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About Mohammed Amin

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Mohammed Amin's photograph

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Mohammed Amin's photograph

The high resolution version of this photo suitable for printing is available by clicking the image.

Short personal profile

A short personal history

Why friends call me Amin

Why I wear a Union Jack lapel pin

My motto

Inclusion in published listings

Interviews, profile pieces and awards

Islamic finance

Corporate governance

Some organisations I am involved with

A word cloud of this page

Short personal profile

Mohammed Amin has on several occasions been listed as one of the hundred most influential Muslims in the UK.

Highlights of his educational history include:

For 33 years Amin practiced as a tax advisor, finishing with 19 years as a tax partner in Price Waterhouse / PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, retiring at the end of 2009. He was the first Muslim to be admitted to the Price Waterhouse partnership in the UK. He specialised in international tax, the taxation of derivatives and foreign exchange, and Islamic finance.

Notable roles at PW / PwC included

In retirement, as well as Islamic finance consulting and writing, Amin spends most of his time “giving back” to society by writing, speaking, informal mentoring and active involvement in many organisations, including the following leadership roles:

His service to the community was recognised by his selection as the Clare College Alumnus of the Year 2014.

In the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2016, Amin was awarded an MBE for services to Community Cohesion and Inter-faith Relations in Greater Manchester.

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A short personal history

My parents were both born in villages in Jalandhar, India, during the British Empire, in very poor families. Neither of them was able to go to school, which was one of the greatest regrets of my father’s life.

My grandfather was killed accidentally when quite young, and as the eldest son my father Shadi Mehrban (his obituary is here) came to the UK for the first time in 1931. His first daughter was born after he left India, grew to the age of about 13 and died of an illness without my father ever seeing her. He worked as a door to door peddler and as a professional wrestler, and was here during World War 2. He was one of the people who founded the Manchester Central Mosque in Victoria Park, Manchester.

After Partition (the division of British India into the independent states of India and Pakistan), my father spent six months searching in refugee camps in Pakistan before he found my mother’s family. Another daughter was born, and then my father returned to the UK. A few months later, he received a letter that at long last he had a son, Mohammed Amin. He celebrated this news in the traditional way, by preparing a meal for friends, at the Victoria Park mosque in Manchester. The 20 or so guests included many students and academics from the university.

After the meal, they wanted to have a collection of money for the baby. My father refused and asked them instead to raise their hands for a dua (a supplication to God) that his son should become as educated as they were. My life has shown that Allah granted their wish.

While I was very small, my sister who was a year or so older than me caught an infection and died. Having lost two children while he was far from them, my father then wrote to my mother, telling her to bring me to Manchester. I arrived in Britain in July 1952, aged 1 ¾, and my earliest memory is of a tantrum at our house in Manchester, wanting to go home to my grandmother, my uncles and my pet baby goat.

In those early years, my mother hated Britain for its weather and alien people, and because she missed her own mother. She stayed here for only one reason, my education, and never saw her mother again as my grandmother died about a decade later. My parents made enormous sacrifices for me, which could never be repaid, but I did the one thing that I could which was to stay with them instead of pursuing a career far away in London or overseas, and they lived with me until they died.

You can hear me speaking about "How my parents migrated to the UK." The greatest challenge in doing that talk was to avoid breaking down and crying.

My blessings

Despite growing up financially poor, I have long been conscious of the many advantages I was blessed with, none of which I can claim any credit for:

My parents never asked for anything in return.

However I was conscious of my own duties as their only son, of which perhaps the most important was to live with them. Accordingly I never contemplated working overseas, or even in the UK away from Manchester. Instead I lived with them, until it was a case of them living with me, until each of them died.

While this did constrain my career opportunities a bit, I was fortunate that Manchester is a large city, and in my chosen profession I was able to have all the opportunity and scope I could have wished for while living in Manchester. I only bought my London flat much later in life when my parents were deceased and my children were grown up.

I am conscious how many of my values such as charitable giving are derived from my parents' example. My father's obituary mentions how he began the first fundraising for the Victoria Park Mosque. In 1987 when he read the Urdu translation of an appeal for a charity that I was helping to found in memory of Ahmed Iqbal Ullah, a boy stabbed to death in Burnage High School, Manchester, my father asked me to write out a cheque on his bank account for him to sign. It was the last cheque he ever signed, as he died shortly afterwards.

My educational history

My parents always believed that that education was the route for me to have a better life than them.

My first encounter with the education system

At the age of three, my parents took me to the nursery which was part of a primary school. I didn't want to go, but was dragged there, wailing, with one parent holding each arm. As soon as we got there and my parents left me, I vomited. The rest of my educational career was better than this!

The following day my father had to come back into the school to talk to the nursery teachers. On my first day, the other children, all of whom were white British, would not allow me to play in the nursery sandpit. Although by then I had lived in the UK for over a year, as I had always been at home with my parents, I did not know a word of English and could not explain the problem to the nursery teacher. Once she had been informed, she took action and my father did not need to return again.

I also learned English rapidly, which illustrates why nursery education is particularly important for children from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Teachers who care make a massive difference

Although my nursery and primary school was part of a slum area, I cannot fault the effort the teachers put in. I was taught how to read about the age of six, and was was absorbed in books from then on.

I was a model pupil, and therefore never experienced corporal punishment for bad behaviour. However there was one incident which may horrify many readers today. In my penultimate year at primary school, I had started coasting. One day, the school headteacher, Mrs Ogden, stormed into the classroom and informed me that my class teacher Mr Billington was not happy with my arithmetic work. She gave me a sheet of arithmetic problems ("sums") to do in a short space to time, say 15 minutes, and to then take the completed work to her headteacher's office.

I completed the sums, and took them to Mrs Ogden. She marked them, and informed me that all were correct. Obviously I felt pleased. She then asked me why I did not get all my sums right all of the time?

I had no reply. She informed me that it was laziness, and she was going to stop me being lazy. She asked me to hold out my right hand, and I was hit twice with the leather strap that she used for corporal punishment. It was immensely painful, but of course caused no permanent damage. However it put the "fear of God" into me, and I never slacked again at primary school.

I will be forever in her debt.

At that age, I was unaware of racial discrimination. However it is clear that there was none at my primary school. The class of about 30 was divided into ability groups numbering 4-6 pupils. The small number of Pakistani origin children in the class were all allocated to the top ability group, obviously because it was chosen on pupils' ability and motivation, not on ethnicity.

Public libraries matter, especially for poorer families

Once I was a confident reader, my father took me to a public library, and for many years afterwards used to ferry me to different public libraries as I found libraries varied in their content.

As one does, I still remember the very first book I borrowed from a public library. It was a book of home chemistry experiments. While I read it, I was not able to perform any of the experiments. Our home did not have any of the items the author took for granted as being found in middle class households.

I was such voracious reader that my father could never have afforded the quantity of books that I read. In fact we owned very few books. However one of my most treasured possessions is a one-volume encyclopedia which I got my father to buy in a bookshop, even though the price must have been a large part of his total weekly income.

Later progression

I passed the 11+ examination to attend a state grammar school. My parents were so delighted that my father engaged a Pakistani friend to make laddoo in a large steel catering dish, sufficient to give 150 families bags containing about six items each. They were distributed to every Pakistani family we knew in Manchester.

The reason my parents cared so much about my education is very simple and is summarised by the saying “If you want to know why education is important, ask someone who has none.”

In 1968 I obtained 4 A levels, all at grade A.

From there, I went to Clare College, Cambridge, where I obtained a mathematics degree, class 3. (I had not worked very hard.)

I then went to Leeds University, where I obtained a Graduate Certificate in Education (usually known as a "PGCE") with a distinction in the written work.

In 1977, I qualified as a chartered accountant, having been placed fifth in the country (out of about 4,200 candidates) in the Part 1 examination.

In 1978 I became an associate of the Institute of Taxation, with a distinction in the examination.

In 1995, at the age of 44, I did the examinations to become an associate member of the Association of Corporate Treasurers.

In 1999, I became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation by submitting a fellowship thesis on “A detailed review of the new UK tax rules on corporate debt.” This thesis was awarded the Institute medal for the best fellowship thesis submitted in 1999.

My career history

As a teenager, my desire was to become an astronomer or theoretical physicist. However I realised at Cambridge that I would never be as good at this as I wanted, and had no alternative career plans.


After completing a PGCE, it is natural to apply for a job teaching. I was given a post at the first school I applied to, and spent one year teaching at a comprehensive school in Oldham. In my first half term holiday teaching, I had one of those moments of luck which can change your whole life.

