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Thank You, Mr Ware. And Sorry.

Panorama’s episode aired on BBC on Monday 22nd of November 2010 entitled ‘British schools, Islamic rules’ was unfair, biased, irresponsible and factually inaccurate1. That the report was presented by John Ware comes as no surprise to the Muslim community. While raising concerns about segregation, the program did nothing to increase cohesion, reduce the causes of segregation or lessen mistrust between communities. Rather it achieved the contrary, and would have had three effects:

  • It would have contributed to even more suspicion – if not blatant prejudice and Islamophobia –  directed against Muslims and Islam in the UK;
  • it would have made more young Muslims angry that they are under unfair attack by the West and its  media;
  • it would have made many more Muslims feel alienated and victimised, and further withdraw from interacting with society.

While the program censured the promotion of hate, Mr Ware and the producers of Panorama have contributed to even more hate against Muslims. By sheer numbers alone there are more non-Muslims in Britain who may ‘hate’ Muslims than vice-vera. A 2008 Pew survey found that 1 in 4 Britons is already hostile to Muslims2, thanks in no small part to biased media commentators and certain journalists. Surely this cannot be an achievement to be proud of, nor can the kudos that Mr Ware is likely to have received from the English Defence League, extremist Zionist organisations, or others who may have an anti-Muslim and Islamophobic agenda3. Nor can it be to the credit of a journalist to be seen to antagonise an entire religious community of over 2 million, and to be perceived by them to be biased against them. At a time when the far-right and anti-Muslim xenophobia is growing in Europe, the program attempted to further turn public opinion against the Muslim community by misrepresenting Islamic teaching. It must be appreciated that as Muslims we revere and honour every word of the Quran and we cannot be separated from our scripture. Muslim’s see an attack on Islam’s teachings as an attack on them.

Despite the above, we take encouragement from what God tells us in the Quran:

“You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination.” (Quran 3:186)

We believe that this world is a testing ground for the hereafter, and challenges like these strengthen Muslims more, for they only confirm what we read and believe. For this, we owe thanks to Mr Ware, for his obviously biased report has galvanised support for many awareness campaigns4, which aims to give more people an opportunity to learn about Islam, and for more people to appreciate the beauty of the faith held in over a billion hearts worldwide and by the hundreds accepting Islam in Britain. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, more Britons may unfortunately be turned to greater prejudice by what they saw on Panorama. But if as a result of our campaign in response to Panorama even one person gets a better, unprejudiced understanding of Islam, and sees through the tabloid sensationalism, it would be worth the effort. And there will be many, many who will.

While Mr Ware and his sources thrive on picking out anything that can be construed as negative – even if by way of misrepresentation and mistranslation – in an ocean of good, we have in ourselves the ability to seek out the potential good in the sea of adversity that Europe is fast becoming for Muslims. While he seeks to sensationalise single sentences in entire volumes of ethical teachings to turn people against Islam, many in Britain will have the sense of justice to see the overwhelming good in what they read and to put things in perspective.

Programmes like this week’s Panorama will make us even more determined to sincerely reach out to fellow Britons and share with them the spiritual message, the mercy, the charity, the altruism, the morals and ethics and justice that Islam teaches. Above all, the program will have triggered a campaign that we hope will lead to even more in Britain to know about their God, His book and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) that bring one an inner peace and contentment. Thank you Mr Ware for having helped bring this about.

To those who may hate Islam and Muslims, we say look beyond the media with its John Wares and investigate Islam without bias. To the Muslims who may be angry or act irrationally, we say, be patient, and turn this smear into an opportunity to speak to your friend, your neighbour your colleague, and sincerely hope for his or her welfare, and share the good that you have. For the Muslims who feels further vilified and victimised, we say find strength in your faith and your link with Allah, and think of Allah’s wisdom in what happens around you.

Perhaps this ongoing witch-hunt will pursue Muslims from their mosques to their schools and into their homes – as in an Orwellian anti-Muslim thought police. But it will only make us stronger, and more determined to convey to people what Islam is truly about. And if, Mr Ware, you think that we will be browbeaten, that we will withdraw into a corner, that we will apologise for our faith, you will be disappointed, because, God willing, we will not. Sorry.

