Archive for the ‘London Terrorist Attacks’ Category
Administrator on September 21st, 2012
The International Day of Peace was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982.
By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged everyone in the world to work in cooperation for this goal. During discussions regarding the U.N. Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:
“Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…”
Makkah Masjid will be marking International Peace Day and dedicating its Friday sermon ( Jumu’ah Khutba) to the topic of peace.
The Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE said: “It is deeply saddening and disturbing to see that despite initiatives such as International Peace day, the impression we get from the news is that today’s world is full of disharmony and discord. It is imperative that governments across the world take a close look at what is happening in their countries and make concerted efforts to try to foster peace and dispel violence within their borders.
On this day, we also condemn the release of the recent blasphemous, reprehensible and inflammable film, Innocence of Muslims, and the publication of disgusting and despicable cartoons depicting the Prophet (peace be upon him) as these actions have caused disharmony in the world and have disturbed the peace of over 1.5 billion people.
The root causes resulting in lack of peace in the world must be fully explored and eliminated in the most efficient and amicable manner. Hopefully International Peace day can be a catalyst for change.”
“For those of us who are Muslims, our faith requires us to have peace at the forefront of our thoughts and actions at all times; this is the way of our Prophet (peace be upon him). Islam requires us to propagate the message of peace indiscriminately, and it is a fundamental part of our faith.
The atrocities committed, on almost a daily basis, in many countries of the world are in direct contrast to the message of peace taught by Islam and every effort must be made to stop them from happening.
On this International Peace Day, we must resolve to work towards creating peace and harmony in the world. All actions which have the aim or effect of inciting disharmony, whether instigated by individuals or governments, must be ceased as a matter of urgency and for the future of global harmony”, said Qari Asim MBE
Administrator on September 13th, 2012
Leeds Makkah Masjid utterly condemns the release of a trailer for a video mocking the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who is revered by over 1.5 billion people around the world. ‘The Innocence of Muslims’ is a vile, deeply offensive and inflammatory film, which forms part of the Islamophobia global phenomena that is aimed at hurting the feelings of Muslims, causing divisions amongst communities and provoking violence.
Muslims are understandably very upset about the derogatory depiction of their Prophet (peace be upon him) in the film but we urge all Muslims not to rise to the provocation and to make their views known in a measured, peaceful and democratic manner.
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, said: “It is of profound concern that in recent years, attacks on the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Muslims’ sacred text, the Glorious Qur’an, seem to be on the rise. Such irresponsible and provocative actions, in the name of freedom of speech, will only divide communities and destabilize the world even further.
Muslims are not against freedom of speech but with freedom of speech comes responsibility and a need to respect the views and beliefs of others, which this film fails to do.”
Imam of Makkah Masjid, Qari Asim MBE, said, ”Just as we condemn the disgraceful film, the response of some individuals, who are fuelled by anger and hatred, is also appalling. We unreservedly condemn the killings of the American diplomats, including the US Ambassador, in Libya. We also condemn the attacks on diplomatic facilities in the Middle East.
Muslims must vocalise their discontent at attempts to belittle the honour of the Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) and stand united to defend the persona of the Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) but Islam does not permit people to cause violence, destruction or take the lives of others in the name of protecting the honour of the leader of their faith (peace be upon him).”
The life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) presents a number of instances in which he had the opportunity to retaliate against those who harmed him, but he refrained from doing so in order to enable people to see the mercy and kindness that is contained in the teachings of Islam. One hadith, states: ‘You [Muhammad] do not do evil to those who do evil to you, but you deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari).
We must not let extremists, whether those who use artistic means or violence, control the political or religious discourse. It is vital that there is a robust approach to dealing with all forms of extremism so that such reprehensible and offensive materials are not produced, and irresponsible and disgraceful responses to them do not take place again in the future.
People of all faiths and no faith must work harder to counter hatred and develop mutual understanding and respect so that neither profoundly offensive works presenting prophets in a derogatory manner are produced, nor violence and bloodshed is caused in the name of faith,” said Qari Asim MBE.
