Mosques in UK should hire British-born imams to promote better integration

Vastavam web: Mosques in the UK should hire British-born imams to promote better integration into British life, according to recommendations in a new report published today.’Missing Muslims: Unblocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All’, commissioned by the Citizens UK charity, reports that many imams are born and educated overseas, preventing Islamic communities in the country from integrating.

“It is of great importance that British-born imams, who have a good understanding of British culture and who fluently speak English, are encouraged and appointed in preference to overseas alternatives,” it notes.The central remit of the inquiry was to examine how the participation of Muslims in public and community life could be improved across Britain.The 76-page report published today says “British Muslim experiences are more diverse than is often assumed”.

The inquiry found lack of integration between Muslims and the majority white British population was most apparent in areas of high deprivation, “which points to the need to address structural barriers, including a lack of economic opportunities and discrimination”.”In turn, British Muslims have mixed views about the extent to which they have equal status or access to equal opportunities within the UK. This dynamic creates the risk of a downward spiral of mutual suspicion and incomprehension, which makes the need for action to break down barriers and bring people together even more necessary,” he said.