Charter promotes unity amongst western imams and scholars
Some of the leading scholars and imam councils and boards across the Western world have developed a charter to promote unity amongst imams and scholars.
The British Board of Scholars & Imams, Australian National Imams Council, European Council of Imams, Canadian Council of Imams, North American Imams Federation, United Ulama Council of South Africa, and Ulama Council of New Zealand are collaborating on the project.
The Global Imams and Scholars Network says it aims to share knowledge and promote traditional and orthodox principles, the message of Islam and preserve the Islamic identity for Muslims living in the west.
The charter includes principles the network looks to incorporate within its work and encourage other imams and scholars to adopt.
Some of the pledges in the charter include:
- avoid divisive polemical discussions and interactions
- foster and promote respect for all scholars and Muslim affiliated groups
- facilitate intra-Muslim dialogue to reduce perceived methodological and theological differences.
- create a culture that facilitates a ‘safe space’ for scholars to put forward research and views that address some of the complex challenges Muslim in the West face.
- non-specialists, especially the youth, should not be embroiled in intra-Muslim polemics in the public domain.
"As inheritors of sacred knowledge, imams and scholars of the English speaking nations from diverse theological and jurisprudential backgrounds have agreed to cooperate on mutual productive work," reads the charter
"We live in a global village and Muslims from all over the world face similar challenges in their religion and life. Although the various scholarly councils and boards will have divergent methodologies in how they approach issues - in accordance to their local context, they are united in vision.
"It is with this vision of unity and collective work that a new vibrant and empathetic approach is needed. This new approach needs to be informed by the Islamic orthodoxy and traditional principles and values within the framework of Islam."
The group said the charter is subject to change and amendment. It encourages local organisations to adopt the foundations of the charter and provide feedback.