The Battle over Mosque Reform

    British Muslim leaders are to tell mosques to reform – but do young Muslims even care? This week began as just another for Britain’s mosques. But by the end of it, things could be very different. The four largest Islamic organisations in the UK have, against expectations, agreed professional standards for mosques. It may sound like management speak – but these standards on a mosque’s obligations to society are part of a battle for hearts and minds in the face of violent extremism. The unwieldily-named Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (Minab) is seeking signatures on the dotted line. The question is whether any of it will make a difference. Today there are at least 1,500 institutions which are broadly independent of one and other. But while they may be about to get a dose of 21st Century management consultancy, tens of thousands of young British Muslims have already drifted away. Many British-born Muslims believe mosques offer them nothing – and so they are looking elsewhere for answers. Navid Akhtar is a commentator and a producer of It’s a polished internet broadcast with guests debating big issues of the day in a media-savvy way.

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