British mosques to follow 10-point guideline from March to root out extremismNovember 28th, 2007 - 4:29 pm ICT by admin
London, Nov 28 (ANI): Mosques in Britain are all set function as per a 10-point guideline, which will be issued to them by Muslim leaders in March next year in a bid to root out extremism and introduce an effective system of self-regulation.
The draft guidelines, which are being seen as the most radical attempt so far by leaders of the countrys two million Muslims to tackle extremism, will be given after Muslim leaders carry out spot checks at several mosques.
The initiative envisages preventing young people from being drawn to extremism through extremist teaching in and around unregulated mosques, the Times reported.
Among other proposals, a strong line has been taken against forced marriages and domestic violence, which are condemned as unIslamic, and recommend that women should have access to religious training and positions of leadership in mosques.
According to the daily, the guidelines, in the form of a ten-point code of practice, will be sent out to consultation at Britains 1,500-plus mosques before being issued in their final form next March.
The core standards have been drawn up by the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, an alliance of four of Britains top Muslim organisations set up in June last year to provide a positive influence for British Muslims.
The standards have emerged from the working groups set up by the Government in an attempt to tackle Islamic extremism in the wake of the July 7, 2005, London bombings.
Interestingly, there is no input from the Government into their content. For, the Muslim leaders deliberately distanced themselves from ministers as part of their determination to make their community self-regulating.
Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, one of the organisations behind the core standards, said that Muslim leaders wanted to avoid British mosques going down the same road as countries such as Turkey and Egypt, where many imams are employed by the state and preach little more than government policy in their sermons.
The Director-General of the Islamic Foundation in Leicester, and chairman of the boards steering committee, Manazir Ahsan said: We want to train our younger generation so that they feel attracted towards the mosque and understand the role of the mosque as not just a place for prayer but of development, community work, interfaith dialogue and social activities.
Aware of the fact that many of the countrys smaller mosques are wary of government intervention and have little knowledge of legal requirements, Muslim leaders believe it is essential to reach these mosques, but governments involvement must be nonexistent if their trust is to be gained.
Under the proposed guidelines, mosques will agree to random visits by trained teams to check that standards are being met. They will have to commit themselves to open, democratic, accountable management and introduce policies on equality, child protection and racial and religious harassment. Mosques will have to agree to give women access to religious and scholarly training.
As per the 10-point code of practice, Mosques will also pledge to have programmes that promote civic responsibility of Muslims in wider society and that actively combat all forms of violent extremism within the society at large.
The guidelines have the support of the Muslim Council of Britain, the Al-Khoei Foundation, the British Muslim Forum and the Muslim Association of Britain. (ANI)
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