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Head of Central Mosque

Head of London’s Central Mosque:

Islamophobia the biggest threat facing Muslims today

By Khalil Charles

Dr. Ahmad Al-Dubayan Director General of the Central Mosque Islamic Cultural Centre in Londonhas said the biggest challenge facing Muslims today and those who run religious institutions is the threat of attacks by Islamophobes. He told a gathering of Imams at the Muslim College of London that by connecting with the community and having an open door policy for non-Muslims to visit mosque, Muslims will be better understood and would be able to better avoid attacks by those ignorant of Islam.

He said he firmly believed that for most people coming into contact with Muslims was the best way to soften attitudes and to lead more people to embrace Islam. "In my opinion, very few people are persuaded to come to Islam by reading books or listening to talks. Most people will tell you that they came to Islam because they met a good Muslim or Muslimah that they admired." 

In his lecture to the Imams, he talked about the need to run religious institutions professionally which included writing and working to policies and having strategic planning for the future. “Some mosques begin building and then realise some years later that they have no room to accommodate their activities. Committees should always be thinking ahead to prepare for their needs in 5 to 10 years time.”

He urged directors and imams of mosque to work together, however he said generally the director should be in charge of the administration of the mosque and the Imam should take care of the religious duties.  He warned against putting all the control of the mosques in the hands of one person.

Dr. Ahmad warned against mosque committee not reflecting the Muslims that pray in the mosque and hanging on to control of the mosque unfairly. “Often you find the people who have established the mosque are unwilling to make room for others and future generation to come. He suggested that mosque should be prepared to include women and young people in the running and administration of mosque where necessary.

Dr. Ahmad is Director-General of the Central Mosque in Regents Street which holds five thousand worshippers and has an over hanging balcony for women to pray. The Islamic Cultural Centre was opened by 1944 and the new building competed in 1978.

What are the biggest challenges facing our Mosques?

Muslim Association of Britain would like to hear your view.