Mosques must appoint British-born imams with good English, report concludes

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Mosques must appoint British-born imams with good English, report concludes

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:38 am

Mosques must appoint British-born imams who speak fluent English because Islamic communities need “better leadership”, a major report has concluded. An inquiry, chaired by the former Attorney General Dominic Grieve MP, found that Muslims need “fit for purpose” leaders who can understand “modern British life”. The report, which was commissioned by the community organising charity Citizens UK, set out to examine the participation of the Islamic community in public life.

It noted that many imams are born and educated overseas, but said: “It is of great importance that British-born imams, who have a good understanding of British culture and who fluently speak English, are encouraged and appointed in preference to overseas alternatives.”

Imams were told they must take a “stronger stance” against persecution of others, including against anti-Semitism, Christian persecution and other branches of Islam. The report, titled Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim potential for the benefit of all, also recommended that universities should provide courses so that imams can be accredited with religious and education qualifications.

“The Commission has heard a great deal about the need for better leadership within the UK’s Muslim communities,” it said. “The management committees of the UK’s mosques need to better understand, and respond to, modern British life”.

Writing in the foreward to the report, Mr Grieve said that his commission sought to highlight the false and “potentially dangerous” assumptions that are made about the views of British Muslims. “Polls demonstrate significant scepticism across British society about the integration, and even the shared allegiance, of their British Muslim fellow citizens,” said Mr Grieve, who is a Conservative MP for Beaconsfield. He said that Muslims face “considerable challenges” from within their own communities that prevent them from participating in public life.

“The Commission has also heard, forcefully expressed to it, the fear of many Muslims that, even in seeking to participate in public life or to work on a cross-community basis, they become subject to a much greater degree of adverse scrutiny, or to allegations about their motivation, than would be considered normal or acceptable for their non-Muslim counterparts,” Mr Grieve wrote. “This is a matter for which there is overwhelming evidence.”

The report found that the “increasing absence” of Muslims from British civil society is a “growing problem” in the UK. It said that while in some areas Muslims are not participating in public life to their full potential, in other areas they are just as engaged, if not more,than their white British counterparts. The lack of integration was most pronounced in areas of high deprivation, the report found, but added that there was a “wealth of positive community work” by British Muslims at a local level.

The commission found that most Muslims live in urban areas, and - particularly among British Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities - children generally attend schools where most other children are of the same ethnic group. But the report notes that integration is a “two-way street” and other groups must find ways to engage with different communities.


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