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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Sunday, July 08, 2007

One cannot say the British Muslim Council isn't trying to do it's part in recaliming a peaceful image for their faith..
They are meeting this weekend.. an emergency meeting of imams and Muslim community activists to work out a strategy for combating extremism.
Their problem, and one they freely admit, is one that was brought to the public attention by a BBC Poll of all things, which showed that 70% of Imams preaching across this country, are not British-born.
They are recent immigrants from India and Bangladesh, and especially Pakistan..
These Imams may have a rudimentary grasp of English, but the sermons they preach are, for the most part, in Urdu.. and the doctrine they teach is 'medaeval' recitation of the Q'ran, with little or no scholarly accreditation.
This, admits the Muslim Council, is a definate problem, for these Imams are actually asked to come into Mosques to preach.. brought specifically by congregations..
There would appear to be some resistance to employing British Imams by British Muslims.. for their interpretation of the Q'ran is Seminary trained.. leaning towards a more 'modern' application of Islam.. a faith that addresses today's issues..
Imam Ajmal Masroor preached this week on the injustice of violent attacks against the innocent, a counterblast to terrorism that came straight out of the Koran.
His is a modern interpretation of the faith and its holy text suited to a modern, Western, secular, and multicultural democracy. It also included criticism of other mosques that restrict access for women.
Khayer Chowdhury, a student in east London, said of his Imam:
"To be fair he doesn't speak very good English... and he talks about things that interest older people, like the family..He doesn't talk about things that concern young people... like how to behave on the street, and integration."
Imam Ajmal Masroor points out an uncomfortable reality about Islam in modern Britain...
"In the Ottoman times, an imam's job was highly respected and would attract a high number of extremely talented people.. Today, on the contrary, an Imam's job is poorly paid and attracts the least talented people."
Now this may seem a harsh judgement on a body of people serving their communities.. and their Almighty.. to the best of their individual abilities..
But the social and political realities in which Imams now operate are themselves increasingly harsh.. The task before them, to bring those who are willing to turn to violence because of their social frustration, into an understanding that they are not the 'Muslim unemployed, frustrated and lost in the 'System''.. but they are the British unemployed, frustrated and lost in the 'System''..
It's a positive step from the Muslim Council to even refer to the BBC Poll, let alone that they accepted it and intend to do something about it..
One wonders if they'll take Sir Allan's comments to heart, and perhaps begin sending people to deliberately attend certain Imams sermons.. to watch for suggestions of sedition..
Who knows how far they'll go, to clean their own house..
And who knows what powers the Judiciary will have, to deal with those 'suspected' of spreading hate..
Ahh.. amazing how simple 'faith' can be complicated by so much religion..

1 comment:

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