A recently surfaced video of a heated dispute that broke out in a Chester based Mosque during Friday congregational prayers shows that police had to be called to intervene and bring calm to the situation.
According to Abdun Noor, a member of the Mosque and owner of a local restaurant, the dispute erupted as he was about make an announcement over the microphone with regards to setting a meeting in a bid to form a new management committee and constitution.
“It’s about a community issue. We don’t have a committee for the mosque. I want to have a proper committee. Some people agree and some people disagree. I want the mosque to be open and transparent and to invite in the wider community. It’s in our interests.”
He also went on to express his regret that the incident escalated in the way he did. He reiterated that the community was ‘close knit’ and that the entire Mosque congregation was deeply embarrassed at the way things unfolded and that the police needed to be called
We have never had anything like that before. It’s really, really sad the police had to come.
Disputes and issues over management in Mosques is something that, unfortunately, many Muslims may be all too familiar with. The need for established, well run committees and management structures that allow for regular transitions of power and offer complete transparency to stakeholders and benefactors is essential at any level of organisation.
The traditional role of a Mosque in Muslim communities is an institution that can provide services, advice and guidance to its congregation in addition to offering a place for prayer. The hallmark of a successful Mosque is one that can demonstrate its ability to go above and beyond the needs of its users as well as appreciate the importance of opening the institution to the wider Non-Muslim community that neighbours it, as a means of building strong inter-community relations.
As is seen with the incident at Chester Mosque, the lack of effective management structures coupled with general frustration, animosity and a breakdown of internal communication can result in an outbreak of disruption that reflects negatively on the wider Muslim community and perpetuates a negative stereotype.
Striving for excellence and implementing good practice and governance should be at the forefront of Mosque leadership in order to ensure sustainable growth for all the community and to ensure the longevity of faith institutions for generations to come.
To find out more about Mosque Management and Governance advice, guidance and training visit www.faithassociates.co.uk.