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Reaching out in Westminster

by Dennis Cooper

 

Imam Ajmal Masroor was the guest at the recent meeting of the City of Westminster Circle of the Catenian Association at their annual Clergy Night dinner. In a voluble speech expressing his faith and the certainty that we all pray to the same God, he strongly condemned Islamic terrorists, adding that they plainly do not speak for Islam. In a challenge to the audience he asked how many had read any authoritative book on Islam.
Imam Ajmal also expressed the wish that Christians were more supportive of their own churches and encouraged Circle Brothers to engage with local Imams and to visit their mosques. The President of Westminster Circle, Andrew Watt, applauded the Iman for his forthright expression of his faith and his thought provoking comments especially the need for Christians to become better informed about Islam.
Imam Ajmal came from Bangladesh as a boy and now leads Friday prayers at four London mosques. He was introduced by a Muslim friend to Andrew Watt, who is now in his second term as President of the City of Westminster Circle.
In his first two-year term Andrew twice invited Imam Yunus Dudhwala, then a chaplain in Belmarsh prison, who made a huge impression on the Circle. Other past speakers have included Ann Widdicombe who visited the circle twice, the first time debating assisted dying with Lord Glasgow. Inviting Imam Ajmal this year and Rabbi Dame Julia Neuberger last year was part of a successfully developing theme. In February 2018 Bishop John Arnold will be the guest speaker

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