— Mike Ghouse
Much of the maligning of Islam we see and read in the news papers stems from
the speeches and the management of our Mosques, and it also fuels the talk
show hosts. The best way to fix the problem is straighten out ourselves
The first battle field of change is our institutions. We need to plan long
term and short strategies/ solutions to our issues if we have not already
In the interest of our community’s long term peaceful un-fearful
co-existence, we may have to take up this topic and discuss it within our
organizations. A national policy would be of greater value. Most of us are
familiar with our problems, and as such I have not explained the background
for each item, you can complete the list with your own situation. Here are a
few solutions to consider.
*SPEAKERS/ SPEECHES/ MEETINGS*:
– We must keep a record of what we say in public forums.
– We must keep records of speeches or scripts to go on the website.
– We must invite all the major media outlets, even if it is a vain
– We must cultivate the habit of having the same speech in public and
– We must have a formal system to appraise the values of our
organization to <guest/ Imam speaker>
– We must follow the Islamic tradition of good record keeping – every
thing our prophet has said is recorded.
– We must ask the new Imam speaker to present the scripted outline of
the Khutba prior to speech
– We must ask all our speakers to provide an outline to keep it as a
record and perhaps put it on the website.
– We must trust our speakers, but having a record of the speech is
greater trust we owe it to the Ummah.
– We must advise our speakers to open up the eyes and understand that
they are not speaking to a monolithic group.
– We must advise our speakers to cut down any kind of incitement,
microphone will be turned off for violations.
– We must let them know their boundaries – let it be in a manual, and
every speaker has to follow the guidelines.
– We must advise our speakers to be Women sensitive and guest
sensitive (as non-Muslim guests attend Juma)
– We must acknowledge that no one is above the long term goodwill of
*ACCOUNTABILITY & ADMINISTRATION*
– A major overhaul needs to be considered in Administration of
Mosques and Islamic Centers.
– Qualifications must be verified by a paid third party CPA for
– All the financial transactions must be audited by a CPA.
– Women and Youth must be represented on the board.
– Board Voting must be confidential and un-identified to keep the
– No one should run the Mosque like the Patriarch of the family does –
i.e., no unilateral decisions.
– The Board members must have the experience in management of
professional, civic or community based organization, preference must be
given to those who have served in non-Muslim organizations. We live in a
real World, let’s our actions be based on real world interactions.
– We need to hire a public relations firm on a part time or full
– We need to verify all literature that is put out there.
– We need to *remove* the Hilali Translation of Quran from our
– We need to learn to explain our Deen in more understandable terms,
not the old English.
– We need to make our mosques visitors friendly