With over twenty years of experience working in the charitable and not for profit sector such as domestic violence services in Keighley and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Bana Gora has been involved with social policy and community engagement on a local and national level. She has worked directly with ethnically and religiously diverse communities, and marginalised groups.
Bana is currently the CEO of the Muslim Women’s Council, an organisation established in 2009 to represent the views of Muslim women from across the UK. As part of what is undoubtedly their most ambitious project, the Muslim Women’s Council plans to build the first women-led mosque in the UK.
MWC’s aim is to listen and intelligently formulate ideas through meaningful open and respectful dialogue.
Selina has extensive senior experience of working with stakeholders at a regional and national level on high-profile issues such as community cohesion, diversity and counter-terrorism.
Selina previously worked for Bradford Council as Assistant Director – Safer and Stronger Communities, and currently works for a national health regulator – the General Optical Council. She also directs the work of the ICLS – the Inter Cultural Leadership School, which focuses on developing inter-cultural leaders and dialogue. Selina has also been an advisor to the Home Office and Communities and Government.
extensive senior experience of working with stakeholders at a regional and national level on high-profile issues such as community cohesion, diversity and counter-terrorism
Nuzhat Ali has been involved in community and interfaith work, both as a volunteer and on a consultancy basis for over 20 years. She is a winner of the Northern Writers Awards 2015 and is currently developing scripts for TV and theatre. She has helped organise Islamic Awareness seminars with speakers such as Professor Tariq Ramadan and John Esposito. Nuzhat recently completed her MA in Islamic Studies and regards herself a life long student. She does not see herself as a person who would sit on the fence when it comes to important and relevant issues. She sees the MWC as an organisation that will be capable of creating necessary changes and hopes it will play a significant role for Muslim women locally and nationally.
Dr Shuruq Naguib
Dr Shuruq Naguib is a lecturer in Islamic Studies at Lancaster University, UK. She received her PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Manchester, Department of Middle Eastern Studies. Dr Naguib’s research covers two key strands: the classical and pre-modern intellectual and textual traditions, particularly Qur'an hermeneutics and ritual law; and Muslim responses to modernity, with a focus on how twentieth century and contemporary Muslim women scholars read the tradition to intellectually and socially develop their religious authority as knowers of the tradition. She has written on ritual purity, metaphor in post-classical Qur'an interpretation and Arabic rhetoric, feminist hermeneutics of the Qur'an, and contemporary female exegetes and jurists in Islam, with special interest in Bint al-Shati'. She led a research project on women’s contemporary readings of Islamic texts in Egypt and the UK (2011-2012) and is currently the Co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project Representing Islam on Campus: http://representingislamoncampussoas.co.uk/ She is the former Co-chair of the British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS, 2012-2017) and now serves as a Council Member.
Fatima Ayub has been actively involved with voluntary organisations for over 25 years. She has worked with Islamic Relief as a fundraiser in response to major world disasters and has been involved with the Islamic Society of Britain promoting the positive message of Islam. She currently works as a Muslim Faith Tutor for the local authority. Fatima sees the MWC as a means of influencing policy at a national level and feels the organisation will be instrumental in creating better awareness of issues faced by Muslim women in the UK.
Alina Khan is a School Advisor providing support and guidance to primary and secondary schools across the district on equality and diversity issues. She is an avid fund raiser and in the past has been involved in projects with the Ummah Welfare Trust. Alina was born and raised in Bradford so has always been aware of the issues faced by Muslim women in the city, as well as around the UK. She feels the MWC will help to address the issues and concerns of Muslim women around the country who otherwise may never have the chance to voice their own opinions.
Shahida trained as a nursery nurse 25 years ago and worked in various schools in the Bradford area before relocating to London. Upon returning to Bradford she trained as a National Standards Cycle instructor to offer level 1, 2, and 3 cycle training to adults and children . She is also an accredited NLP practitioner offering coaching to those who desire to make lasting changes in particular areas in their lives. Shahida feels the MWC, with its various projects, brings a much desired change and positivity to a community in need. She hopes to have the privilege to help bring about some of those changes wherever she can.
Saadia Mushtaq has worked in the financial sector for fifteen years, undertaking various roles including quality assurance and complaints. She joined the MWC in 2013 as Executive Administrator, and manages all aspects of the day-to-day office duties. Born and raised in Bradford, and as a mother of two boys, she has an active interest in and awareness of the issues faced by Muslim women. She feels women have an important role to play in all areas of the community and society in general, and is looking forward to participating in the positive changes that she feels MWC can bring about.
Naz Kazmi has lived in Keighley for most of her life and has 30 years’ experience of working with BAME women and children, particularly from a south Asian background. Naz has worked closely with communities and organisations designing, developing and delivering innovative programmes and research projects. These projects have focused on addressing social inequalities, which overlap with health, environmental behaviours, education and employment. Her hobbies are travelling, poetry and fine arts.
Arooj Kiani joined the MWC in 2017 as a Social Media Coordinator. Being born and raised in Bradford, she is aware of the problems Muslim women and girls face in the Bradford district, as well as across the region. She believes the MWC are the voice for the voiceless and will help address issues and concerns of Muslim women that have been ignored for many years. She looks forward to being a part of the positive changes MWC will accomplish.