7 October 2018
Over 400 mosque leaders met in Manchester yesterday to discuss how mosques can better serve their congregations in British society.
The Our Mosques Our Future conference featured over 15 TED-style talks, workshops and exhibitions on the theme #PeopleNotBuildings, and aimed to share best practice and discuss stronger mosque governance, the role of women, caring for the elderly, youth engagement, and media training.
It comes as the Muslim Council of Britain, the UK’s largest and most diverse Muslim umbrella body, launched a scheme to train women for leadership positions in mosques and community bodies. The pilot scheme will see 20 upcoming female leaders paired with a mentor, visit ‘best practice’ mosques and be given bespoke training.
Speaking at the conference, Harun Khan, Secretary General of the MCB, said “It is our duty to support the energy and enthusiasm for grassroots community work of both current and future mosque leaders – the unsung heroes of our mosques. When we think of mosques, we must think of investing in people, before we think of domes and minarets.”
Drawing from classical understandings of mosques, Dr Timothy Winters, speaking about the new Cambridge Eco Mosque, emphasised the need for mosques to be inclusive. He said, “a mosque needs to be inclusive, not a race temple. Do not allow it to be sectarian, but make them neutral.”
Andleen Razzaq, lead facilitator of the MCB Women in Mosques Development Programme said, “If no one speaks up [in our communities], everyone loses. This is the reality for women up and down the country. We must revive our community spaces because together we all win”
Muslimah, a delegate from Leeds, said “It was inspiring to meet such a diverse and wide-ranging audience, all of whom are intent on taking their mosques to the next level. There is hope for the Muslim community – we have the same purpose that is focused towards the future.”
The conference also saw the launch of a beta ‘Mosque Best Practice’ portal (www.mcb.org.uk/mosque), providing free downloadable resources to mosques leaders so they can develop and improve how they run their mosques.
Notes to Editors:
1.The Muslim Council of Britain is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over
500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations, mosques,
charities and schools.
2. For more information on Our Mosques Our Future conferences, visit www.ourmosquesourfuture.org.uk
3. For further information please contact:
The Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330
Tel: 0845 26 26 786
Fax: 0207 247 7079
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