Ajmal Masroor – Is an Imam, fundraiser, broadcaster and Relationship Counsellor. In 2014 he was recognised in the Muslim 500 as one of the most influential Muslims in the world today.
He is the co-founder of the Barefoot Institute for Muslim relationships. They provide marriage counselling and relationship training. He has authored numerous articles on marriage and relationship for magazine and newspapers including authored a book called “10 Things You Should Know Marriage”.
He has worked as the director of Communities in Action, which specialises in community development and cohesion work as well as capacity building programmes. He has also worked as a cultural relations consultant and has been teaching young Muslims from across Europe a unique programme for the last ten years called “learning to be a peacemaker”. He has published a training manual called “Learning to be a Peacemaker”.
He is regularly invited to speak on issues on integration, Islam in the modern world, Muslim community, and topics that relate to social and political issues. He is actively involved with local and international charities and takes a leading role in fundraising. In the last twenty years he has raised over 30million pounds for the various cuases around the world. He is also the chair of Childreplus, a charity devoted to changing the lives of children.
He is a broadcast journalist regularly writing for the Guardian on line, the Evening Standard and Huffington Post. He has been a specialist consultant on programmes about Islam and Muslims for the Channel 4, BBC, ITV and CNN. He is often called upon by the media to give commentary and response to current affairs and social issues related to the Muslim community. He also had his own weekly TV programmes on the Islam Channel and Channel S covering socio-political issues.
He has devoted all of his working life in bringing communities together and building bridges. He has become known as the voice of reason for Islam in Britain and actively challenges extremism.
Post the murder of drummer Lee Rigby The Economist magazine described him in the following words: “
“the bonne parole came from Ajmal Masroor a telegenic imam-cum-broadcaster-cum-budding politician of Bangladeshi origin. "If you dislike Britain so much...why don't you just hand your passport over and leave? And if you dislike the policies of the government...participate in the electoral process, stand for election," he rhetorically told the soldier's attacker, in an interview with Sky TV which won big approval ratings on social media. At a time when ugly and vindictive threats were starting to hurtle through cyber-space, this was just the sort of message that many citizens wanted to hear...from a Muslim.
Who is Mr Masroor? Like many of London's Muslims, he has family roots in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh. For somebody who grew up in a roughish part of London, he is strikingly articulate and well-spoken. Now aged 42, he has a story that many second-generation Muslims can relate to; when he was 19, his father took him to Bangladesh and tried to marry him off to a selected bride; he refused, causing a family rift. His personal experiences have made him into an articulate opponent of forced marriage. He and his (freely chosen) wife Henrietta, a Hungarian-born convert to Islam, offer their services as relationship counsellors.”
He has recently received a death threat from the Somali terrorist group Al-Shabab for his work against terrorism and uncompromising stance against extremism. He says that his mission is to inform, inspire and influence people of all background towards harmonious co-existence and no threat would deter him from his work.
He comes from a religiously conservative and but a humble family. His father came to the UK as a manual worker working in the cotton mills. He grew up in the early 70s in East End of London facing extreme racism and prejudice. However, these experiences have made him stronger person committed to equality and fairness for all people.
As an Imam he has been leading Friday prayers in various London Mosques for the last twenty years.