Administrator on July 7th, 2012
On the seventh anniversary of 7/7, we express solidarity with victims of terrorism. The atrocities committed on 7/7 and the whole war on terror has cost too many lives and it must be stopped.
Imam of Leeds Makkah Mosque, Imam Qari Asim, said : “violent extremism, terrorism and taking lives of innocent people is against the teachings of Islam.
All forms of terrorism must be stopped and the root causes that lead to such extreme actions must be fully explored and eliminated in the most efficient and amicable manner.
On the anniversary of 7/7, we must resolve to work towards creating a better world for all – a world full of hope, justice and harmony.”
Now is the time to look to the future with greater optimism. Our common humanity, our spirit of community, the values we share as human beings, will give us the strength to confront those – individuals, organisations or governments- that seek to cause chaos in the world.
The anniversary of 7/7 is also a time to reflect why British Muslims are still seen as “outsiders” when they often express a stronger sense of belonging to the UK than other citizens.
A recent report by the University of Essex found that Muslims actually identify with Britishness more than any other Britons.
This study is just one of several recent studies that have consistently found that British Muslims express a stronger sense of belonging in Britain than their compatriots. Consider the following finding:
• 83% of Muslims are proud to be a British citizen, compared to 79% of the general public.
• 77% of Muslims strongly identify with Britain while only 50% of the wider population do.
• 82% of Muslims want to live in diverse and mixed neighbourhoods compared to 63% of non-Muslim Britons.
• 90% of Pakistanis feel a strong sense of belonging in Britain compared to 84% of white people.
“Muslims live a life of service to God and to fellow human beings. The constant negative depictions of Muslims portray Muslims as similar to the 7/7 bombers who caused mayhem and destruction seven years ago but an average Muslim living in Britain is no different to a non-Muslim Briton in having a sense of belonging to Britain and identify with Britishness – the recent report by the University of Essex, once again re-affirms that;” said Imam Qari Asim
The report by the University of Essex can be found by visiting the following link:
Imam Qari Asim’s interviews on the 7th anniversary of 7/7 can be listened on Leeds Aire Radio and BBC Leeds Radio.
Administrator on September 10th, 2011
On the tenth anniversary of 9/11, around 60 British Muslim organisations have united to express their solidarity with victims of terrorism and to tell the terrorists that a decade on ‘they failed’ in seeking to divide society on religious grounds.
Imam of Leeds Makkah Mosque, Qari Asim, said : “violent extremism, terrorism and taking lives of innocent people is against the teachings of Islam. Muslims have always stood against such evil and distorted ideology. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, all human beings must resolve to work towards creating a better world for all – a world full of hope, compassion and mercy – and eliminate root causes that lead to violence, despair and injustice.”
As the tenth anniversary of the atrocities of September 11th 2001 draws closer, we wish to take this opportunity to come together to reiterate our profound sympathy for the victims of the attacks in the US. We also honour the memory of all victims of terrorism in all nations around the world.
The last ten years have not been easy. Tragically, we have seen thousands more people from all walks of life become victims of terrorism. We have also seen the impact of the conflicts resulting from 9/11 in different parts of the Muslim world and experienced the terrible consequences of acts of terror here in Britain on 7th July 2005. The recent tragic events in Oslo show us that terrorists still continue to plan and carry out attacks against people regardless of their race, religion, gender or social circumstance.
As a community we have rejected the terrorists, the emptiness of their words and the futility of their actions. They have nothing to offer the world. Those who seek to divide society have failed. Indeed, their destructive actions have only brought communities closer together. Their message that terrorism is the only way to achieve change has been rejected by ordinary citizens standing in peaceful protest for greater political participation and freedom across the Middle East and North Africa.
Ten years on from the 9/11 attacks, our communities are growing stronger and more resilient. Communities have come together to find common ground and resolve differences. For those of us who are Muslims, our faith gives us hope– a hope shared by people of all faiths and of none – for a world free from terror and injustice.
