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Congress Doesn’t Applaud Muslim Tolerance – Are We Surprised?

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Trust me, Congress. The feeling is mutual.

By now, we have all seen it. During the State of the Union, President Obama called for a rejection of offensive Muslim stereotypes. Instead of applauding approval, the crowd went dead silent. As far as we can tell, Congress and the other government officials who were in attendance are perfectly fine with offensively stereotyping Muslims.

My question is, are we really surprised?

Let’s take a look at a brief list of facts in order to gauge how Muslim-friendly Congress and the US government at large have been over the years.

1. This is the same Congress and the same President that have initiated and continued the “War on Terror,” backing military operations in seven different Muslim nations over the past fourteen years: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, North West Pakistan. In the few Muslim nations that have not been subjected to direct assault, the US has supported brutal dictators (Egypt, the Gulf) or perpetuated punitive sanctions (Iran, pre-invasion Iraq). The loss of innocent life in these parts of the Muslim world is beyond tallying. To add insult to injury, the instability caused by the “War on Terror” has directly led to the rise of brutal warlords and radical groups, like ISIS, which predominantly kill Muslims.

2. Did you know that as of 2014, there are eight US states that ban Shariah law? Did you know that 34 states have considered banning Shariah just in the past five years?

3. Some Muslims have praised President Obama for speaking against offensive Muslim stereotypes in the State of the Union address. But, let’s not overlook the fact that right before the Muslim stereotypes line, Obama said, “As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained.” Is it not interesting that he references two programs that have disproportionately affected Muslims? Many will argue that Obama’s drone program is anything but “constrained,” considering the hundreds of civilians killed to date, as well as the brutal tactic of “double tapping” strike targets. Also, it is inaccurate for Obama to claim that he has “prohibited torture.” Torture was prohibited by President Reagan in 1988 when he signed the UN General Assembly’s Conventions Against Torture. In light of the CIA Torture Report, Obama is violating international law by not prosecuting those in the Bush Administration who authorized torture.

4. On that point, let’s not forget the recent CIA Torture Report and how the victims of CIA torture were, again, predominantly Muslim, many of whom were not even suspected of any wrongdoing. So far, neither President Obama nor Congress has felt the need to prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. Again, failing to prosecute torturers is itself a crime according to international law.

5. Also mentioned in the State of the Union was good ol’ Guantanamo. Obama promised to shut it down. We can only wonder if this latest promise will be as hollow as the promise he made as a presidential candidate in 2008. Be that as it may, the fact remains that the majority of Gitmo prisoners are Muslims who have not been charged with any crime, yet have had to endure torture and all manner of barbarity.

6. The 2011 Congressional hearing on “domestic Islamic terrorism” is a great example of how many key members of Congress have viewed the American Muslim community and Muslims at large. The House Committee on Homeland Security, which orchestrated this farce, was accused of “Muslim McCarthyism” by implying that all Muslims are loosely responsible for terrorism. Rep. Peter King went so far as to question the legitimacy of CAIR, i.e., the most important legal advocacy group the American Muslim community has. Of course, we were all left wondering, what is the grave “domestic Islamic terrorism” threat Congress is so concerned about, since the vast majority of domestic terrorism in the US is not conducted by Muslims. The FBI itself reports that, between 1980 and 2005, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Muslim (7% vs. 6%). In light of this fact and others, multiple university studies have concluded that the threat of American Muslim terrorism is greatly exaggerated. Hmm, who could possibly benefit from this overt stigmatization of Muslims?

7. How about NYPD illegal surveillance of Muslims? Just your everyday racial profiling run amok, putting hundreds of thousands of innocent American Muslims under the pressure of unfounded suspicion. But what did the federal government have to say? Well, John Brennan, Obama’s Homeland Security adviser at the time praised the program. Obama himself praised Ray Kelly, the NYPD commissioner who oversaw Muslim surveillance, and in 2013 strongly considered appointing him as Secretary of Homeland Security.

