British Muslims for Secular Democracy

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British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Founded 2006[1]
Founder Nasreen Rehman and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

British Muslims for Secular Democracy is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting secularism in the United Kingdom.[2] It was founded in 2006 by Nasreen Rehman and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.[3] The group believes the diversity of views among British Muslims is not adequately represented to wider British society and that their image is distorted.[4][5] The organization is one of the growing number of feminist and progressive Muslim organizations.[6]

On its website, the organisation said it aims to:[7]

  • Raise awareness within British Muslims and the wider public, of democracy particularly ‘secular democracy’ helping to contribute to a shared vision of citizenship (the separation of faith and state, so faiths exert no undue influence on policies and there is a shared public space).
  • Encourage religious understanding and harmony, respect for different systems of beliefs, and encourage an understanding and celebration of the variety of Muslim cultures, values and traditions which are present in British society.

bmsd will achieve this by:

  • Facilitating discourse and raising awareness of democracy particularly ‘secular democracy’ and its benefits.
  • Facilitating broad and enlightened theological discourses, to enable British Muslims and the wider public to be better informed about the Islamic faith.
  • Raising awareness of religious influence on UK domestic and foreign policies, particularly those which may lead to undue effect on civil liberties.
  • Addressing Islamophobia and prejudice against Muslims and Muslim communities.
  • Working with UK and global Muslim and other organisations, opposing radicalism and intolerant beliefs.
  • Ensuring that politicians and community leaders encourage and practise transparency and ensure legitimate voting practices are followed.
  • Engaging with marginalised Muslim communities, helping to identify root causes of deprivation and social exclusion, and help work towards a solution.
  • Providing a lively and interesting social/educational programme which showcases the variety of Muslim histories, cultures, values and traditions in the UK today.
  • Be responsive to the changing needs and pressures on succeeding generations of British Muslims and adjust and add to its programmes and projects accordingly.

In other sources, it has said that it aims to:

  • Encourage British Muslim men and women to recognise the contributions they have made to Britain.[8]


  • Nasreen Rehman (Chair)
  • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown[9]


  • Tehmina Kazi, Director (May 2009 to August 2016)
  • Hanif Abdulmuhit, Head of Operations (since January 2014)


  1. ^ "What I now have in common with Jemima". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  2. ^ "Muslims launch new organisation to challenge perceptions". Asians in Media Magxine. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  3. ^ Ahmad, Imran (2008-05-01). "Representing ourselves better". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  4. ^ "British Muslims for Secular Democracy asks for pro-bono support". PR Week. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  5. ^ Whitaker, Brian (2008-05-01). "Scratching secularism's surface". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  6. ^ Nancy Graham Holm (2 February 2013). "Lonely Progressive Muslims: Trapped in the Crossfire Between Islamophobes and Intra-Muslim Hatred". Huffington Post. 
  7. ^ "bmsd » Objectives". Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. 
  8. ^ "Muslims launch new organisation to challenge perceptions". Asians in Media Magazine. Retrieved 2012-08-15. 
  9. ^ "Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: The closed minds that deny a civilisation's glories". Independent. London. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 

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