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What Is It like To Be Muslim In Britain Today? | The Guardian

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The Guardian is currently running a project on the experiences of Muslims in Britain. They asked the British members of the MuslimMatters team to respond as well as writers from other prominent blogs. 

Ed Note: We are thrilled that answers by MM writers Hira and Dr Wajid were featured in the Guardian:

4. What are the worst aspects of being a Muslim in Britain today? 

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Hira Amin, 27 lives in London. She is completing a PhD at Cambridge University about islamic revivalism and the migration of South Asian Muslims to the UK. Hira writes for Muslim Matters, a collaboration between bloggers and shuyukh – muslim scholars and leaders – to bring attention to issues affecting Muslims in the West.

The condescending remarks I receive for following a religion. I have actually had people say to me: “I don’t believe in religion, I believe in science.” As if I believe in Mickey Mouse! Just because I believe in God does not make me a less rational human being. The prevalent belief that science answers all questions is astonishing. As western philosophers of science point out, science cannot answer questions surrounding the issues of morality, meaning and purpose. Science can only study the physical world, not the metaphysical. Religious people do not reject science; we believe there is more to life than just physical matter. It is interesting to note that this issue is specifically European, as the US – the most practising Christian country in the industrialised world – has greater respect for religion.

8. What contributions do you think Muslims have made to British society?

Muhammad Akhter, 32, is a doctor in Essex. When he isn’t treating patients or blogging for Muslim Matters about Islamic history, he collects space memorabilia.

Muslims have made contributions to British society in many ways: ­ culinary, fashion, economic and medical. Yet this is still a young community finding its feet. We have many internal problems to contend with (illiteracy, sectarianism and identity crises to mention a few) and a few external ones that have a tendency to grab the headlines. None are insurmountable, but sometimes they can feel that way.

The Muslim community can be an innovative, socially conscious and energising presence in British society, creating and developing deep links to many of the rapidly growing economies of the world. On the other hand, it could slide into being a persecuted, marginalised and mistrusted minority that is a drain on resources and social cohesion. How things turn out will depend not only on whether we are able to move forward in a way that allows us to remain true to our faith and still be productive British citizens, but also on whether the wider community will allow us the time and space to do so.

The full article can be found here: http://goo.gl/AqlZtA

However, this project is not over and the Guardian is still looking for British Muslims to take part. If you would like to contribute please answer two of the following questions in 150 words and submit it using the form at the bottom of the Guardian article. Personal experiences and examples are particularly encouraged.

1) Do you consider yourself to be a Muslim? If so, what does it mean to you to be Muslim?

2) Did you convert to Islam? Did this affect your understanding and experience of British society?

3) What are the best aspects of being a Muslim in Britain today?

4) What are the worst aspects of being a Muslim in Britain today?

5) How do you feel the media depicts Muslims and Islam and how does this affect you?

6) Do you think there are misconceptions about Islam in the British media and if so, what are they?

7) Have you ever experienced intolerance or abuse in Britain because you are a muslim?

8) What contributions do you think Muslims have made to British society?

9) Do you consider yourself to be British? Why or why not?

 

 

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Rowan Braunton Chase

    April 13, 2016 at 1:28 PM

    thx this was really useful i am doing Homework revision for a essay on what it means to be a muslim and this helped me alot thx

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