Training an accountant and my first three firms


In Central library in Manchester, I saw a book on the shelf. The title was “Accounting: the basis for business decisions.” The book is still in print. On Amazon, the 11’th edition, with the same title and written by Walter B. Meigs and Robert F. Meigs is available for purchase.

The title of the book interested me. I turned a few pages, and was still interested, so I borrowed it. A week later I had read all 900 pages. I then read the intermediate volume, and the advanced volume and was hooked. That is how I got interested in accountancy.

Despite my interest, I only decided the following July to train as an accountant. By then, all of the big firms were full. I didn’t want to wait for another year so I started with a very small firm, 3 partners, about 24 staff with offices in Ashton under Lyne and Hyde. 18 months later the firm split, and I did the second half of my training in the Hyde part of the firm, which had one partner and 11 staff. It was at this small firm that I first became interested in taxation.

I left that firm upon qualifying as a chartered accountant and specialised in taxation, joining Arthur Andersen, then the largest accounting firm in the world, in their Manchester office. After three years, I was promoted to manager, and attended the Arthur Andersen new manager school in St Charles, Illinois, USA, which my first ever foreign trip and spent a few days visiting Washington DC as I have always admired American democracy.

Using technology

My first encounters with computers at Cambridge were dismally unsuccessful. In the first year, we had a part time one-week course in the computer language FORTRAN. At that time, the university mainframe occupied a building, and we students had to use a paper tape punching keyboard to create our program, which was left in a hopper to be run overnight. The following day you received a printed syntax errors report, to explain why it had not run. You then typed a new paper tape, which had different errors. In the entire week my simple program never ran!

In my second year, the technology had moved on to having a live teletype keyboard connected up to the mainframe. I still remember creating a program to compute the Euler–Mascheroni constant by iteratively summing a series, with the iteration stopping when the difference between successive numbers in the series falling below a fixed limit I had set.

After I told the teletype to RUN the programme, I waited about 30 minutes, and there was no response. I then realised that my program was computing N terms and summing them, and then comparing the N'th term with the N+1'th term, to see if it should stop. If not, it was throwing away the entire calculation and computing N+1 terms to sum the series again (i.e. not keeping the sum of the N terms previously computed) and then comparing the N+1'th term with the N+2'th term. It was hopelessly inefficient, which is why it never produced a result in the time available.

These experiences put me off computers for about eight years. What reactivated my interest was seeing an Acorn Atom (a very early British microcomputer) being used to play a computer game on a visit to Cambridge for the annual Cambridge University Go Society dinner.

It was at Arthur Andersen that I first got my hands on a computer. On Saturday mornings, I used to go into the office to learn how to program in BASIC on the tax department's Commodore PET computer. In passing, this illustrates the importance of investing in yourself, by spending time to learn new skills.

When the tax department got its first IBM PC, I was given a special responsibility for it, and taught myself to use the first commercial spreadsheet program, Visicalc. Indeed, I never attended a Visicalc course, but I did help to deliver the tax department's first Visicalc course for staff. (As a further example of investing in oneself, I bought an IBM PC for my personal use at home, despite the cost representing about 20% of my annual salary. This was the main foundation of my technology skills.)

Three years later in 1984 I left Arthur Andersen to join a small firm in Wigan. I became a partner there after 18 months, but another 18 months later realised that I preferred large firms.

Price Waterhouse (PricewaterhouseCoopers from 1998)

I joined Price Waterhouse as a senior manager in 1987 and became a partner in 1990. I was the first Muslim partner in Price Waterhouse in the UK.

At the firm I had a number of specialisms and roles, including the following:

Marketing tax technology

As mentioned above, I first developed an interest in computing from a user's perspective at Arthur Andersen, and maintained that at my small firm in Wigan. At PW starting in 1993 I led the team responsible for marketing the firm's PowerTax corporation tax return preparation software throughout the UK and was a member of PW's international network of tax technology specialists.

Taxation of Treasury Transactions

From around 1992 I specialised in the taxation of treasury transactions, which is the reason I joined the Association of Corporate Treasurers (ACT). In fact I was the first partner within the PW tax practice in the UK to take the ACT examinations, and afterwards encouraged many others to also become members.

From 2001-2005 I led PwC’s treasury taxation network in the UK.

I began writing a finance and treasury blog for PwC in 2005, which I understand was the first official blog from a PwC person anywhere in the world and the first from anyone in the Big 4 accounting firms in the UK.

Estate planning

I developed a specialist interest in this at my small firm in Wigan and continued it at PW. This led to my becoming a member of STEP (The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). I remained a member for a few years until my other specialisms meant that I was not longer sufficiently active in estate planning.

Stamp duty

While stamp duty is generally regarded as an esoteric specialism, I developed an interest in the subject while at Arthur Andersen, and found stamp duty issues cropping up from time to time ever afterwards. Around 2002 I led the PwC stamp duty practice in the UK for about 18 months to cover a gap between more specialist leaders.

PwC UK Supervisory Board

In 2003, I was elected by PwC’s partners to be a member of the Supervisory Board.

This is an elected committee of 15 partners which has the responsibility of seeing how well the firm’s management is running the firm, approving the firm’s accounts, approving the admission and retirement of partners etc. The Supervisory Board also conducts the election of the firm's Senior Partner, sets his compensation, monitors his performance on behalf of all partners and if necessary has the responsibility of dismissing him. Being elected by my partners to serve on the Supervisory Board demonstrates their trust in me to supervise the firm's management on their behalf.

Islamic finance

Starting in 2005, I became an expert in the taxation of Islamic finance and then in Islamic finance more generally, being appointed as PwC’s UK Islamic finance leader in 2007 and part of PwC’s four person global Islamic finance leadership team.

On 31 December 2009 I retired from PwC.

My political history

I have been an avid follower of politics for virtually all my life. The earliest political memory I have is of Conservative Party posters from what must have been the general election of 1959. In 1960 I was aware of the US presidential election and despite being only 10 years old got up early to see if my hero John F. Kennedy had succeeded in beating Richard Nixon.

Labour Party

That is how I have always remembered Wilson's words. Looking at his speech as a whole, it is a fair summation of it.

However what he actually said on page 7 last paragraph of column 1 was "The Britain that is going to be forged in the white heat of this revolution..."

When I was 14, I stayed up all night to watch the results of the British general election, as well as the American presidential election, and still remember Harold Wilson's phrase "the white heat of the technological revolution." It was natural for me to support the Labour Party; my father did so, I was conscious that we were poor and working class and also because Harold Wilson was so much more charismatic than Sir Alec Douglas-Home.

My first serious encounter with Marxism was at secondary school, when one of the German assistants ran an optional after-school reading class. I can still regard group reading of rather turgid paragraphs about Feuerbach from "The German Ideology" by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

At Cambridge I naturally joined the Cambridge University Labour Club. However I also joined the Cambridge University Conservative Association because some of my close friends were Conservatives and because the Conservative Association had more interesting speaker meetings with better food! At Cambridge I was also a regular reader of a local political newspaper sold on the streets called "The Shilling Paper." (A shilling = 5p in decimal currency.) Under its influence my views gradually became more left wing.



Around that time, I was heavily influenced by the writings of Isaac Deutscher, in particular his brilliantly written three volume biography of Leon Trotsky. I also read three of Trotsky's own works, three works by Vladimir Lenin, as well as many other left wing writings. Accordingly, while I was at Leeds University for my post-graduate Certificate in Education I was a Trotskyist. I joined my first political party of any kind during that year, the Socialist Labour League which later became the Workers Revolutionary Party. However, apart from reading, my political activities consisted only of attending meetings in the Leeds University Union!

Once I started teaching, I saved money and in shortly afterwards in late 1974 made my first equity investment, £50 into a unit trust, which is a type of open ended investment scheme. Such investing is not really consistent with Trotskyist views, and my politics morphed back to mainstream Labour.

Liberal Party

Scan of Liberal Party membership card

My first engagement with active politics came in 1977 when I joined the Liberal Party and became a deliverer of leaflets. I was devastated when Margaret Thatcher won in 1979. (I used to think that I joined the Liberal Party early in Margaret Thatcher's premiership, but in October 2020 came across my 1977 LIberal Party membership card.)

I stood as a "paper candidate" (one who is on the ballot paper but with no party resources devoted to campaigning) for the local council. Despite my only being a paper candidate, my wife and I delivered one leaflet to the entire ward but without any success of course!

