Muslim Minister to take pilgrimage to Mecca

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Shahid Malik first British Minister to perform Hajj

COMMUNITIES and Local Government Minister Shahid Malik is to become the first ever British Minister to perform Hajj.

The Member of Parliament for Dewsbury will join thousands of British Muslims in Mecca this week for the annual pilgrimage.

Mr Malik became Britain’s first Muslim Government Minister in June 2007 when Prime Minister Gordon Brown took the historic decision to appoint him as International Development Minister.

While in that role some of the most significant increases in British aid were achieved in Palestine, Yemen, Pakistan, Bangladeshi, Sudan, Kosovo and Indonesia.

Speaking about his pilgrimage, Mr Malik said: “Hajj is a pillar of Islam and a compulsory act of worship for those who are blessed with the means to undertake the journey.

“I feel a great sense of privilege at having the opportunity of visiting the holy sites through the journey of devotion to Allah that Hajj represents.”

Hajj is expected to take place this Thursday with Eid-Al-Adha celebrations following on Friday.

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