Masjid Defense

One of the first things we had to determine when we created a Masjid Security Team was: How does this team interact with the existing administrative bodies? What is its relationship with the Masjid Shura (Board), and with the Executive Committee? This article demonstrates what we came up with.

Our masjid has two main administrative bodies: the Shura (or Board) and the Executive Committee. The (simplified) breakdown of responsibilities is as follows: The Shura sets larger policy and rules, and the Executive Committee is responsible for implementing the policies and for the day-to-day running of the masjid. There are, of course, other committees (like the Education Committee) responsible for their own areas, but still answerable to the Shura for larger issues.

We decided right away that the security of the masjid should be governed by policies. The Security Team may recommend policies, but the Shura is responsible for approving and adopting the policies. Once the policies have the Shura’s approval it is the responsibility of the Security Team to implement these policies. We also decided that the Shura should be responsible for deciding two other critical things: who gets to be on the Security Team, and, of those people, who gets to carry firearms at the masjid. We’ll discuss this more in a future post.

The policies that Security Team implements affect all of the other Committees at the masjid. For example, the Security Team will be responsible for conducting background checks for people who wish to work with children. We did not want the Security Team to have to work with the Shura members for implementing these types of actions. We decided that as far as implementation and actions are concerned, the Security Team would report to the Executive Director—the head of the Executive Committee.

Similarly, whenever the Executive Director, the Shura, or really anyone in the Masjid needs to hold the Security Team accountable, they should have a single person that they can approach. This person fills the role of Security Director. The Security Director is the leader of the Security Team and answers to the Executive Director for implementing policies, and answers to the Shura on matters of deciding policies and Security Team membership.

This structure is illustrated in the diagram below:

The Structure of the Security Team
The Structure of the Security Team 1
© 2019 Aijaz Ansari
Masjid Defense by Aijaz Ansari is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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