 

 

Notes:
Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your facebook, twitter, and other platforms to further spread our efforts.

1.Twenty-two minutes into the program, the Saudi ‘informer’ mistranslates a sentence from a book, claiming it says, “the Jews look like monkeys and pigs”. The Arabic text is clear in the program and translates, “and the people of the Sabbath amongst them were punished by being turned into monkeys and pigs,” a reference to three groups of Israelites, where those that violated the Sabbath were punished, but those that admonished them were rewarded by Allah. 

2. http://pewglobal.org/2008/09/17/unfavorable-views-of-jews-and-muslims-on-the-increase-in-europe/

3. http://www.spectator.co.uk/melaniephillips/6485065/its-the-saudis-stupid.thtml

4.http://www.iera.org.uk/

About Dr Osman Ahmed

29 comments

  1. Aa/hello all- this post is for Muslims and non Muslims who might be reading including Ken,

    I want to thank John Ware as his documentary inspired me to take a big step.
    Non-Muslims are always asking why we do not see Muslims standing up against crime
    and impacting society positively. Well in part I believe the media would not cover this if we did.

    However we cannot get into a passive mentality like this and so I have created the following blog/newsletter which anyone can sign up to or recommend to non Muslims:

    It gives people information
    about all the great community work that Muslims and non-Muslims are doing that doesn’t
    interestingly get reported by the media.

    Now us Muslims have no excuse- do something great and post it on my blog so others
    will be happy and inspired to read it.

    Looking forwards to hearing from you, especially you Ken!

    Ws/regards

  2. Saudi Embassy’s Response
    Statement from The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London In Response to BBC Panorama Programme of 22.11.2010
    23/11/2010 :

    · The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, London does not and has not authorized the use of any discriminatory or objectionable educational materials and will take all appropriate steps to ensure that this is achieved. Saudi Arabia is committed to the development of understanding between all faiths.

    · The main task of the Saudi Arabia Cultural Bureau is to coordinate the educational scholarships and activities of some 18,000 Saudi students and 10,000 of their dependents studying in the United Kingdom.

    · The programme focused on groups of students operating as student clubs which are self-directed groups gathering together at weekends and holidays.

    · The Embassy and the Cultural Bureau are carefully investigating what was said on the programme to ensure that our commitment to the respect of other faiths is upheld.

    · It should be pointed out that we were unable to carry out such investigations beforehand as the BBC declined to give sufficient details of the clubs or their evidence; and worst,

    · The BBC did not allow us time to address questions as it insisted we reply when the Embassy was officially closed and all Muslims were observing the festival of Eid Al-Adha, the holiest holiday of Islam, which we view as wholly inconsiderate and offensive.

    · Panorama inappropriately involved itself in the dangers of selectively quoting from texts written centuries ago outside of their historical, cultural and linguistic context.

    · ENDS

  3. Great article, Masha’Allah.
    JazakAllah khayr

    I also came across 4 part article responding to the documentary:

    http://tinyurl.com/234wdxl

  4. Assalamu-alaikum brothers, Islam is a beautiful religion guided by both the Quran and the hadith. theres no situation too tough now that was not addressed by our most beloved Prophet (PBUH) on how to respond to issues. For all he said he never did on his own accord but was guided by Allah (SWA)to do it. As muslims we are more united than we are perceived, our congregational prayer is the most organised without any human organising it because all muslims are accept ruling. all muslims believe, accept and affirm the “oneness of Allah” and they worship none except Allah, all we need now most is reverting to the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet (SAW) in building our character and being patient and stop being angry.

