A Critical Analysis Of British Mosques As An
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  • 1. A Holistic Analysis of British Mosques as an Institution By Ehsan Choudhury 24 th October 2007
  • 2.
    • Institution (ĭnstĭ-tū'shən, -tyū'-)
    • Noun
    • Source: Oxford English Dictionary http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/institution?view=uk
    Defining the term ‘ Institution’
  • 3.
    • The impermissibility of women attending the Masjid, which is contrary to the Sunnah
    • Source: MPACUK Website http://www.mpacuk.org/index2,php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1266&pop=1&page=0
    • Language barriers often a complaint from youths and ‘reverts’. Often the meaning and messages of the khutbah are lost, yet often is the only source of Islam people receive.
    • Only 25% of Masjids provide summer schools
    • Source: Voice from the Minarets : MCB Study on British Mosques Page 30
    • Lack of technological resources such as computers to establish attractive teaching methods and ways of improving the level of education.
    • Small class room spaces & in some cases no supplementary education at all.
    • Conflict Theory – Ibn Khaldun, a famous Muslim sociologist conceived social conflict (such as town Vs desert & generation Vs generation)
    • Source: Akbar Ahmed (2002). "Ibn Khaldun’s Understanding of Civilizations and the Dilemmas of Islam and the West Today", Middle East Journal 56 (1), p. 25
    • Apathy by the general public particularly in the youth both with Muslims and Non Muslim Communities
    Social Problems
  • 4. Ibn Khaldun: Social Conflict The Generation Gap
  • 5.
    • Terrorism
    • 9/11 has given the opportunity to place fear into Muslim communities through legislation. Consequently, the governments findings have established Masjids as the source of ‘radical’ Muslims.
    • Dispatches documentary “ The Undercover Mosque ”
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peFQWuk4nuo
    • Broadcasted: Channel 4 , 15 th January 2007
    • Watch on funds
    • Sources of donations are now monitored in some Masjids to try and stop ‘terrorist’ activities in countries like Italy and America
    • Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6235451.stm
    • Electing a committee
    • Bureaucracy in Masjids prevents the committee from functioning as a key role in the Islamic society.
    Political Problems
  • 6.
    • Finance
    • Sources of finance are limited to Eid days and Jummah salah, with no contribution from local Islamic businesses.
    • Table 13 Core finance %
    • Public donations 61%
    • Local Authority Grants 11%
    • Central Government 0%
    • GLA / LDA Grants 7%
    • Businesses donation 0%
    • European Funding 4%
    • Fees and subscriptions 14%
    • Overseas donations 4%
    • Source: Voice from the Minarets : MCB Study on British Mosques Page 29
    • Wage Structure
    • Should there be a paid Imam? Some Imams devote their entire life to running the Masjid but still have a family to feed and care for.
    • Source: Otomar Jan Bartos (2002). Using Conflict Theory . Cambridge University Press
    Economic Problems
  • 7.
    • Security Risks
    • Repeated announcements given in the Masjid of violent conduct by Muslim youth after tarawih prayer.
    • Physical damage to Mosques by people with anti-Islamic sentiments
    • Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/southern_counties/4339747.stm
    • Unpredictable Weather
    • Often means cancellation of events, projects and schemes that are held outside.
    • No Car Traffic System
    • This leads to traffic jams, in some cases bus routes are affected and the safety of the public is jeopardised due to parking on pavements. The local residence cannot leave as garages are blocked.
    • Architectural Beauty or waste of money?
    • Masjids may look nice but are not sustainable due to poor income of the local area of the Muslims.
    • Ibn Abbas: “I was not ordered to renovate the Masjids” [Abu Dawood].
    • The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) also said: “The hour will not come until the people show off about the Masjid”
    Environmental Problems
  • 8.
    • Producing an overall plan of infrastructure through Shura’ and official bodies – thus removing unnecessary bureaucracy.
    • Public meetings and visits to local residents to improve relations between the community and Masjid.
          • Involve youth in matters of Islam that concern them
          • Make people aware of the role of the Masjid and Committee
          • Show them the process of electing the committee members or imam
    • Electronic voting to elect committee – Two factors of apathy are time and cost of being involved in elections (Rational Choice Theory).
    • Source Dunleavy, Patrick (1991). "Democracy, Bureaucracy and Public Choice: Economic Models in Political Science" (London: Pearson)
    • Karl Marx Conflict theory – Conflict theory states that a society or organization functions so that each individual participant and its groups struggle to maximize their benefits, which inevitably contributes to social change such as changes in politics and revolutions.
    • Source: Otomar Jan Bartos (2002). Using Conflict Theory . Cambridge University Press
    • Introducing the Mosque in schools through “service learning programmes”. Some universities use service learning programmes to allow students to discuss in class what they have done. For example : A Class in Housing Policy whilst working in a homeless shelter.
    • Imams can provide further services like visiting homes just to see if families require further help breaking the gap between Imams and the public – thus be seen as people that are more approachable.
    General Solutions
  • 9.
    • Recreational facilities not just outdoor but indoor if the weather is an issue.
    • Bring people with good business acumen and potential, to raise the economy standard of the community to help facilitate change.
    • Keeping youth actively involved through programmes, and be able to develop their own programmes.
    • Pooling resources to develop local Islamic businesses, and in return, a portion of the profit can be given back into the Masjid
    • Interview conducted on 20 th October 2007
    Solutions An Interview with Sheikh Sabree
  • 10.  
  • 11.
    • By Corporate standards the most oft repeated motto is “the customer is always right”.
    • A typical mosque-goer is a “customer” and the mosque administration is responsible for meeting the needs of this customer.
    • The customer service outlook is defined as a mode of thinking, managing, and evaluating the functioning at all levels of the mosque.
    • Emphasis on serving, facilitating, and assisting the believers.
    • Source: MPACUK Website http://www.mpacuk.org/index2,php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3974&pop=1&page=0&itemid=35
    Solutions Adopting a Customer Service Outlook
  • 12. Tablighi Mega Mosque “Markaz” London – Plans are delayed. Source: http://www.islammission.org/news/2006news/062news/ne061226.htm
  • 13. Something to think about
    • Is having too many Masjids in a locale negative or positive?
    • Does the number of Masjids dictate the level of quality of Islam being delivered in the area?
  • 14. Suggested Reading
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peFQWuk4nuo – Youtube Dispatches Document of “the Undercover Mosque”
    • Dunleavy, Patrick(1991). "Democracy, Bureaucracy and Public Choice: Economic Models in Political Science" (London: Pearson)
    • Muslim Council of Britain – www.mcb.org.uk
    • Voice from the Minarets – MCB Publication
  • 15.
    • “ The mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by such as who believe in Allah and the Last Day, who establish regular prayers and pay the zakah and fear none but Allah. It is they who are on the true guidance”
    • [ At-Taubah: 18]
    • ~