Conservative Party

Around 1983 I realised that although I fraternised well with my local fellow Liberals, when it came to any discussions of policy I tended to disagree with them and instead to agree with the Government. In particular, I had been influenced by Milton Friedman's television series "Free to Choose" which is now freely available on the internet at the link, and then by reading the book of the same title. You can also watch the first episode of "Free to Choose" below.

Accordingly one day I shocked them by resigning from the Liberal Party and joining the Conservative Party.

The complexity of political vocabulary is shown by the fact that I am a Conservative (i.e. a member of the Conservative Party) but I am not a conservative (an attitude to change.) I joined the Conservative Party because I saw Margaret Thatcher radically changing Britain for the better. I am an internationally minded liberal (an attitude to the world, and in traditional language a supporter of open trade and free-market capitalism) but I am not a Liberal (a member of the Liberal Party, now the Liberal Democrat Party.)

I attended my first Conservative Party conference in Brighton in 1984. That was the conference the IRA bombed; fortunately my hotel was many miles away. I can still feel the grim, totally determined atmosphere of the conference on the Friday, as all of us were utterly resolved to carry on despite the IRA. The final phrase of Margaret Thatcher's speech still rings in my ears "Democracy will prevail."

After I joined Price Waterhouse in 1987 I became too busy professionally for active politics and did not attend the party conference again until 2008. However, in the summer of 2006 a personal friend introduced me to Lord Sheikh and the Conservative Muslim Forum. Since then I was active in the CMF, serving initially as its only Vice-Chairman, and then as Deputy Chairman. From 25 June 2014 until 20 June 2019 I served as the CMF's Chairman which was terminated when I was expelled from the CMF.

The following month I resigned from the Conservative Party on 23 July 2019 when Boris Johnson was elected as its Leader, as I had promised to do several weeks beforehand.

Liberal Democrat Party

After resigning from the Conservative Party, I decided to remain outside any political party until the end of 2019, in case Mr Johnson ceased to be its leader by then. However towards the end of October 2019 a general election was called for 12 December 2019.

Given the importance of this election to the outcome of Brexit, I decided I could not stay on the sidelines, and joined the Liberal Democrat Party on 28 October 2019. It was publicised as an exclusive in an interview with Maajid Nawaz on LBC on 2 November 2019.

My voluntary activities history

It has always been my nature to get involved and help. Some of my various roles within PwC have been mentioned above. The list of organisations that I am involved with gives the current position; below is a retrospective.


My voluntary activities in chess are only listed in outline form below. For more details, read "My chess autobiography written for the Manchester and District Chess Association ("MDCA") written in 1990.


At Cambridge and Leeds I played the Japanese board game of go, and helped to run the go club in both universities.

Institute of Taxation and Association of Corporate Treasurers

Professionally, after joining the Institute of Taxation I got involved with the branch, serving as treasurer, then secretary and then branch chairman. Nationally I got involved around 2000 and in 2003 was elected onto the Council of the Chartered Institute of Taxation where I served until 2015 when I stepped down due to the 12 year term limit.

Similarly, in 2004 I joined the Policy & Technical Committee of the Association of Corporate Treasurers. I served on the committee until late 2012 when I stood down due to time pressures.

Asian and Muslim groups

In the 1980’s I helped to set up the Asian Circle in Manchester, and assisted the Muslim Youth Foundation.

In the 1990’s I helped with the initial setting up of the Ansar Finance Group.

I have been a strong supporter of the Manchester Islamic Schools Trust which runs a primary school (the one my wife taught at) and two secondary schools.

In the 2000’s I supported the establishment of the British Muslim Heritage Centre which is a major project in Manchester to acquire a grade 2 listed building and convert it into a residential conference centre.

From June 2008 to June 2010 I was a member of the Central Working Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain and chairman of the MCB’s Business & Economics Committee.

Salford University

Towards the end of 2012 I joined the Council of Salford University. I also served on the Nominations & Governance Committee and the Audit Committee. I resigned in July 2013 as my role on the UoS Council was taking me away from London too much, and I wanted to concentrate more on my political and media commitments. It was a difficult decision, but in life it is important to proritise.

While it is important to balance time spent on work and family with voluntary commitments, my experience has been that such voluntary commitments provide excellent personal skills development and experience. They also serve to raise your profile.

My religious history

As both of my parents were Muslims, they obviously raised me as a Muslim. I remember, aged in single figures, being sent to a nearby home to learn how to read Arabic text out loud.

Eid was a major festival twice a year. As mentioned in his obituary, my father was one of the founders of Manchester Central Mosque in Victoria Park, Manchester. The Mosque had a regular Sunday school, but I have to confess that I missed attending quite often. One of the great regrets in my life is that I was absent on the day that Malcolm X visited Manchester including our mosque (it would have been December 1964), so I missed my only chance to see this great man.

Agnostic then atheist

I have always had a questioning mind, and gradually became agnostic about religion. In my mid-teens, some of my friends and I applied to join the Manchester YMCA to use their snooker and table tennis facilities. On their application forms, all of my friends stated their religion as “Muslim” and had no problems joining. I had stated my religion as “agnostic” and needed to be interviewed by the admissions officer. He explained that as an agnostic, I was a borderline admissions case, but he was going to admit me along with my friends. However, he made it clear that if I had stated my religion as “atheist”, he would have rejected me!

A little while later, my views changed again, from being agnostic to being atheist. I have always believed in acting on one’s beliefs, so I joined the British Humanist Association, now called Humanists UK. This was very much a postal relationship as I do not recall ever attending any kind of event in Manchester. In that sense, it was rather like my entirely postal relationship for a year as a member of British Mensa.

Being an atheist did not stop me reading many library books about other religions. I also sent off for a series of free leaflets published by the Catholic Truth Society to learn about Roman Catholicisim. I do not remember any of the detail contents except for one item. Unlike probably most people I am completely clear about the distinction between “The Immaculate Conception” and “The Virgin Birth” as a result of reading those leaflets.

I have always been completely open with friends, family and colleagues. My parents were of course deeply disappointed by my abandoning Islam, but it had no impact on their love for me.


My belief in God returned in an unusual way.

My first radio was a cheap USSR manufactured shortwave transistor radio, purchased at the age of 17. One of the programs I found surfing the airwaves was  “The World Tomorrow” presented by Garner Ted Armstrong. This charismatic speaker explained that prophecies describing the world today and predictions for the near future could be distilled from the text of the Bible. The programme offered a free magazine supplied by post called “The Plain Truth” which I sent off for.

I found the message of the radio programme and magazine, particularly their predictions about the future, compelling. They were part of a religious organisation called the Radio Church of God, which then changed its name to the Worldwide Church of God. From its doctrines, one would objectively describe it as a breakaway Seventh-day Adventist group. The Church described itself as the one true church, and it offered a detailed history connecting it to the apostles, via such groups as the followers of Peter Waldo.

My parents regarded my becoming a Christian as an improvement on being an atheist! I was once again acknowledging the existence of God and there is a significant overlap between Islam and Christianity.

The Church was strictly Sabbatarian. At the end of my first year at Cambridge University, Clare College was incredibly kind to me with my tutor Colin Turpin accommodating me all Saturday including an overnight stay at his home so that I could be sequestered in order to take one of my examination papers a day late on Sunday, to avoid breaking the Sabbath.

A few years later, I became dissatisfied with the Church because it was quite clear that the prophecies they were making were not happening.

Of course, many religious organisations make prophecies which they then reinterpret in the light of new developments. For example, the Jehovah’s Witnesses originally expected the second coming of Jesus Christ in 1914. When World War I happened instead, they decided that was “sufficiently close” and continued existence instead of disbanding!

Muslim again

Accordingly, about the age of 27 I abandoned the Worldwide Church of God and reverted to Islam.


I have no regrets about my detour into Christianity as I learned a great deal about the religion. As well as a thorough reading of the Bible (from Genesis to Revelation, including the Apocrypha) and literature from the Worldwide Church of God, I also read about many other Christian sects, as well as more mainstream Christian texts and other texts such as the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha.

Although a practising Muslim from then onwards, I did not read books about it, but instead simply observed the dietary requirements, fasting, abstinence from alcohol, Eid etc. The turning point was going on Hajj, after which I became much more involved with Islam.

Pilgrimage to Mecca

In 2002 with my wife I performed the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. When I returned, I wrote a personal memoir of Hajj for my colleagues at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Looking back after eight years, I can see how much Hajj changed my life.

