An MCB preparatory committee was then formed to publicise and invite affiliations to the MCB and prepare for an Inaugural Meeting to formally launch the organisation and its membership. The preparatory committee met on 15th June 1996 (London), 7th September 1996 (Manchester), 3rd November 1996 (London), 15th March 1997 (Blackburn), 24th May 1997 (Leicester), 26th July 1997 (London), 20th September 1997 (London) and 1st November 1997 (London). Its work included a review of the Constitution and Standing Orders by the legal department of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, the renting of premises for the work of the newly found organisation, the placement of advertisements in the Muslim press inviting participation from Muslim organizations and the production of an information pack. The work culminated in the inauguration of the Muslim Council of Britain at Brent Town Hall on 23rd November 1997. The first General Assembly meeting was held on 1st March 1998 at which the MCB elected a Central Working Committee and office-bearers for the first time.
Every two years, the General Assembly, comprising delegates from all affliated organisations, meets to elect members of the National Council the decision making and oversight body of the MCB. Twenty-five delegates are elected as ‘national representatives’ and each zone elects one ‘zonal representative’. There are thus 37 elected members on the National Council.
Donations are also received by the MCB Charitable Foundation (MCBCF), an independent entity registered with the Charities Commissioners. It’s aim it to build a capital fund through which activities of the MCB that are exclusively charitable can be supported.
The final decision-making and ruling body of the MCB is its General Assembly that must meet at least once a year. The Assembly is comprised of delegates from affiliated bodies. The other organisational units within the MCB are the National Council, various specialist committees and task groups, and a Board of Counsellors.
Practically it does this through lively discussion at all decision making levels and through an obligation placed on the leadership to reflect the diversity of the British Muslim community.
The MCB’s Constitution and the Standing Orders place a duty upon the office bearers and the National Council to appoint an independent and impartial person as election commissioner six months in advance of the election process. The commissioner is empowered to act wholly independently of the National Council and the office bearers in the implementation and supervision of complex but essential election procedures. The office bearers, past or present, have no involvement with the election process.
The Muslim Council of Britain does not seek special rights or privileges for British Muslims. Its disproportionate attention to British Muslims is a result of the underprivileged status of the community in terms of inequality and injustice. The MCB seeks to mainstream British Muslims by removing barriers to integration, whether these be obstacles encountered within the community or without; such as in policy making or in our public discourse on Islam and Muslims. Some of our projects that seek to remove inequality and provide greater integration include;