Now is the time to look to the future with greater optimism. Our common humanity, our spirit of community, the values we share as human beings, will give us the strength to confront those who seek to divide rather than unite us, now and in the future. We will continue to stand together in troubled times, not just against terrorism but against all forms of criminality that pervade our society – as we saw during the riots that spread across the UK in recent weeks. Only together can we defeat such problems. Only together can we work to build communities whose unity honours the memory of the victims of September 11th and victims of conflicts and terror around the world.
BELOW IS A LIST OF BRITISH MUSLIM ORGANISATIONS, INCLUDING LEEDS MAKKAH MASJID THAT HAVE SIGNED THE STATEMENT:
- Ahlul Bayt TV
- Al-Khoei Foundation
- An-Nisa Society
- Association of British Muslims (AOBM)
- Association of Muslim Lawyers (AML)
- Ayesha Community Education
- Bristol Muslim Women’s Network
- British Muslim Forum (BMF)
- British Muslims for Secular Democracy (BMSD)
- BritSlam Partnership
- Canopus Consulting
- City Circle
- Embrace Foundation
- Federation of Muslim Organisations
- Harlesden Islamic Cultural Centre
- Help Somalia Foundation
- Hosseinieh Foundation, Bristol
- International Forum For Islamic Dialogue
- International Imam Hussein Council
- Iraqi Welfare Association
- Islamic Circles
- Islamic Society of Britain
- Karimia Institute
- Khayaal Theatre Company
- Khazra Central Mosque, Glasgow
- Leeds Makkah Masjid
- Leicester Central Mosque
- Light of Guidance Theatre
- London Academy of Iranian Studies (LAIS)
- London Fatwa Council
- MAWAH, London (Muslim Active Women Around Hounslow)
- Mecca 2 Medina
- Milton Keynes Arts and Culture Organisation
- Minhaj-ul-Quran International, UK
- Muhammadi Trust of Great Britain & Northern Ireland
- Muslim Association of Britain (MAB)
- Muslim Youth Association (MYA)
- Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH)
- Noor Trust
- Pakistan Community Centre, Willesden, London
- Ramadhan Foundation
- Rabita Ltd
- Radical Middle Way
- Sefydliad Materion Mwslemaidd Cymru (Wales Institute for Muslim Affairs)
- Shia Professionals of London
- Sri Lanka Islamic Forum UK (SLIF UK)
- Somali Family Support Group London (SFSG)
- The Leaf Network
- The Muslim College
- The Salam Project
- The Zahra Trust
- UK Islamic Mission (UKIM)
- World Islamic Mission
- Young Muslims Advisory Group (YMAG)
Administrator on May 3rd, 2011
The death of Bin Laden Osama bin Laden has been an advocate of hatred and the taking of innocent lives around the world in the name of Islam. Islam promotes peace and harmony and is completely against the taking of innocent human lives. We hope his reported death brings an end to terror, violent extremism and the negative attacks on the holy faith of Islam and Muslims.
Makkah Masjid has always condemned terrorism, violence and injustice and will continue to do so. Imam of Makkah Mosque, Qari Asim, said: “violent extremism, terrorism and the taking of innocent lives are against the teachings of Islam. We hope that this news brings an end to bin Laden’s poisonous ideology, which has resulted in the loss of many lives around the world, and that Muslims and non-Muslims alike can now move on from the events of the previous decade. Today our thoughts are with the families of all those who have suffered in the terrorist attacks.
We urge all Muslims to stand united against people who preach hatred and promote an evil and distorted ideology, which has nothing to do with Islam.”
“All forms of terrorism must be stopped and the root causes that lead to extremists recruiting more young people must be fully explored and eliminated in the most efficient and amicable manner so that all human beings can live in peace and harmony”, he said.
Administrator on February 9th, 2011
In his speech in Munich on the 5 February 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron made a powerful statement that Islam is not the problem. “We welcome the Prime Minister’s categorical clarification about the differentiation of Islam the “faith” and extremism the “ideology”, said Allama Ahmed Nisar Baig, Chairman of the British Muslim Forum (BMF).
BMF spokesperson, Qari Asim, said: “Extremism should not be mixed up with religious conformity by Muslims or by people of other faiths irrespective of how religiously conservative a person is”.