The most important day of Hajj is the day you stand on the plain of Arafat and request blessings from God. Standing there, I realised that after good health for myself and my family, what I wanted most was to help others, especially other Muslims, to experience the personal success that God has granted me in my life. That has become my post retirement mission for the rest of my life.

My wife and children

After your parents, nobody influences you more, for better or worse, than your spouse.

Unlike my father, Tahara’s father was very highly educated, being a non-practicing barrister with four degrees. She came to Britain at the age of 11, speaking no English, but got her "A" levels. Her parents had no hesitation in letting her go away from home to attend Keele University, where she graduated in Chemistry and Biology with a minor in Education.

When we got married, she was in her second year of teaching at a school in Folkestone, and completed the year. She then had 17 years at home bringing up four children, before returning to teaching on 24 hours notice to cover for an absent teacher at our daughters’ school.

Tahara had previously helped in a voluntary capacity at the Manchester Muslim Preparatory School, then in its early days. Accordingly, she moved to working there and served for one year as a class teacher. The head teacher position then became vacant, and she obtained it, serving as the school head teacher for 10 years before retiring in 2007. In her last year, the school won the award for the best Muslim primary school in the North region at the Global Peace and Unity Event, and won it again the year after she had retired.

We have four children, whose diversity is illustrated by their choices to study classics, computer software engineering, archaeology and Japanese at university. The eldest, Ibrahim is now a published author, and details of his first book "the Monster Hunter's Handbook" are on this website.

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Why friends call me Amin

I have often been asked why my close friends and work colleagues call me “Amin.” A few years ago I wrote it down because I was asked the question by email and I have shared it here.

When I was born, I had only a single name "Mohammedamin" as names were very simple in our village. e.g. my father only had one name, "Mehrban." When we came to the UK and I attended primary school, my name was subdivided and I attended primary school as "Ameen Mohammed" and naturally got used to being called Ameen by all my friends. (My parents only ever referred to me as Mohammedamin.)

At 11 when I went to grammar school, they wanted a birth certificate. As I didn't have one, my father swore a statutory declaration regarding parenthood and date of birth. In that, he gave my name orally, which the solicitor quite reasonably transcribed as Mohammed Amin, which is what I have been legally since. However, by then I was used to being called Amin by my friends.

This was amplified by the fact that ours was a traditional grammar school, where teachers, and to a large extent also other pupils, referred to pupils by their surname only. "Noonan, where is your homework?"

The end result is that even my wife and my sister call me Amin.

Amongst Pakistanis, while Mohammed is commonly used as a given name, it is usually combined with something else. e.g. I have a cousin called Mohammed Anwar, and he might be called "Anwar" by friends or "Mohammed Anwar" more formally, but not "Mohammed." However, my wife has pointed out that this is cultural rather than religious, and that Muslims from elsewhere do use "Mohammed" by itself.

However, I answer to almost anything, even "Hey you." For example people I got to know at the Cambridge University Go Society (a Japanese board game) still refer to me as "Mo" some fifty years later.

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Why I wear a Union Jack lapel pin

Since October 2009, I have worn a Union Jack lapel pin on each of my jackets. I have written a page which explains the reason.

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My motto

My motto "Each of us changes the world every day. We can choose to make it a better place." is a reminder about personal responsibility and choice.

Some people, for example Bill Gates or Nelson Mandela, change the world in ways that are completely transformative. Few of us can aspire to that. However each of us can do something to make the world better.

Sometimes this takes a great act of courage, for example the Holocaust rescuers mentioned in "The other Schindlers"; however it can be as simple as deciding never to drop litter in the streets. All of us make choices, and we are accountable to ourselves, to our communities and ultimately to God for the choices that we make.

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Inclusion in published listings

In early 2005, I was flabbergasted to be telephoned out of the blue and told that I was to be included in the "Asian Power 100", a list of the 100 most influential Asians in Britain. The listing, eventually published in September 2005 was compiled by Carter Andersen. Even though at that time I was on the Supervisory Board of the largest firm of accountants in the UK, it never occurred to me that I might be included in a list alongside people like Lakshmi Mittal and Amartya Sen.

In late 2006 Carter Andersen informed me that they intended to publish a similar list of the 100 most influential Muslims in the UK, the "Muslim Power 100". As well as including me in the list, they asked me to be part of the judging panel. The list was published in February 2007.

On 30 April 2010 I was included in the "Muslim Power List 2010".This is a list of 99 individuals which is categorised by people's field of activity and I was included in the Politics and Government category.

A few years later, perhaps around 2015, I learned that there was a list of British Pakistanis on Wikipedia with me included in the Business and Finance Section. In February 2019 I was contacted by a Wikipedia editor, Sansonic, who stated that he was one of the editors of that page and that his identity, Mr Hassan Sajjad, was publicly disclosed on his Wikepdia user page.

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Personal interviews, profile pieces and awards

The items below are listed in reverse date order, with the newest first.

Interview by Rizwan Akram of Pakistan

This 29-minute interview in June 2020 covers my family's personal history for the first half, before moving on to my opinions about the development of Pakistan and the progress of Pakistani origin people in Britain. Link to watch the full interview.

Interview on Islamic Finance Guru website

In this 40-minute interview in September 2019 I explained how I discovered my post-retirement purpose in life while on Hajj. I also discussed why I am so keen on promoting Islamic finance, and offered some life-advice to younger people. Link to watch the full interview.

64-minute interview with The Middle West Podcast

The Middle West Podcast appears fortnightly and describes itself as "dealing with Western and inherently Islamic issues through the lens of #BalancingTheDiscourse." This wide-ranging interview in August 2019 covered my life journey, the British political scene, individuals and the state, radicalisation, and my key message for young British Muslims. You can listen to the full interview.

Radio Interview: My Messages for Young Muslims

In October 2017, while attending a religious freedom symposium in Provo, Utah, I was interviewed on Brigham Young University Radio. In 16 minutes, I explained what motivates me, and my key messages for young Muslims. The most important one is that the world is not against Muslims, and they can succeed in British or American society. The page "Radio Interview: My Messages for Young Muslims" contains a link for listening to the interview.

Member of the Order of the British Empire

I received an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 10 June 2016.

Clare College Alumnus of the Year 2014

The Clare College Alumni Council elected me to be Alumnus of the Year 2014. You can watch my 22-minute Alumnus of the Year speech.

"Reflections" article about why I set up my website

"Reflections" is the magazine for retired PwC partners and directors. The Winter 2012 issue carried a 750 word article about why I set up my website and how I went about it.

Video interview with WNY Muslims website - my view of life in 12 minutes

On 27 December 2011 I was visited for lunch by a Muslim I had met only once before, about 20 years ago, when I gave him some career advice. While he is originally from Manchester, he now lives in western New York state in the USA. I was surprised when he asked if he could record a 12-minute video interview with me.

"Tax Adviser" magazine article about my website project

The February 2011 edition of "Tax Adviser", the house magazine of the Chartered Institute of Taxation, carried an article about me constructing my website in retirement.

"Jewish Chronicle" on my role with Muslim Jewish Forum

On 10 December 2010 the northern edition of the Jewish Chronicle carried an article by Nathan Jeffay based on a telephone interview that I gave him.

Radio interview with Mike Shaft, BBC Radio Manchester

On 7 November 2010 I visited BBC Radio Manchester to be interviewed by Mike Shaft. The main purpose of the interview was to discuss the relative closeness of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as Mike's producer had read Triangulating the Abrahamic Faiths. However the interview developed into a more wide ranging chat about how I found growing up in Manchester in the 1950's as a young immigrant of Pakistani origin and what drove me to succeed in my career.

Thanks to the BBC supplying me with the sound files, you can still listen to my interview with Mike Shaft.

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Islamic finance

I am an Islamic finance specialist, with a particular interest in how Islamic finance is treated in Western tax and regulatory systems. Until I retired at the end of 2009 I led PwC’s Islamic Finance practice in the UK as well as being a member of PwC’s four-person Global Islamic Finance Leadership Team.

Apart from PwC, I have had the following organisational involvements.

I regularly contribute articles and book chapters on Islamic finance to a range of professional and industry publications, many of which can be read on my Islamic finance page. In particular, I wrote the Alternative Finance Arrangements (Islamic Finance) section of the LexisNexis Finance Act Handbook from 2005-2010, and was the original author of the corresponding section in Simon’s Taxes which is the leading tax encyclopedia in the UK, and write the Islamic finance section of Simon's Tax Planning.

