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Humanists UK calls for Leicester Assistant City Mayor to be investigated after revealing links to extremist and anti-apostate Islamic Centre

Humanists UK has exposed Cllr Mustafa Malik, Assistant City Mayor at Leicester City Council, as a trustee and member of the Management Council of the Islamic Centre Leicester, which shares dangerous anti-apostate and homophobic rhetoric, following a tip off from a whistle-blower. It is calling on Leicester City Council to investigate Mustafa Malik. 

The Islamic Centre Leicester’s website alarmingly includes content stating that ‘an apostate does not have the right to life’. This is stated in a section on its website on the Sociology of Education and is originally taken from the Risale-i Nur Collection. It disregards international human rights to freedom of religion or belief. It states:

‘An apostate does not have the right to life. For his conscience is corrupted and he becomes like poison in the life of society’.

Humanists UK runs Faith to Faithless, a programme to support and raise awareness of the problems facing so-called ‘apostates’ and those who leave high-control religions, who are some of the most vulnerable in society.

The Islamic Centre Leicester’s website further offers guidance which falsely advises that people can ‘overcome’ homosexuality, which is likened to the evils of racism or prejudice, by changing their environment and lifestyle.

These views run contrary to the standards expected of those in public office and fall short of the requirements of councillors in Leicester City Council’s own Constitution. The Constitution states that councillors should: ‘Uphold and promote the Authority’s discharge of its Equality obligations, in particular to (i) eliminate discrimination (ii) promote equality of opportunity (iii) foster good relations’, and ‘Uphold and promote these principles by leadership and by example, and act in a way that secures and preserves public confidence’. 

It is clear that the Assistant City Mayor may fall short of this in light of his links to the Islamic Centre Leicester. 

Humanists UK’s Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson commented, ‘We are shocked to see a councillor help to lead an organisation that promotes a complete disregard for human rights and equality. Leicester City Council should act swiftly to reassure the public of its firm commitment to equality and human rights and suspend Mustafa Malik with immediate effect.’

Chair of Faith to Faithless, Aliyah Saleem said, ‘It is deeply disturbing but not entirely surprising to learn of the anti-apostate views being espoused on this organisation’s website. Anti-apostate views are common and it is a prejudice which we are far from eradicating from our society.

‘Leicester City Council has a duty of care towards the people it represents. We advise that they investigate Cllr Malik as soon as possible to demonstrate that they have a zero tolerance approach to hateful and discriminatory attitudes which can destroy lives.’

Notes:

For further comment or information, please contact Humanists UK press manager Casey-Ann Seaniger at casey@humanism.org.uk or phone 020 7324 3078.

Read more about Faith to Faithless: https://www.faithtofaithless.com/

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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