Zara Mohammed, the first female Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), has been named by fashion magazine British Vogue as one of the 25 most influential British women of 2021. According to an article on the British Vogue website:
August 5, 2021 “There’s a lot of stereotyping that Muslim women are oppressed,” says Zara Mohammed, who, in January and at the age of 29, became the youngest person and first woman to be elected as secretary general of The Muslim Council of Britain. “I’m here to help smash the glass on that perception.” Born and raised in Glasgow, as the representative of the most diverse Muslim umbrella organisation in the UK, Mohammed is keen to show her peers – and the world – that young people can lead “and women can certainly lead, too. Don’t define us without us,” she adds. “We’ll be the ones to say who we are and what we represent.”
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British Vogue included Mohammed in their list, saying she laid “foundations for a more equal future.” The list celebrating women includes Duchesses Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton for their philanthropy work. It also includes Kate Bingham, chair of the British Vaccine Taskforce.
In January 2021, Mohammed was elected as the new Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) Secretary-General, the first female SG in its history. The MCB is among Britain’s most influential Muslim organizations and has historically been dominated by adherents of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami movement in the UK, usually acting in concert with the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB).
From 2014–2017, Mohammed held several leading positions in the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), a national umbrella organization representing Islamic societies at universities throughout the UK and that has numerous ties to the GMB network in the UK.
In August 2021, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) reported that Mohammed had been among the speakers of a July 2021 Srebrenica Genocide commemoration event that featured several members of the British Parliament and the leader of a US think-tank with close ties to the GMB. Prior reporting by the GIOR about the MCB and Zara Mohammed has also included:
- An October 2020 report that the MCB had joined a virtual Muslim leadership conference that brought together a large number of GMB leaders and groups from around the globe.
- A March 2021 report that a British Conservative Ex-Defense Secretary had been criticized by members of the British Home Office for meeting with Zara Mohammed despite an existing “non-engagement” policy with the MCB.
- A May 2021 report that the UK Labour Muslim Network had hosted a “Virtual Iftar” event featuring Zara Mohammed and prominent British pro-Hamas leaders.
- An August 2021 report that the MCB and one of its Scottish affiliates were part of a Scottish parliamentary Cross-Party Group that had published an inquiry into Islamophobia in the country, demanding far-reaching political action to mitigate its alleged effects.