Since September 2015, I have written a monthly column, "A Letter from Amin", in the magazine "Islamic Finance News."

I have spoken on Islamic finance on every continent except Antarctica! As well as many presentations in the UK, some of the cities outside the UK where I have spoken are, in alphabetical order: Doha, Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Greenwich Connecticut, Istanbul, Jakarta, Kazan, Kuala Lumpur, Luxembourg, Melbourne, Milan, Moscow, Muscat, New York, Paris, Sao Paulo, Strasbourg, Toronto, Tripoli, Tunis and Warsaw. Some of these presentations were particularly memorable:

In 2011 WikiLeaks revealed that in early 2009 the American ambassador quoted me in a cable to the State Department.

I was the lead researcher and principal author of the report "Cross border taxation of Islamic finance in the MENA region Phase One" which was published on 13 February 2013 by the Qatar Financial Centre Authority.

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Corporate governance

From both my professional career and my voluntary activities, I have developed a strong interest in how successful organisations should be run, and the boundary between management and governance. In particular my profession gave me extensive experience of client boards, both well run ones and those not so well run.

I have listed some of my specific roles below.

PwC Supervisory Board

The partners of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP elect a Senior Partner who is empowered to manage the firm, appointing his Executive Board to assist him. While the Senior Partner is accountable to the partners, they do not have the time or sufficient access to confidential information to supervise the activities of management. Accordingly the partners elect 15 partners to the Supervisory Board, which is given a number of powers under the PwC Members Agreement, including the power to dismiss the Senior Partner. PwC's website explains the role of the Executive Board and the Supervisory Board.

I was elected to the PwC Supervisory Board in 2003, re-elected in 2007 and served on it until retirement at the end of 2009. During that time I was also a member of PwC's Audit and Risk Committee; PwC UK is a £2 billion turnover business which is required to publish audited accounts.

Council of the Chartered Institute of Taxation

The CIOT is the leading professional body in the UK for advisers dealing with all aspects of taxation. It is a charity with over 16,000 members, and a turnover of over £5 million. Its affairs are governed by its Council, and I served as an elected member of Council from 2003 until 2015 when I retired due to the application of the CIOT's term limit.

Salford University

In common with most other universities, Salford University is ultimately governed by its Council, which has a majority of independent members, one of whom was me. The published accounts show the significant scale of the University's operations, with revenues of £184 million in the year to 31 July 2012. I joined the Council in November 2012 standing down early in July 2014 as attending Salford University meetings was taking me away from London for a greater amount of time than I could accept.

Manchester TEC Ltd

For 5 years from 1991 - 1996 I served as a non-executive director of Manchester TEC Ltd, the Training and Enterprise Council for Manchester, Salford, Tameside and Trafford. In this role, I also served on the TEC’s audit committee and took a particular interest in the operational independence of the internal audit team. We also dismissed the TEC's Chief Executive during the time I was on the Board.

Chess organisation

I was involved in the organisation of chess in Manchester and subsequently nationally from around 1970 until 2014. This has included serving for two years as President of the Manchester and District Chess Association, and serving in the 1980's on the Management Board of the British Chess Federation including serving as Finance Director 1984-1989.

The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester

I dealt with all of the paperwork for the incorporation of this company limited by guarantee. Since its incorporation in 2005 I have served as a director, initially as Treasurer and since 2013 as Co-Chair.

Curriculum for Cohesion

Since 2016 I have been a director and trustee of this company limited by guarantee which is also registered with the Charity Commission as a charity.

Movement 46 Limited

This small company limited by guarantee is a political organisation. I have served as a director since 2019.

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Some organisations I am involved with

With some organisations I am deeply involved and spend a great deal of time. Examples are being Co-Chair of The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester and until 20 June 2019 being Chairman of The Conservative Muslim Forum.

At the opposite extreme, in many cases all I can do is make an annual donation to them.

Rather than trying to rank them by the level of my involvement, which can change over time, they are simply listed alphabetically.

Abdullah Quilliam Society
William Henry Quilliam, a Liverpool solicitor embraced Islam in 1887 and took on the name Abdullah. He built a flourishing community in Liverpool of converts to Islam and established the Mosque and Liverpool Muslim Institute at 8-10 Brougham Terrace, Liverpool which was Britain's first community mosque. The building later became a registry office, but is now being restored by the Abdullah Quilliam Society as a mosque and heritage centre. The Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester visited it in March 2015. I have joined the Friends of Abdullah Quilliam.
Adam Smith Institute
Ever since it was set up, I have read newspaper articles by people like Madsen Pirie and concurred with the views expressed. The Adam Smith Institute is unafraid of thinking radical thoughts; for example their briefing paper "Does inequality matter?" A few years ago, I realised I should not be sitting on the sidelines but helping them, if only financially, so I joined. Since I started spending most of my time in London, I have enjoyed attending the ASI's events.
Aegis Trust
This is a genocide prevention organisation that emerged from the work of the Holocaust Centre in Nottingham. It also acts as the secretariat of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Genocide Prevention and is responsible for the Kigali Memorial Centre in Rwanda.
Altrincham Muslim Association
This charity operates a mosque and Islamic centre in Altrincham, near Manchester. I started supporting them because my wife and I knew many of the people involved both socially and through other charities that we were involved in. While on average Muslims in the UK are relatively poorer and less well educated than the majority Anglo-Saxon population, because Altrincham is an affluent area, this group of Muslims consists mostly of highly educated individuals with many doctors and other professionals.
Amnesty International
Because we are a free society, our citizens need not fear arbitrary arrest and imprisonment or torture. Many in the world are far less fortunate, and Amnesty does wonderful work in this area.
Ansar Finance Group
I have given occasional pro bono advice since the organisation was established in the early 1990's. It is a community Islamic finance initiative.
Armed Forces Muslim Forum
I am very supportive of Muslims serving in the UK's Armed Forces. Accordingly I was delighted to be asked to join the Armed Forces Muslim Forum, and I attended the launch event at the Ministry of Defence on 23 July 2014. The Conservative Muslim Forum website also has links to the Armed Forces' recruitment pages.
Association of Corporate Treasurers
Associate Membership of the ACT is one of my professional qualifications. I also served as a member of the Policy & Technical Committee from 2004 - 2012.
Barnabas Fund
I am deeply concerned by the persecution of Christians around the world, including in many Muslim majority countries. Barnabas Fund is a UK charity which combats such overseas persecution and I give it an annual donation.
