Sajid Imam has lived in Brighton and Hove since 1976. He is the Imam of Brighton and Hove, Chair of the Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK, national Chair of the National Association of British Pakistanis, founding Chair of Brighton and Hove Interfaith Contact Group (IFCG) and founding Chair of Ethnic Minorities Representatives Council (EMRC).
What’s your favourite place in Brighton and Hove?
My favourite place is Lagoon Park in Hove, it’s peaceful. It has lots of walks in the evening on sunny days. We used to take the children there from toddler age until the age of 11 when they decided they were big enough and they didn’t want to be taken by us and they can go on their own. My wife and I enjoy it for the peace and tranquillity.
What living person do you most admire?
There are many I admire; Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and Rajmohan Ghandi, the grandson of Mahatma Ghandi. I admire people who have given a message of Peace and Reconciliation to the world, that it’s not them that matters, it is others who matter. They have served others above themselves. They show the message of reconciliation and forgiveness beyond anyone’s imagination.
What do you think Black and Minority Ethnic people have contributed to Brighton and Hove?
I think Black and Minority Ethnic people have sacrificed a lot, they face a lot of discrimination, racism and islamophobia and hate crime in our town. We were proud to step to combat racism in this town. We were known as pioneers who established good practice in the whole country, a number of groups came to visit us to see how we did it, how we created the Inter-agency Racial Harassment Forum, for example. We have got a Black and Minority Ethnic Resource Centre, which will be opening soon, but it was a hard struggle. I am glad that BME communities have not only contributed to Brighton and Hove City but have given hundreds and hundreds of hours of their voluntary time and their capabilities.