- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 24, 2005

LONDON — Britain’s interior minister announced proposals last week aimed at tackling Islamist extremism, including setting up a council to nurture home-grown prayer leaders for mosques in Britain, rather than recruiting from abroad.

Following the July 7 London bombings that killed 56 persons including the four suicide bombers, Home Secretary Charles Clarke set up seven working groups to come up with measures to tackle extremism and forge better intercommunity links.

At a press conference in London, Lord Nazir Ahmed, at Mr. Clarke’s side, announced the setting-up of the National Advisory Council of Imams and Mosques.

This would advise mosques on how to avoid being used by extremists, and reduce their reliance on bringing imams from abroad, Mr. Ahmed said.

He added: “I am delighted that the Muslim community around the UK has shown the willingness and challenge to lay down new foundations and policies that will shape the future and meet the challenges of a modern British society.

“As British Muslims, we need to be prepared to modernize the way we operate, encourage integration and help our children feel proud to be British.”

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