British mosques promote community cohesion

MCB welcomes independent Charity Commission report on Muslim centres of worship

The Muslim Council of Britain today welcomed the findings of an independent Charity Commission survey of mosques in Britain. The survey shows that mosques contribute to their local communities through a wide range of services and activities in addition to providing space for worship, from sport and leisure activities to healthy living programmes and assistance for senior citizens.

The survey charts how an overwhelming majority (94%) deliver educational programme for children and young people and three in five (61%) carry out women’s groups/activities. It is also a welcome information that increasingly more and more mosques have young people (52%) and women (15%) represented in their management responsibility. Far from being a source of separation, mosques are integral to community cohesion and development.

Dr Manazir Ahsan, the Chair of the Muslim Council of Britain’s Mosques Committee said, “I fully concur with Dame Suzi Leather the chair of the Charity Commission that ‘this new survey reveals the important contribution that Mosques are making to communities across England and Wales’. We agree with the primary conclusion of the report, that mosques should not only be a place of solace and worship, but should also benefit local communities, irrespective of faith. We are in no doubt that some mosques — with very little resources — require the necessary help and assistance to serve its users and the local community. To that end, we endorse the Charity Commission call to mosques to engage with the Commission and benefit from its services in order to have proper policies in place.”

“Despite the good work emanating from the majority of our mosques, and regardless of authentic, and citable evidence such as those presented by the Charity Commission, I am in no doubt that bigots and doommongers will nevertheless continue to peddle Islamophobic hysteria, insisting that mosques are incapable of promoting community cohesion. We must prove these naysayers wrong by opening up and welcoming all people to our mosques.”

MCB press release, 23 February 2009

See also “Survey reveals mosque insights”, BBC News, 23 February 2009

Download the Charity Commission report here.