  5. never see soldiers welcoming our brave men
    Dear Ken,
    Obviously youre not the brightest spark, so let me explain to you something pretty simple. Let us suppose you are white or christian and you see a huge army of non-whites or non-christians go into say England and then slaughter huge numbers of people, rape the women, strip and humiliate any men between the age of 15 & 45 and get them to perform sex acts on one another while smeared in shit. whatever you have seen on BBC run by the British Government pales in comparison to what has actually gone on. WHY ON EARTH WOULD whites and christians immigrants living in one of these countries come out and support these murderers. And they are murderers – all of the soldiers who are coming back now would have been sent out in say 2008 or 2009 and by that point everyone knew the afghani and iraqi people had nothing to do with with 911 or 7/7 or had weapons of mass distruction. If you deny the evident racism of this war just look at the comments below the youtube videos (sand-ni**er, desert-ni**er, arab dog, bloody paki etc etc – one insult after the other). Now bear in mind the pumping of depleted uranium into those areas filled with kids. Filthy racist murderers does quite cut it when you think of what they have done knowing full well the innocence of these people and not giving a stuff cos who cares, just a bunch of paki desert niggers after all.

  6. No thirsty person would refuse a drink of water without reason.

  7. Obedience
    No thirsty person would refuse a drink of water without reason.

  8. To brother Oussama, with apologies
    Assalam alaikum wa RahamtUllah

    My apologies for any offence caused and I take some of your point on board

    1. There are many articles that have been written as you have said – I did not want to do the same thing. Actually the main aim of the article was a motivation for Muslims not to just complain about the program, but turn the negative to positive. Anti-Muslim media? counter it with dawah, as iERA did. You knw there are people who get depressed , stop going to the mosque leave hijab, etc, because of the constant Islam-bashing. I was to stop people feeling they can’t do anything..it was trying to encourage Muslsim..

    2. One article does not – and cannot – deal with everything. There can be a number of article about defending Muslims, about our problems in schools, education etc, etc. Lots of people may say ,’you didn’t say this, you didn’t say that..’ if one were to say everything that can be said, it would be a very loong article no one would read.Insha’Allah, these issues can be dealt with, and need to be.
    3. If this was a fair balanced program , we could have concentrated on the schooling problems. Let them make a proper case, not tabloid sensationalism. Now, that does not mean we let schools be as they are.. we should be constantly concerned about curricula and the education of our childern before panorama and after panorama and regardless of panorama.

    We hope this website can be a forum for discussion of this really crucial issues about education in Muslims schools and in state schools ingeneral

    4. I have known Usama and attanded the masjid he sometimes gives sermons in. When you said ,

    “There is the theory of Islamic Hudud and there is the reality of the Hudud. The reality is that Allah made the rules so stringent that the actual punishment should rarely be carried out. Too many of us growing up were taught that Allah requires the cutting of hands and the stoning of people, without being taught the strict requirements and the hikma behind the Hudud. .” I don’t disagree with you

    Fundamentally Muslims schools should make their syllabus relevant. A textbook written in Saudi, in the Saudi context, by Saudi educators simply is out of place in UK schools. Does it come as a surprise to you after watching that documentary that so many youth are not interested in Islam. We need to rethink and evaluate how we address both school children and non-muslims and we need to be self critical about the manner in which we talk about certain issues. ‘, I must say it reminded me of somethings he has said, and of course not everything he used to say was wrong.

    But a question, are you more disturbed by children being informe about the specifics of hudood or the respectful display in a Muslim school of shirk? Of course the latter.

    I don’t think we should respond to these issues on the back foot..

    Apologies for any offence caused akhi.

    OSman

  9. reply to brother Osman
    AsalamuAlaykum brother Osman

    I have gone back and reread the article. And I acknowledge that mashAllah you did call for caution in our response as a community. However, the point I was trying to make akhi was that the main aim of your article was to highlight another attack on our besieged community . My point simply was that since the airing of the documentary many Muslim organizations have already highlighted its islamophobic intentions and poor journalism. It would have been nice if your article instead of emphasizing on where we have been wronged, emphasized on the many shortcoming of our community with regards to the education of our children. As Abu Ibraheem asked, are Islamic Schools in the UK REALLY centres of academic excellence? Akhi what our community needs to learn is self criticism and introspection. Self criticisms in no way gives ammunition to those hostile to us. On the contrary it proves that we are genuine in our desires to attain the highest goals.