“Extremism exists in all faiths and it is vital that there is a robust approach to dealing with all forms of extremism. We need to move away from the mistakes of the past Government which singled out Muslims as the ‘enemy within’ and promoted divisions, Islamophobia, attacks and racism against Muslims and their holy faith”.
“BMF is unequivocal in its support for the principles of democracy, integration, equality of opportunity and respect for all. These principles are embedded in our broad ranging programmes which include giving young people and women their say and helping our institutions broaden their skills and expertise, allowing them to better reach the wider local communities”, said the Chairman.
Administrator on January 24th, 2011
The Conservative chairman, Sayeeda Warsi, recently discussed the ever-growing issue of Islamophobia. She said that it had “passed the dinner-table test” and become widely socially acceptable in Britain, Lady Warsi, the first Muslim woman to attend Cabinet, said that she believed prejudice against Muslims was now seen by many Britons as normal. She raised her concerns in a speech at Leicester University on 20 January 2011. She quite rightly pointed out the wrong tendency to divide Muslims between “moderates” and “extremists”, which only leads to misunderstanding and intolerance in the community.
Imam of Makkah Mosque, Qari Asim said: “Islamophobia is rife and Muslims do experience it, some more than others. Other minority communities have suffered intimidation before and we do not want the history to be repeated in the same way. It is the responsibility of the press, the government and the Muslim community, to deal with it. It is encouraging to see a senior member of the government bringing this debate to the forefront. Usually, Islamophobia arises as a result of misunderstanding and each community can do more at learning about other community’s faith, culture and lifestyle.”
Administrator on October 8th, 2010
In the first week of October 2o10, there have been a number of arrests of suspected terrorists, including twelve people have been arrested in France after operations against suspected militant cells. A US warning, despite its vagueness led Britain, France and other countries to raise their overseas terror alert levels. The week has ended with a terrorist attack in the Muslim world, Pakistan, and in the worst place imagined – a mosque and shrine.
About 8 people have been killed and more than 60 others injured in twin suicide bomb blasts at the entrance of Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine on Thursday 7 October 2010. A large number of Muslims, in particular poor people gather at Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine everyday and the number grows manifold, particularly, on a Thursday, a very blessed night in the Muslim tradition. Abdullah Shah Ghazi (Arabic: عبد الله شاه غازى ) is considered to be patron saint of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. He is widely revered in Pakistan and in the muslim world. Every day, near about sunset, a steady stream of devotees crawls towards a green dome, praising their Lord and sending salutations on the Propeht Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
The suicide attack was designed to maximize casualties; it took place on Thursday evening, during peak visiting hours. This is the second time in recent months when suicide bombers have targeted prominent shrines in Pakistan.
In July 2010, the mausoleum of Hadrat Ali Hijveri (formally known as Data Ghanj Bux – Distributor of Treasures) was targeted. No one, for centuries has dared to pollute the sacredness of the shrines of pious, noble righteous and friends of Allah. Even during tyrant rules, imperialism, governments of Sikh Rajas, and the time of independence, the sacredness of the tombs was preserved because people of all faiths appreciated that these tombs are places of rest for those people who benefitted their society and continue to benefit humanity, whether through their teachings, legacy or otherwise. The resting places, shrines of these friends of Allah, Auliya Allah have been the fountains of love, peace and tranquility.
It appears that now we have a new breed of people who seem to have no faith and no care for the humanity. Rather than bringing peace to the world and their fellow human beings, they are messengers of hate, misery and destruction. These individuals can be anything but the true followers of the Messenger, who was sent as a mercy to all the worlds (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
Imam of Leeds Makkah Mosque, Qari Asim, said : “violent extremism, terrorism and taking lives of innocent people is against the teachings of Islam. One can only infer that those who commit such terrorist activities in such holy places are against Islam and Muslims. All Muslims must stand united against such extreme, evil and distorted ideology and develop a strong relationship with Allah, His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and the great noble and righteous people of Islamic history. It was through the efforts of these righteous people, sufis, friends of Allah, Auliya Allah, that people in the Indian sub-continent came to know of Islam.”
