London is a more Islamic city than most cities in Muslim countries, a prominent Islamic scholar declared today. Pakistan-born Maulana Syed Ali Raza Rizvi said freedom of worship and the cultural mix in London did more to promote Islamic values than Muslim political leaders elsewhere in the world. The endorsement of religious tolerance comes as a boost to ministers who are facing criticism over key elements of the Government’s efforts to combat extremism among Muslim groups in Britain. In particular, the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy has been condemend as ‘toxic’ and ‘tainted’ by critics who say it encourages discrimination against Muslims.
But the Shia cleric, who was brought up in Birmingham, said at an interfaith debate with other religious leaders that the atmosphere in London makes Muslims feel at home. Malana Rizvi said that unlike ‘Jewish and Christian brothers’ Muslims in Britain are a new community who have been established for decades rather than hundreds of years and stood to learn from the experiences of other religious groups. ‘I feel that London has more Islamic values than many of the Muslim countries put together,’ he said. ‘There are many different communities living together in peace and harmony, giving respect to the others and loving others and that is what Islam is all about – and unfortunately much of the Muslim leadership has failed to provide that.’
Culled from Dailymail