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Attack on Amina

“Why can’t you have two mums, Amina?”

Reading between the lines of Amina’s story

This is the first chapter in our story of an unsuspecting British Muslim family.

Little Amina is asked to take part in a role play in her primary school classroom, with her friend Sara. It’s like any other day at school. However, there’s something different about this role-playing exercise. The teacher has engineered this—as part of a campaign whose literature we have written about before[1]—in order to “smash” so-called “heteronormativity” in primary schools.

Amina and Sara are asked to play two mums “married” to each other. When Amina’s natural disposition (fitra), which her parents worked hard to preserve from birth, automatically questions this, she is uncritically shut down by the very voice that she expects to nurture her emotional and intellectual growth—the teacher. She feels bullied into feeling like her natural question—who’s going to be the daddy?—is something incorrect, or to be ashamed of or mocked.

This is a story played-out increasingly across the world where privileged and powerful pressure groups’ ideological, social and moral constructs are imposed on others—particularly minorities—as though they are universal facts about the world. And it starts at school.

We are telling this story to show how subtle this exercise of coercion is, how easily done, and how easily overlooked by parents. After all, do you think Amina will speak to her parents about this? Do her parents have the time and resources to articulate their disagreement clearly—and confidently—with her school? Do they know their rights as parents?

Stay tuned every odd night 21.30 BST as we release the next chapter in this story: Next will be the story of Amina’s father. Click the player to watch Amina’s story.

Want to be part of the solution? You can by supporting Islam21c so we can empower more families but we need your support to carry on our work, click here to donate.

Many of us are lost when it comes to responding to the ideological attack in a constructive, confident way. We often unwittingly fall into character roles made for us by those pushing a hostile agenda. Muslim parents are painted as extreme, intolerant, bigoted. Objectively, we are none of these, but we are interpreted this way partly due to the difference in power and money behind the different narratives and opinions, and partly because we do not have crystal clear narratives to articulate our disagreements authentically and in a mature, balanced way. And most of us do not know our rights as parents, so are easily intimidated into silence—“Just don’t talk about this to your teachers”.

This makes many Muslims feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do we “fit in” into wider society, or do we “stick to our guns”?

The reality is this is a false dichotomy; there does not need to be a conflict between the two. But we need to invest in strengthening our ability to tell our own stories, rather than being predetermined characters in other people’s tales—usually the villain!

Some people have an agenda to create division and polarisation, spinning this into an issue of Muslims being backwards or intolerant; when ironically it is in fact Muslims who are calling for greater tolerance of genuine diversity and freedom of conscience—which other non-Muslim minorities afraid to speak up often thank us for.

However, many parents complain there is a lack of clear guidance about this topic, and are exhausted by the flurry of sensationalist and polarising stories filling up their news feeds and WhatsApp groups every now and then. There is an overload of information—and plenty of fake news—what do they do?

Knowledge is power

Islam21c has been honoured to be involved in addressing this issue, by providing guidance and narratives that are compassionate yet uncompromising. From spearheading a joint statement of over 160 scholars and imams setting the record straight,[2] to delving into the literature and exposing the secretive pseudoscience behind programmes to proselytise LGBT beliefs,[3] to giving a space for parents disagreeing with those programmes to put it in their own words—in writing,[4] and in our Unscripted podcast,[5] for example. This is while they are misrepresented time and time again by the usual suspects in the mainstream media hell-bent on demonising them.

Islam21c can do more but we need your support click here to donate to support Islam21c and share in all this reward. 

To teach parents their rights we have published—and by the grace of Allāh continue to publish—impactful content including a six-part Parental Guidance video series with SRE Islamic,[6] a step-by-step guide for getting involved in our children’s schools. Not just for LGBT issues, but to exercise our rights and duties as parents to be active, constructive members of our societies.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s article,[7] our business is instilling confidence and impact in Muslims, and everything we do is with that in mind, which is what all of our transformational digital content has in common. Part of making Muslims feel comfortable and confident in their skin as proudly Muslim Brits is speaking up in theatres that are traditionally hostile, such this clip from Sky News and Talk Radio.

Help us give Islam a voice in the mainstream. Donate now and share in the reward 

Nothing is more fulfilling than engaging directly with brothers and sisters—particularly young people—and seeing their confidence grow. When the un-spoken assumptions and beliefs underlying LGBT ideology, for example, are laid bare for them, they are often extremely grateful and feel a sense of ease around how to approach these issues from our own perspective, rather than reacting to someone else’s provocations.

