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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 November 2005, 04:12 GMT
Call for Muslim scholars to tour
London Central Mosque
The taskforce has recommended a council for Imams
A "roadshow" of Islamic scholars is among confirmed plans to curb extremism by a taskforce set up after the 7 July London bombings.

The scholars would tour the UK to explain Islam to young Muslims.

The taskforce of prominent British Muslims includes new efforts to train British-born imams.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke broadly supported the proposals - and said 5m would be spent over the next 18 months to pursue some of the ideas.

The taskforce was given seven areas to look into, including engaging women and young people, the role of imams and mosques, education and security.

Its proposals include a national forum against extremism, and a public inquiry into the July bombings, although Mr Clarke has not committed to such a probe.

National tour

In September the groups recommended that a council for Imams, which will produce a good practice guidance for Mosques, be created.

They also outlined plans to encourage British-born Muslims to become Islamic clerics.

The proposed National Forum against extremism and Islamophobia would challenge extremists' interpretations of the Koran.

A member of the taskforce, Labour peer Lord Ahmed, said the National Advisory Council of Imams would train "young, suitable candidates who will become our home-grown imams rather than asking for imams from outside".

He said mosques would have to increase the use of English in sermons because half of Muslims aged under 24 did not understand Arabic, and mosque committees would have to include more women and young people.

He added that mosque leaders needed to be trained in resolving conflicts within their communities to help prevent the growth of terrorism.

Mr Clarke has already published separate proposals to give the police new powers to temporarily close down mosques which are being used by extremists.

The proposals for a roadshow and other elements have now been confirmed in a document published by the Home Office.


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