Imam Wanted: Nashville Mosque Looks for a Cool Music City Leader
The Islamic Center of Nashville posted a colorful “Imam Wanted” ad on its Facebook page on Jan. 30 to spread the news of its imam search across the country. The mosque, founded in 1979 with a donation from musician Yusuf Islam, hopes the ad will attract the right kind of leader — someone who can meet the needs of its young population. […]
Afnan Adam, a member of the search committee, knows it’s a tall order.
“Going in, we did realize it was going to be a pretty daunting task,” the 26-year-old Nashville resident told HuffPost. “The supply isn’t large and the demand is high. Every community needs a good person who can relate with the youth, but there are not many people out there.” […]
Azhar Azeez is president of the Islamic Society of North America, a national organization that represents the interests of American Muslims. Over the past decade, he said, he’s seen a “paradigm shift” in the qualities mosques are seeking from imams.
“Prior to 9/11, all people would look for is a good reciter of the Quran, someone who can do the basic jobs,” he told HuffPost. “But now, as the community is growing, the needs are also growing.”
The Islamic society’s official magazine, Islamic Horizons, provides listings of mosques looking for spiritual leaders. These days they want individuals who are good communicators and who can be the face of the Muslim community in their respective neighborhoods, Azeez said. They want inclusive imams who will empower women and won’t focus on just one ethnicity or school of thought. And they want imams who are dedicated to interfaith work and social justice. […]