But the truth is we need help distilling and disseminating these narratives and others, especially ahead of statutory relationships and sex education being imposed in schools.

We have seen some schools take this as a carte blanche to impose subjective values, and moral and ideological constructs onto children—particularly from minority backgrounds. Other schools are unaware of the details of their obligations and rights of parents, so fall prey to massively-funded misinformation campaigns from anti-Muslim or anti-Islam pressure groups. Do Muslim parents have sufficient resources and guidance to resist this?

This is why we are working with education experts to empower not only parents with this knowledge, but the community’s imams, du’at and activists with mature narratives to bridge the polarisation that some in the mainstream media and pressure groups have worked hard to create.

The coronavirus pandemic has shown the world that Muslims are undeniably a crucial part of the public landscape, saving lives and carrying out key functions to keep society running—giving up our own lives in the process. We need to assert our presence on our own terms, according to our own values, not be coerced into the ideological or political agendas of other groups.

This requires us to continue our work to overcome obstacles to Muslim confidence and empowerment, such as that shown in Amina’s story. But the coronavirus lockdown has also had a severe impact on our financial situation, and we are in danger of not being able to carry out this work.

If you missed the opportunity to donate last night to support this cause, you have the chance to support it right now. You can click here to donate to support Islam21c for our Ramadan Heroes campaign.

Remember to share this and help increase the impact on your scales of good deeds, in shā Allāh.

Stay tuned every odd night 21.30 BST as we release the next chapter in this story. Next will be the story of Amina’s father.

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://www.islam21c.com/opinion/yes-you-can-make-a-child-be-gay-in-school/

[2] https://www.islam21c.com/editorials/joint-statement-of-muslim-scholars-imams-on-lgbt-row-in-schools/

[3] https://www.islam21c.com/opinion/yes-you-can-make-a-child-be-gay-in-school/

[4] https://www.islam21c.com/politics/stop-proselytising-lgbt-ideology-to-pupils-demand-parents/

[5] https://www.islam21c.com/podcasts/the-unscripted-podcast-6-the-lgbt-movement-primary-schools/

[6] https://www.islam21c.com/islamic-thought/parental-guidance-series/

[7] https://www.islam21c.com/editorials/when-the-lights-at-islam21c-almost-went-off/

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About Dr Salman Butt

Salman studied Biochemistry at Imperial College London followed by a PhD in Chemical Biology, carrying out research into photosynthesis. During his years at university he became involved in Islamic society da'wah and activism, and general Muslim community projects. He is the Chief Editor and a regular contributor at Islam21c, and also has a blog on the Huffington Post.

5 comments

  1. Also, while we are on the subject of questioning the actual impact of Islam21C on issues that affect Muslims, I would like to say that I’m extremely disappointed by the lack of urgency placed on ensuring that the ummah have access to historical facts. On the one hand, we have our younger brothers who did not experience the decade following 9/11 and whose knowledge of the complex relationship between the major players of that time, such as Al Qaeeda, Abu Musab’s group and the West, is seriously lacking, but they still see fit to make erroneous links and perpetuate factual inaccuracies and conspiracy theories on their YouTube Channels. However, as long as they come to the conclusion that ISIL are bad then who cares.

    Dr. Asim Qureshi in one of his recent Lockdown Library videos highlighted his own dilemma when it came to critiquing the views and analyses of scholars, in areas in which he is an expert. I think that brothers like him who have a better understanding of our recent history should do more to ensure that scholars as well as laypeople, like our younger brothers who have a large social media presence, don’t perpetuate factual inaccuracies.

    On the other hand, unfortunately, the reinterpreting history bug seems to also be biting our older brothers. I, personally, find it extremely upsetting that some of our brothers who were unfairly detained and had some involvement in the jihad in Bosnia and Chechnya, romanticise their involvement and the jihad at that time as being nothing to do with terrorism. However, one could argue that the Bosnian war was stopped before it reached the stage where the fight spilled into Serbian civilian areas. However, the Chechen war certainly did. I can still remember the Moscow theatre siege by male and female Chechen fighters, and the brothers on the discussion board lamenting their own lack of masculinity that lead to these Chechen sisters losing their lives. In the end, the civilians who died did so, not because of the fighters, but, because of the tear gas the Russians used which made them faint and then suffocate in their own vomit. The documentary on this might still be available on YouTube. Did Chechen fighters also not take a school hostage? An incident that lead to some brothers (in the USA I think) labelling them ‘baby killers”. The situation was resolved without the loss of any child’s life. There also seems to be a romanticising of the Ottoman Empire even though their jihad eventually became tyrannical. How can we learn from their mistakes if we refuse to acknowledge them?

