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In a first two Muslim women join leadership panel which oversees 20,000 across Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:47 13 May 2020

Members of FORMO's new leadership panel. Picture: Khalid Sharif

Members of FORMO's new leadership panel. Picture: Khalid Sharif

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For the first time two women are leading a Redbridge Muslim organisation alongside a panel of six others after a change in its leadership structure this year.

Members of the new leadership panel for FORMO Bashir Patel, Vaseem Ahmed, Khalid Sharif and Sultanah Parvin. Picture: Khalid SharifMembers of the new leadership panel for FORMO Bashir Patel, Vaseem Ahmed, Khalid Sharif and Sultanah Parvin. Picture: Khalid Sharif

The Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO), an umbrella body representing 16 Muslim organisations which reaches 20,000 people across the borough, changed its corporate structure from a single chairperson heading the organisation to an elected panel of representatives at the AGM meeting last month.

The new panel has two women on the board who agreed that their focus in 2020 would be on local community engagement, education and inequality for Redbridge residents.

One of the women elected to the education panel, Ms Sultanah Parvin, teacher at Apex Primary in Argyle Road, said: "I feel honoured to have an opportunity to help Redbridge and Muslim faith institutions assert themselves in the face of any structural inequality to make the space for Muslim voices - women and men."

Ms Parvin is part of the new eight-person board alongside the other newly elected female member who is on the community engagement panel.

Members of FORMO's new leadership panel. Picture: Khalid SharifMembers of FORMO's new leadership panel. Picture: Khalid Sharif

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As part of FORMO's plan to tackle inequality the first event of the year will be a food collection for homeless people in the borough and following that, work will begin to implement a five-year plan for Muslims in the borough.

Imran Mohiuddin, member of the Inequality Panel, said "I am delighted to continue to work with FORMO, it is imperative for Muslims to have a collective voice, and look forward to helping to deliver a flagship project in helping the homeless."

FORMO was previously run by Farouk Ismail who completed his successful four-year tenure before making way for the new leadership structure.

In welcoming the new panel, Wes Streeting Ilford North MP said: "I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Farouk Ismail for his work over many years and welcome the new panel members to their positions.

"We have a strong and vibrant Muslim community in Redbridge, who make an outstanding contribution to our borough."

Leader of the Council Jas Athwal said great work was done under Mr Ismail's tenure but he was looking forward to working with the new panel to tackle issues facing the Muslim community.


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