To whom it may concern,
Re Imran Kotwal:
I was the Rabbi at Menorah Synagogue, Cheshire from 1999 to 2012
Imran Kotwal has invited me as a guest speaker for the many multi-faith events that he had organised. Despite my busy schedule, I always obliged, because of the importance I attached to Imran’s work in promoting respect and tolerance between people of different faiths and no faith.
All the events I attended were very well organised, professional, brimming with young people. I particularly enjoyed participating in the multi-faith question time where learners had the opportunity to ask faith leaders questions that were relevant and important to young people.
I wish Imran all the success with his vision to promote respect and tolerance in young people in schools and Colleges in the UK.
Rabbi Brian Fox.
Imran’s role has been absolutely crucial in my development as a Muslim Chaplain. He has supported me to understand and approach chaplaincy in ways that have supported me to carry out my role to the best of my ability.
Imran’s guidance and advice has given me a sense of direction and understanding towards how to work with learners as well as staff in the college environment- in particular in relation to promoting tolerance and understanding between faiths in learners. This has not only allowed me to develop positive relationships around the college but has empowered me to feel comfortable to work with learners and staff who have many questions about the Islamic faith- usually around current affairs, misconceptions as well as developing their knowledge around facts.
The knowledge that Imran has shared in order to enhance my skills in areas of working with young people has hugely contributed to the successful work carried out with learners and different departments throughout the college. This has involved work on both an individual basis as well as working with large groups too. Over all I believe , that had I not had Imran to guide and supervise me in my role as a chaplain from the beginning, I would never have been able to achieve some of the successes on behalf on the chaplaincy department that have been attained today.
Shafqat Ajab, Forced Marriage Advisor; Muslim Chaplain Salford City College
"I worked with Imran in Salford City College's Multi-faith Chaplaincy for 4 years. Throughout that time I found Imran to be deeply committed to the goal of increasing tolerance and understanding in our society through inter-faith dialogue. In my personal dialogues with him, the sincerity of Imran's commitment to his own religious beliefs always shone through, as did his total respect for free will, personal choice and diversity. This manifested as a generous open-heartedness towards those of other faiths (such as myself) as well as people of no faith. As a line manager, Imran was always immensely positive, encouraging and supportive. Although in truth, the qualities he saw and praised in me, were really only a reflection of his own heart and mind."
Andrew Powers, Former Buddhist Chaplain at Salford City College now Subject Leader of Religious Studies at Beckfoot School, Bingley
From the Jewish community
As a member of Greater Manchester’s Jewish community, I would like to express our belief in mutual tolerance, respect and understanding between faiths, and our support for Imran Kotwal’s work in promoting these values.
I have myself taken part in a number of inter-faith meetings organised by Mr Kotwal. These have been extremely successful, and have served two purposes in particular: to make people aware of the basic teachings of faiths other than their own, and to make them aware of the special consideration that needs to be given to people of particular faiths, for example in the provision of food and drink. These two kinds of awareness are crucial if there is to be mutual respect between faiths.
This is a beginning, but a great deal more needs to be done. This means that we must all give the fullest possible support to Imran Kotwal and to this new expanded venture to resist all forms of intolerance, ignorance and violence, and to promote ever-increasing mutual respect and mutual understanding.Harry Lesser, Manchester.