UK imams to tutor youngsters over 'mistaken' Muslim beliefs

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London, July 19 : The Gordon Brown Government in Britain is expected to be offered advice by a board of Islamic experts on how to counter "mistaken" beliefs about the country's Muslim community.

Issues such wearing a veil and the role of women in public life are expected to be addressed by the Islamic clergy, reports The Times.

According to the paper, this is being done with the objective of sidelining extremists within the community who misuse Islamic beliefs to reinforce cultural practices, including stereotyping women.

Young Muslims particularly will be tutored in citizenship classes at madrassas or mosque schools. Trials of the new lessons will begin in East and West London, Leicester, Birmingham, Oldham, Rochdale and Bradford at the start of the new term in September.

The initiative is designed to show youngsters that there is no conflict between their religion and being British. The Government is providing money to train imams for the schemes.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears announced that 100,000 pounds of public money will help Cambridge University to create an independent board of academic and theological experts.

Twenty leading Muslims will sit on the board, which will be expected to compile a report on Islamic beliefs in relation to life in modern Britain over the coming academic year.

A Communities department spokeswoman said: "Muslims have consistently expressed concerns about Islamic beliefs being misused by those seeking to promote extremism or reinforce certain cultural practices.

The spokeswoman said that membership of the new board would reflect the diversity of Muslim communities in Britain.

Friday's proposals are also aimed at boosting the role of Muslim women by encouraging their involvement in public life.

The report said that too often their voices were not heard through lack of confidence, balancing work and family and because they were subject to stereotypes and so not included in public debate.

This must change.

ANI

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