|Author ||Iftikhar Ahmad
|Topic ||Community Cohesion
|Date Entered ||21/08/2007 12:36:32
|Message ||Established 1981
London School of Islamics
An Educational Trust
63 Margery Park Road London E7 9LD
Tel/Fax: 0208 555 2733 / 07817 112 667
According to Ruth Kelly, migrants must learn English language to integrate. Learning English language is about as useful as learning Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. The British Establishment and society has systematically failed to understand the causes of migration, global terrorism and social and emotional, economic segregation. Muslims suffer different forms of discrimination which reduce their employment opportunities and affect their educational achievements. This can give rise to hopelessness and could undermine Muslims’ sense of belongingness. Islamophobia is a growing reality of racism around the world. The only way to stop it is by respecting the religious diversity. Communities are more divided than ever. The Government presses ahead with flawed policies and anti-terrorist legislation that created further resentment, alienation and criminalization. A dramatic surge of racist and religiously—motivated violence followed the 7/7, London and Glasgow bombing.
Muslim communities are angry at plans to “spy” on Muslim students at universities. The proposal is an act of racism. Universities are not the problem. Just because some of the 7/7 bombers were graduates, does not mean they formed their ideas in a university. It is the western society which is creating extreme Muslims all around the world. Young Muslims are becoming more separated from society than their parents who were not well versed in English while young Muslim generation is notoriously monolinguals. Schools do not encourage and teach Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. They are even discouraged to speak mother tongues at home. They only learn British History not their own history. The British society was and still reluctant to open up its sense of citizenship to all those that have come to live here. Integration is a two-way process. Many Muslims acknowledge that they need to do more to engage with wider society. At the same time British and European politicians must make stronger efforts to promote meaningful intercultural dialogue and tackle racism, discrimination and marginalization more effectively.
The British establishment is wrong in thinking that Imams are to blame for extremism. Imams are not solution to the problem for extremism. Extremism is nothing to do with Imams. Extremism is not created from abroad, it is coming from within. Britain fails to help Muslim communities feel part of British society. Race trouble is being predicted by the Daily Express, because of an ethnic boom in UK major cities. Muslim communities need imams for the solutions of their needs and demands in their own native languages. Muslim parents would like to see their children well versed in Standard English and to go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. The fact is that majority of Muslim children leave schools with low grades because monolingual teachers are not capable to teach Standard English to bilingual Muslim children. A Muslim is a citizen of this tiny global village. He/she does not want to become notoriously monolingual Brit.