Mosques given code of practice

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The Independent Online

A coalition of four leading Muslim organisations has published the first set of national guidelines for the UK's 1,600-plus mosques in an attempt to fight extremism and introduce a level of self-regulation.

The draft of a 10-point "code of practice" was published yesterday by the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (Minab), an independent body which was set up last year to open up and modernise Britain's mosques.

Many of the provisions are aimed at encouraging women to become more involved in their local mosques and stopping young people from being drawn towards radical organisations.

Imams are urged to condemn forced marriages and domestic violence as "un-Islamic" and allow women to have greater access to religious training in mosques. Women have long complained that many mosques do not allow them to attend.

The rules will also try to encourage greater transparency in how funds are raised and increase the skills and competence of the country's 2,000-plus imams, the vast majority of whom were born abroad.

Minab was set up last year following recommendations from a task force on extremism.