    You say that the schools in the show were Saudi schools and not British schools and thus we should somehow not worry about it. I don’t agree with this akhi. Many of the children who attend such schools are british children of arabic origin. I and many people I know attended such schools. They will have an impact on future generations of Muslim youth.

    No one disputes it was poor journalism. This was not the point of my comment.

    I do not understand your comment, “Some of the other points are not dissimilar to the views of your namesake who also appeared on the program…”. Could you please elaborate on this and point out to me which of my views are similar to those of my namesake Usama Hasan.

    You wrote an article and published it publicly. I wrote a comment in order so that we can exchange ideas and develop our thought process and our methodology. If you are going to just defend your thesis without taking to mind the points I made and if you are so easily able to throw allegations (my views being similar to those of Usama Hasan) then akhi I question your desire to really question your own view points. If that is the case akhi then I will no longer comment on the website as it is not my intention to engage in online arguments. I was hoping for an open minded exchange of ideas.

    My intention was simply to engage you in an exchange that may help to develop and improve the way we as a community deal with what is facing us. Wallahu A3lam.

    AsalamuAlaykum

    Oussama

  10. To ?Oussama
    Thank you for your remarks

    It is so that we do not cut our nose to spite our face that I wrote it. Which is why I said Muslims should not overreact and respond negatively. You may want to read the article again (for eg, “To the Muslims who may be angry or act irrationally, we say, be patient, and turn this smear into an opportunity ….”,) or perhaps you misunderstand the expression.

    That aside, afew points:

    When something is being presented, one should assess the premise, the evidence used and whether it truly supports the premise. The Saudi schools are weekend/evening community schools , not ‘British schools’ per se – they weren’t even English schools – they were Arabic schools. They (rather deviously) lumped the non-state ‘Saudi’ schools with British faith schools.
    They were not able to demonstrate in any of the ‘British schools’ that they were being taught anything controversial; they tried to incriminate them by distant association to mosques who had speakers who a sometime in their life had said something somewhere which could be understood as whatever etc, etc…

    You can’t believe everything you read or see, certainly not without questioning it. Actually, it was pretty poor quality journalism.
    A lot of time was dedictated to an anlysis of Saudi text and syllabi,really what % of British kids attend these!
    I take your point about how things should be taught and the quality of teaching. Of course there is always need for improvement, and we desperately need to get our house in order. Doesn’t change the reality of what was quite a feeble and biased report.

    Some of the other points are not dissimilar to the views of your namesake who also appeared on the program…

    Osman

  11. To ?Oussama
    Thank you for your remarks

    It is so that we do not cut our nose to spite our face that I wrote it. Which is why I said Muslims should not overreact and respond negatively. You may want to read the article again (for eg, “To the Muslims who may be angry or act irrationally, we say, be patient, and turn this smear into an opportunity ….”,) or perhaps you misunderstand the expression.

    That aside, afew points:

    When something is being presented, one should assess the premise, the evidence used and whether it truly supports the premise. The Saudi schools are weekend/evening community schools , not ‘British schools’ per se – they weren’t even English schools – they were Arabic schools. They (rather deviously) lumped the non-state ‘Saudi’ schools with British faith schools.
    They were not able to demonstrate in any of the ‘British schools’ that they were being taught anything controversial; they tried to incriminate them by distant association to mosques who had speakers who a sometime in their life had said something somewhere which could be understood as whatever etc, etc…

    You can’t believe everything you read or see, certainly not without questioning it. Actually, it was pretty poor quality journalism.
    A lot of time was dedictated to an anlysis of Saudi text and syllabi,really what % of British kids attend these!
    I take your point about how things should be taught and the quality of teaching. Of course there is always need for improvement, and we desperately need to get our house in order. Doesn’t change the reality of what was quite a feeble and biased report. Some of the other points are not dissimilar to the views of your namesake who also appeared on the program…

    Osman

  12. Mashallah
    I have to agree with ken, that muslims should come out on the streets when certain acts of ignorant idiots make the muslims in general look bad.

