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Interview by Muniem Batoni of Pakistan

I briefly explain how welcoming Britain has been to immigrants from Pakistan and elsewhere, and the importance of religious, political and economic freedom.


Transmitted 9 July 2020. Posted 27 July 2020.

Modern technology makes it very easy for strangers to approach you electronically. Personally I am willing to have an initial electronic conversation with anyone, unless there is some reason to the contrary.

On 7 July someone called Syed Muniem Hassan Rizvi (who uses the nickname Muniem Batoni for media activities) contacted me using Facebook Messenger. His initial message is reproduced below.

My name is Syed Muniem Hassan Rizvi. I am from Pakistan and live here. I work with Mr Rehan Allahwala in Rehan’s Foundation and we do a show called Connecting the World, where we interview different people, and in this way, we can learn from each other’s culture, food, beliefs, and understand what makes each other happy.

You can see our past shows on below links.

Facebook Link

YouTube link

Please let me know what time suits you in next 02 days to interview you? Click on the link below and schedule online interview with me.

I met Rehan Allahwala of the Rehan Foundation and the Institute of Peace in July 2019 at an event in Manchester and have been connected with him electronically since then.

As the above message came shortly after the interview I gave to Rizwan Akram on 24 June, I assumed that interview might have triggered this request.

If at all possible, I take up opportunities to share my views. We scheduled the interview for 9 July, and I sent the suggestions below to help Muniem Batoni to plan the interview.

Given the timing of your request, I assume that you have seen my interview with Rizwan Akram [on Facebook]

Rather than covering the same ground, I suggest the following areas to ask about:

The video interview

The full 28-minute interview was transmitted live and uploaded to Facebook. However I recommend watching the 26-minute version below, because I have deleted some silences caused by Muniem’s limited bandwidth.

The interview is in English, but Muniem opened and closed in Urdu, which my wife has translated below. After the video I have roughly transcribed Muniem’s questions as an aid to readers.

Opening Urdu remarks

Welcome to our live interview with Muniem Batoni.

Today our guest is basically from Pakistan but is settled in the UK. I will introduce him. He is a very renowned person and his name is Mohammed Amin MBE.

Closing Urdu remarks

Thank you all very much for watching the show.

I am finishing the show with prayers and hope that you look after yourselves. The most important message is that if you are people aged 18 or over and about to get married, then you should get genetic testing for thalassaemia so you can have a better future.

God bless.

A personal additional comment about thalassaemia

Due to my very limited knowledge of Urdu, I only understood Muniem Batoni’s closing remarks after my wife translated them for me to assist with this website page. I am delighted that he is spreading the message about genetic disorders, a subject I feel very strongly about.

See my page “Playing Russian roulette with my baby's health: the health risks of marrying one's first cousin.”

26-minute version of interview with Muniem Batoni

Rough transcript of the questions

  1. Please introduce yourself and tell us “Who is Mohammed Amin, where are you from, where are you living now, and what are you doing.”
  2. What is the situation of Muslims who are living in the UK, their progress in academic studies, business, the professions, and their political participation? [As part of my answer, I strongly criticised marrying relatives “back home” in Pakistan.]
  3. Is Islam compatible with freedom, especially economic freedom, political freedom, and religious freedom in the UK?
  4. Given what you have said about Islam supporting political, economic, and religious freedom, why are most Muslim majority countries in the OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation] lagging behind in their development?
  5. What does the MBE after your name Mohammed Amin mean?
  6. If someone wants an MBE, how can he or she put themselves forward for it?
  7. Tell us about how you became the first Muslim partner in the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse in the UK in 1990?
  8. You are part of a think tank called the Islam & Liberty Network. What is this network and what does the think tank do?
  9. When you received the MBE and newspapers and media channels approached you, what did you say to them? How did you feel?
  10. I am going to read out a statement that you made in the media when you received the MBE: “The wonderful thing about the UK is that it does not matter where you were born, what your ethnic group is, what your religious beliefs are, provided you are willing to sign up to the values that Britain stands for. Then you can be as British as anyone else; that is one thing we can all agree upon.” [This was my quote for the Asian Express Newspaper on the page "Reflections on being awarded an MBE" which Muniem had obviously tracked down while researching on my website.] You have given this statement. Exactly.
  11. Tell us about the education system as you have lived in the UK since 1952 and it is now 2020. I want to know exactly what the differences are if you compare the school system of Pakistan or other countries; what makes the UK system better?
  12. Do you have a final positive message for our viewers?


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