Friday, November 30

British Muslims issue guidelines to fight extremism

Very good steps here, something that shows how far we have come and still how far we have to go. In other words, the very fact that these basic common sense modern day and age principles have to be enumerated shows how far we are, and the fact that these basic principles are still facing opposition shows how far we have to go.

Read and worry but hope as well! Some extracts:

Leaders of Britain's two million Muslims unveiled a new set of guidelines Thursday that aim to root out extremism, promote a culture of "civic responsibility" and foster women's rights in the country's mosques, Islamic centers and Muslim schools.

The 10-point "code of conduct" will now go to public discussion among Muslim groups, with the aim of producing a final version by March. The proposals would commit all Muslim organizations accepting it to "actively combat all forms of violent extremism" within the community and to "promote civic responsibility of Muslims in wider society."

The specifics of the charter would commit mosques to stricter vetting of all imams and other religious leaders, including a check for criminal records. In addition, it would require mosques, and other Muslim religious institutions, to commit to "open, democratic, accountable management," including making public the details of the raising and spending of funds.

It would also bind mosques to adopt written policies on equality of opportunity, racial and religious harassment, and child protection. Perhaps most controversially, from the standpoint of conservative Muslims, it would also commit them to establish "women's committees" to encourage the wider participation of women in the life of mosques.

In particular, mosques and other Muslim institutions would be expected to "ensure that forced marriages are understood and publicized as un-Islamic," to condemn "violence in matrimonial or domestic matters," and to "mediate in matrimonial conflict resolution." Mosques would also be expected to have "uniform procedures" for carrying out marriages, and standard documents for certifying them.

The new charter would provide for random spot checks of mosques and other Muslim institutions to verify whether they were conforming to the charter, and commit them to participate in "interfaith activities" with other religious groups.

The Muslim organizations would be required to cooperate with other agencies, including the police and non-Muslim community groups, to bring about what the proposals referred to as a "reconciliation in fractured relationships" between Muslins and non-Muslims.

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