UK Islamic leaders slam praying in English, allowing women to run mosque

Published May 29th, 2011 - 03:45 GMT
Women leading the call for prayer has stirred outcry in the past.  Arabic is a must: You won't find Pakistani Muslims reciting prayer in Urdu, but learning instead Arabic, often by rote.
Women leading the call for prayer has stirred outcry in the past. Arabic is a must: You won't find Pakistani Muslims reciting prayer in Urdu, but learning instead Arabic, often by rote.

Islamic leaders in Britain have slammed suggestions of allowing community members to pray in English and to allow women to run mosques.

The guidelines were issued by the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB).

But an influential body that oversees dozens of mosques has dismissed these ideas.

The Lancashire Council of Mosques said they had no women on any of the committees running their network of 100 mosques and said the situation was unlikely to change.

"Muslim women are supposed to cover themselves and practically it's not possible and women themselves don't want to be part of management committees," the Daily Star quoted the LCM chairman, Salim Mulla, as saying.

"Also, Islamically, the prayer is not valid if it's not done in Arabic. We see this as interference in privately run and funded places of worship," he added.

Mustafa Baig, a MINAB member who helped draw up the guidelines, said they would monitor mosques and if necessary carry out further consultations to find out why they are not implementing the proposals.

Imam Zaffer Iqbal of the Madina Mosque in Levenshulme, Manchester, also of MINAB, said the proposals had been a major challenge.

"We welcome the recommendations and would like women to get involved as they make up half of society," he added 

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