    I would like to say muslims are not united on their knowledge of Islam and therefore cannot stand united to take actions of morality together. You will rarely find muslims take time out of their daily lives to show thier stance on /. and most muslims will feel represented correctly. However, similarly, rarely muslims will show their anger and most muslims will feel misrepresented. However this is what gets the most media attention.
    This I blame on the massive cultural barrier that is supposed to be none existant but only exists because of the disunity of Islamic knowledge amongst them.

  13. See the larger picture.
    Dear Ken,

    Further to your post, I feel compelled to correct your misconceptions. I feel that your questions are best answered by another question. Have you personally ever made any efforts to integrate with the muslim community in your city?. If so, you would know that muslims around the UK openly condemn acts of terrorism. Our conduct is based on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), where even during the military retaking of Mecca he absolutely forbid the killing of livestock, the destruction of date palms and other trees and the killing of civilians. In no other religion will you find such a high degree of ethical conduct even during war.

    However, our public condemnations of a few nutjobs are never acknowledged by the English community and I need to ask someone like you, why this is so, because I still continue to hear the same old racist, western media brain washing being regurgitated. I personally find this very frustrating and I cannot help but smell the stench of hypocrisy, double standards, (and dare I say it?), white supremacism.

    Sadly, muslims are being confronted on a daily basis, the questions you have posed, yet we can equally ask you the same questions. May I ask if you personally made any efforts to openly condemn the evil, racist and criminal conduct of the EDL and BNP?. Have you condemned the evil actions of a 15 year old english girl in Dudley when she burnt an English translation of the noble Quran?. For the record, the police refused to prosecute this budding racist. Please see link:

    http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=155411042

    I feel you may not be able to answer in the affirmative, yet this may be a good opportunity for you to undertake some serious introspection. Muslims are trying very hard to develop and maintain good community relations with non-muslims, but it is highly unethical to put the onus entirely on muslims. After all, integration is a two way street and muslims are no different from other people. We also have feelings and we are also hurt by the constant racist attacks courtesy of the racist, western media.

    With regards to your injured sentiments regarding the lack of muslim support for your ‘war heroes’ being deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, I personally find it reprehensible to support an illegal, racist invasion of two sovereign nations, where the ultimate objective of israel, america and england, was to secure all of the oil/gas fields and pipelines, purely for financial gain and political clout. This illegal war only served to further oppress an already oppressed people (as a result of previous western invasions). Furthermore, please consider the ramifications of your demands. You are asking muslims to support illegal invasions into muslim countries and the mass murder of innocent muslim people. Our people. I for one, cannot and will not support such evil.

    I apologise for any offence I may have unintentionally caused you, but you have asked hard questions and you have a right to be made aware of the answers. As I mentioned earlier, peace is a two way street and if it is not coming about, then it is time the people of the west reflected upon their own actions and the history they have created.

  14. See the larger picture.
    Dear Ken,

    Further to your post, I feel compelled to correct your misconceptions. I feel that your question is best answered by another question. Have personally ever made any efforts to integrate with the muslim community in your city?. If so, you would know that muslims around the UK openly condemn acts of terrorism. Our conduct is based on the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), where even during the military retaking of Mecca he absolutely forbid the killing of livestock, the destruction of date palms and other trees and the killing of civilians. In no other religion will you find such a high degree of ethical conduct even during war).

    However, our public condemnations of a few nutjobs are never acknowledged by the English community and I need to ask someone like you, why this is so, because I still continue to hear the same old racist, western media brain washing being regurgitated. I personally find this very frustrating and I cannot help but smell the stench of hypocrisy, double standards, (and dare I say it?), white supremacism.

    Sadly, muslims are being confronted on a daily basis, the questions you have posed, yet we can equally ask you the same questions. May I ask if you personally made any efforts to openly condemn the evil, racist and criminal conduct of the EDL and BNP?. Have you condemned the evil actions of a 15 year old english girl in Dudley when she burnt an English translation of the noble Quran?. For the record, the police refused to prosecute this racist little monster. Please see link:

    http://news.uk.msn.com/uk/articles.aspx?cp-documentid=155411042

    I feel you may not be able to answer in the affirmative, yet this may be a good opportunity for you undertake some serious introspection. Muslims are trying very hard to develop and maintain good community relations with non-muslims, but it is unethical to put the onus entirely on muslims. After all, integration is a two way street.

