1b – Response from Mosque Committee

Following email was received from the Mosque Chairman on 19 November 2013. The Reply From Qamar Javed is at bottom (as Comment)

From: <readingislamiccentre@aol.co.uk>
Date: 19 Nov 2013 17:40
Subject: Response to your recent query.

Dear Qamar Javed;

Thank you for your recent communication, it was a surprise as you were aware of conversations indicating that the election for the Management Committee is imminent, and it is also acknowledged that the group that you are aligned to have been canvassing the community very hard for at least the past few months.

The issues you raised are invalid and without merit suggesting that the intention was perhaps  mischief or intimidation. There is no ‘inner circle’, as you are aware, the serving Management Committee are unpaid, overstretched, god fearing, volunteers dedicated to serving the house of Allah in the best way they can, and seeking reward directly from Allah alone. Your implied accusations are totally without substance.

The generation of the Membership forms had incurred a delay whilst the production of a sequential serial number macro was implemented.

Please note that the current Management Committee is not only transparent and accountable, but is also totally respected and supported by the vast majority of the congregation served. Please also be aware that weekly collection figures are freely available upon request, and in fact have been publically displayed in at least one location for at least the past two and a half years. The only financial information not disclosed covers the names of individuals that had provided Qarza-e-Hasna, and as requested this will remain confidential.

Information concerning the issues surrounding Ahmad Raza and the Green Road Mosque project are freely available in the public domain.

You are also very well aware of the status of members and ex-members of the Management Committee. I would like to remind you that one of the persons you listed no longer lives in the UK, another only attended the Centre for a short period of time, other members put personality mismatches above the affairs of the Centre and it was felt that some members were using meetings as an opportunity to gather confidential information that would have been useful to a third party. The current Management Committee has always been transparent, honest and independent of family, clan and each other, and it has and will continue to serve in the best interests of the House of Allah.

I look forward to serving the community for as long as Allah wills and trust that your future support be an asset for the Centre.

–> Click here to see related reply from Qamar Javed to this letter

 

One thought on “1b – Response from Mosque Committee

  1. Date 25 December 2013

    Dear Mr. Haji Banaras,
    Thank you for your response to my letter dated 7 November 2013. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.

    In my letter I emphasised the need for honesty and refraining from propaganda and hearsay. So naturally, I am disappointed at the very casual and informal nature of your response which failed to address the issues raised in any coherent manner. Instead you used the opportunity for self-praise, accusations and waffle about how much you are respected by the community. For completeness I have copied your full email below and then responded in BOLD to each of your points.
    ———————————————— 0 ————————————————
    Date: 19 Nov 2013 17:40
    Subject: Response to your recent query.

    Dear Qamar Javed;
    Thank you for your recent communication, it was a surprise as you were aware of conversations indicating that the election for the Management Committee is imminent, and it is also acknowledged that the group that you are aligned to have been canvassing the community very hard for at least the past few months.

    Why are you “surprised” to hear from me (and the disenfranchised), when you have been making promises about your “imminent elections” but not honouring them. The operative words are “conversation” and “imminent” that summarise eloquently the tension and mistrust that has been created within the mosque. First, it is apparent that you chose to make verbal promises about elections deliberately without any formal announcements or minutes.

    Secondly, your understanding of the word “imminent” which means “about to happen” is frustrating. The elections are now almost 1 year overdue and to-date there has not been any discussion or announcement of election date.

    Your “acknowledgement” about what “group” I am aligned to and the group’s intentions is an example of propaganda and hearsay that has become your hallmark. However, considering you have strong political ambitions, I am rather amused about the negative connotations you appear to attach to canvassing. It is public knowledge that you represented Labour in Tilehurst Ward in May 2010 and May 2012 elections. You are again standing for Labour in May 2014 elections. However, I would seriously question your suitability for such public position, especially if you have problem with people “canvassing the community very hard”.

    The issues you raised are invalid and without merit suggesting that the intention was perhaps mischief or intimidation. There is no ‘inner circle’, as you are aware, the serving Management Committee are unpaid, overstretched, god fearing, volunteers dedicated to serving the house of Allah in the best way they can, and seeking reward directly from Allah alone. Your implied accusations are totally without substance.

    The complaints raised were valid and backed with facts such as dates, names and constitution rules. I would advise you to read the letter again and then decide if the complaints have substance or merit.

