Dr Husein Jiwa, the President, welcomed everyone and thanked Hujjat Jamaat for hosting the meeting. He congratulated Br Taki Jaffer (Wessex Jamaat), Br Naushad Mehrali (Birmingham Jamaat) and Br Sabir Charifou (South Paris Jamaat) on being newly elected Presidents and Br Salim Govani for being re-elected as President of Marsta Jamaat. He wished them all the best for their coming terms.
Welcome speech by President of KSIMC of London Jamaat, Br Kamruddin Khaki (Kakaji). He went through the house keeping rules. He also invited all those present to attend the Ayyam-e-Fatimiyya programme at Hujjat. Br Kamruddin encouraged the sharing of best practise. He informed the EC that Hujjat Jamaat and their Madressa are fully compliant of safeguarding procedures and hence brought to the attention of the EC that every Jamaat should be fully dutiful of this. Jamaats can contact KSIMC of London Jamaat should they require any further information. He followed this with a short tribute to the elders of the community and stressed the importance of unity.
The agenda was agreed and Secretary General added that he was hopeful the meeting would close by 18.45 or earlier in view of the Ayyam-e-Fatimiyya program at Hujjat and further added that he hoped he would be assisted by everyone to ensure the meeting was conducted in a timely manner.
1. Minutes of the last meeting and matters arising therefrom
Proposed by: Br Mahmood Rehemtulla
Seconded by: Sis Waheeda Rahim, Br Mohamedkazim Bhaloo and Br Murtaza Gulamhusein.
a) Switzerland Shortfall update - (Page 1a): Br Mahmood Rehemtulla enquired whether there had been any update on Switzerland Jamaat’s situation. Br Husseinali Rehemtulla provided an update on their finances and requested for CoEJ to assist with further funding. Secretary General clarified that initially CoEJ was going to help them to start and thereafter Switzerland Jamaat was to take the initiative to engage with Jamaats to fundraise. He requested Br Husseinali Rehemtulla to contact Secretariat to arrange visits to Jamaats when required. Br Kamruddin also offered a platform and requested him to contact the committee to arrange timings during the programme of Ayyam-e-Fatimiyya at Hujjat.
Action Point 1: Secretariat to circulate the Alim Hadiya figures.
b) CoEJ plans ‘Striving for a brighter future’ – (Page 2d): The away day was held on Sunday 25 March 2012, which was very successful. Further details will duly be circulated.
c) Media Conference: As Br Razahusein Rahim was away Br Murtaza Gulamhusein gave an update. A draft paper had been prepared to be presented at the forthcoming WF ExCo where the aims and objectives would be deliberated. Thereafter the team will submit a paper for approval. Objectives included:
• What our response should be in situations that may come up on a worldwide basis
• How to work with existing TV channels
• To deliberate on what happened to Sheikh Osama Al Attar in Medina
• To promote our faith in the correct way through mass media.
d) Budget approval for 2012 – (Page 2e): Treasurer informed that budget had been cut down. However, WF had promised to provide further means should there be any projects which are our flagship events. Separate funding would be given for projects which had not been very active in previous years and have now become active (e.g. John Muslim Mission).
Dr Akber asked if any of the activities had been affected. From his experience through being involved with a few boards, he expressed his sentiments as to how it impacted upon the morale for some boards. He requested if it would be possible for Councillors to be updated on a six monthly basis either by the Office Bearers or by the Treasurer after reviewing with the teams. The Treasurer confirmed that all planned projects were still going ahead, but boards had been encouraged to utilise existing facilities and resources in order to be more cost efficient.
Secretary General emphasised that it is important to continue projects particularly the flagship events. CoEJ as an organisation has become more efficient and will Insha’Allah endeavour to find the means if required.
Br Murtaza Gulamhusein raised his concerns regarding boards to take a note of cost efficiency, (e.g. Revision Course to be hosted by our Jamaats). He felt that there should be a ‘working together’ endeavour and come up with synergy to save community money and minimise duplication. Treasurer clarified that a proposal was sent at the first instance; however Birmingham Jamaat did not have the facilities that the teachers required.
e) Sexual Health & Thallasaemia for premarital Screening: Secretary General informed the EC that Dr Rizwan Alidina was planning to roll out the initiative shortly. He said the work would be gradually rolled out, starting with smaller Jamaats and thereafter moving on to larger Jamaats. Br Riyaz Ladha added that Dr Alidina was keen to work with KSIMC of London Jamaat and therefore requested them to get in touch and begin with the implementation.
Action Point 2: Dr Rizwan Alidina to contact KSIMC of London Jamaat and work jointly.
