British Imams Tackle Grooming, Read Khutba
Imams across Britain will give simultaneous sermons condemning sexual grooming this coming week, as part of a Muslim campaign to tackle the problem of abuse.
The sermon is being circulated to mosques and Imams for the Jummah Khutba (Friday Sermon) on Friday 28th June so that they can collectively help raise awareness of the issue and make a concerted effort to tackle street grooming in the UK.
Drafted by Bradford-based Imam and Respect Party councillor Alyas Karmani, the title of the sermon is ‘28/6 Khutba – Tackling Street Grooming in the UK’ and it begins with the following sacred verse from the Quran:
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأۡمُرُ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِ وَٱلۡإِحۡسَـٰنِ وَإِيتَآىِٕ ذِى ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ وَيَنۡهَىٰ عَنِ ٱلۡفَحۡشَآءِ وَٱلۡمُنڪَرِ وَٱلۡبَغۡىِۚ يَعِظُكُمۡ لَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَذَكَّرُونَ
“Allah enjoins justice and excellence giving assistance and support to your family and forbids sexual indecency, wickedness and oppression of others: He admonishes you; that you may take heed.” Quran: 16:90
The Khutba reaffirms the position the faith of Islam has in regards to grooming and child exploitation, condemning it in all forms and also condemning those who partake in such evil acts.
‘We wish to affirm that Islam as a religion of mercy and compassion places a strong obligation on safeguarding and protecting the weak and vulnerable from oppression (dhulm) and abuse particularly of women and children,’ the Khutba reads.
Using cited proof from the Quran and hadith, it forcefully demands all men to obey strict Islamic teachings on respectful behaviour towards women and children and behave with the highest morality.
The Khutba also welcomes the convictions of the cases that have been through the courts, and urges the Muslim community to take immediate action to stop such evil acts emerging or taking place.
‘Let me leave you with a call to action,’ it reads. ‘Along with speaking about this issue to others in our community if you see something that is suspicious or you suspect that sexual grooming is taking place, report it to the authorities (social services or the police).
If you need any motivation other that it is the right and Islamic thing to do just consider this – what if it was your daughter and someone you knew had not taken that step? If you report it you will have stopped an evil deed with your action (the highest form of faith) and protected a young person from harm.’
The Khutba has gained backing by various mosques, societies and groups, including (but not limited to) the Islamic Society of Britain, the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), UK Islamic Mission, the Bradford Imams Forum and Jamiyat Tabligh-Ul-Islam in Bradford.
The sermon draft can be viewed below.
By Hasan Faridi (Editor)
Images courtesy: Together Against Grooming