Munir Farooqi ran Islamic dawah stalls in Manchester for many years. His objective was to build bridges between Manchester communities and explain what Islam had to offer in society in order to help clear common misconceptions about Islam. Through the stalls, he managed to communicate with a diverse audience amongst Muslims and non Muslims. He enjoyed the regular company of a respected Church Minister, who visits Munir even now in prison. Furthermore, many people grew a great interest in Islam and others even embraced Islam through the dawah stall by their own will.
Because of this Munir and others who ran the dawah stalls were continuously harrassed by the police and Manchester City Council. The council tried to pressure the closure of the stalls by accusing Munir for blocking the public pathway. The police would visit the stalls almost every week and intimidate the peaceful men at the stalls by taking details and confiscating items from the stall for examination. Both parties were unsuccessful in their attempts because Munir and his friends were doing nothing illegal. The stalls were running weekly for 10 years.
Over the years Munir noticed how not only was there a necessary need to educate the public about Islam, but also to support those who have committed themselves to Islam. Many a times new Muslims struggle due to family pressures and on the other hand, not recieving the adequate support from the Muslim community. Therefore, Munir would passionately be there to help both Muslims and non Muslims and was known for his generosity and hospitality; he openly invited people to his home and enjoyed discussions over home cooked meals
In 2008, the Counter Terrorism Unit launched an operation which involved two Undercover Officers faked their conversions to Islam after approaching the dawah stalls. They abused Munir’s hospitality, care, support and love and interpreted his good character into something evil and sinister. They lived as Muslims (hypocrites) in Manchester area for over a year. The entire community was spied upon. this included local businesses, mosques, community centers, and thousands of individuals. Their objective was to discover a terror gang which never actually existed. The police portrayed the dawah stalls as recruiting grounds for terrorism, as this was the only way to dysfunction the stalls!
After over a year’s Undercover surveillance, Munir Farooqi, his son and four others, Shaykh Asif Hussain Farooqi, Harris Farooqi, Israr Malik, and Matthew Newton were arrested under the Terrorism Act. This included a mosque Imam, who was seen as the heart of the operation of radicalisation. Surprisingly, the police decided to charge four of the men and released the Imam within seven days of his arrest, despite the fact that he was also under surveillance for 12 months and the other four were supposedly working under him (the Imam)!
In 2011 the four had a trial and Harris Farooqi the son of Munir farooqi, was portrayed to be the closest associate to his father, the alleged ring leader. However, Harris was rightfully, acquitted on a unanimous decision within the British courts.
No other member of the Farooqi household was seen as any threat or ever arrested on these charges, yet the police and CPS still attempted to confiscate the family home under Section 23A of Terrorism Act 2001. However by the will of Allah, strong legal grounds, constant campaigning & with your support they were successful in their fight to save their home.
Unfortunately Munir Farooqi and two others were wrongly convicted given unjust jail terms. Munir and Israr are still currently in prison seven years on.
MUNIR’S POOR REPRESENTATION
Munir Farooqi’s barrister, Lawrence McNulty, poorly represented Munir at trial to the extent that he was even found guilty on contempt on court for the way he carried himself during the trial! This clearly shows that Munir did not have the correct representation to begin with, let alone a fair trial! However, his appeals (to the High courts and CCRC) have still been rejected despite him not obtaining a fair trial.
The injustices don’t stop there. Now the Police and Legal Aid Agency demand half a million pounds recovery from Munir Farooqi for the cost of his defence at trial!
COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT- AGAIN!
How do they seek to recover this cost?
By eventually forcing a sale on two properties which Munir does not even own! These properties do not belong to Munir nor funded by him and they are the main source of income which supports three generations of a family.
First they were after the family home which housed three generations including children and a member who’s been acquitted from the British courts itself!