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A report out today laments the high numbers of foreign-trained leaders of UK mosques

A report out today laments the high numbers of foreign-trained leaders of UK mosques

Country: 
United Kingdom (UK)
News Date: 
24/02/2014
Lancastrian
Summary: 

The Quilliam Foundation is an interesting body because it hopes to achieve a more Muslim Britain as much as any of the Islamist parties it criticises; but it means to get there by fair means rather than foul. The headline that comes out of its  is that almost all the imams in British mosques are foreign.

The , of 97%, is not entirely to be trusted. It is based on the responses of 254 of Britain's estimated 1200 mosques; the foundation tried to reach over 1000 of them with a list of five questions, but only 512 answered at all and of these 254 answered the one about the imam's birthplace; and only 152 told them where the imam had been trained. The picture of British mosques as secretive and hard for outsiders to reach is reinforced by others' experience: the Charity Commission estimates that it takes on average 12 attempts to reach one.

Compare and contrast Christian churches, where this sort of information is pretty freely available. Usually, they will put the names and phone numbers of their staff on a conspicuous board outside; and at least in protestant denominations it is not uncommon to boast of their educational attainments as well.