The blessed Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to pray “O Lord, grant me your love, enable me to have the love those who love you and enable me to those things that are desirable to you”.
“We call upon the Government of Pakistan and authorities world-wide to leave no stone unturned in rooting out such forms of extremism and protect the holy places. Such extremists are evil murderers, who are destroying our cohesion and damaging the dignity of our holy faith Islam”.
“All forms of terrorism must be stopped and the root causes that lead to such extreme actions must be fully explored and eliminated in the most efficient and amicable manner so that all human beings, and in particular Muslims who are victims of terrorism throughout the world, can live in peace and harmony.”
Muslims of Leeds strongly condemn such un-Islamic irreligious and inhumane attacks on the sufi shrines and pray that all those who have been affected by such attacks, may Allah make their lives easier and may Lord of the Heavens and the Earth guide those individuals who commit such acts of terror in the name of a religion. Aameen.
Administrator on June 29th, 2010
Leeds Makkah Mosque, in conjunction with leading local and national organisations, invites you, your friends, colleagues and contacts to an event entitled ‘Communities United – Working Together for a Brighter Future’ on Wednesday 7 July 2010 at 2:30pm – 5.30pm to mark the 5th anniversary of the atrocities committed against civilians in London on 7 July 2005.
Makkah Mosque truly believes that the diversity of British society is a source of great national pride and is something that should be passionately celebrated and promoted. It has long been leading the way in holding multi-cultural events to celebrate community, culture, sports and commerce – some of the areas where diversity is a strength.
The programme will consists of worksops and inpiring speeches.
The workshops will be held between 2:30 pm – 4.00 pm and will cover issues that are common to all communities, including ‘caring for the world (environment & sustainibility)’, ‘sports breaking barriers’, ‘Islam in the media’ and ‘business connecting communities’. Brodrick Clarke, Director of Programs for the Ali Center, Louisville US, will lead a youth workshopThe core aim of the workshops is to bring people of different backgrounds together to meet, learn and connect around issues of common interest and universal appeal so that inter-community relations are enhanced.
Following the workshops, talks will be delivered by politicians, sports personalities, media representatives and entrepreneurs between 4:15-5:15pm.
The Keynote speakers will be Kristiane Backer, TV presenter and journalist, and Greg Roberts, CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center in the US.
Greg Roberts said that the Ali Center is honored to be a part of Communities United event. “Our headquarters is located in Louisville, Kentucky, a Sister City of Leeds so we are especially excited to be involved in this partnership and to formally recognize the families and loved ones of those whose lives were lost in the 7/7 bombings.”
Roberts continued by saying, “Our mission embraces the promotion of respect, hope, and understanding among cultures through our outreach and educational initiatives. And the Center’s founder, Muhammad Ali, embodies the values that we hope will inspire people around the globe to break down barriers among us and embrace our commonalities in order to bring about true healing in the world. We are proud to be a part of this effort.”
TV presenter and journalist Kristiane Backer will be amongst the speakers and has said “As a Muslim, I am deeply distressed at those who contort the values of my faith and its commitment to peace and justice for their own corrupt means. Life is sacred in Islam. My faith teaches me to serve God by positively contributing to society; to care for the weak and the elderly; to be kind to animals and to protect the environment.”
The Imam of Makkah Mosque, Qari Asim, commented: “The event has been organised to remember those who lost their lives in the tragic London bombings on 7/7 and also to remember all those lives that are still being lost throughout the world due to violent extremism. Makkah Mosque’s message is clear and simple – those who resort to violent extremism in the name of Islam are not following the true teachings of Islam.
The event will also seek to highlight the positive way in which communities have moved forward and have been working tirelessly for a peaceful co-existence.”
The Chair of the MINAB, Maulana Shahid Raza OBE, expressed his support for the event by commenting, “We at the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board recognise and welcome the efforts of Makkah Mosque which has worked in collaboration with their local community to promote a culture of peace, harmony and tolerance amongst the diverse communities of Leeds.
