Council of Bristol Mosques
433 Stapleton Road, Eastville, Bristol BS5 6PN
Council of Bristol Mosques ‘CBM’ is an umbrella organisation established by the Mosques in the city of Bristol.
The invitation to join CBM went out to all Mosques to work together for the common issues that affect the Muslim community, particularly in Bristol.
Currently five Mosques have agreed to work in collaboration but we hope others will follow suit as they see the benefits of a united voice for Bristol Mosques.
Membership is not restricted to Mosques and is open to all Muslim organisations who may wish to join CBM but Mosques are required to show leadership for those who attend the Mosque and CBM provides this set-up.
Background at CBM
CBM has been going for a few years but the constitution has only recently been signed to formally announce CBM as a working organisation.
It should be applauded that Mosques in Bristol have now put their differences aside to work together for the common issues which affect all Mosques, whatever their individual beliefs or practices.
CBM has achieved this unity amongst Mosques not by forcing any recommendation on any of its members but by playing an advisory role. It provides guidance and best practice to its members and equally provides external agencies who wish to interact or communicate with the Muslim community with a single point of contact from which information can be cascaded down to individual Mosques, almost instantaneously.
For Mosques, importantly, CBM provides a seat at almost every key meeting that Mosques should be attending but could not do so previously for many reasons, such as time constraints and other commitments.
CBM operates through a management committee made up of representatives from each of the member organisations who join CBM.
The trustees comprise representatives of the five founder members, who are:
- Bristol Jamia Mosque
- Easton Islami Darasgah
- Easton Jamia Masjid
- Hosseinieh Foundation
- Islami Darasgah Bristol
CBM will become charity registered soon.
- CBM has visited different, award-winning Mosques in the UK, and has learnt a great deal from them and in the coming months CBM shall advise each of its members on how to become better individually and collectively (under the banner of CBM). Each Mosque will be encouraged to undergo capacity building programmes and to look at themselves in five or ten years from now so they can establish a development plan for where they wish to go.
- CBM has also worked with NHS Bristol to deliver a pilot project, called Midlife Life Check Assessment, which specifically targeted faith communities in Bristol. CBM is helping the NHS to develop policies in order to deliver better services to the community.
- CBM has created strong links with other faiths and each member Mosque takes part in the annual Diverse Doors Open day. CBM is well represented at the Multi Faith meetings and was a key partner in the 2010 faith festival.
- CBM is working with the police and other agencies (including local government) to stamp out extremism and extremist behaviour in Bristol and the UK. This includes Building the Bridge, All Mosques Together and MINAB (Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board). In the recent trial of a young person charged and sentenced with terrorist activities, CBM represented Bristol Mosques for the first time in televised interviews and provided press statements to local media, which had only been provided previously by a non-religious organisation. CBM also visited and held a conference with the local residents affected by this incedence.
- CBM has helped the police develop a DVD charting the life of the young person who was charged with terrorist offences. The DVD has been created to explore the issue of vulnerability and to help enable communities and agencies to identify individuals who show tendencies towards committing terrorist activities. The aim is to help and support these individuals at an early stage.
- CBM is helping to develop a service within the Muslim community, called Naseehah, to deal with vulnerable individuals and offer early support and advice.
- CBM press statements were sent for Ramadhan and Eid-ul-Fitr to local media and CBM supported the local radio stations during Ramadhan. CBM does not make statements on a national or international level as there are Muslim organisations established to do this, such as MCB (Muslim Council of Britain) and MAB (Muslim Association of Britain).
- There are great plans for CBM to deliver community level projects that each Mosque would perhaps struggle with on an individual basis. One example is a youth worker who deals with all Mosques in Bristol. Each Mosque is also providing a volunteer to become a chaplain.
CBM wishes to expand its membership and create long-lasting relationships with all parts of the Bristol community.