At the outset I would like to wish everyone a Happy Eid-ul-Adha which is an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The Eid festival has significance not only in Islam but in Christianity and Judaism as well. Islam in fact regards Muslims, Christians and Jews as people of the book and Muslims believe the books of Allah are the Quran, the Torah, the Gospel and the Psalms of David.
Private Taju Deen and Captain Afzal Amin have recited a few verses from the Holy Quran relating to the birth of Jesus and I may add that the names of Moses and Jesus are mentioned more times in the Holy Quran than the name of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
Islam also has similarities with other religions such as Sikhism and I would like to say that the foundation stone of the Golden Temple in Amritsar was laid by a Muslim and there are writings of Sheikh Farid who was a Muslim in the Holy Book of the Sikhs which is of course the Guru Granth Sahib.
There are over 2 million Muslims in the United Kingdom and Muslims have been successful in every walk of life. There are a number of Muslims who feature prominently in professions, businesses, academia, politics, media and sports. There are also Muslims who are now serving in the Armed Forces as well as the police force and some of them have attained high ranks. Muslims have contributed substantially to the advancement and wellbeing of the United Kingdom.
Islam is indeed a religion of peace and nearly all Muslims are law-abiding citizens. In fact on my Coat of Arms I have two doves to signify peace in Islam. I regard myself as a British Peer who happens to be a Muslim and I am very active in the House of Lords, speaking on a variety of subjects.
The Conservative Party is an inclusive organisation and it is a one-nation party. I believe that the values of Muslims and ethnic minorities are very much akin to the beliefs of the Conservative Party and this is the reason I am a Conservative Peer. Everybody is most welcome to join the Conservative Party and in fact the membership of the Conservative Muslim Forum is open to all communities. Our leader, David Cameron, is opening the door further and promoting women and the ethnic minorities. Although our poll ratings are high, we are not complacent and we will continue to advocate our policies to the British population.
I have a business background and I have always believed in strong leadership and teamwork. We have a great leader in David Cameron and the Conservative Muslim Forum and all the other Conservatives will work effectively under David to win the next General Election and effect a change in Government which this country deserves. I would now to invite the Rt. Hon. David Cameron to speak to us.