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UK mosques should appoint British-born imams

04 July, 2017 12:36
UK mosques should appoint British-born imams

Mosques in the UK should hire British-born imams on a living wage who are better equipped than foreign religious leaders to understand the challenges faced by British Muslims, a report has recommended.

The Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All is the outcome of an 18-month inquiry established by campaigning group Citizens UK and chaired by the former attorney general Dominic Grieve. Its chief task was to examine how the participation of Muslims in public and community life might be improved.

It describes engagement between the government and Muslim communities as “a broken relationship that needs to be resolved, and both parties need to be proactive in addressing this”.

The Missing Muslims – Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All. [PDF]

The 76-page report, published on Monday, says “British Muslim experiences are more diverse than is often assumed”.

Among its recommendations is a call for mosques to review their management structures and appointment of imams. “The management committees of a number of the UK’s mosques need to better understand, and respond to, modern British life,” it says.

“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.”

The appointment of imams and others in teaching roles should be a transparent process and comply with legal requirements. Mosques should “invest in British-born imams who are to be paid a decent living wage, funded by Muslim institutions in the UK, and equipped with pastoral skills so they are able to deal with the challenges facing British Muslims”.

It suggests that universities could pair with seminaries to accredit educational schemes for imams.

Source: The Guardian

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