Are UK's Imams Modern Enough?

July 7, 2007

Author: Robert Piggot

Source: BBC News

A week after the failed attacks in London and Glasgow, the Muslim Council of Britain has called an emergency meeting of imams and Muslim community activists to work out a strategy for combating extremism.

Their particular concern will be young Muslims, and the radical groups trying to recruit them to their hard-line understanding of Islam, with all its disdain for the Western way of life.

Those meeting in London on Saturday - and in a separate gathering in Oxford - are likely to see imams as a vital part of the task.

They are the official interpreters of Islam, and the public officials of the Muslim world whose word should carry maximum authority.

But a BBC study has led some influential figures in British Islam to doubt their imams are equal to this most urgent of tasks.