8. Another major federal agency is the FBI. Perhaps you have heard of the FBI’s entrapment program, known best for foiling terror plots of its own making. According to a report published by Project SALAM, nearly 95% of terror related arrests post 9/11 have been the result of the FBI foiling terror plots of its own making. As the report describes: “The government uses agents provocateur to target individuals who express dissident ideologies and then provides those provocateurs with fake (harmless) missiles, bombs, guns, money, encouragement, friendship, and the technical and strategic planning necessary to see if the targeted individual can be manipulated into planning violent or criminal action.” I highly encourage people to peruse all the different cases of Muslim entrapment over the years as the details are often unbelievable. Some have even reported on how the FBI and other agencies use “outreach” programs to spy on the Muslim community. As far as the Obama Administration is concerned, Attorney General Eric Holder of the DOJ has expressed support for the FBI’s tactics with respect to the Muslim community.

9. It hardly requires mention, but surely we cannot overlook President Obama demanding, in an address to the UN last year, that Muslims denounce ISIS and radical Islamic ideologies. As myself and many other commentators have repeatedly explained, requiring Muslims as a collective to apologize for and denounce the crimes of a deranged few to which we have no connection is nothing other than racist stereotyping. Even comedian Aziz Ansari made this simple point on Twitter, but apparently our President and much of Congress are too dense to understand this. If Obama wants us to reject offensive Muslim stereotypes, he should start with himself.

10. Remember the “Ground Zero Mosque”? How many members of Congress actively condemned it back in 2010? Quite a few, actually. Obama did make some tepid comments in support of Park51 initially but quickly backtracked and stated: “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there.” So much for offensive Muslim stereotypes.

11. So, we have covered the CIA, the FBI, the DOJ, the Department of Homeland Security. How about the NSA? Do they have a disproportionate interest in Muslims? Why, yes indeed! As the Snowden leaks detail, the NSA has been datamining the communications of Muslim leaders and activists for years.

12. We would be remiss not to mention the Israeli Lobby and the US government’s undying support for every crime and act of genocide that that nation commits, despite the fact that Israel has more spies in the US than any other country. The fact that Palestinians are majority Muslim I’m sure has no impact on influencing how congressmen view Muslims in general, given that those same congressmen grovel at the feet of their Zionist handlers. Let’s be real.

Anyway, this brief list merely scratches the surface. An entire five volume set could be written cataloging the depth and breadth of US policy disproportionately and negatively impacting Muslims in America and abroad, causing all manner of death, destruction, detention, bullying, and violence in the past 14 years alone. And it is no secret that Islamophobia and riling people up with anti-Muslim fervor is quite lucrative for everyone involved.

So, no, it is not a surprise that Congress withheld applause for Muslims. At least they were consistent, unlike President Obama, who, as always, waxes poetic about tolerance, acceptance, mutual understanding, etc., while his policies, in effect if not intent, are diametrically opposed to those ideals.

In any case, as American Muslims, we should keep in mind that elected politicians do not necessarily represent the sentiments of the American people. That is why Congress’ approval ratings are at historical lows. We, as a society, apparently don’t care about these corrupt politicians and Washington’s sick, perverted political culture. And even when we look at Gallup polls on non-Muslim American sentiments toward Muslims and Islam, there is a lot to be positive about.

As a community, let’s continue to work toward the positive in whatever ways we can, working with our neighbors, always embodying our religious ideals, never, ever selling out for cheap political gain, and looking forward to a more just, peaceful future.

Until then, Congress can go wallow in its own crapulence.

Daniel Haqiqatjou was born in Houston, Texas. He attended Harvard University where he majored in Physics and minored in Philosophy. He completed a Masters degree in Philosophy at Tufts University. Haqiqatjou is also a student of the traditional Islamic sciences. He writes and lectures on contemporary issues surrounding Muslims and Modernity. Email Daniel here .

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Shabeeb

    January 22, 2015 at 8:33 PM

    Excellent article to bad there aren’t enough comments here. I will definitely share this. My only thing is that the statistics are from 2011 regarding attitudes of the public towards Muslims. It is not a reflection of the article I know as a researcher that sometimes current statistics only arrive well after the fact. Nonetheless well written and a good exposure I just hope more of the MM readers commented on this.

  2. Avatar

    Umm Aasiyah

    January 25, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    Jazak for this excellent article Bro. Daniel. May Almighty Allah reward you and keep our feet firm on His path despite all the negativity. Amin.