    With regards to your injured sentiments regarding the lack of muslim support for your ‘war heroes’ being deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, I personally find it reprehensible to support an illegal, racist invasion of two sovereign nations, where the ultimate objective of israel, america and england, was to secure all of the oil/gas fields and pipelines, purely for financial gain and political clout. This illegal war only served to further oppress an already oppressed people (as a result of previous western invasions). Furthermore, please consider the ramifications of your demands. You are asking muslims to support illegal invasions into muslims countries and the mass murder of innocent muslim people. Our people. I for one, cannot and will not support such evil.

    I apologise for any offence I may have unintentially caused you, but these are hard questions and answers that you need to be asked and made aware of. As I mentioned earlier, peace is a two way street and if it is not coming about then it is time the people of the west reflected upon their own actions and the history they have created.

  15. Islam the misunderstood
    I am not a Muslim. I have read and re-read the Qur’an in English and am learning Arabic to read it in the proper tongue. I might be seen as one with an axe to grind as I lost a member of my family in 7/7…But…

    Instead I noted that the Muslin Council for great Britain was among the first to condemn that act of mass murder…
    Instead I noted that the Prime Minister of the time had taken us into a war that nearly two million of us has marched against…
    In spite of the loss of life on the 7th July the Prime Minister never ever issued one word of sympathy whereas my Muslim Friends were among the first to come to offer comfort…
    Britain by its actions has supported the illegal concentration camp called Guantanamo and were complicit in flights of rendition through its soil…
    Britain was silent about the known torture going on…
    While the houses of Parliament debated if it was right to imprison people for 28, 42 or 90 days it had no qualms about keeping people (Mostly Muslims) locked up with no representation for several years before sending them back to countries that would not defend their human rights…

    This dismal list continues for several pages.

    I lost a relative but I am not alone as I watched the days of mass murder in Gaza…paid for by western arms aid.

    Those that live in glass houses…

    I may not agree with everything I read in your Qur’an but I will fight for ever for your right to practice your faith in the way in which you feel is right.

    Mr Ware and others of the EDL can take their nasty divisive little thoughts away…I will not abandon those that stood by me in my hour of need. God Bless you.

  16. Responibility
    An excellent article with which I agree 100%

    A point though, if I may.

    John Ware is a non-Muslim. Perhaps he could be excused for his (gross) ignorance and his reliance on unreliable sources.

    Usama Hasan, on the other hand, has no such excuse. He features in the documentary and it is by no means a positive input on his part.

    I wonder why he does not get a mention in this fine article?

  17. @ Not in my name
    Hi,

    Yes, you are absolutely correct but have you really even tried to think why Muslims are not welcoming the soldiers? Firstly, who made the soldiers to evacuate the land which does not belongs to them? Secondly, Britain is working in colaboration with Zionist extremists for the Big Agenda, what is “Big Agenda”? Now, I hope you know who is AntiChrist, yes Zionist and Britain’s so called Royal family are all Illuminatis.

    They reject Almighty God, and worship spirits. They have successfully posessed their control over a massive population now by the mean of mind control. But it is only Islam, they fear is becoming a barrier. I would suggest you to kindly research about what I wrote.

    Good Article Islam12c.
    Jazak Allahu Khair

  18. @ Not in my name
    Hi,

    Yes, you are absolutely correct but have you really even tried to think why Muslims aer not welcoming the soldiers? Firstly, who made the soldiers to evacuate the land which does not belongs to them? Secondly, Britain is working in colaboration with Zionist extremists for the Big Agenda, what is “Big Agenda”? Now, I hope you know who is AntiChrist, yes Zionist and Britain’s so called Royal family are all Illumatis.

    They reject Almighty God, and worship spirits. They have successfully posessed the control over a massive population. But it is only Islam, they fear is becoming a barrier. I would suggest you to kindly research about what I wrote.

