An excellent article in the Spectator by Innes Bowen published on 14th June 2014 on the subject of the governance and ideology of Britain’s mosques. As many of the readers will by now realise, Islam is not following the established path trodden by Jews, German Protestants, Sikhs, Hindus and others and becoming more British. Islam is increasingly becoming and often violent and corrupting irritant to British society.
The question ‘who runs Britain’s mosques’ would not be one that it is vital to answer had not Islam brought so many problems to this country. The majority of people do not care who the current or next Orthodox Chief Rabbi is, nor do they give much thought to who runs Methodist churches. However we do care about who runs Britain’s mosques because it is Islam from where a growing number of problems are coming.
This is why it is vital to know who is running Islamic organisations in Britain and what their political ideology is.
Innes Bowen said:
“So which Islamic schools of thought run Britain’s mosques today? The influence of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi movement is often cited. But the Wahhabis — or Salafis as they prefer to be called — control just 6 per cent of mosques.
The largest single group — the one which arguably gives Islam in Britain much of its character — is the Deobandi. It controls around 45 per cent of Britain’s mosques and nearly all the UK-based training of Islamic scholars. What most Deobandi scholars have in common is a conservative interpretation of Islamic law: television and music for the purposes of entertainment, for example, are frowned upon if not banned. Women are advised not to emerge from their homes any more than is necessary.
The advice section of the website of Mufti Muhammed ibn Adam al-Kawthari, one of the Deobandis’ leading British-born, UK-trained Islamic scholars, gives a flavour of this group’s approach to living as a Muslim in the West. One follower posts a question asking whether it is permissible to wear a tie to work if asked to do so by one’s employer. The scholar says it is permissible but warns that it is better to ‘avoid the dress of the unbelievers’, so the wearing of the tie should be confined to work. Women followers are advised that it is necessary to cover their faces in ‘normal’ situations and that it is generally impermissible for them to travel a distance of more than 48 miles unless accompanied by a male relative (even if the purpose is to attend a religious gathering).
There is a good reason why this interpretation of Islam sounds so similar to that of Afghanistan: the Taleban movement grew out of the Deobandi madrassas of Pakistan. Tony Blair justified to the Muslim world the post-9/11 attacks on Afghanistan on the basis that driving out the Taleban would be an act of liberation: ‘I don’t believe,’ he said, ‘that anybody seriously wants to live under that kind of regime.’ Did he realise that the rules enforced by law in Afghanistan were being adopted, voluntarily, in parts of Leicester, Dewsbury and Blackburn? Even the Prime Minister seemed not to know about Deobandi Britain.
The culture of the Deobandis has raised the orthodoxy bar for Britain’s other Muslim networks. The first generation of Sufi women who came from Pakistan tended to throw a shawl loosely over their heads when they left the house. Their pious daughters and granddaughters are more likely to show not a single hair in public. Among Britain’s main Islamic groups, only the Ismaili followers of the Aga Khan believe there is no obligation to wear the veil.”
The answer to the question who runs Britain’s mosques is not one that many liberals would be pleased to hear. Too many of them seem to be run by misogynistic cliques who despise Britain and whose primary loyalty is not to this country but to the Ummah. As Innes Bowen says, the problem is not that foreign born imams are peddling hatred, but that British Islam is now very ‘illiberal’. It appeaers that those British Muslims who run British mosques are as hateful and nasty and fascistic as Islam is in other parts of the world.
Original Spectator article