The Lewisham Islamic centre has been a pillar for the Muslim society in the London borough of Lewisham, and other areas too. The centre has been at the forefront of preaching tolerance and good neighborliness amongst societies. Just last year, LIC in collaboration with the metropolitan police, elected leaders, and Muslim women, LIC organized an event to discuss Islamophobia. This was a particularly insightful session, considering the rising cases of Islamophobia around the UK, with most of it being directed against women.
But who is the brains really behind the Lewisham Islamic Center?
Well, it would be impossible to speak of the achievements of the LIC without mentioning Imam Shakeel Begg; he has been at the Islamic organization for almost 18 years now. During this period, LIC has made news advocating not just for Muslims rights in Lewisham, but also for mobilizing volunteers to feed the homeless, and engaging in other charitable tasks. In 2015, LIC in partnership with other civil societies organized a protest in a show of solidarity with Syrian refugees, most of who have been denied asylum in the UK.
Below are interesting facts about Imam Shakeel Begg;
- Imam Shakeel is a seasoned Muslim scholar, who has spent 5 years studying Islamic studies at the respected University of Madinah. He also has a M. A IN Islamic studies, having also studied from the Markfield Institute of Higher Education.
- Imam Shakeel has also studied finance, and Islamic Chaplaincy. When he is not serving at LIC, he’s to be found as a volunteer chaplain at the University Hospital Lewisham.
- The Imam has a reputation for advocating for interfaith dialogue, tolerance, and equality amongst Muslims, Christians, Jews, and everyone around and within London. In fact, most of the people who have visited the center include homeless and poor people across all races and denominations.
- Although some have viewed him as controversial, Imam Shakeel has never shied away from speaking out when the rights of Muslims have been trampled upon. He has also lectured widely in mosques and other public platforms across the UK.
- Imam Shakeel Begg also works closely with a charity organization called Hhugs (Helping Households Under Great Stress); it helps families that have their loved ones languishing in prison.
- The LIC also under the tutorship of Imam Shakeel has been at the forefront in helping your UK Muslims from getting radicalized or traveling abroad to fight in Syria and Iraq.
Imam Shakeel Begg has indeed helped the Muslim community forge ahead cordial co existence with other communities and faiths not just in Lewisham, but in the larger UK.