Report Says British Imams Must Understand “Modern British Life”

By Antonio Melina/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br], via Wikimedia Commons
By Antonio Melina/Agência Brasil [CC BY 3.0 br], via Wikimedia Commons
According to the report, British Muslims require better leadership.

An inquiry headed by Dominic Grieve MP discovered British Muslims require Muslim leaders who are “fit for purpose.”[/tweetit] The leaders must also comprehend “modern British life.” The report stated that UK mosques should appoint imams who were born in Britain and speak fluent English. This is needed as Islamic communities in Britain need better leadership.

Report Says British Imams Must Understand “Modern British Life”[/tweetthis]

The report claimed Muslims isolated from mainstream British Islam hold meetings away from the mainstream mosques. They must be brought back for better integration. These findings were the result of a national inquiry spanning 18 months. The survey went over Muslim participation in community and public life. The call to bring the community together was called by Mohammed Altaf-Khan, Oxford's former Lord Mayor. Citizens UK did the legwork.

The inquiry spans a total of 76 pages and took 18 months to investigate and write. It makes a number of recommendations suitable for civilians, the government and businesses for the improvement of Muslim community and public life.

Altaf-Khan said that a number of mosques in the city were already like this. He warned that Muslims who are in isolated groups needed to be reinserted into the mainstream. He went on to say that Oxford is quite good when it is a matter of integration. A few mosques have already started to follow the recommendations made in the report. To give an example, Ashan Amin, a UK-born British Muslim was appointed the Imam of Oxford Central Mosque. The same mosque will also hire another Imam who was born in the UK and consequently studied at the St. Anthony's College.

The list of recommendations stated in the report includes a code of conduct applicable to all UK mosques. There should be voluntary standards crafted with the aim to improve women access and reform the mosque committees.

The report warns since other mosques appoints imams by a voting system they, “are unlikely to change much.” Altaf-Khan pointed out that there are a number of extremely isolated groups whose views are different from the mainstream British Muslim population. The former does not integrate into UK society. He reiterated the requirement to set up a specific advisory board which will bring policymakers, imams, and scholars together. Only by this way the isolated groups can be brought back to table. 


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