  3. Pingback: What is “Islamic”? A Muslim Response to ISIS and The Atlantic - MuslimMatters.org

  4. Pingback: WHAT IS “ISLAMIC”? A MUSLIM RESPONSE TO ISIS | ThinkWorth

  5. Avatar

    Teni

    March 14, 2015 at 12:38 AM

    Sharia law? Anyone can practice their religion in any way they want, provided they do not violate the Constitutional rights of other Americans or the laws of the land. If Muslims intend to set up a parallel court system that allows them to circumvent American law, Americans will protest the obvious injustice of that. For instance, my state prohibits first cousin marriage. Do Muslims hope that establishing a sharia court will allow them to circumvent the law? Muslims should provide a clear explanation of what they want and expect from legitimizing sharia here. It is absolutely NOT intolerant for Americans to expect Muslims to follow the same laws as the rest of us, don’t you think?

  6. Pingback: » Why Trump Is Suprisingly Good for Muslims

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#Current Affairs

5 Quick Things Americans Can Do For Uyghurs Today

Abu Ryan Dardir

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Chinese , Muslims, Uyghur, genocide

“I may die, but let it be known that my nation will continue their struggle so long the world continues to exist.” Kazakh leader Uthman Batur. He said these words as Chinese authorities executed him for resisting the communist occupation. Currently, China has, one million Uyghurs (Uighurs), Kazakhs, and other Muslim minorities held in concentration camps in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) (East Turkistan) in northwestern China.

Their struggle surpasses the 10 or so years since we have become aware of it. Just like the Rohingya genocide, we waited till the last minute. We are always late and say, “Never Again.” It happens again and again.

In my lifetime, there have been horrendous genocides that could have been prevented to stopped. As a child, I remember Rwanda in the headlines, then a year later Bosnian genocide. Then we hear these demonic stories after the fact. I remember stories from survivors from Bosnia, and thinking to myself, “How are you here and functioning?”

Let us not be fooled to why this is happening now. It is related to economic advantages. The Chinese government’s present signature foreign policy initiative is the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) that seeks to connect the PRC economically to the rest of the Eurasian continent through massive infrastructure projects that will stimulate international trade. The western and south-western components of the BRI require the XUAR to serve as a transportation and commercial hub to trade routes and pipelines that will join China with Central and South Asia, the Middle East, and the entirety of Europe. As a result, the XUAR has become an important strategic region for the Chinese, and the state views its indigenous populations as an obstacle to developing its vision for this future critical center of international commercial networks.1

The expansion of their trade route also ties in Iran hence the sanctions placed, but that’s a different report for a different time. China, of course, has defended their actions by claiming its an anti-terrorism plan. Getting reliable information is hard. China has made it a point to make things difficult for reporters. Yanan Wang, a China-based journalist from the Associated Press, has reported extensively on and from Xinjiang.

In a ceremony at Asia Society on Tuesday commemorating AP’s 2019 Osborn Elliott Award for Excellence in Journalism on Asia, Wang described the subtle ways government minders worked to thwart her reporting: “(Both of the times we went there we arrived at the airport, we had a welcoming committee from the local authorities. They’re always very polite and professional. They say that “you’ve arrived in Xinjiang and we’re here to assist you in your reporting. Tell us what you’re working on so we can help you.” They offer us drives in their car and plenty of hospitality.

Basically, from the moment we arrive, we’re followed by at least one car. There are a bunch of interesting scenarios that we came across. You can see that the local handlers are trying hard to be professional. They are members of the propaganda department, so they’re PR professionals. They don’t want to make it appear like it’s so stifling. At one point, we were taking photos, and someone suddenly appeared on the scene to say he was a “concerned citizen.” He said he’d seen us taking photos and that it was an infringement of his privacy rights. He had this long monologue about privacy rights and about how it wasn’t right for us to take photos of him without his knowledge. We asked him, “Well, where are you in these photos?” and he’d go through all of them. He said we had to delete all of them. He’d say, “This is my brother,” or “This is my place of work, you have to delete it.”

They had all of these interesting tactics to work around the idea that they were trying to obstruct our reporting and make it appear that someone who claims to be a concerned citizen.)”2

On top of that, locals that talk to journalist are punished, sometimes go missing.

I decided to do something this time around; I got in touch with an Uyghur community near my residence to see how an individual could help. It started at a Turkic restaurant, and from there, I have been involved in whatever capacity I am able. Through this effort, I got in touch with a Turkic professor in Turkey who has students stranded as they are cut off from contacting family back in Xinjiang. He helps them out financially; my family and friends help with what they can.