2. President’s Report
a) President gave an overview of the CoEJ Striving for a Brighter Future Retreat that had taken place whereby leaders had come from across Europe including UK Jamaat Presidents, Executive Councillors, Office Bearers, Team Heads, Capacity Building Team and the Secretariat. He emphasised on the objectives and outcome of the away day. A steering committee had been formed to continue the work and a presentation would be prepared in time for the Annual Conference in October 2012. He thanked Dr Akber Mohamedali, Dr Sarfraz Jeraj and Sis Esmat Jeraj for facilitating the Away Day.
b) Dr Jiwa said that following the attack in Brussels against a Shia mosque, a meeting had been arranged by Al Khoei Foundation. Information on Mosque Security and an advice leaflet had been circulated to member Jamaats by the CoEJ secretariat.
c) CoEJ in collaboration with KSIMC of London Jamaat facilitated the demonstration of ghusl kafan for Jamaats in Switzerland. President thanked the Hujjat Jamaat for sending a team of 2 men and 2 women from their ghusl kafan team to go and demonstrate and guide other Jamaat members as to the proper Sharia method of ghusl kafan. President hoped the sharing of good practices would Insha’Allah benefit Switzerland Jamaat members.
d) President attended the MCB Leadership dinner on the 15th of March, where he had the opportunity to meet and interact with Muslim sports personalities participating in Olympics 2012.
e) During the European Committee for Islamic Divorce (ECID) meeting held at the residence of Maulana Zafar Abbas, the process and SOP were discussed. A copy of the SOP had been circulated to the Councillors and member Jamaats. Dr Jiwa said that the committee was in full action and he emphasised on the objective of ECID.
i. Treasurer informed that the cost for the “Away Day” had been £850. He added that following discussions on the logistics of this retreat, it had been recommended to book a professional venue, and as agreed by the Office Bearers to book an outside venue for this particular initiative hence the cost.
ii. Br Shabbir Mamdani raised a question on whether MCB had issued any press releases regarding the struggle in Bahrain. Dr Akber was asked to respond to this question and he replied he had no comments.
3. Consider Capital Projects
a) Secretary General thanked Br Gulamabbas Kassam and his team for their tremendous efforts and diligence.
b) He then gave an overview of the two applications that had been submitted. Secretary General added that the capital projects papers had been submitted for consideration at the last EC Meeting back in February, which had been cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.
c) On 9th April 2012 a correspondence query and clarification had been received from the KSIMC of London and a response was received from WF on 18th April which was then forwarded to the KSIMC of London Jamaat. It stated that WF would respond to the query following the upcoming WF Executive Council meeting where the question would be discussed.
d) Following practices of good governance and democratic accountability the Secretary General sought advice from the EC on how to proceed with this agenda item.
e) The key issue here was whether the agenda item should be discussed or not, and not about unity nor the individual projects. Due deliberation on the item took place, focussing on whether the projects should be discussed or deferred.
f) The resolution, “The Executive Council hereby resolves to defer the Capital Projects for consideration in light of the pending WF clarification” was presented, proposed by Br Mohamed Dawood and seconded by: Br Mohamed Mavani.
Voting took place and the results:
In favour – 16 votes
Against – 4 votes
The consideration of capital projects were deferred until such time as clarification is received from WF.
4. CoEJ Conference Date and Venue
a) There was consensus to hold the next CoEJ Annual Conference in Leicester on Saturday 6 October 2012 at 15.00.
b) Consensus was also reached, after considering various venues, that next EC meeting would be held at Husaini Islamic Centre (Hujjat), Stanmore on Saturday 30 June 2012 at 14.00.
5. Treasurer’s Report
EHM Ltd Accounts:
• It was noted that the auditor company name had changed to Shah Bhaloo & Company Ltd.
• The audit fees at present were reasonable; however the directors of the company had decided to renegotiate to try and bring the fees further down. As an exercise, once the audit is completed, other firms would be invited to tender for audits of both the EHM Ltd and CoEJ accounts. Recommendations would then be made at the AGM on whether to proceed with Shah Bhaloo & Co or consider changing to another company for the following year. A few Jamaats have shared information of their auditors and Insha’Allah after this year, different companies would be invited to submit tenders with a view to save on costs.
• ATOL licence had successfully been renewed.
CoEJ Consolidated Accounts:
• The CoEJ entity accounts which were to be discussed at the last EC Meeting in February (which was cancelled) were included in the consolidated accounts.
• Amendment to change the auditor’s name to Shah Bhaloo & Co Ltd.
• The Charity Commission website will be continually updated until the accounts are signed.
• Dr Akber requested the EC to speak to volunteers about budget cuts and how it had impacted upon morale. He also highlighted the fact that volunteers were the essence of CoEJ and if they were demoralised, the activities would not happen. Dr Jiwa clarified that WF had cut the budget so that the funds were utilised efficiently, however if any of the boards required additional funds, WF had assured that funds would be provided.
• Br Murtaza Gulamhusein requested that in the future a 1-2 page abridged summary of the accounts be produced as well.
Proposed by: Br Shabbir Merali
Seconded by: Seyed Mohamed Naqvi, Br Naushad Rajani, Dr Akber Mohamedali & Br Murtaza Gulamhusein.
