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Tag Archives: Mosque

Eid 2013:British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Muslim Community and met Allama Qamaruzzaman Khan

10 Aug

Manchester:

The Prime Minister David Cameron along with Faiths Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi met Hazrat Allama Qamaruzzaman Azmi ,a prominent Sunni Sufi leader,during a historic visit to North Manchester Jamia Mosque. Hazrat Allama Qamaruzzaman Azmi discussed the current issues and challenges facing the world including, the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Burma, Syrian crisis as well as the safety and security of Mosques and Muslim communities in the UK.

David Cameron spent two hours with the mosque community during his visit and stated his support for the Big Iftar programme, which has seen scores of mosques up and down the country open up their doors to Muslims and non-Muslims to demystify the faith of Islam and connect to communities. After a tour of the mosque he helped them prepare for their own Big Iftar by chopping onions and making samosas, providing his own cooking tips along the way. The Prime Minister was impressed by the vibrancy of the mosque, which is set for redevelopment to cater for an ever-growing community.

david cameroon

Allama Qamaruzzaman Azmi said: “I thank the Prime Minister for taking time out from his busy schedule to come and meet with the British Muslim community in Manchester”.“During his landmark visit he championed the contributions that British Muslims are making in all walks of life and listened to some of the real concerns that the community are facing”, he said.

Following this meeting the Prime Minister and Faiths Minister Baroness Warsi took a tour of the Mosque which caters for 2,000 people through daily worship, after-school clubs, youth projects and support groups and had a frank and open discussion with a mixed group of young and old people where Mr Cameron heard the concerns of Muslims about attacks on their community following the horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich.He restated the commitment of the UK government to tackling anti-Muslim hatred and condemned the recent Islamophobic attacks in the strongest possible terms, saying the UK needed to be intolerant of intolerance. His government has set up a cross government working group on anti-Muslim hatred and fund an organisation, Tell MAMA, which records attacks and supports victims.

Faiths Minister Baroness Warsi said: “It was brilliant to accompany the Prime Minister to the Jamia Mosque and help them prepare for their Big Iftar that evening.

 David Cameron ,British P.M with Allama Qamaruzzaman Khan Azmi

“Jamia Mosque is a fantastic example of a model Mosque that reaches out to its community, providing vital services to the local Muslim population. “The Prime Minister was given a fantastic opportunity to see this vibrant Mosque in action.He also spoke at length to the Mosque members about their concerns over the recent anti-Muslim attacks and was able to reassure them of this government’s unwavering commitment to tackle and stamp out this unacceptable form of hatred”, she said.

In wishing Muslims in the UK and around the world Eid Mubarak the Prime Minister

said: “I send my warmest wishes to Muslims in the UK and overseas as they celebrate the festival of Eid-al-Fitr. After a month of longer summer days fasting, praying and putting aside many of the things that we can take for granted, Muslims will come together with friends and family to celebrate this joyous occasion. I wish you all Eid Mubarak”

David Cameron with Muslim community in Manchestar in 2013

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“UNITE BUT FOLLOW ME” ;THE TRAGIC COMEDY OF MUSLIM REPRESENTATION

9 Jun

UNITE BUT FOLLOW ME”

THE TRAGIC COMEDY OF MUSLIM REPRESENTATION

Unite but Follow me ;British Muslims

There is almost something eerie about writing on British Muslim
representation. For decades Muslim political and public aspirations
have either been focused overseas or hijacked by angry young
men who believe it is ‘haram’ to engage in politics in a non-Muslim
country.
That was then and due to the relentless global traumas hitting the
Muslim world, British Muslims have been forced to stand up and be
counted. One sign of our coming of age has been the acceptance of
the term of British Muslim. Regular readers of Q-News will remember
the barrage of letters that greeted the use of this term by the ‘angry
brigade’ who made differentiating between being a ‘British Muslim’
or a ‘Muslim in Britain’ the central thesis of their political agenda.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case and we can get on with dealing
with the really important issues.
British Muslim political awareness has been slow and reluctant.
Two main factors have contributed to this. Firstly, has been the ‘goinghome’
syndrome amongst Muslim first generation settlers resulting in
the lack of investment in community infrastructure other than essential
prayer facilities, madrasah provision and halal meat. The second
factor is the legal invisibility of the Muslim community, thanks to an
institutionally Islamophobic and race biased political system.
But, to suggest Muslims have been politically inactive during the
last four or five decades would be erroneous. While not engaging in
mainstream British politics in any organised way, Muslim communities
settling in Britain have kept a vigilant eye on politics back home.
Newspapers and channels like the Daily Jang and Al-Jazeera have
diligently been reporting on the state of the Muslim world helping to
both form and forge opinion. The British Muslim understanding of
these issues is relatively more passionate, more articulate and more
organised.
When not keeping an eye on back-home politics, mosque committees
became the next focus of Muslim ambition with aspiring leaders
of the fledgling community vying with each other to win the hearts
and souls of the faithful. Eventually or inevitably, factions and subfactions
developed representing the various religious, political and
cultural divides in the Muslim world. As the small rooms and terraced
mosques rented or bought through the hard earned money of early
migrants evolved into purpose built structures funded from the
Middle East, so too did the increase in internal conflicts and intrigues.
In this vacuum, some Muslim groups formed with the intention of
doing dawah. These groups were not interested in engaging in mainstream
society and were often hostile to it. They were mainly interested
in gathering Muslim allegiances to their theological or political
faction.
As the need to engage in mainstream political processes became
Muslim candidates once elected found themselves in an agenda dilemma – were they there to repre