As Muslims in the West, there is no doubt we should act. Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith” (Muslim).

How Can You Help Uyghurs

Here are a few things you can do to help:

1. Ask Congress to pass To pass S.178 & H.R.649 Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2019. Urge your senator and representative to support this cause. It has been introduced. This bill can help the Uyghur community to be treated like Tibetans (another region oppressed by China).

2. Stay informed. The mainstream media is not the place to get accurate information on the situation. Be skeptical of where the data is coming from, stick to reliable sources that are verified. As mentioned above, journalists find it difficult to report.

3. Donate to Uyghur Human Rights Organizations to end concentration camps: UHRP, Uyghur American Association  Donate to Awareness Campaigns: Save Uigur Campaign 

4. Boycott or reduce buying Made in China products

5. Follow these links for updated information: facebook.com/Uyghur-Human-Rights-Project-227634297289994/ and facebook.com/ChinaMuslims

This crisis is an ethnic cleansing for profit. These are dark days as we value profit over people.

1.Statement by Concerned Scholars on mass detentions | MCLC …. https://u.osu.edu/mclc/2018/11/27/statement-by-concerned-scholars-on-mass-detention s/

2.Why It’s So Difficult for Journalists To Report From …. https://asiasociety.org/blog/asia/why-its-so-difficult-journalists-report-xinjiang

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#Current Affairs

Why Israel Should Be ‘Singled Out’ For Its Human Rights Record

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians.

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israel, occupied Palestine

Why is everyone so obsessed with Israel’s human rights abuses? From Saudi Arabia, to Syria, to North Korea to Iran. All these nations are involved in flagrant violations of human right, so why all the focus on Israel – ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’? Clearly, if you ignore these other violations and only focus on Israel, you must be anti-Semitic. What else could be your motivations for this double standard?

This is one of the most common contentions raised when Israel is criticized for its human rights record. I personally don’t believe in entertaining this question – it shouldn’t matter why an activist is choosing to focus on one conflict and not others. What matters are the facts being raised; putting into question the motives behind criticizing Israel is a common tactic to detract from the topic at hand. The conversation soon turns into some circular argument about anti-Semitism and the plight of the Palestinian people is lost. More importantly, this charge of having double standards is often disingenuous. For example, Representative Ihan Omar has been repeatedly accused of this recently and her motives have been called ‘suspicious’ – despite her vocal criticism of other countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

However, this point is so frequently brought up, I think that perhaps its time activists and critics simply own up to it. Yes – Israel should be singled out, for some very good reasons. These reasons relate to there being a number of unique privileges that the country enjoys; these allow it to get away with much of the abuses it commits. Human right activists thus must be extra vocal when comes to Israel as they have to overcome the unparalleled level of support for the country, particularly in the US and Canada. The following points summarize why Israel should in fact be singled out:

1) Ideological support from ordinary citizens

When Iran and North Korea commit human right abuses, we don’t have to worry about everyone from journalists to clerics to average students on campuses coming out and defending those countries. When most nations commit atrocities, our journalists and politicians call them out, sanctions are imposed, they are taking them to the International Court of Justice, etc. There are instruments in place to take care of other ‘rogue’ nations – without the need for intervention from the common man.

Israel, however, is unique in that it has traditionally enjoyed widespread ideological support, primarily from the Jewish community and Evangelical Christians, in the West. This support is a result of the historical circumstances and pseudo-religious ideology that drove the creation of the state in 1948. The successful spread of this nationalistic dogma for the last century means Israel can count on ordinary citizens from Western countries to comes to its defense. This support can come in the form of foreign enlistment to its military, students conducting campus activism, politicians shielding it from criticisms and journalists voluntarily writing in its support and spreading state propaganda.

This ideological and nationalistic attachment to the country is the prime reason why it is so incredibly difficult to have any kind of sane conversation about Israel in the public sphere – criticism is quickly seen as an attack on Jewish identity and interpreted as an ‘existential threat’ to the nation by its supporters. Any attempts to take Israel to account through standard means are thwarted because of the political backlash feared from the country’s supporters in the West.