British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS)
BRAIS is a learned society and professional organisation focused on enhancing research and teaching about Islam and Muslim cultures and societies in UK higher education. The association provides a forum for academic exchange for scholars with an interest in any aspect of Islam and the Muslim world (including non-Muslim majority societies), and acts as an umbrella organisation for members working in a wide range of disciplines and geographical interest areas. I first became aware of BRAIS after receiving a mailshot about the three-day BRAIS Conference 2015 which I attended. As I have a strong lay interest in Islamic studies, I have joined as an Associate Member.
British Friends of Merchavim
Merchavim (the Institute for the Advancement of Shared Citizenship in Israel) is an NGO in Israel founded by Mike Prashker. I met him in 2009 when I visited Israel with FODIP, and in 2013 became a donor.
British Go Association
The BGA is the organising body for the oriental game of go in the UK. (Even though it looks odd, lowercase "go" is correct, since the word is a common noun, like "chess" and "football", and not a proper noun like "Scrabble" or "Monopoly".) I joined the BGA as soon as I started at Cambridge University, and realised recently that my membership of the BGA is by far the longest continuous membership of my life. I recall serving as auditor for a while in the 1980's. Otherwise have not until 2021 held formal office in the BGA, but because I knew many of its leadership occasionally helped with informal advice. In May 2021 I was co-opted onto the Council.
British Muslim Heritage Centre
This charity has bought a splendid listed building near my home which will be a residential conference centre and will include a permanent exhibition about Islam in the UK. I provide them with informal pro-bono advice.
Campaign Against Antisemitism
Antisemitism has been a stain on Europe for almost 2,000 years, and is sadly also very common in Muslim majority countries. In Britain, Jews suffer more hate crime per capita than any other group that I am aware of. That is why I have become a supporter of this organisation.
Campaign for Dignity in Dying
This is a national campaign and membership organisation seeking to legalise assisted dying, within upfront safeguards, for terminally ill, mentally competent adults. I joined because I believe that terminally ill patients should have the right to decide for themselves whether to continue to live in pain or to end their lives.
Chartered Institute of Taxation
I passed the examination to join the Institute of Taxation (now the Chartered Institute of Taxation) in 1978. It is the professional body I have been most actively involved in, as giving tax advice was my career from 1977 until I retired at the end of 2009. From 2003 until 2015 I served on the Council and on the Corporate Taxes Subcommittee. I retain an active interest in tax policy.
Children of Peace
This is a non-partisan, multi faith charity dedicated to building friendship, trust and reconciliation between Israeli and Palestinian children, aged 4 - 17, and their communities. I recently became a Friend of the charity because I believe that action on the ground can help to bring about reconciliation between Jews and Palestinians, and because children’s lives should not be blighted while adults spend years negotiating peace. I have also given them an interview.
Clare College, Cambridge
I attended Clare College many years ago. It is the most popular college in Cambridge, receiving the highest number of applications per place, and indeed Clare has the second highest absolute number of applicants after Trinity College. Since 2011 I have served on the Alumni Council as Year Group Representative for my matriculation year of 1969. I was delighted to learn in September 2013 that I had been chosen as Alumnus of the Year for 2014. An impromptu speech at a celebratory dinner hosted by Lord Sheikh enabled me to share some very personal thoughts about how attending Cambridge changed my life. I also gave a passionate speech at Clare College when I was presented with the award, and on the same day was interviewed by a student. The interview was published in the Clare News Summer 2014 edition.
Concordia Forum
The Concordia Forum is a Muslim retreat organised by Unitas Communications. I attended every annual session from 2008 (inception) to 2012, missed the 2013 gathering, attended in 2014, missed several years but attended again in 2018 and 2023.
Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU)
From its establishment in 1967, Caabu has taken on a strong political, educational and media role. A cross-party organisation, with Chairs from all the main political parties, Caabu works to advance Arab-British relations through its support for international law, human rights and democracy. I support it by being a member.
Council of Christians and Jews (CCJ)
CCJ was founded in 1942 by Chief Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz and Archbishop William Temple. The aim was for Jews and Christians to meet together in local groups, to understand each other a little better and to recognise the humanity in the other. I became a member in late 2014 after learning that you do not need to be Christian or Jewish; the sole requirement is supporting its objectives.
Curriculum for Cohesion
Curriculum for Cohesion is developing a method for understanding religion in a multi-faith world, with a focus on Islam, for the use of teachers, lecturers and the judiciary.
Defend Free Speech campaign
I have been passionate about freedom of speech from childhood. From memory, the first law book I ever read, as a teenager, was an American one called "Censorship, the Search for the Obscene." The Defend Free Speech campaign brings together people from all walks of life. Secular and religious, right and left. We have recognised the threat to free speech from Extremism Disruption Orders. We want the Government to pull back from the brink before the legislation passes and guarantee freedom of expression and the right to debate.
Dialogue Society
This charity advances social cohesion by connecting communities through dialogue. It was founded by British Muslims of Turkish background inspired by the teachings and example of Fethullah Gulen. I first met them in 2009 when I spoke there on behalf of the Conservative Muslim Forum, and have since attended a number of events, including visiting Istanbul as their guest to meet organisations they co-operate with. They have recently launched their community dialogue manuals.
Electoral Reform Society
I believe it is important to have an electoral system in which every vote counts, and in which you can vote for the candidates you really support, rather than having to second guess how you think other people will vote. The single transferable vote system would be far better than our current "first past the post" system. I also think it is much better than "party list" systems, as it gives more power to voters rather than to party machines.
English Chess Federation
The ECF is the organising body for chess in England. The chess segment earlier on this page details my history of helping in chess organisation. Since I stepped back, I have continued as a Platinum member of the ECF as a way of helping its activities through my membership subscription.
English PEN
English PEN is the founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association with 145 centres in more than 100 countries. It is also a founding member of the Free Word Centre. Amongst other goals, it campaigns to defend writers and readers in the UK and around the world whose human right to freedom of expression is at risk. I became a member in May 2015.
European Movement
Since the age of 12 I have believed passionately in the importance of the European Union for bringing the peoples of Europe closer together. The vision of its founding fathers was to make another war between European countries impossible. The voice of European countries in the world is far stronger when they stand together. The EU has also made European countries much richer.

