Muhammad Abdul Bari

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Muhammad Abdul Bari
Muhammad Abdul Bari.png
Native name মুহাম্মাদ আব্দুল বারি
Born (1953-10-02) 2 October 1953 (age 61)
Tangail, Tangail District, Dhaka Division, East Bengal (now Bangladesh)
Residence Tooting, London, England
Nationality Bangladeshi
Ethnicity Bengali
Citizenship British
Education Postdoctoral research, Management, Professional Graduate Certificate in Education
Alma mater Chittagong University
Royal Holloway College
King's College London
Open University
Occupation Physicist, educationalist, writer
Years active 2004–present
Religion Islam

Muhammad Abdul Bari, MBE FRSA[1] (Bengali: মুহাম্মাদ আব্দুল বারি; born 2 October 1953), is a former Chairman of the East London Mosque, and a former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain from 2006 until 2010. He has also served as president of the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE). Currently he is the secretary of Muslim Aid.[2] In addition to the parenting and consultancy work Abdul Bari also writes on various blogs including Huffington Post and Al-Jazeera and has authored a number of books.


After studying at Chittagong University, Abdul Bari joined the Bangladesh Air Force in 1978. Later he moved to the United Kingdom. In 1983, he was awarded a scholarship to do a PhD in England. He studied Physics at King's College London, and joined Royal Holloway College, University of London as a postdoctoral researcher, when he become involved in community work. He entered into teaching after completing Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) from King's College London in 1991. He spent five years in a secondary school in Haringey, London, teaching Science.[3] He joined Tower Hamlets Education Authority as a Specialist Teacher in 1997. He is a researcher in physics, science teacher and Special Educational Needs specialist in London.[4][5]


Abdul Bari has served East London's diverse communities in various capacities for three decades. Since 2002, he has been the Chairman of the board of trustees at the East London Mosque (London's first mosque, which now includes the London Muslim Centre) leading the institution to win the national 'Super Model Mosque Competition' in 2009. He is also a founding member of The East London Communities Organisation (TELCO), a coalition of churches, mosques, and other civil society organisations working together to promote understanding and a safer, fairer and better governed city.[citation needed]

He was Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain from June 2006 until June 2010, having completed two terms. Prior to that, he served as the Council's Deputy-Secretary General for four years. As Secretary General, he worked to have more young people take part in the Council's work.[citation needed]

A physicist and educationalist by training, Abdul Bari received his doctorate in Physics and qualified as a teacher from King's College London, and gained a management degree from the Open University. He is now a Special Educational Needs specialist in London.[citation needed]

In addition, Abdul Bari is a patron of the National Youth Agency, The Ramphal Institute, Anchor House (a homeless charity based in Newham, London) and Nida Trust (an educational charity). He is a trustee of Muslim Aid, an international charity and London Catalyst. He served on the Good Childhood Inquiry Panel which was set up by the Children's Society in 2006. He is also an advisor to the Centre for Public Policy Seminars.[citation needed]

Abdul Bari is a parenting consultant and facilitates an interactive parenting skills programme "Building Families" ( He has written for various newspapers, journals and community publications.[citation needed] He is the author of Building Muslim Families, A Guide to Parenting, "Addressing Adolescence: A Guide to Parenting in Islam" and Race, Religion and Muslim Identity in Britain.

He was on the LOCOG (The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) Board, responsible for preparing and staging the London 2012 Games - 2012 Summer Olympics.[6]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2003, Abdul Bari was appointed a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2003 New Year Honours for his services to the community.[4] In 2005, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In July 2008, he was made an Honorary Fellow of Queen Mary, University of London.[citation needed]

Timeout magazine in London found Abdul Bari as one of London's 100 top movers and shakers in 2006. London Evening Standard found him one of London's 1000 most influential people in 2009. Abdul Bari was recognised for his 'Outstanding Achievement' by British Bangladeshi Who's Who in Islamic Affairs and Community Relations. In January 2012, he was in the British Bangladeshi Power 100.

The University of East London conferred on Bari with honorary doctorate in education in November 2012 'for his work as secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain from 2006 to 2010 and for his contribution to the cultural life of east London'.

In 11th Muslim Awards Ceremony of The Muslim News in March 2013 the Judges Panel conferred Bari with Special 'Iman wa Amal (Faith and Action)' award.

Abdul Bari is one of the world's 500 Most Influential Muslims .


Abdul Bari has appeared in the British media to speak about Muslims in Britain, integration and what efforts could be taken to improve and control fundamentalism rising among and against Muslims since 9/11 and the 7 July bombings. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, he said he believes the rise of Islamophobia is linked to sections of the media and some politicians: "But some political leaders and sections of the media are demonising Muslims, treating them as if they're all terrorists – and that encourages other people to do the same."[citation needed] "Young Muslims need role models to show them they can play a part in British society."

Abdul Bari feels that the media is only interested in fringe groups of angry Muslims instead of mainstream Muslims from the community. He also made the criticism that some right wing tabloid media twisted some of his past comments. He criticises the government's stance on how it deals with violent extremism, which he believes is responsible for creating tensions within the communities, and believes that the "UK will become Nazi Germany, if the situation is not handled very well by the government."[7] One of his examples included remarks by the head of MI5, Jonathan Evans, and criticised the government's war on Iraq, described as a "disaster."[8]

Abdul Bari occasionally writes on social, political and global issues in The Huffington Post and Al Jazeera English.[9] [10]

Personal life[edit]

His interests include reading and travelling "where there are mountains and seas."[3][4] His father, a popular herbalist in the area, was a land-owning farmer in the Tangail District outside Dhaka. He speaks Bengali and English fluently and is married with four children (born between 1984 and 1995).[4]


  • Abdul Bari, Muhammad (2002). The Greatest Gift: A Guide to Parenting from an Islamic Perspective. Ta-Ha Publishers. ISBN 978-1-84200-044-1
  • Abdul Bari, Muhammad (2005). Race, Religion, & Muslim Identity in Britain. Renaissance Press. ISBN 978-0-9543294-7-1
  • Abdul Bari, Muhammad (2007). Marriage and Family Building in Islam. Ta-Ha Publishers. ISBN 978-1-84200-083-0
  • Abdul Bari, Muhammad (2011). Addressing Adolescence: A Guide to Parenting in Islam. Ta-Ha Publishers. ISBN 978-1-84200-125-7
  • Abdul Bari, Muhammad. (2012). British, Muslims, Citizens: Introspection and Renewal. Consilium Publishing. ISBN 978-1-62095-097-5
  • Abdul Bari, Muhammad. (2013). Meet the Challenge, Make the Change: A call to action for Muslim civil society in Britain, Cordoba Foundation.
  • Abdul Bari, Muhammad (2015). Cherishing Childhood: A Guide to Parenting in Islam. Ta-Ha Publishers. ISBN 978-1-84200-154-7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "London Gazette – Issue 56797" (PDF). 31 December 2002. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  2. ^ Inextricably linked to controversial mosque: the secret world of IFE| Andrew Gilligan| The Telegraph| 28 Feb 2010
  3. ^ a b "A voice for Muslims (Profile: Muhammad Abdul Bari)". MCB. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Profile: Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari". BBC News. 5 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  5. ^ "MCB News". MCB. 4 June 2006. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  6. ^ "LOCOG board (About us)". London 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2008. 
  7. ^ "'UK will become Nazi Germany' if it's not careful when tackling terrorism, says Muslim leader". Daily Mail. 10 November 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "UK Muslim Leader Urges More Positive Focus". Sky News. 10 November 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2009. 
  9. ^ . Huffington Post  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links[edit]