2) Unconditional political support of a world superpower

The US is Israel’s most important and closest ally in the Middle-East. No matter what war crimes Israel commits, it can count on America to have its back. This support means the US will use its veto power to support Israel against actions of the UN Security Council, it will use its diplomatic influence to shield any punitive actions from other nations and it will use its military might to intervene if need be. The backing of the US is one of the main reasons why the Israeli occupation and expansion of the colonial settlement enterprise continues to this day without any repercussions.

While US support might be especially staunch for Israel, this factor is certainly not unique to the country. Any country which has this privilege, e.g. Saudi Arabia, should be under far great scrutiny for its human rights violations than others.

3)  Military aid and complicity of tax-payers

US tax-payers are directly paying for Israel to carry out its occupation of the Palestinian people.

Israel is the largest recipient of US-military aid – it receives an astonishing $3 billion dollars every year. This aid, according to a US congressional report, “has helped transform Israel’s armed forces into one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries in the world.”

Unlike other countries, ordinary citizens are complicit in the perpetual crimes committed against defenseless Palestinians. Activists and citizens thus have a greater responsibility to speak out against Israel as their government is paying the country to carry out its atrocities. Not only is this aid morally reprehensible, but it is also illegal under United States Leahy Laws.

4) The Israeli lobby

The Israeli lobby is one of the most powerful groups in Washington and is the primary force for ensuring continued US political support for the nation. It consists of an assortment of formal lobby groups (AIPAC, Christians United for Israel), think-thanks (Washington Institute for Near East Policy), political action committee or PACs, not-for-profit organizations (B’nai B’irth, American Jewish Congress, Stand for Israel) and media watchdogs (CAMERA, Honest Reporting). These organizations together exercise an incredible amount of political influence. They ensure that any criticism of Israel is either stifled or there are serious consequences for those who speak up. In 2018 alone, pro-Israel donors spent $22 million on lobbying for the country – far greater than any other nation. Pro-Israel lobbies similarly influence politics in other places such as the UK, Canada, and Europe.

5) One of the longest-running occupation in human history

This point really should be the first one on this list – and it is the only one that should matter. However, because of the unique privileges that Israel enjoys, it is hard to get to the crux of what it is actually doing. Israel, with U.S. support, has militarily occupied the Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) since 1967. The belligerent occupation, over 50 years old, is one of the longest, bloodiest and brutal in human history.

Israel continues to steal land and build settler colonies the West Bank – in flagrant violation of international law. It has implemented a system of apartheid in these territories which is reminiscent of the racist regime of South Africa. The Gaza strip has been under an insufferable siege which has made the living conditions deplorable; it has been referred to the world’s largest ‘open-air prison’. In addition to this institutional oppression, crimes committed against Palestinians include: routinely killing civilian protesters, including teenagers and medics, torture of Palestinians and severe restrictions on the everyday movement of Palestinians.

The brutality, consistency and the duration for which Israel has oppressed Palestinians is alone enough reason for it being ‘singled out’. No other nation comes close to its record. However, for the reasons mentioned above, Israel’s propaganda machine has effectively painted itself as just another ‘liberal democracy’ in the eyes of the general public. Any attempt to bring to light these atrocities are met with ‘suspicion’ about the ‘real’ motives of the critics. Given the points mentioned here, it should be evident that the level of support for Israeli aggression is uniquely disproportionate – it is thus fitting that criticism of the country is equally vocal and unparalleled as well.

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#Society

Ya Qawmi: Strengthen Civic Roots In Society To Be A Force For Good

Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari

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For believers the traditions and teachings of the Prophets (blessings on them), particularly Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), are paramount. Each Prophet of God belonged to a community which is termed as their Qawm in the Qur’an. Prophet Lut (Lot) was born in Iraq, but settled in Trans-Jordan and then became part of the people, Qawm of Lut, in his new-found home. All the Prophets addressed those around them as ‘Ya Qawmi’ (O, my people) while inviting them to the religion of submission, Islam. Those who accepted the Prophets’ message became part of their Ummah. So, individuals from any ethnicity or community could become part of the Ummah – such as the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad.

Believers thus have dual obligations: a) towards their own Qawm (country), and b) towards their Ummah (religious companions). As God’s grateful servants, Muslims should strive to give their best to both their Qawm and Ummah with their ability, time and skillset. It is imperative for practising and active Muslims to carry out Islah (improvement of character, etc) of people in their Ummah and be a witness of Islam to non-Muslims in their Qawm and beyond. This in effect is their service to humanity and to please their Creator. With this basic understanding of the concept, every Muslim should prioritise his or her activities and try their utmost to serve human beings with honesty, integrity and competence. Finding excuses or adopting escapism can bring harm in this world and a penalty in the Hereafter.

