Occupation battles of British Mosques

By / Wajahat Ali Khan

Matter of the fact is that Islam has become the second largest religion in the UK after Christianity. There are currently around three million Muslims in the country. The largest Muslim community is Pakistani and Kashmiri, numbering more than 1.7 million. There are about 1800 mosques of different denominations. According to British law, all mosques are registered charities and all of them are registered with the Charity Commission. Thus, the public concept of mosques is the house of Allah, and the first purpose of their construction is to worship and gain the pleasure of Allah, but the sad fact is that like the subcontinent, the mosques of Britain are also completely divided into ethnic and professional factions. These mosques have become representative of Deobandi, Barelvi, Ahle Hadith and the other schools of thought. The organizers of the mosques run the whole system considering the promotion and interpretation of sectarianism as their first duty. Rather, the signs of despair are that the mosques built based on belief in one God, one prophet and one Qur’an are become Pakistani, Indian, Bengali, Arabic, Turkish mosques and just imagine even more embarrassing scenes That this house of Allah is monopolized by the holders of different communities such as Jatt, Malik, Aryans and other castes. In such a situation, words like “Muslim Ummah” become meaningless! So, in this multicultural society, the message of love and brotherhood that could have been spread from these mosques, the mosque committees are devoting all their energies not to spreading the message of religious brotherhood, unity of Muslims and utility of Islamic brotherhood but to the “height of their own flames”. As a result, the Muslim community in the UK is getting farther and farther away from it.
Of course, the environment mentioned above is not present in all mosques in Britain, but 95% of the mosques are suffering from the same attitude and stagnation. This attitude is common among other Muslims, but it is a problem for the Muslims who have come to the UK from the subcontinent. It will come as surprise to many that the first three mosques in Britain were built by the British. The first Mosque in Liverpool 1887, The second Shahjahan Mosque Woking in 1989 and the third the Central Mosque in Regents Park, which has been under construction since 1900 and was completed in 1977.
Surprisingly, two acres of land was donated by King George the VI of the United Kingdom, while the Churchill government donated 100,000 pounds to the mosque in 1940. King Faisal bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia, Emir of Dubai and President UAE Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Prince of Hyderabad Asif Jah gives lot of money to the mosque, rather the Prince Asif Jah also laid the foundation of this mosque.
Our religious leaders have divided the “river into canals” because of narrow-mindedness, and those who pray in the mosques of the companions who hold such a view feel suffocated instead of open-minded and calm hearted.
The Muslims in the UK know that in the past, Birmingham, Luton and other cities that have been in conflict have known that This made the British Muslims bow their heads in shame.
Religious mischief has brought disgrace to Muslims in the UK, especially the Muslims of the subcontinent, because such people have painted an ugly picture of “Islam”. Although such sectarian strife is rare these days, but occupancy incidents are common, i.e., seizure of a school of thought mosque by people of other sects, fights, police cases and then incidents of mocker is flourishing in communities.
These are the attitudes and aptitude that are causing us to be perceived as separate from these communities. After the events of 9/11 and 7/7, such internal conflicts in mosques are now becoming a source of suspicion for Muslims even at the external level. Hatred against Muslims in other communities has turned into “Islamophobia”, with a large section of the British media portraying the image of “Islam” as a violent religion and the image of Muslims as an extremist nation. Mosques were also attacked, but many of our religious leaders and the leaders of the mosque committees did not take notice.
If no “means” are effective for ending the occupation of mosques and preventing sectarian strife, would it not be better for the British government to enact a law for all mosques in the country, that any school of thought built by a mosque It will remain under the control of this sect and no other sect will be able to occupy it.
It is to be hoped that if the government enacts such a law, the issue of occupation of mosques by another sect will be resolved. There will be a problem which, if it can be completely eradicated, then it is only possible that the management of the mosques should leave the mosque as a place of worship and cradle of peace and tranquillity.
It is important to note that the British government is not yet biased in allowing mosques to be built. Even a mosque can be built by buying a church, but if the attitude of those who build and run a mosque remains violent and the government feels that such attitudes and quarrels are or may be causing violence in the society, then the government will take extreme measures/Steps can be taken in this regard, and we all know very well that in many places the local Christian community also opposes the construction of new mosque, because they believe that this way the Cristian culture of Britain is changing or being affected.
Especially in the UK and the US, after two major terrorist attacks in the last 20 years. We can no longer claim that the division among Muslims took place under a plan during the British rule over India and Lawrence of Arabia also played a key role.
In the context of this same phobia, we all know that when two mosques were attacked in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019, there was a huge wave of attacks on mosques and madrassas in the UK too, and such incidents increased by 600% here. Happened Islamophobia can also be gauged from the fact that just six years ago, even the Prime Minister of Hungary said that “the large number of Muslims coming to Europe is a threat to the Christian foundations of continental Europe” now be it London or any other city. We must keep in mind the fact that in a traditional society like Britain, the church is a symbol of cultural centrality. In such an environment, the government must make it a law that whoever builds a mosque or jurisprudence, this mosque will always be under their control or management. But if our Ulemas and Mashaikhs including the Masjid committees are embroiled in mutual and jurisprudential the pressure of the local population and in the view of sectarianisms danger, the government will have to make a strict law regarding mosques which may not be acceptable for those who run mosques as a business!!

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