For nearly 70 years, The European Movement has led the campaign for a dynamic, popular, integrated and efficient Europe that can deliver jobs, security, prosperity and justice. We have always recognised that European integration is a process not an edifice set in stone and that the UK should play an imaginative and constructive role in making it work more effectively and efficiently for all our citizens.

Brexit, which I regard as a national act of self-harm, has only strengthened my commitment to this cause.
Faith and Belief Forum (The)
This body used to be called The Three Faiths Forum, and in that format I was a member of the Consultative Council given my view of the importance of interfaith dialogue. I continue to support it in its new incarnation.
Financial Reporting Council Stakeholder Insight Group
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) regulates auditors, accountants and actuaries, and sets the UK’s Corporate Governance and Stewardship Codes. In mid-2018 the FRC set up the FRC Investor Advisory Group to provide a regular forum for the FRC to engage with representatives from across the investment chain. This later changed to a wider Stakeholder Insight Group, where I am a member, representing both the UK Shareholders' Association and ShareSoc. I am the only one of the members of the Stakeholder Insight Group who is there specifically to represent people investing their own money, as opposed to intermediaries, asset managers and other professionals.
FODIP (The Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine)
FODIP works to promote dialogue between Christians, Jews and Muslims in the UK regarding Israel and Palestine. This issue often impedes inter-faith understanding, and FODIP assists non-confrontational discussion.
Forward Thinking
I first met the Co-Founder and Director of Forward Thinking, Oliver McTernan, in 2010 and have since seen him from time to time. Forward Thinking is a charity which promotes a more inclusive peace process in the Middle East, other dialogues in Arab countries, and in UK promotes greater understanding between grassroots Muslim communities and wider society.
Free Speech Union
As I mentioned above in the entry about the Defend Free Speech campaign, I have been passionate about freedom of speech from childhood and from memory, the first law book I ever read, as a teenager, was an American one called "Censorship, the Search for the Obscene." Accordingly when I read in The Spectator magazine that Toby Young was setting up the Free Speech Union, I immediately made a small donation towards it, and have now joined as a Full Member.
Friends of Cambridge University Library
Four decades ago, I spent many happy, and solitary, hours lost amongst the shelves reading obscure books that had no relevance to my degree. Accordingly, a few years ago I became a life member of the Friends.
Friends of Manchester Cathedral
Manchester Cathedral is of course an Anglican church. However part of the philosophy of the Church of England is that its buildings are for the whole community, and that is certainly how Manchester Cathedral is operated. I have attended many events there, not just Anglican services but community events and also activity for other religions such as the Cathedral's annual Youth Iftar. Also in recent years I have become friends with the Dean of Manchester Cathedral, The Very Reverend Rogers Govender MBE. Accordingly I donate to the Cathedral annually by being a Friend.
Friends of the Royal Academy
We have a very rich cultural legacy in the UK, and all of us should value it. The Royal Academy is a key national institution, and being a friend is a way of supporting it.
Gandhi Foundation
I learned of the Gandhi Foundation when met its representative at Manchester Cathedral in November 2019 for the unveiling of a bronze statue of Mahatma Gandhi. Very briefly, the Gandhi Foundation exists to spread knowledge and understanding of the life and work of Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948). Its most important aim is to explain and demonstrate the continuing relevance of Gandhi’s insights and actions today. I have become a life friend.
Global Strategy Forum
Global Strategy Forum promotes fresh thinking and active debate on foreign affairs, defence and international security issues. They hold very interesting lunchtime events in central London. As well as the speakers being experts, the audience normally contains many diplomats, politicians, think tank members and journalists. I have been attending events for many years and recently became a "Full Supporter."
Goodwill Caravan
This charity runs protection projects including emergency aid distributions, sheltering the most vulnerable, and legal and medical support for refugees and vulnerable populations in the UK and Greece. I became a donor after hearing its founder, Hanan Ashegh give a very moving presentation about its work at the Concordia Forum in October 2023.
Historical Association (The)
This charity supports the teaching, learning and enjoyment of history at all levels and bring together people who share an interest in and love for the past. I joined as a non-teaching member in 2013 because my involvement with Curriculum for Cohesion and the 2013 reform of the National Curriculum for History got me interested in the subject. My university friend Professor Sir David Cannadine was awarded the 2013 Medlicott Medal and I attended the event where this was awarded. Professor Tony Badger, who I got to know when he was Master of Clare, is a past President.
Holocaust Centre
My piece Reflections on Visiting Auschwitz explains what the Holocaust means to me. This museum in Nottingham provides a range of facilities for people of all backgrounds to explore the history and implications of the Holocaust and emphasises how current and future generations must carefully examine and learn from it. A few years ago I dedicated a rose bush in the garden of remembrance for one of my Jewish friends, the late Henry Guterman MBE, who was founding co-chairman of the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester.
Holocaust Educational Trust
The Holocaust Educational Trust works to ensure that people from every background are educated about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today.
Hope not hate
Hope not hate is a campaigning organisation which grew out of Searchlight Magazine and which now publishes its own magazine. They work to research, document and counter far right extremism. The charity, the Searchlight Educational Trust recently published the report Fear & Hope: The New Politics of Identity based upon detailed polling regarding attitudes to social change, immigration etc.
Inclusive Mosque Initiative
This UK registered charity provides inclusive prayer arrangements that do not discriminate between men and women, or between sects. My wife and I attended our first Inclusive Mosque event in September 2017 when we prayed there on Eid al-Adha. I now give them a small annual donation.
Index on Censorship
Index on Censorship campaigns for and defends free expression worldwide. I have regard freedom of speech as a vital human right from my earliest years. I met the editor of Index on Censorship magazine during a fringe meeting at the 2016 Conservative Party Conference and have now become an annual donor at the "Index Champion" level which includes receiving the quarterly magazine.
Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
I trained as a chartered accountant from 1974 - 1977. From the time that I qualified, when asked my profession, if I want to give a concise answer, I have always stated "Chartered Accountant". Despite it being my main professional qualification, I have been relatively inactive as an ICAEW member; instead most of my activity has been with the Chartered Institute of Taxation as that was more relevant to my specialist interest in taxation.
Institute for Fiscal Studies
While I was at Arthur Andersen, one of the people I reported to was instrumental in setting up the North West branch of the IFS, so I became a regular attender as well as doing much of the "legwork" in running the branch for a few years. I became a personal member in 1984 when I left Arthur Andersen, and have been a member continuously since then. I attend some of their events, but have no other role.
International Qur'anic Studies Association (IQSA)
IQSA describes itself as "the first learned society devoted to the study of the Qur’an from a variety of academic disciplines." The membership contains many Islamic Studies academics, but it also accepts students and lay members. I became aware of it after meeting one of the co-founders at a conference in London in September 2018, and have been a member since then.
Islamic Relief
Islamic Relief is an international aid and development charity founded in the UK in 1984 by Dr Hany El Banna. There are very many Muslim relief charities; I believe it would be more efficient to have just one or two large ones, which is why most of my disaster relief and similar donations go to Islamic Relief.
Lambeth Links
Lambeth Links is the LGBTQIA+ community forum for the London Borough of Lambeth. Their vision is for Lambeth Links to be a central point of rallying, communication and advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQIA+ Community who live, work and socialise in Lambeth. While Britain has become a much more inclusive society during my lifetime, a significant amount of discrimination remains, which is why charities like this are needed. I started supporting the charity after meeting the founder Christopher French at a Liberal Democrat event.
Liberal Democrats
As explained on my page "Why I joined the Liberal Democrat Party" I joined the party on 25 October 2019 shortly after the general election was called. Until recently I was unclear about the correct legal name, but have confirmed from the constitution: "The name of the Party shall be the Liberal Democrats. It may be additionally known in Welsh as Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol."
Liberal Democrats for Peace in the Middle East (LDfPME)
LDfPME is "a group of passionate Lib Dems who want to support a just and equitable solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" which is looking to become an Associated Organisation of the Liberal Democrats. At a membership recruitment meeting in September 2021 I was elected as one of the Vice Chairs.
We are fortunate to live in one of the freest societies in the world. However, preserving such freedom requires perpetual vigilance, and Liberty, previously called the National Council for Civil Liberties, plays an invaluable part in this.
London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism
The mission statement of this charity is “To challenge the intellectual underpinnings of antisemitism in public life and to confront the hostile environment for Jews in universities.” I began donating to it after reading the powerful blog post by my friend Yaron Matras “The story of Hugh, or: Why I’ve joined the London Centre for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism”.
Manchester Grammar School
This school was attended by both of my sons. I have donated a perpetual bursary and addressed their senior school assembly, with a willingness to help the school where I can.
Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust
Miriam was one of the 52 people killed in the "7/7" London bombings of 7th July 2005. For me, she has always been the individual reminder of all the victims whose lives were cut short, because I attended an event organised by the charity shortly after it was set up. I have supported it in a small way since then.
I occasionally speak for Mosaic at schools in Manchester. I also acted as a judge for the Mosaic 2010 achievement awards.
Muslim Institute
This organisation brings together British Muslim intellectuals to explore, debate and discuss the pressing intellectual problems and issues facing British Muslim communities and wider society; encourage and support the pursuit of excellence in knowledge and thought. I am a fellow.
Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester
In 2005 along with several other people I helped to set up the Forum and served as the treasurer. This has also led to speaking regularly at Limmud events in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds. In December 2010 The Jewish Chronicle wrote a profile piece about my work for the MJF. In October 2010 I gave a conference address about the work of the MJF. In 2013 I became one of the two Co-Chairs.
Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH)
MYH provides faith and culturally sensitive services to Muslim youth in the UK. Its core service is a free and confidential emotional support service available nationally via the telephone, email, internet and through the post. The service uses male and female volunteers trained in active listening and basic listening skills to respond to client enquiries. While I grew up in a very caring and supportive family, I am conscious that sadly many British Muslims do not, and they need such a service to turn to when facing personal difficulties.
Muslims Against Antisemitism
This charity is led by British Muslims who believe it is the duty of everyone to challenge antisemitism in all of its guises. As the charity's website says: "Antisemitism is not just a problem for British Jews. It is a problem for us all." I deplore antisemitism, and am particularly concerned when I find fellow Muslims espousing antisemitism, which sadly some do.
National Muslim War Memorial Trust
The National Muslim War Memorial Trust ("NMWMT") is a new charity incorporated in October 2020. I am one of the Trustees. Its mission is to commemorate Muslims who have served in our country's armed forces and to educate Britons about their service. Lord Sheikh was the founder, and the Chairman until his death in September 2022. After he died, my fellow Trustees chose me to be Chairman. As well as being a donor, I am also itswebmaster.

Being a charity trustee is an onerous role and I only take it on in exceptional cases. My page "Why I support the National Muslim War Memorial Trust" explains why I care so much about NMWMT.
National Secular Society
The National Secular Society ("NSS")was founded in 1866. Its vision is "We believe religion should be separated from the state and individuals should have freedom of and from religion. Secularism is an essential element in a cohesive society where citizens are valued equally." This is what I have always believed.