Treasurer thanked Br Mohamedkazim Bhaloo and Br Qasim Alidina for their assistance in preparing the accounts.
6. Information Sharing and Dissemination – Discussion Paper
As this topic had also been raised at the away day it was felt that this item be deferred and be considered for discussion as part of the Striving for a Brighter Future initiative or be on the agenda for the next EC Meeting. As the hall had to vacated promptly for another function it was agreed to defer this item until the next EC meeting after an overview of the Striving Retreat was presented by Sis Esmat Jeraj as minuted under any AOB
7. Board Representatives in Member Jamaats – Discussion Paper
It was agreed to defer this item to the next EC meeting as the hall had to be vacated promptly for another function.
8. CoEJ Foundation Fund TOR – Draft Discussion Paper
The above paper had been discussed within the CFF team previously and had been amended. EC agreed to adopt the paper.
Proposed by: Br Shabbir Merali
Seconded by: Seyed Mohamed Naqvi.
• Br Murtaza Gulamhusein informed EC that they had a meeting to look at strategies to allow CoEJ to generate its own income such as possessing a portfolio of assets. The team are currently looking at investment proposals and will need benefactors in place to aid this process. It still requires some more time and further meetings to develop.
• An agreed amount (from gift aid over the last 2 years) had been earmarked for the Foundation Fund.
• It was raised that the Secretary General can call an emergency meeting in the future if needed to discuss potential investments which may require decisions within a short time frame.
• It was recommended that the Foundation Fund be on the agenda for all future EC meetings in order for the EC to receive quarterly updates.
It was agreed that a presentation be given which summarised the salient points in order for the EC to mandate the outcomes of the striving initiative. Sis Esmat kindly obliged and following the presentation it was suggested that the next step would be for the Striving Team together with the facilitators and accompanied by Office Bearers, would visit all Jamaats to undertake a consultation exercise (Striving Roadshow). The findings from this, together with those from the away day, would Insha’Allah help the strategic planning process for the Executive Council in the next term to take forward.
A resolution was presented, “It is hereby resolved that the Striving steering group be empowered to consult on the initiatives of the Striving for a Brighter Future retreat and report to the Executive Council.”
Proposed by: Br Murtaza Bharwani and seconded by: Br Murtaza Gulamhusein
b) Presentation by Br Furquan Ismail, Chair of Stanmore Jaffery’s, the hosts of the MAMT 10 year anniversary Tournament. He presented plans and proposals for review. It had been decided that this year’s tournament would be held on the Bank Holiday in August (after Ramadhan) allowing three days of sports rather than only two days. Br Furquan outlined the plans on fundraising through corporate sponsorship, by producing T-shirts and souvenir books. It was agreed the MAMT Team would review the proposals in consultation with the EC link, the CoEJ VP and the Secretariat.
c) Br Husseinali Rehemtulla raised a proposal on behalf of Le Chaux Fonds. As the Jamaat did not have a resident alim, he proposed a scheme for a satellite Maulana who would visit Switzerland during the weekends only. This would minimise costs. Br Kamruddin Khakhi stated that Hujjat would support this. Secretary General suggested that Le Chaux Fonds send an email outlining the proposal to Secretariat which would then be followed up by the ICA Chair.
d) Following on from the host Jamaat’s welcome speech, Br Kamruddin Khakhi wanted to raise awareness of safeguarding procedures and policies within our community. Hujjat Jamaat had been working closely with their local council to implement these and encouraged other Jamaats to follow suit and ensure they were compliant. Jamaats can receive training and assistance from their local authorities. Secretary General was in agreement that an email be sent to all the Jamaats to enlighten them on Safeguarding Procedures and requested Br Kassam Jaffer to provide any information by email to Secretariat to help with this.
e) Sis Waheeda Rahim, on behalf of herself and Br Amir Walji, expressed her gratitude to the Secretariat and presented them with a token of their appreciation.
f) Secretary General wanted to make the EC aware that Secretariat had not yet received the DVD recording of the last Annual Conference (held in October 2011) from Milton Keynes Jamaat, and as such would have to rely on the notes that were taken in order to produce the minutes.
g) Sis Sukaina Manji reiterated to all EC members to actively promote the upcoming Khawateen events at their local Jamaats. She also expressed her thanks to Secretariat and commended Br Furquan Ismail for his energetic presentation.
h) Concerns were expressed over Ahlulbayt TV and their involvement with MAMT. It was confirmed that no decisions regarding this would be taken without the approval of the CoEJ MAMT team.
i) President Dr Jiwa invited and encouraged all EC members to attend MAMT on presentation day. This was echoed by Br Furquan Ismail. The President then thanked Hujjat, Br Kamruddin Khakhi and all of the volunteers for their hospitality.
Meeting was brought to a close at 18.52 with the recitation of a short Dua' by Seyed Mohamed Naqvi.