Yesterday's announcement of the formation of the Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) highlights some of the profound challenges facing the Muslim community. There is a universal recognition that the services provided by Mosques and Imams can improve and many sections of the community have put forward different strategies in order to face these challenges.
At the same time, some have stated a need to push an Islamic reformation and want to see the content of Friday Khutbahs monitored in order to see that they do not contain views which dissent from the government's belligerent foreign policy. Indeed, the idea of such a board originated from a Home Office initiative, though it is now thankfully, said to be independent.
The multitude of Mosque councils and boards around the country – including MINAB – face challenges helping mosques to retain their independence and diversity from those who wish to see an establishment 'Anglican Islam' and those who want to silence legitimate expression in our Mosques. We pray that those charged with the authority to manage the mosques adopt a principled stance and resist political control from government – a reality we know all too well in the Muslim world where dictatorial regimes vet Imams and Khutbahs as a matter of routine.
Dr Imran Waheed
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain
2 Jumada al-Thani 1427 \ 28 June 2006