The MCB is running a nationwide, year long National Listening Exercise on counter-terrorism and Muslim communities. We launched this initiative in 2015 with our first, and unique, counter-terrorism conference.

We hope to add to the conversation with evidence led recommendations, rather than regurgitating the hearsay and anecdotal commentaries that pervade the national debate on this issue.

We will be implementing this exercise through a number of listening events and focus groups, which you can take part in here.

Though Muslims are often researched, this is rarely done through an internal perspective with an appreciation of the nuances of the Muslim experience in the UK.

We recognise the rich diversity of ethnic origin, opinion, tradition, sect and background of many of the Muslims that reside in the UK.

We also recognise that the national debate on terrorism and counter-terrorism is largely shaped by highly emotive polarisation, suspicion and a lack of understanding of Muslims exhibited by parts of British society.

This exercise will be an opportunity to shape the narrative on a topic that has traditionally been set without us.

Therefore, this exercise aims to:

  • Measure the understanding and conception of terminologies related to terrorism;
  • Determine views on the causes of political violence and terrorism;
  • Understand where counter-terrorism sits on a scale of priorities for Muslim communities;
  • Determine the scale of impact terrorism has on Muslim communities;
  • Devise practical elements of policies that can effectively reduce terrorism;
  • Seek out examples where resilience has and can be built within all communities; and
  • Explore the barriers to building resilience within all communities.

The data will be collected in four ways:

Listening Exercises:

Will bring larger groups of people around the table, draw out detailed thoughts and allow time for richer data return. It will give MCB representatives a chance to visit regions to build trust and determine areas of good practice.



Focus Groups:

Will consult specific demographics that may be under-represented or have a vested interest or link to the topic. It will allow MCB to guide discussions and posit themes collected in the listening exercises in greater detail.



Will set out a list of priorities to allow the MCB to understand where terrorism and counter-terrorism sits.



Call for Written Submissions

From community stakeholders, will allow more thoughtful accounts of Muslim communities’ interaction with issues around counter-terrorism from those who deal with this issue on a day to day basis.


We will be releasing the survey in March 2018, and asking for interested community stakeholders to provide written submissions on the topic then as well. Please look out for both the survey and call for submissions then.

We are also still looking for partners in some of the regions where we will be visiting, so if your mosque or organisation wants and is able to help the MCB with this project in your local area, please get in touch by emailing Asif Hussain at

If you have any questions about the National Listening Exercise, then please contact either Asif at the email above, or Samayya Afzal at

See upcoming dates and locations

Sign up to take part

If you would like to participate in a focus group or Listening Event in your area, please sign up >
and we will be in touch.