Thursday, July 20, 2017

UK: Keighley's Ahmadiyya Muslims respond to report which highlights concern over slow pace of Muslim integration


Mr Rahman said Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Keighley had noted the report's findings, and emphasised the association's high level of civic involvement in Keighley.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK desk
Source/Credit: Leighley News
By Miran Rahman | July 20, 2017

A KEIGHLEY Muslim group says its work to ensure its members are integrated in society shows it is well ahead of recommendations featured in a new report.

"Missing Muslims: Unlocking British Muslim Potential for the Benefit of All", the result of a commission sponsored by Citizens UK, says more must be done to help Muslims fulfil their potential to benefit society.

But Aziz Rahman, president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Keighley, responded: "Here in Keighley over the last four decades and across the UK and the world we've endeavoured to ensure Ahmadi Muslims from all backgrounds play an integrated role in society.

"The town is witness to the humble efforts of Ahmadi Muslims, which cover a host of areas.

"These include our members working in local health services and educational institutions, to our men, women and children volunteering to alleviate suffering by raising funds for charity, assisting in local flood relief, collecting for the Poppy Appeal, offering free health checks or standing to remember our fallen heroes on Remembrance Day."

The work to compile the report was chaired by former Conservative attorney-general Dominic Grieve, and supported by figures from the worlds of business, academia, politics and faith.

The commissioners travelled across the UK to listen to more than 500 hours of testimonies and evidence detailing experiences of Muslims and non-Muslims.

Mr Grieve said: “Polls demonstrate significant scepticism across British society about the integration, and even the shared allegiance, of their British Muslim fellow citizens.

“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 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 all the more necessary.”

The commission has put forward 18 recommendations, including:

• Muslim umbrella bodies introducing voluntary standards for mosques and Islamic centres, reforming mosque committees and improving access for women.

• Mosques investing in British-born imams who are better able to deal with the challenges facing British Muslims.

• Muslim professionals helping strengthen their own communities through lobbying for change at mosques and funding modernisation schemes.

Mr Rahman said Ahmadiyya Muslim Association Keighley had noted the report's findings, and emphasised the association's high level of civic involvement in Keighley.

"This is what integration means to us, it means being a loyal, law-abiding citizen and playing an active role in benefitting others and society at large," he said.

"As regards development of the Muslim community as a whole, the worldwide caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, has long been calling for openness in access to mosques and the need for British trained imams."

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