07 February 2016

Glasgow’s fight over Islam concerns us all

.... Who controls Scotland’s biggest mosque and sanctions what is taught there takes on a particular importance in an age of political, economic and religious extremes. According to Anwar, who has been advising the resigning members, the mosque has been “gripped by vicious civil war between the old guard and young reformers”.

In the past 18 months the reformers have transformed the ethos and culture of the mosque out of all recognition.

In the past, either by accident or design, the mosque was seen as predominantly the preserve of older, conservative men of Pakistani descent, some of whom hold ultra-orthodox views. According to Anwar, those not of Pakistani descent say they often feel excluded from the life of the mosque.

The reformers have challenged the lack of transparency and accountability, calling in the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) over what they allege are financial irregularities.

One of the complaints is about an allegedly unauthorised loan from Glasgow Central Mosque to the influential but controversial organisation Tablighi Jamaat’s Dewsbury mosque in Yorkshire. [The Sunday Times (£)] Read more