Like many other parts of the world, Britain is going through a phase lacking in ethical and competent leadership. People are confused, frustrated and worried; some are angry. Nativist (White) nationalism in many western countries, with a dislike or even hatred of minority immigrant people (particularly Muslims and Jews), is on the rise. This is exacerbated through lowering religious literacy, widespread mistrust and an increase in hateful rhetoric being spread on social media. As people’s patience and tolerance levels continue to erode, this can bring unknown adverse consequences.

The positive side is that civil society groups with a sense of justice are still robust in most developed countries. While there seem to be many Muslims who love to remain in the comfort zone of their bubbles, a growing number of Muslims, particularly the youth, are also effectively contributing towards the common good of all.

As social divisions are widening, a battle for common sense and sanity continues. The choice of Muslims (particularly those that are socially active), as to whether they would proactively engage in grass-roots civic works or social justice issues along with others, has never been more acute. Genuine steps should be taken to understand the dynamics of mainstream society and improve their social engagement skills.

From history, we learn that during better times, Muslims proactively endeavoured to be a force for good wherever they went. Their urge for interaction with their neighbours and exemplary personal characters sowed the seeds of bridge building between people of all backgrounds. No material barrier could divert their urge for service to their Qawm and their Ummah. This must be replicated and amplified.

Although Muslims are some way away from these ideals, focusing on two key areas can and should strengthen their activities in the towns and cities they have chosen as their home. This is vital to promote a tolerant society and establish civic roots. Indifference and frustration are not a solution.

Muslim individuals and families

  1. Muslims must develop a reading and thinking habit in order to prioritise their tasks in life, including the focus of their activism. They should, according to their ability and available opportunities, endeavour to contribute to the Qawm and Ummah. This should start in their neighbourhoods and workplaces. There are many sayings of the Prophet Muhammad on one’s obligations to their neighbour; one that stands out – Gabriel kept advising me to be good to my neighbour so much that I thought he would ask that he (neighbour) should inherit me) – Sahih Al-Bukhari.
  2. They must invest in their new generation and build a future leadership based on ethics and professionalism to confidently interact and engage with the mainstream society, whilst holding firm to Islamic roots and core practices.
  3. Their Islah and dawah should be professionalised, effective and amplified; their outreach should be beyond their tribal/ethnic/sectarian boundaries.
  4. They should jettison any doubts, avoid escapism and focus where and how they can contribute. If they think they can best serve the Ummah’s cause abroad, they should do this by all means. But if they focus on contributing to Britain:
    • They must develop their mindset and learn how to work with the mainstream society to normalise the Muslim presence in an often hostile environment.
    • They should work with indigenous/European Muslims or those who have already gained valuable experience here.
    • They should be better equipped with knowledge and skills, especially in political and media literacy, to address the mainstream media where needed.

Muslim bodies and institutions

  • Muslim bodies and institutions such as mosques have unique responsibilities to bring communities together, provide a positive environment for young Muslims to flourish and help the community to link, liaise and interact with the wider society.
  • By trying to replicate the Prophet’s mosque in Madinah, they should try to make mosques real hubs of social and spiritual life and not just beautiful buildings. They should invest more in young people, particularly those with professional backgrounds. They should not forget what happened to many places where the Muslim presence was thought to be deep-rooted such as Spain.
  • It is appreciated that the first generation Muslims had to establish organisations with people of their own ethnic/geographical backgrounds. While there may still be a need for this for some sections of the community, in a post-7/7 Britain Muslim institutions must open up for others qualitatively and their workers should be able to work with all. History tells that living in your own comfort zone will lead to isolation.
  • Muslim bodies, in their current situation, must have a practical 5-10 year plan, This will bring new blood and change organisational dynamics. Younger, talented, dedicated and confident leadership with deep-rooted Islamic ideals is now desperately needed.
  • Muslim bodies must also have a 5-10 year plan to encourage young Muslims within their spheres to choose careers that can take the community to the next level. Our community needs nationally recognised leaders from practising Muslims in areas such as university academia, policy making, politics, print and electronic journalism, etc.

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