    I agree with the sentiments you express about the Management Committee serving as unpaid volunteers to the best of their ability. However, you overlooked the actual complaints raised, which were specifically about the breach of our constitution in regards to elections, membership forms and Committee meeting quorum.
    With regards to Management Committee, why do you not extend the same qualities to the “other members” that you side-lined and totally ignored for almost 2 years, who are also “Unpaid, overstretched, God fearing etc”.

    The generation of the Membership forms had incurred a delay whilst the production of a sequential serial number macro was implemented.

    If there was a practical reason for the long delay in membership forms, why were we not informed? You personally told me the forms are on computer and will be given in few days. I was not aware of any sequential numbering macro and would question the need for such elaborate numbering and to overburden everyone.

    I believe the purpose of all delays and elaborate systems you are introducing is to gain unfair advantage. It is clear the whole election process is conducted against the spirit of our constitution and respected organisation.

    We need to agree a process with clear procedures to apply for membership and elections that is fair and open.

    Please note that the current Management Committee is not only transparent and accountable, but is also totally respected and supported by the vast majority of the congregation served.

    The committee being transparent and accountable is to some extent subjective, depending on the individual’s background and expectations. However I would suggest there is ample room for improvement. As you are aware your Committee had a vote of no confidence and forced election in 2010, the unfair dismissal court case resulting in financial loss and public embarrassment in 2012 and the fiasco of Green Road Mosque project in 2013.

    Please also be aware that weekly collection figures are freely available upon request, and in fact have been publically displayed in at least one location for at least the past two and a half years.

    I and others visit the mosque regularly and have not seen the figures displayed. Suffice to say no account summary is ever displayed and weekly collection figures you mention are not displayed in any prominent position. If you are referring to the small hand-scribbled note in pencil that is sometimes displayed at the very top right of the notice board, then your implementation of transparency and accountability differs with most people’s expectations.

    The only financial information not disclosed covers the names of individuals that had provided Qarza-e-Hasna, and as requested this will remain confidential.

    It is inspiring to have individuals who are very generous with large donations and yet humble enough to remain anonymous? I agree their wishes should indeed be honoured. However, this should not be used as an excuse to keep information secret from members.

    Information concerning the issues surrounding Ahmad Raza and the Green Road Mosque project are freely available in the public domain.

    Maybe you missed the point that significant projects or issues should be discussed with wider members through special meetings BEFORE it’s available in public domain. One of your responsibilities is to ensure members are kept informed but you have conveniently delegated this to the local press. It’s sad that our community only learns about issues through local newspapers and we seriously question your obsession with secrecy.

    With regards to Ahmad Raza, the court case hearing date was kept secret even from the committee. I was at all the meetings leading up to the court case.

    There has not been a single public meeting on the purchase of Amity Street property (about £200,000), or the Ahmad Raza case which cost the mosque about £15,000 or the on-going Green Road Mosque project.

    You are also very well aware of the status of members and ex-members of the Management Committee. I would like to remind you that one of the persons you listed no longer lives in the UK, another only attended the Centre for a short period of time, other members put personality mismatches above the affairs of the Centre and it was felt that some members were using meetings as an opportunity to gather confidential information that would have been useful to a third party.

    Your above statement confirms the meetings in the last few years are illegal and the best reason you can give is “personality mismatches”! It is not justifiable to exclude members based on your personal opinion of personalities.
    The accusations you make about “other members” gathering confidential information is very serious and slanderous and if unfounded can be libellous. So please elaborate on your decision to IGNORE AND effectively TERMINATE “other members” without any due process?

    Please provide minutes of Committee meetings after January 2012 that met the quorum stipulated in constitution.

    The current Management Committee has always been transparent, honest and independent of family, clan and each other, and it has and will continue to serve in the best interests of the House of Allah.

    The complaints were about breach of constitution, so how does the introduction of family and clan help your explanation? This is a deliberate ploy to divide the community and play on emotions.

    How can you make assertion about family clans to me, when in the last elections you are aware I supported you wholeheartedly even though your opponent Abdul Razak was closer to me in terms of family clan.

    I look forward to serving the community for as long as Allah wills and trust that your future support be an asset for the Centre.

    May Allah grant you long and healthy life and the wisdom and integrity to serve the community in line with Islamic teachings. I fully supporting you in the last elections, so maybe it is a good time to review and reflect the reason why I and others have lost confidence in you and your committee.

    We should all work together and learn from our shortcomings and bad practices and put in place process and procedures to ensure mistakes are not repeated. We need to encourage transparency, accountability and good code of conduct in the best interest of our mosque.

    Yours Sincerely

    Qamar Javed

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