By Dr. Mohammed Benayoune
Accountability is at the heart of Islamic belief. One of the six pillars of faith in Islam is the belief in the Day of Judgment when people will be held accountable for all their actions on earth.
In addition to the accountability in front of God on the Day of Judgment, Islam also emphasizes accountability in front of other people for all actions that concern them.
How is accountability practiced by Muslim institutions in North America today?
In most Muslim institutions, there is a lack of accountability to the constituency, which has caused and is still causing many problems. Some cases have ended up in courts. But the biggest loss to these institutions is the disengagement of community from the affairs of the organization.
How do we build the bridges of trust between organizations and community? What is the best way of reengaging our constituencies to meet the complex challenges facing the Muslim community?
In the next few issues of "Masjid Today" we will highlight a few ideas to make our Masjids more accountable and transparent:
1- Open up the membership
Most groups running Muslim organizations are reluctant to open up to the broader community. This attitude is based on the fear that “other” groups may infiltrate their membership in order to take over their organization. This has happened in the past. Some groups believe that their way is the closest to the true understanding of Islam and involving others may dilute this or deviate it from the straight path.
To achieve their central mission on earth, Muslims in Canada have no choice but to work together with tolerance and understanding. Different schools of thought will always exist, especially in mosques. However, there is no reason why different schools of thought cannot coexist in the same mosque. Co-existing in the same place brings people’s understanding closer together and minimizes the fear of the “other”.
Dr. Mohammed BenayounDr Mohammed Benayoune is a former advisor to a minister of oil & gas in an Arabian Gulf Country as well as a business leader who occupied several CEO positions in large corporations. Over the past 30 years, he has set up several for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He has consulted with many first class organizations on leadership and organizational development. Dr Benayoune has led several Muslim organizations in several countries.