London ‘more Islamic’ than Muslim world: Pakistan-born Islamic scholar

Published: March 11, 2016
Photo: Qamar Rizvi via Facebook

Photo: Qamar Rizvi via Facebook

London is a more Islamic city than much of the Muslim world put together, a leading Pakistan-born Muslim scholar has said.

“There are many different communities living together in peace and harmony, giving respect to others and loving others and that is what Islam is all about – and unfortunately [much] of the Muslim political leadership has failed to provide that,” Maulana Syed Ali Raza Rizvi, a prominent Shia cleric, said.

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Maulana Rizvi, who was born in Lahore and studied in Iran, said he feels more Islamic in Britain than other countries. “I feel more Islamic living here because I can easily practice my faith and give respect to all other members of the community belonging to different faiths and not even belonging to a faith, to anything.”

The cleric, who was brought up in Birmingham and is president of the Majlis Ulama-e-Shia which represents South Asian Shia mosques and scholars, according to the Daily Mail, continued, “Because that is what Islam is all about, respecting and giving to others … if in one line I could say what Islam is all about, it is all about love and justice.”

The scholar was speaking alongside Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, and Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis at the annual Benedict XVI Lecture, an interfaith discussion event in London.

The three leaders discussed how members of their own faiths had, in different ways, lived as “creative minorities”.

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Maulana Rizvi also said that unlike their “Jewish and Christian brothers”, Muslims in Britain were a new community, established for decades rather than centuries, and had a “lot to learn” from other religious groups.

According to Daily Mail, Cardinal Vincent Nichols warned that definitions of extremism could become “far too embracing of simply the current social consensus.”

He cited the example of teachers contacting police about pupils suspected of extremism. This ‘can do immense damage’ to levels of trust, he said.

“There is no doubt that the threat of active terror is real. But my impression is that we are at a very delicate point at which the defining of extremism could go quite seriously wrong,” he added.

This article originally appeared on Telegraph.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Farru
    Mar 11, 2016 - 3:44PM

    True, but pinching truth.Recommend

  • Fahim
    Mar 11, 2016 - 5:30PM

    I have seen the place and this molvi is saying correctlyRecommend

  • Aftab
    Mar 11, 2016 - 7:50PM

    I strongly agree with this gentleman… People in London may not believe in Islam, but they practice Islamic teachings of tolerance, love, respect of law, more than any other Muslim nation, I must say… Recommend

  • Nadir
    Mar 11, 2016 - 7:52PM

    Have to agree with this point of view. While we in the ‘muslim’ world are busy arguing over portions of text and what clothes to wear, we have reached a point of intolerance (against differing points of view) which Islam faced and was born out of in its early stages. It is the (just and caring) treatment of other people which is a more integral part of an islamic society, not enforcement of a point of view.

    Hope ‘muslim’ countries divorce the state and religion over a period of time and focus on fundamental human rights… that would be truly islamic. Recommend

  • genesis
    Mar 11, 2016 - 9:47PM

    Yes London is sometimes referred to as LondonistanRecommend

  • sterry
    Mar 11, 2016 - 9:56PM

    @Fahim: Especially since so many refugees and immigrants in UK can live decently on social welfare in government housing when they don’t work. Islam has a provision for helping poor with khayrat and most needy Muslims in the European ghettos are well looked after by the state. Why else would millions of Iranians, Somalis, Arabs and Afghans pay human smugglers to get into Europe and ask for asylum instead of living in their home countries. Recommend

  • Asif
    Mar 11, 2016 - 10:04PM

    Yes, those non-muslim countries provide a better and healthy environment to be a good muslim. And, yes, they are more Islamic than the Islamic countries in equality, justice and for religious freedom. I have lived in western countries and they have societies built on mutual respect. A sick mind will stay sick regardless.Recommend

  • Mar 11, 2016 - 10:16PM

    I am very impressed by all above astonishing information’s about the latest updates around the world . I hope everyone will get right information about all matters. thanks Shafique


  • Avtar
    Mar 11, 2016 - 11:34PM

    In the UK force, e.g. Ministries of Vice and Virtues and their ilk, are not used to enforce rituals and looks. People who believe in it do not need to be monitored by a religious police. As Jinnah, and many other wise men have said, religion is a matter of personal beliefs.Recommend

  • SuchBaath
    Mar 11, 2016 - 11:49PM

    Does Moulvi sahib understands that he is saying London is even better than Iran, where he got educated? Does he understand that state is not governed by religion in West to promote tolerance? Is he ready to accept the same rule for Islamic countries to bring same peace in Islamic countries like West? Recommend

  • Akber
    Mar 12, 2016 - 1:33AM

    That’s what Imran khan says.Recommend

  • Curious
    Mar 12, 2016 - 1:36AM

    “London ‘more Islamic’ than Muslim world: Pakistan-born Islamic scholar”

    Yes and that’s why the Brits have stopped issuing visas to Pakistanis. They realize their mistake. Recommend

  • Mortal
    Mar 12, 2016 - 1:37AM

    Not all of london but the ghettos where muslims & particularly Pakistanis live. Recommend

  • The truth
    Mar 12, 2016 - 3:34AM

    Aftab the people in UK and other Christian majority country practice Christianity in the true sense, they don’t have to follow any other religion The commandment is Thy shall love your neighbour and not kill.Recommend

  • Muslim in the West
    Mar 12, 2016 - 7:34AM

    I concur with the Muslim Brother has stated. In fact I have heard many Newly Converted Muslims state that they would have NEVER accepted Islam, if they were to look at the character and how the Muslims of Today live in the so called Muslim Majority countries. The people living in Muslim Majority countries are doing everything that is AGAINST the true teachings of Islam, they are corrupt, they use Rishwat, they use usury (interest) which is forbidden to Muslims, they drink Alcohol (underground or even openly), they have relationships outside of marriage, they lie and cheat on everything, in fact when in comes to corruption, lying, cheating, Muslims are worst in the whole world, and it shows why most Muslim countries are so much behind in every segment of development. It is precisely because they Do Not Practice the real Islam. The so called thakedaar of Islam, those who consider themselves most pious and religious are the worst offenders, because they are all divided into different Sects, Firqaas, and each Firqaa is calling the other Firqaa Kaafir. How sad is that. Do you think Allah (SWT) would be happy with current crop of Muslims, and it shows in our development progress in this world. That may be the primary reason why Muslims are so backward and behind everyone in all the fields, Science, Engineering, Medical, Athletics, Governance, etc. because of Muslims do not understand and respect the true teachings of Islam, which is of Tolerance, Respect, Love, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Helping the Poor, Not cheating, saying no to corruption, no to Rishwaat, no to usury, etc. God helps those who help themselves, and Muslims living in the Muslim Majority Countries need to improve a lot, if are to make God Almighty be pleased with us. There is always hope, Insha-Allah.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Mar 12, 2016 - 7:44PM

    So trueRecommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Mar 12, 2016 - 7:45PM

    I have lived in sheffield / Birmingham I know its the truth. English ( like French ) are very tolerent . Recommend

  • hammurabi
    Mar 12, 2016 - 8:29PM

    All religions teach love, tolerance,etc.Recommend

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