The Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has spoken of the ‘importance of breaking through barriers for women’ on a visit to Blackburn.

Zara Mohammed became the first woman and the youngest person to lead the national organisation earlier this year. 

It her first first visit to the town where she spent time at the Jamea Masjid on Cumberland Street before meeting with members of the Sisters4sisters group, BME Network and Humraaz at the Chai Station on Cherry Street on Friday.

She said: “It has been a wonderful visit and I really enjoyed meeting different communities and especially today’s celebration of women.

“My favourite time about coming here is looking at what local communities and what local women do because they provide a lifeline to some of the most destitute and vulnerable and those that get left behind. I am so happy to amplify that.”

Zara had earlier been invited to the town by Tauheedul Girls’ Islam school where she was keynote speaker at the Inspire and Aspire Conference.

“I told them a little bit about journey in leadership and the challenges. It was also an opportunity to speak about the importance of breaking through barriers and setting up new pathways for others to follow. And also believing in yourself and telling them a good leader is a humble leader and always willing to learn.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Following the tragic murder of Sir David Amess last week in his constituency, Zara said it was important to reassure all communities during a deeply upsetting time for the country.

She said: “The whole country was in mourning. I spoke to the Muslim communities that were very close to Sir David in Southend on Sea. They expressed how much he meant to the Muslim community.

“Nationally, we knew there was a lot of anxiety and a lot of fear of the backlash. So, we were very swift to get our response out. Swift to get condemnation out and most importantly to reassure communities that Sir David’s legacy wasn’t one about division and one about community building.”

Zara who hails from Scotland was keen to visit smaller marginalised communities and admitted her biggest challenges in her first eight months in charge came from her age rather than her gender.

“A lot of people find it very difficult when you are the youngest person and there is a lot of blatant bias of what you can and cannot do.

“As a national organisation we have to be connected to our grassroots and for me it has been a privilege to meet local communities and see the work they do because our success is in their success.

“We are only strong because of our membership and our base.

“I am really determined to continue this outreach and take the MCB to them.”