Mrs. Guli Sheikh (Muradova) issued a statement after she had been subjected to hate comments over her marriage with Lord Iltaf Sheikh:
"Following the recent articles and comments in the social media which have appeared in the various newspapers and social media, I have been subjected to a tirade of hate and obscene comments. These comments and articles have greatly disturbed me and caused considerable distress."
"The comments content inaccuracies and misinformation."
"I wish that the newspapers had checked the details with me before going to print."
"Their comments and stories would, therefore, be based on facts rather than wrong and sensational details."
"I have therefore decided to issue a statement in order that the facts are known to everyone and dispel rumours about my personal life."
"I was born and brought up in Samarkand where I graduated from the Medical University with a Bachelors degree in Nursing. Afterward, I worked at the Republic Emergency Hospital in Samarkand."
"I came to England to continue my further education and attended British colleges where I obtained a Bachelor degree in “Leadership and Management”. I also studied for a Diploma in Finance."
"Whilst I was studying, I worked in a Belgian company as a Manager on a parttime base. We were selling upmarket Belgian chocolates."
"It is completely wrong to say that I was a waitress. I have never worked as a waitress."
"Whilst I was working, Lord Mohamed Sheikh used to come to the shop to buy chocolates for himself and members of his staff."
"He knew a lot about Uzbekistan and the marvelous history of our country. We used to talk about our heritage and great men who are part our history ie Amir Temur, Ulug’bek, Ibn Sino, Alisher Navoiy, Al-Kharazimiy, Zahriddin Muhammad Bobir, and Imam Al Bukhari."
"We did develop a platonic friendship, he never told me he was a Lord in British Parliament and other position that he holds. I did discover this after while."
"He was already legally separated from his wife and he had issued her with Islamic divorce (Talaq). Shortly afterward he was legally divorced from her."
"I was not in any way the cause of his separation or the divorce. Therefore, I do not feel that I deserve the vicious comments which have been made about me and my husband."
"He asked me to marry him and he came to Samarkand to ask my parents’ permission to marry me."
"We first performed Nikah ( Muslim Wedding) on 1st November 2015. This was done at the mosque in North London by a leading Imam in front of several witnesses. We were issued with Nikah certificate countersigned by the witnesses."
"The marriage was ratified by the Director General of The Regent Park Mosque which is the most leading Mosque in England."
"We then went on Hajj together as husband and wife. We have performed Hajj twice. The second Hajj was performed at the invitation of His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi authorities had noted on my passport that I was married to Lord Mohamed Sheikh."
"After the Nikah in 2015, we decided to have the Ceremony of the Registry in London at the Lambeth council offices. This was done in November 2018 and which was attended by many guests."
"My husband is indeed 77 years old but he is very active in British Parliament and in business. He is a strong robust man who also works very hard for charitable and community causes."
"My husband has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate for his community and charitable work worldwide. He is a very active person and by his activities, he will put a much younger man than him to utter shame."
"My husband has been in Uzbekistan four times and met the Leaders of our country. He is very active in promoting and strengthening political, trade, cultural and educational ties. He has prepared three reports on Uzbekistan and made recommendations to improve the situations in Uzbekistan. He has met several delegations from Uzbekistan when they have visited the UK in order to build stronger links between our countries."
"During the Presidential Elections Lord Sheikh was asked to be an independent observer and his findings were elections were fair and properly organised, he has written a complimentary obituary about President Islam Karimov. He has studied the reforms introduced by President Shavkat Mirziyoev and he has commended the President on the excellence of the reforms. He feels that the President is a man of vision."
"My husband is a very good friend of Uzbekistan, and in his speeches, he has on many occasions talked about the rich culture and heritage of the people in our country. He has said that he found that people to be polite and friendly and he was shocked and disappointed at the vile and obscene remarks about me."
"I am proud to be an Uzbek citizen and also promoted trade between UK and Uzbekistan. With my husband, I have established a company called “Silk Route Global” in London I have purchased handmade products, which are produced in Uzbekistan and begin to sell these online soon. I am therefore investing in Uzbekistan, as I love my country. I will also be marketing tourism to Uzbekistan."
"I have undertaken charitable work in Uzbekistan to help and support disabled children, orphans and poor people. I care about the people of our country."
"People have commented about the age differences between me and my husband. We must remind ourselves that Prophet Muhammad (p.u.h) was much older than Bibi Ayisha when he married her. There were both happy together and she always stood by him and he supported her when other people started dreadful rumours about her."
"I voluntarily married Lord Sheikh and his age, position or wealth did not influence me at all. I feel that age is the state of mind and some older people have more vigour and energy than younger men. I always found my husband to be a sophisticated character, with a great deal of intelligence but a very caring nature and attitude to everyone. We support each other and I am happy with him, it was my Fate (Taqdir) to marry him."
The statement was sent to The Tashkent Times and was published as it was.