London ‘more Islamic’ than Muslim world – scholar - Ethiopian news
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London ‘more Islamic’ than Muslim world – scholar

By on Mar 10, 2016
MUU

Muslims more free to practise their faith in UK than most Islamic countries, insists leading Shia scholar

 

  • Maulana Syed Ali Raza Rizvi praises London’s freedoms and cultural mix
  • He says this does more to promote Islam than Muslim leaders elsewhere
  • Cleric’s endorsement of religious tolerance comes as boost to ministers
  • They are facing criticism over Government’s efforts to combat extremism

 

London is a more Islamic city than most cities in Muslim countries, a prominent Islamic scholar declared today.

Pakistan-born Maulana Syed Ali Raza Rizvi said freedom of worship and the cultural mix in London did more to promote Islamic values than Muslim political leaders elsewhere in the world.

The endorsement of religious tolerance comes as a boost to ministers who are facing criticism over key elements of the Government’s efforts to combat extremism among Muslim groups in Britain.

In particular, the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy has been condemend as ‘toxic’ and ‘tainted’ by critics who say it encourages discrimination against Muslims.

But the Shia cleric, who was brought up in Birmingham, said at an interfaith debate with other religious leaders that the atmosphere in London makes Muslims feel at home.

Malana Rizvi said that unlike ‘Jewish and Christian brothers’ Muslims in Britain are a new community who have been established for decades rather than hundreds of years and stood to learn from the experiences of other religious groups.

‘I feel that London has more Islamic values than many of the Muslim countries put together,’ he said.

‘There are many different communities living together in peace and harmony, giving respect to the others and loving others and that is what Islam is all about – and unfortunately much of the Muslim leadership has failed to provide that.’

Islamic city? A file image of Muslims celebrating the Eid festival in London's Trafalgar Square in August 2014

Islamic city? A file image of Muslims celebrating the Eid festival in London’s Trafalgar Square in August 2014

Thousands of Muslims celebrate Eid in Trafalgar Square

The cleric, who is president of the Majlis Ulama-e-Shia which represents South Asian Shia mosques and scholars, added: ‘I feel more Islamic here because I can easily practise my faith and give respect to all other members of the community belonging to different faiths and not even belonging to a faith, to anything.’

Islam is about love and justice, he said. ‘That is what Islam is all about, respecting and giving to others. If in one line I could say what Islam is all about, it is all about love and justice.’

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