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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 September, 2004, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
'Trusted' officials make plea
Mediators Dr Daud Abdullah and Dr Musharraf Hussain
The Muslim Council of Britain mediators were chosen for their mix of skills
BBC News Online profiles the two senior members of the Muslim Council of Britain who are in the Iraqi capital to press for the release of British hostage Ken Bigley.

Dr Daud Abdullah and Dr Musharraf Hussain are said to be risking their own personal safety in attempting to talk to religious contacts in the hope of getting a message to Mr Bigley's captors.

Muslim Council adviser Dr Jamil Sherif said both mediators have been chosen for their experience, skills and because they are trusted by the Muslim community.

Dr Daud Abdullah

A researcher and author, Dr Abdullah is a respected specialist in human rights.

He has written books and presented papers on Palestinian refugees, his most recent on this subject being Right of Return.

Dr Daud Abdullah
Dr Daud Abdullah is frequent speaker on Islamic issues

He works in London and has been a member of the Muslim Council since its inception in the 1990s, currently holding the post of assistant general secretary.

Originally from Grenada, Dr Abdullah lives with his family in the UK and is widely travelled - notably in Sudan and the occupied territories.

He is a frequent speaker on Islamic issues in the UK at both union meetings and community events.

Dr Sherif said: "He is a very warm individual with a range of skills, including speaking fluent Arabic.

"He is able to establish rapport with all sorts of people very easily."

Dr Musharraf Hussain

Dr Hussain is director of the Karimia Institute in Nottingham and is an adviser on the Muslim Council.

He is one of the most respected Islamic scholars in the community, said the Muslim Council's Dr Sherif.

Dr Musharraf Hussain
Dr Musharraf Hussain is a respected Islamic scholar

Originally gaining a science doctorate, he switched early on in his career to undertake training in Islamic studies.

He studied at the al Azhar University in Egypt, widely regarded in the Islamic world as a centre of excellence for Islamic studies.

Originally from the sub continent, he too is settled with his family in the UK.

He runs an Islamic centre and a number of Islamic school projects.

"His main attribute is that he is a leading Islamic scholar and religious authority and he also speaks Arabic," said Dr Sherif.

He has also spoken on behalf of the community for religious broadcasts and on educational facilities.

"He has also undertaken advocacy work here in the UK for the Muslim community for a number of years," said Dr Sherif.

"He is very articulate and has spoken widely on Muslim causes.

"He also has a deep passion for a sense of justice and does not believe that the answer to one wrong is another."

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