A man who started a network to develop leadership among Muslim professionals will see the initiative formally launched at the House of Lords tomorrow.

The Keighley and Bradford-based Professional Muslim Institute (PMI) was set up by Javed Bashir, working alongside the University of Bradford.

Mr Bashir, from the Highfield area of Keighley, is achievement forum co-ordinator for Education Bradford and is now PMI’s director.

He said its membership would include lawyers, bankers, politicians, Peers and successful role models from the business world.

He said this was a response to a variety of issues in the district, including economic under achievement and housing deprivation.

He said: “These disadvantages can lead to alienation, social exclusion and, in certain cases, may even lead to extremism, particularly among young people. Therefore, action was needed to change this.

“There is a lack of meaningful and effective leadership within the Muslim community in the district — including in Keighley.

“I’m very pleased that our efforts have been recognised at the highest level and that we’ve been invited to launch the organisation at the House of Lords. “I’m excited about meeting some of the most influential people in the country. Many of them I’ve never met before, just watched them on television.”

He said he would be encouraging some of these people to inspire and mentor local youngsters in need of support.

Nadira Mirza, dean of the School of Lifelong Education and Development at the University of Bradford, said: “Having good leadership is critical to the success of the Muslim community.

“The university will help to develop skills across Muslim communities in Keighley, Bradford, around the country and hopefully in Europe.

“The PMI wants to develop the type of leaders that will enable the Muslim community in Keighley to develop strategies to contribute fully for the common good of both the Muslim and wider society.”

The University of Bradford is offering PMI members a diploma in leadership and management, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management.

The House of Lords launch will be hosted and supported by Professor the Baroness Afshar. She said: “I’m pleased to support the work of the Professional Muslims Institute. We need to develop links, build self-confidence and support systems to enable us to participate fully in British society and to give our best to the society we live in.”