;

Dr. Husna Ahmad;

Khurshid Ahmed;

Dr. Musharraf Hussain;

Rukaiya Jeraj;

Sabira Lakha;

Irfan Chishti;

Asim Siddiqui;

Museji Takolia;

Tahir Abass;

Parvin Ali;

Shelina Janmohamed;

Saiyyidah Najmus-sabah Zaidi;

Akhlaq Choudhury;

Kanak Huq;

Rupa Huq;

Fatim Kurji Jumabhoy;

Yasmin Qureshi; and

Mustafa Suleyma.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Who makes the final decision in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on who should be included in delegations from the Muslim community on behalf of the Government. [HL4269]

The decision on who is included in delegations is a collaborative decision between our embassies/high commissions and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, with advice from the Department of Communities and Local Government.