A simple solution to the fight against extremism
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Terrorist have no religion, and neither do they look at the religious belief of the people they are harming. I'm sure we all struggle to comprehend the mind frame of a person that would intentionally kill innocent men, women and children. I have found a simple solution to the fight against extremism.
Like majority of the people in this world, I have enough issues of my own to deal with, which generally restricts me from showing concern or acting on what is going on around me. I realise now, that if I stand back and stay quiet, the future of my children, as British Muslims, is in total jeopardy. This is a long post, and if you really are hoping for change, I hope you have the patience to read and understand it.
The recent barbaric attacks in London, Manchester, Baghdad and Kabul should make every human, regardless of religion, stand up and say, ‘enough is enough.’ These attacks pushed me into researching the subject of so called ‘Islamist extremism,’ and in doing so, I realised that the best solution to radicalisation is education.
Imams and scholars will come out condemning the act and telling the world that Islam does not teach this. I feel that the solution to resolving any problem, is to start by admitting that there is a problem. Many of our Imams and Scholars dismiss the fact that such incidents relate to Islam, however I feel, as Muslims, we must start facing the facts. As with many religions, Islam has certain texts within the Quran, which terrorists use to manipulate the minority, who are lead to believe that this is their path to heaven.
A Large number of Muslims who follow Islam, believe it to be a religion of peace. However, it is the small minority that is letting the majority down.
IT IS VERY EASY TO CONDEMN, BUT THE DIFFICULT TASKS WE FACE IS, WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT.
Muslims must all face the Fact that every society is judged on the small minority of people who do wrong, and todays media has a habit of promoting the negative rather than the positive. Just take a moment and ask yourself;
Who is this minority?
Is it the family of immigrants that have moved next door?
Is it your class mate from school?
Is it the person that has just recently converted?
Is it the quiet person that sits in the corner of Costa every day?
The Fact is, the public, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, have not got the training or experience to answer any of the above. It is also a fact, that the people that have the training and know how, are so restricted in their methods, because they do not want to upset the majority. We are so Politically correct in this country that we have restricted our Law enforcement from enforcing.
For over a decade, Islam has been the target, and as Muslims we must accept this, and work with the world to stop this. Let us not forget that majority of people killed in ISIS related terrorist atrocities are Muslim. We must accept that there is a problem, and demand that the government implements procedures (that some may find discriminating) that would help to eradicate this extremist ideology.
Some may say that allowing the Law to discriminate is wrong. But the questions you must ask yourself is, after seeing all the pictures of terrorist over the past decade, how many of them would you have pinpointed as a terrorist, if they were sat next to you on a plane? And, with that in mind, would you really feel discriminated against, getting checked a few more times at airports, just to give you the peace of mind that the person behind you is not a terrorist?
We currently have around 3000 people on the terrorist watch list, who are deemed an active and serious threat to our society, and are likely to commit terrorist attacks. I feel majority of the UK population, regardless of religion, would agree on the Internment of such individuals, as a starting point.
I am not a conspiracy theorist, I am a firm believer that if the western countries did not get involved in the middle east, life would be completely different. But we cannot allow previous government mistakes, weather intentional or not, to affect the future of our children. We must stop dwelling in the past and look to the future and come together as a United Kingdom.
Without going into too much detail, my feeling on the PREVENT Strategy are balanced. Balanced, in the sense that, if we trust the government statistics on the number of terror plots halted, it becomes difficult to criticise. However, current events and reports show that regardless of the community doing their part in reporting people with this manipulated Ideology, the government does not have the correct powers in place to deal with such people.
These Terrorist, under the prevent strategy should have been behind bars for having ideology which is concocted by Daesh. In some instances, the Prevent strategy can become a potential terrorist breeding ground for normal Muslims who are being harassed by this government. Our Foreign policy has already helped promote terrorist Ideology and we must fight to change the domestic policy, as it is also helping to promote the same. I am not asking to scrap Prevent, but to amend its protocols, so as not to target, for example, 4-year-old children.
Government and British public want mosques to be an integrated part of society, which in certain aspects, we are. They will soon demand that Muslims make mosques into institutions where all children of all faiths can come and learn
Do you not feel that before the government decides to make changes for Muslims, we should implement changes and promote them to other Mosques?
In the 90s I was taught how to read the Quran in Arabic, not the translation of the text we were reading, which at that time was very common. Children were, and still are graduating from mosque, after memorising the Quran, but how many of them know the meaning of the words they are reciting. I am in no way trying to discredit the effort made in memorising the Quran, but I do feel things must change.