    Present facts, whether about past conflicts or present ones, and the truth will become clear to those who sincerely ask Allah for it.

    • I apologise. I should take my own advice and check the accuracy of the information I post. I didn’t and it’s been bothering me. I just checked now and the Beslan school siege resulted in over 100 children dying and the Russians didn’t use tear gas during the Moscow theatre siege but an unknown gas that made the people unconscious and then choke on their vomit or tongues because they were lying on their backs for a while before medical aid was given.

  2. Surely it would have been better to ensure that Jess Phillips was explicitly not endorsed as a m.p.
    Sadly the thirst for funding meant many including shaikh haitham Al Haddad endorsed the Labour party in a subtle but obvious way.
    This country changed beyond recognition under New Labour. Even the conservatives have had to adopt and abandon traditional Christian values in order to become electable.
    Labour were a huge fitnah for society causing much suffering with the liberalising of Alcohol & gambling laws.
    Reclassification of illegal drugs and promoting a culture of promiscuity whilst demeaning the institution of marriage.
    It began with the repealing of section 28 back in 97/98.
    Fast forward two decades later and 5 year olds are being taught relationship studies such as the above.
    Haitham Al Haddad disingenuously implied it was wajib to vote.
    The Muslim public has been exploited by so many of our own so called community leaders whom have a history of endorsing liberals like Ken Livingstone and others within the Labour party. They do this as the right wing parties do not give a blank cheque to pet projects like Labour did.
    Labour messed up a whole generation.
    Left students in debt, the NHS in huge debt with their PFI schemes which we are still paying for.
    Increase in valerial diseases, deaths by alcohol.
    Soft sentences which meant that there was no effective deterrent in society leading to so many senseless killings.
    Nanny state invading sovereign nations with hypocritical greedy agenda driven mps whom exploited the Muslims in certain constituencies to blindly vote for them , based on the recommendations of our so called community leaders.
    Pure BETRAYAL OF TRUST, just for a few quid, which is the ultimate aim of this video story released in tit bits. MONEY MONEY MONEY. Why not do the articles fee sabilAllah ? Why do these organisations always compete with genuine humanitarian charities for the hard earned Muslim donation ?
    Lack of priorities, yes there is Islamaphobia in the UK, but throwing money at you people will do nothing to stop that, rather it is made worse by these groups who then pick up the crumbs from the fall out.
    MRDF Donated Thousands to this website which it had initially set up. When MRDF obtained charity status it knew it could not keep this side project sustained and let it “go”. Honestly had enough of these people exploiting the Muslims and helping to get people like Labour to power over the years. All this knife crime, broken homes and increase in drugs stems from the broken society which was labeled as freedom under Labour.
    Rant almost over, just want to say oh brothers and sisters donate to the genuine needy in Yemen, Syria, the horn of Africa and other places where there is genuine need.
    Please please do not pay for iMac’s and Mac books and sustain these people’s lifestyles. They should fit this around their work life. There are many genuine Muslim volunteers out there who don’t have the platform these groups have. Sadly when they join these organisations some have to leave as a matter of principle, others end up confirming and becoming part of the disease.

    • I think that we are bearing the bitter fruits of the unholy alliance with the liberal types (among the disbelievers) from around 2 decades ago. Back in those days we only really had a few discussion boards here and in the USA, where we could learn and discuss, Islamic Awakening being one of them. I remember why I stopped using it. There were regular heated discussions between the ‘pro Jihad/Palestine/demonstrations group’ and the ‘Saudi Salafi/stop shedding blood’ and ‘demonstrations don’t work group’. The comment that was made on the discussion board that I found particularly unpalatable went something like, “I would rather stand shoulder to shoulder with these people [liberals] at the demonstrations than deal with people like you [Saudi Salafi types].” We are now struggling to save our children from this assault on their innocence, by these very same liberal minded groups.

  3. This is no different to saying you can have a mother and father of incest where they are also brothers and sisters or you have the scenario mentioned two mothers and father or you have a mother your father is a dog
    Incest sodomite bestiality cannot be jusutified in any way all these three are freaks of nature

    May allah protect us

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