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New national council to issue progressive rulings for Britain's Muslims

01 September, 2017 13:16
Qari Asim, one of UK’s most prominent imams, says central religious authority will interpret Islam in line with British values.
New national council to issue progressive rulings for Britain's Muslims

Britain’s most senior Muslim clerics are to set up their first national council to issue progressive religious rulings that “embed Islam in a 21st-century British context”.

Qari Asim, one of Britain’s most prominent imams, said the central religious authority would promote an interpretation of Islam that was in line with British values. The national body, to consist of senior imams who will consult experts on issues, would be the first central religious authority for British Muslims. It would deliver religious rulings on topics that attract diverse views across the Muslim community, with the aim of providing clarity to young British Muslims, Asim said.

“This is about providing clarity on some of the sociopolitical issues, whether it be forced marriages, [female genital mutilation], honor killing,” he said. “These practices are not sanctioned by the faith Islam but they are cultural practices that have penetrated the Muslim community of particular backgrounds. “The attempt is to embed Islam in a 21st-century British context. It’s about contextualizing Islam in Britain.”

Unlike the Church of England, there is no hierarchical structure to Islam in Britain, with most mosques operating independently. Asim said the new body would make rulings in a similar way to national religious bodies in many Sunni Muslim countries, although here it would be independent of government.

“It would lose credibility if it was state-backed or state-influenced,” Asim said. “The intention isn’t to have a mouthpiece for the government: it’s about providing a credible, authoritative voice for Muslims.”

Source: The Guardian

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New national council to issue progressive rulings for Britain's Muslims
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