Madrassas do not teach the Arabic language, and I completely understand that. What we are doing is learning the sounds of the alphabet in Arabic, and using that information to combine letters to read the Quran. I am a strong believer that learning the meaning of verses in the Quran will only benefit the Muslim community into learning the facts Islam teaches, and will hopefully restrict the advocators of terrorism teaching misinterpretations of the Quran.
Parents are of course a first point of education, and every parent must teach their child the correct path. For Muslims, the mosque plays an essential role in educating children, as some children start studying Islam from the age of 4.
Muslims must educate communities, not only on the positive aspects of Islam. But also on the parts of Islam that the advocators of Terrorism use to prepare the minds of potential terrorists, to carry out such barbaric acts in the hopes of salvation.
Mosques have really improved in the way they educate the children, but is it not time to demand that our imams teach children in the language of the Land?
Educating the Qu’ran and Hadith using the language of the land, will only benefit the Muslim community into learning the facts Islam teaches, and will restrict the advocators of terrorism teaching misinterpretations. Of course, I still believe in the teaching of the Quran in Arabic, however this should be integrated with the language of the land if you are in a non-Arabic speaking country.
It is not only Muslim children, but also adults that need educating in the facts that Islam teaches, not what the culture of the county you were born in interprets Islam as. We are slowly becoming a religion that follows culture rather than religion. It’s not our fault, we have not been taught the difference.
We must all remember culture changes with time, your religious teachings and beliefs can never change. Daesh is educating members of the Islamic community into their interpretation of Islam, and if we do not want our children to be manipulated by these fools, we must act now.
If, the Terrorists ‘friend and family’ were fully educated in the accurate teaching and translation of the Quran, I feel they would have been able to tackle this issue internally. The problem is, 80% of Muslims can only recite what the Quran teaches in Arabic, and the do not know what the true and accurate meaning is, because it was never part of the old methods of educating.
I am now 33, and I thank God, that he has given me the ability to continue learning about my religion at this age, however I do regret, that when it was my time to learn the Quran, I was taught more about the culture of my Imam and parents, more than my religion. I am not saying the cultural aspect of learning is not important, however, following your religion is more important. Another issue I see, is due to the lack of Islamic knowledge my generation has, we are more susceptible to manipulation by people promoting the Daesh Ideology.
I cannot help but feel, if the terrorists knew the true meaning of the Quran and Islam, they would not have committed such act. If mosques taught him his religion, from an early age, using a language he could comprehend, it would have hindered the chances of Daesh spreading their false interpretations and misrepresentations of Islam.
Terrorist have no religion, and neither do they look at the religious belief of the people they are harming. We must stand together, and demand changes. I really struggle to comprehend the mind frame of a person that would intentionally kill innocent men, women and children. That is why I say, instead of a repeated condemnation of the act, let’s devise a plan to educate everyone from child to adult.
I approached my local mosque regarding this issue, and realised that it was not that they were unable to provide interpretations of the Quran through their daily lesson plans, rather that they felt that they did not have time or facilities at their disposal to add this to the syllabus. My Local Mosque charges £25 PCM, teaching 1 child for 40 hours. I found that £25 was the top level of fees charged by mosques.
We must consider that receiving £0.62p per hour, per student, does not allow mosques to employ the teachers and scholars required to do a competent job. If we work on an average of 100 student attending mosque 5 days a week. That is a total income of £2500 PCM and £30000PA.
I completely understand that Mosques are attempting to keep the fees as low as possible, to provide education to people of all social classes. But if that is hindering the education of the children, something must be done. Charity plays a big part, in helping to establish the sound structure of the mosque, however if you consider that majority of this money is spent on maintenance, how much money is left to pay a teacher worth £40K PA.
I was told by a Mosque education coordinator that if I wished to teach my child the meaning of the Quran then he would recommend that I teach him at home, using a Quran translated in English. I am not qualified to tech my son the full and accurate interpretation of the Quran, and neither would majority of the parents I do know. I am not educated to a level that would allow me to teach my child the Quran, without making mistakes within my own interpretation. So, what is my actual solution?
As a nation of many faiths an Atheists, we must understand that Religious scriptures cannot be changed or scrapped and neither can their real and true interpretations. Some may argue that the meaning of the Qu’ran would be lost in interpretation. I say, how can you lose what you don’t have, because if you do not know the meaning of what you are reading, all is lost.
I hope to count on your support to help make this possible. If we really want change, let’s start somewhere. We have, as a society, attempted many solutions to prevent radicalisation, but the recent attacks, show we are still doing something wrong.
The government and its representatives have a duty to secure our nation, and I feel, by encouraging madrassas to teach in the language of the land, you have won half the battle.
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