Showing the right Path BRITISH MUSLIM POLITICS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A
BIT LIKE MONTY PYTHON’S LIFE OF BRITiAN.
SMALL GROUPS OF MEN CALL FOR UNITY
BUT WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN IS ‘UNITE BUT
FOLLOW ME’. FAR FROM UNITING THE
COMMUNITY,ARGUES HUMERA KHAN,
THESE CALLS USUALLY RESULT IN A MYRIAD
OF SPLINTER GROUPS ALL ESPOUSING
VARIATIONS OF THE SAME IDEA WITH THE
ONLY REAL DIFFERENCE BEING THE ORDER
OF THEWORDS: ‘MUSLIM’, ‘ASSOCIATION’,
‘COUNCIL’ OR ‘BRITAIN’.

apparent, those frustrated with internal shenanigans turned their
attention towards mainstream society. This development operated
more at an individual level with some Muslims becoming active in the
struggles against racism and others standing for local councils. To
what extent this development actually engaged the Muslim community
is dubious, as mainstream political parties were often looking
more for ‘racial’ window dressing than meaningful engagement.
Muslim candidates once elected found themselves in an agenda
dilemma – were they there to represent Muslims, the politics of
their party or the constituents who elected them? While the latter two
are obviously correct, representing Muslims and Muslim issues became
more contentious. Muslim councillors found that being Muslim and
speaking on issues that concerned a ‘faith-based’ community was not
easy. But, this was not so for other minorities as representatives from
the Irish, Caribbean, Hindu and Jewish communities found that they
were not penalised for speaking as members of their specific community
or on its behalf. The result of this was that the politics of Muslim
councillors went sideways and focused more on internal ‘nest-making’
than community building.
Muslim representation in other areas of public life like the media,
sports, public bodies and the legal profession has also been slow and
meandering. Those that have succeeded have usually had to park their
Muslim identity outside the door. Individuals that have succeeded have
not done so because being Muslim was anything significant to them
and in fact, the few that get through are over-represented by those who
feel alienated or hostile to Islam. Professionally speaking, these
Muslims usually kept their faith low-profile until it became more lucrative
to ‘step out of the closet’ and tout for available opportunities particularly
since 9/11.
Prior to 9/11 Muslim participation in mainstream British society
had been limited primarily due to the inadequacies of the Race
Relations Act and the reluctance of successive governments to recognise
the existence of faith based communities and their experience of
religious discrimination. More specifically, there has been a reluctance
to acknowledge historical and institutionally entrenched Islamophobia.
While the men formed groups in never ending variations, it was left
to Muslim women and young people to get on with the work that needed
to be done. Most Muslim organisations are void of women and
young people. Those women who are involved are rarely given authority
and most are kept in the margins. Women and young people are seldom
acknowledged, consulted or appreciated and the role of women
more often than not is relegated to that of a women’s auxiliary – providing
tea and cooking the after meeting nosh for our elder male statesmen.
Being excluded from decision-making, Muslim women, who tend
to be in the frontline of meeting social needs, have been forced to make
themselves relevant. While you may not necessarily see them at photo
calls and high powered delegations you will see them getting training in
education, media, social work, health care and counselling. Muslim
women are now a quiet but potent presence in statutory bodies and
other public arenas increasingly becoming team managers, directors of
departments and chairs of committees. Women’s organisations have led
the way in setting agendas and developing much needed social welfare
projects that support families and heal communities. All of these efforts
contribute significantly to the development of Muslim-sensitive social
welfare services.
For young Muslims the Rushdie Affair proved to be a major catalyst.
For the first time young people took to the streets more concerned
really about their own discontentment than any pertinent
understanding of the Satanic Verses. But, unfortunately no one listened
to their voices and while some Muslims organisations set up youth initiatives
they tended to be dawah orientated and not responding to real
needs on the ground. Young people experiencing racism,
Islamophobia, social and family disintegration needed more tangible
help. They needed a multitude of resources for activities such as sports
and leisure, personal development, employment opportunities and
most importantly they needed support through the various challenges
posed by being young, British and Muslim.
It took the riots of 2001 for young British Muslim to make their
discontent heard and then it was already too late. Responding once the
horse has bolted requires the double effort of not only resolving the
current crisis but also in investing in avoiding crisis from erupting
again. Once again Muslim trouble spots have been the focus of attention
and endless reports have been written, but we remain without
with any real objective understanding of the issues, without any meaningful
leadership and without the development of a forward thinking
Muslim agenda.
Given our checkered history with public participation and representation
the burning question, that still needs to be asked, is: Who
represents British Muslims?
present Muslims, the politics of the party they represent or the constituents who elected them?

Courtesy; Q-News

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Images ; Mylondondiary.co.uk

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