The tragic events of 7/7 touched everyone’s hearts. The Muslim community in Leeds recognised the misrepresentation of their faith by the perpetrators of the attacks, who used religion as a despicable cover for their actions. These actions could never be justified in the name of Islam. Their attempts to divide communities in creating an atmosphere of mistrust and fear have largely failed.
Today’s events mark the coming together of those communities, who stand united together against all forms of hate which so often manifest itself into unspeakable violence. MINAB takes pride to support this event as well other similar forthcoming initiatives by its members.”
Deborah Green, chief executive of Marketing Leeds said:
“We are proud to support the Connecting Communities Workshop. As well as raising the profile of Leeds to a national and international audience, we also work with the local community through a programme of festivals and events, to celebrate and promote the culture and diversity of our city.
“This workshop, which marks the anniversary of a tragic event, will bring communities together to encourage inter-community relations and highlight the way that people in the Leeds city region work together to make the city a better place for residents and visitors alike.”
Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West, in whose constituency Makkah Mosque is located expressed his views on the forthcoming event in the following statement:
“The terrible events of 7/7 and the links to Yorkshire and to Leeds were a shock to all of us, but in the days and weeks afterwards, the community in Hyde Park and Headingley really pulled together and that strength of unity was crucial to taking us forward.
”Five years on, I am very pleased to be able to attend this important event at the Makkah Mosque to highlight the real progress that is has been made in bringing the community closer together and working together for the benefit of all.”
Rt Hon David Miliband MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary, sent his apologies for not being able to attend in person and added:
”I applaud you for holding this commemorative event, wish you well in your work in the future and hope that we can continue to work together to realise our shared vision of a modern, multi-faith, multi-cultural Britain in which opportunity is equal for all.”
Fabian Hamilton, MP for Leeds North East praised the continued working together for the welfare of our fellow citizens in the following words:
”I have always felt that my dear friends in the Leeds Muslim Community are like my family, my brothers and sisters – that we are part of one another – and that our connection becomes stronger as the years pass and as we continue our work together for the welfare of our fellow citizens, whatever their faith or background.”
Director, the Home Office sent well wishes as follows: ”I would like to wish you every success for the commemorative event that you are holding on the 7th July. You should be rightly proud of the positive work that Makkah Mosque, and its partner organisations, have undertaken across UK communities over a number of years. Thank you for your invitation for the Home Office to attend – please accept our apologies that were unable to do so.”
Leeds Rugby Foundation are fully behind th aims and objectives of the event, with Connecting Communities Manager Ikram Butt adding: “While in many respects sport is trivial compared to the tragedy suffered in the name of extremism, it is still a vital vehicle for bringing people together as players, volunteers or fans in common aims.”
“We are very aware in Leeds and the surrounding areas of the power of sport, in particular the community and family-based ethos of rugby league, which can be used to break down perceived barriers.”
Event partners and supporters include the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB), HRH Prince of Wales’ charity Mosaic, Marketing Leeds, Muhammad Ali Center, GFEvents, Leeds Rugby Foundation, Yorkshire Cricket Board, ABDN, Together4Peace, White Ribbon Campaign and Concord.
Administrator on June 12th, 2010
When the tragic events of 7 July 2005 occurred in London, the Muslim community shared the national sense of sadness and revulsion. But these emotions were soon to be clouded by an uncomfortable awareness that certain parts of society was associating the whole of the Muslim community with the mindless acts of a few individuals, and Muslims were being tarnished as “terrorists”, “extremists”, “fundamentalists” and “the other”.
In particular, for the British Muslim community of Leeds, the city from which a number of the instigators of the atrocities were from, the whole situation was extremely intense. The media attention that followed the attacks was a truly surreal affair; the narrow terraced streets of the suburbs of Hyde Park and Beeston were suddenly besieged by an international array of press and TV journalists presenting a community unrecognisable to the local residents, apart from the familiar sights of the local butcher’s shop, curry house and chip shop. Makkah Masjid itself – built some 2 years previously through the generosity and sincerity of the local Muslim community – became the preferred backdrop against which much of the media reporting took place.