I joined to show that being an NSS member is compatible with being a Muslim. I think the NSS would benefit from having more members of faith. At present, just as many believers fail to understand what secularism means, many who do not practice a religious faith fail to understand the provisions that a just society needs to make for people who do.
National Trust
By supporting it, I am helping to preserve Britain's heritage of scenic landscapes and stately homes.
National Zakat Foundation
This is an initiative which aims to utilise Zakat funds and voluntary donations collected in the United Kingdom for charitable work in the UK. I have long believed that too much UK Muslim charitable giving goes overseas, and was therefore pleased to see this initiative being launched.
New Horizons in British Islam
New Horizons is relatively new charity, but I have known the Chair, Dilwar Hussain, for many years. The organisation engages in critical discussions around Muslim identity, tradition and reform to provide a positive vision of what it means to be a Muslim in Britain today. They want people to understand and appreciate better the value of open, democratic and diverse societies; the value of free speech, individual liberty and human rights; and the importance of our common humanity.
New Israel Fund
This organisation believes that Israel can only survive and prosper in the long term if it also protects the rights of all its citizens, tackles poverty, promotes religious tolerance and inspires peaceful co-existence. It is often attacked by the Israeli "right". I started supporting it because I share its vision and am conscious that 20% of Israeli citizens are Arabs and have now attended several of its meetings.
Network for a Free Society
In mid-2015 I met the chairman of this charity, and decided immediately to support it because I have always believed in the power of ideas. It work is to supply electronic copies of the seminal texts on freedom to people in Africa, Asia and the Middle East where they are not otherwise readily available. A text of mine, "The principles of job creation" is now included amongst the texts they distribute.
Oasis of Peace UK: British Friends of Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam
Neve Shalom / Wahat al-Salam is a mixed Jewish, Muslim and Christian village in Israel which I have supported since a friend told me about it a few years ago. In December 2009 I was delighted to visit it on my first trip to Israel organised by the Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine.
OneVoice Europe
OneVoice is an international movement aimed at helping Israelis and Palestinians work towards a two state solution to their conflict. The organisation has an associated UK charity, OneVoice Europe, to which I donate.
Open Rights Group
In February 2016 I commenced a small annual donation to this organisation. Their self description is: "Open Rights Group is the UK's only digital campaigning organisation working to protect the rights to privacy and free speech online. With almost 3,000 active supporters, we are a grassroots organisation with local groups across the UK." All my life I have regarded freedom of speech as a vital human right.
Oxford and Cambridge Club
London has an enormous range of private members' clubs. I had never thought of joining one until 2009, when I realised that after retiring from PwC I would no longer have a convenient place to meet visitors. Accordingly from 2009-2020 I was a member of the Carlton Club, chosen because of my Conservative Party affiliation. After my politics changed to Liberal Democrat I resigned from the Carlton Club, and in July 2021 was accepted as a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Club. I chose it for its location and my alignment of interests due to my strong connections with Clare College Cambridge.
Parallel Histories
When I spoke at Lancaster Royal Grammar School in April 2015, I was hosted by history teacher Michael Davies. He explained his vision of teaching contested histories in parallel. For example, Muslims and Jews in Britain typically grow up absorbing completely different narratives about the history of Israel / Palestine. I have stayed in touch with him since then and am helping to support the Parallel Histories charity's vision of developing methods and materials for teaching contested histories, not just Israel / Palestine but also others. Their materials now cover the Sunni / Shia conflict.
Portico Library & Gallery
This charity runs a subscription library in Manchester opened in 1806. I became aware of it because the North West branch of the International Fiscal Association used to hold its meetings there. I regard supporting such local city institutions as a duty when Manchester and Britain have given me so much.
Quest School (The)
The Quest School is an independent specialist school for pupils across the autistic spectrum within the age range 5-19 years. It was founded in 2003 by a group of parents and Applied Behavioural Analysis professionals, seeking to create a specialist learning environment, designed around the specific needs of pupils with autism. All pupils at Quest have an Education, Health and Care Plan and consequently, places are agreed and funded by Local Authorities. I met one of the governors in April 2024, and decided to support the school.
Rabbis for Human Rights
Founded in 1988, Rabbis for Human Rights is the only rabbinic voice in Israel that is explicitly dedicated to human rights. It represents over 100 Israeli rabbis and rabbinical students from different streams of Judaism, to inform the Israeli public about human rights violations, and to pressure state institutions to redress these injustices. I came across it when I visited Jerusalem at the end of 2009 and met its then inspring director, Rabbi Arik Ascherman. I have also met him on his visits to the UK. One of the other inspiring rabbis I met during that visit to Israel was Rabbi Ron Kronish, who then ran the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel. That body has since become a department of Rabbis for Human Rights.
Remembering Srebrenica
This is a British charitable initiative which aims to create a better and safer society for all by commemorating and sharing the lessons of the Srebrenica genocide. I attend at least one Srebrenica commemoration event every July, either in London or in Manchester. I also donate to the charity annually. I have known the Chairman Dr Waqar Azmi OBE for many years, and also know others involved with the charity. In the mid 1990's my wife and I helped some Bosnian refugees to resettle in Manchester.
ROPES (The Regional Organization for Peace, Economics & Security)
I was introduced to Ben Birnbaum, the Founder and President of ROPES in 2019. He was an American journalist covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for The New Republic and other leading publications. We spoke by telephone and he explained is vision of establishing direct contacts between young entrepreneurs and opinion leaders from Israel, the West Bank, and Arab states. I have been supporting ROPES since then including attending some of their events in London.
Royal British Legion
I am fortunate to have grown up and lived in a period where Britain has not needed to have conscription. However, even though I have never been a member of our armed services, I am extremely conscious of the debt we owe to our servicemen, and the need to support those who have suffered physical or mental injuries. That is why I have been a member since 2008.
Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)
I became a fellow around 2005, and read the society magazine. However I only occasionally manage to attend its events due to shortage of time. The RSA however does provide a convenient central London venue at which to meet people.
Sex Matters
Sex Matters campaigns to promote clarity about sex in public policy, law and culture. Its vision is that organisations and the state should be clear that sex means biological sex. Being able to recognise reality in our language, rules and systems is essential to law making and enforcement, and to social organisation. Individuals should be free to hold and express diverse beliefs, and to express themselves about sex and gender identity, without sanctions or being labelled hateful.
ShareSoc (UK Individual Shareholders Society)
ShareSoc is a society for individual shareholders. I support it because I regard it as important for individuals to assert themselves as the ultimate owners of quoted companies. I have agreed to get involved where my technical specialisms are relevant. The founder and chairman, Roger Lawson, was previously a board member of the UK Shareholders Association.
Solutions Not Sides
Solutions Not Sides aims to tackle Antisemitism, Islamophobia and polarisation around the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UK. The non-partisan programme has been formulated with the input of both Israelis and Palestinians as well as senior members of Jewish and Muslim communities, and is designed to prepare students to make a positive, solutions-focused contribution to debates on Israel-Palestine.
Speakers for Schools
This charity was set up by Robert Peston in 2011 to provide state secondary schools and colleges with talks from a range of industry leading professionals, public figures and academics, free of charge. I was introduced to it in late 2014 and since January 2015 have been giving talks for it.
St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group
St John of Jerusalem Eye Hospital Group is the only charitable provider of expert eye care in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, treating patients regardless of ethnicity, religion or ability to pay.
These Islands
These Islands is a think tank. It provides a forum for debate and stands for the view that more unites the three nations of Great Britain than divides them, and that good relations between the various communities of Northern Ireland, Great Britain, and Ireland are all the more important to work for in the wake of Brexit.
UK Friends of the Abraham Initiatives
This is a UK charity that supports the work of the Abraham Initiatives in Israel. 20% of Israel's citizens are Arabs, and they face a number of disadvantages which this organisation is working to eliminate. I have supported them for many years.
UK Friends of the Bereaved Families Forum
This UK charity supports the Bereaved Families Forum, which is a group of over five hundred Israeli and Palestinian families who have lost loved ones during half a century of the Israel / Palestine conflict who are calling for an end to violence. I met some of the bereaved when they visited Manchester a few years ago, and met one of them again during my trip to Israel and the West Bank at the beginning of 2010. The Bereaved Families Forum was mentioned by Barack Obama in his 19 May 2011 speech about the Middle East.
UK Shareholders’ Association
UKSA is a members’ organisation pledged to fight generally for the rights of private investors. I have been a member since the early 2000's as I consider that the rights of private investors are often overlooked by city institutions and rule makers. Since mid-2014 I have been a member of the Policy Team, which has involved helping to prepare UKSA's feedback on several Financial Reporting Council consultations.
Unlock Democracy
Unlock Democracy seeks "a written constitution that serves and protects the people. That constitution would define the roles of, and relationships between, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary. It would determine how, and to what extent, power is shared between representatives at local, national and United Kingdom levels, and with international organisations. It would enshrine basic liberties and human rights for all."

I read the US constitution in my twenties, and have been inspired by it ever since which is why I believe so strongly in consitutional reform.
I have used Wikipedia for many years, although I rarely have time to contribute very much to its content. While most of the text comes from writing by volunteers, the organisation does need money to function. Accordingly I have often responded to its appeals for money.

To make donating easier in the UK, they have a UK charity and it is now easy to sign up for an annual donation, with gift aid, using this link. I have done that myself.
Woolf Institute
The Institute studies relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. It is named in honour of Lord Harry Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and was founded by Dr Edward Kessler MBE, described by the Times Higher Education Supplement as ‘probably the most prolific figure in interfaith academia’. I got to know Ed Kessler via my involvement with the Muslim Jewish Forum of Greater Manchester and the Institute is one of the partner institutions of the Curriculum for Cohesion project.
Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
This is the second youngest livery company in the City of London. It was the natural choice given my profession, and I joined because I believe Muslim citizens need to play their full part in all aspects of our society.
Yad Vashem UK Foundation
My wife and I visited Yad Vashem at the beginning of 2010. I have written about what the visit meant to me, and have also become a donor to the UK support charity.

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A word cloud of this page

Out of curiosity, I used the free software at to generate a word cloud of this page. It was quite interesting as a way of seeing what I mention the most. It is reproduced below.

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