The days that followed 7/7 were difficult. There was fear of reprisal from the far right and of heavy handed policing. Anger too at the way the events were being reported with the whole community being made to feel that it was on trial. And added to this, contradictory claims around how this was or was not connected to what continues to happen in Muslim lands such as Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan. No wonder then that the resulting confusion was made worse by attempts to reconcile the seeming ordinariness of the alleged bombers with the carnage that they had caused.
Given this situation Makkah Masjid felt that it was incumbent on it to take a number of positive actions to try to identify some of the factors that contributed to the atrocities, with the aim of working towards tackling these. The actions Makkah Masjid took included:
i) increasing its engagement with the youth to identify factors which may have contributed to the catastrophic events, listening to the voices of disengaged youth to identify what they see as the key issues that are challenging their community and what mosques and Islamic institutes can do to overcome those challenges or what guidelines masajid can provide in respect of those challenges.
ii) Makkah Masjid also enhanced its mission of bringing to the locality an authentic Islamic voice which was both compassionate and scholarly – a voice that would convey a message rooted in sacred knowledge, branching out into a community in crisis.
iii) the Mosque has assumed a significant role in promoting understanding and tolerance between different cultural and faith groups.
In respect of engaging the youth, Leeds Muslim Council, the management committee of Makkah and Madina Masjids, held a number of workshops in Makkah Mosque, Madina Masjid and in Woodsley Community Centre. The workshops:
1) Discussed the concept of the Muslim and British identity and the challenges that were likely to arise as a result of the catastrophic events of 7/7;
2) Inspired the youth to be proud of their multiple identities and work towards a higher aim of benefitting everyone with the best elements of those identities;
3) Addressed the barriers to our youth being successful in this life and the next;
4) implemented a local youth project in Leeds to start addressing some of the responsibilities British Muslim youth have towards each other and the wider community.
As part of the findings of the workshops it was decided that annual youth conferences would be held in order to discuss religious, social, political and economic challenges and opportunities that Muslims faces living in Britain. These workshops would also analyse how young British Muslims can contribute positively to all aspects of British life.
It was also agreed that in order to assess the progress, 5 years on from 7/7 a number of extended workshops would be held in the summer of 2010 to analyse whether:
- the challenges faced by Muslims in Britain have been overcome;
- the engagement of Muslim youth has in fact increased;
- the disenfranchised British Muslim youth feel more engaged;
- the integration process has been streamlined;
- the distinction between “fundamental” and “modern” Muslim has disappeared or
- the opportunities offered by Britain have been taken up by British Muslims;
- the contribution of British Muslims to the social, political and economic fields has increased or decreased; and
- the vilification of British Muslims in the media has got better or worse.
It is now 5 years on from 2005 and Leeds Muslim Council and Young Minds has started the workshops. Young Muslims are portrayed in the media in the context of radicalisation, but their lives are far more complex than this. Much is written about young Muslims but their voices are rarely heard. These workshops aim to explore the issues of multiculturalism, Islamism and the experiences of Muslims in Britain in the light of the events of 9/11 and 7/7 and the policies and practices developed as a result of those tragic events.
These workshops are organised in partnership with the Mosques and National Advisory Board (MINAB): http://minab.org.uk/.
The first of these workshops took place on Sunday 16 May 2010. The theme of the workshop was “The Participation of Youngsters in the Mosque”.
The second of these workshops aims to identify the key challenges facing British Muslim youth today and explore practical ways in which these challenges can be managed or overcome.
This workshops will give youngsters an opportunity to air their views on issues including Mosques, madrashas, radicalization, Islamophobia, extremism, policing, body-scans, PREVENT agenda, citizenship, media, body-scans, hate crime, discrimination, challenging the violent extremist ideology
and supporting mainstream voices.
The third of these workshops will explore the opportunities presented by Britain and how Muslims are benefitting from those opportunities or can benefit from those opportunities.
The next workshop will take place on Sunday 13 June 2010 at 2:30pm.
The third workshop will take place on Sunday 11 July 2010.
Makkah Mosque, Young Minds are committed to young people find their voices within mosques, their own community and throughout society so that their aspirations can be met and their contribution can be recognized. These workshops are aimed at achieving those aspirations.
For further details, please contact: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org