    Good Article Islam12c.
    Jazak Allahu Khair

  19. the panorama incident is nothing new
    this happens all the time… misquotations to make the qur’an look bad, and nearly always the guys who make the “quotes” don’t have the slightest ability to read the true arabic version…. so they depend on the common english translations which unfortunately are all substandard from my experience with fanciful & archaic wording unlike the simple & accessible words the original is all about

  20. Dear Brother Oussama.

    I think you have hit the nail on the head. Whilst it is upsetting to see the way in which Mr Ware portrayed Islam in general, I think there certainly are some issues about Muslim Schools which need to be addressed. Every muslim who reads this site should ask themselves one question: Are Islamic Schools in the UK REALLY centres of academic excellence? If the answer to this question is no, then we definitely do have a problem with Islamic schools, and that must be addressed by the community.

    One of the biggest factors of whether a school performs well is how much the parents get involved in school activities. I remember being coached by parents at school when I was in the Hockey/Cricket Teams, and parents would also help out in many other school activities. If we as a community do not play an active role in improving our schools, then they will remain to be centres of mediocrity…

  21. Mu'aawiyah Tucker

    Mis-translation
    Did anyone notice the ‘blatant mis-translation’ on that documentary? That ‘saudi’ who ‘secretly’ got the teaching material, translated the sentence that stated that some Jews in the past were changed into pigs and monkeys as a punishment, as “The Jews look like pigs and monkeys”. Since when does ‘MaSaKHa’ mean “looks like!”

  22. re: Mr by Ismail
    Your comment i presume is an attempt at Sarcasm.
    The amazing thing is that non Muslims are coming forward to research about THIS BEAUTIFUL AND PEACEFUL RELIGION and are embracing it all heartedly, wave after wave walhamdulillah, and the more Islam is vilified the more the adverse affect of people entering Islam occurs 🙂
    So cheer up and praise Allah, learn and be steadfast!!!

  23. cutting off your nose to spite your face
    AsalamuAlaykum

    Brother Osman

    I totally agree with you 100% that the program was aired in an attempt to further malign our religion and to take advantage of this open season against our community. In light of what we have witnessed post 9/11 and 7/7 however, one does not have to be a genius to understand the intentions and motives behind the Panorama documentary.

    What worries me about your article is that in choosing to state the obvious you have totally ignored some key fundamental issues bought to light by the documentary. Regardless of who presented it and why it was aired, the documentary brought to light some real issues that we as a community need to deal with.

    I am sure you have heard the expression, one should not cut off his nose to spite his face. Just because we have some genuine concerns regarding the documentary does not mean we cannot take advantage of it and use it as a means of being self critical and introspective.

    There are some very real concerns with the education of Muslim children in this country. I personally have experienced and have been involved with a high number of schools, many of whom lack some of the most basic necessary qualifications and hikma necessary to teach young children.

    The issue is not whether Muslim school children should be taught the Hudud, the issue is whether those teaching it are qualified to do so. There is no doubt that children should be educated on all of the aspects of their deen, but they should be taught with hikma.

    You cannot teach a child that Allah calls for the cutting of hands of thieves, without teaching them the entire legal system that Allah revealed. The stringent requirements, such as ensuring the thief was given his huq (rights) by the state prior to stealing, four independent witnesses etc… should also be taught.

    There is the theory of Islamic Hudud and there is the reality of the Hudud. The reality is that Allah made the rules so stringent that the actual punishment should rarely be carried out. Too many of us growing up were taught that Allah requires the cutting of hands and the stoning of people, without being taught the strict requirements and the hikma behind the Hudud.

    Fundamentally Muslims schools should make their syllabus relevant. A textbook written in Saudi, in the Saudi context, by Saudi educators simply is out of place in UK schools. Does it come as a surprise to you after watching that documentary that so many youth are not interested in Islam. We need to rethink and evaluate how we address both school children and non-muslims and we need to be self critical about the manner in which we talk about certain issues.

    Again I agree the programme was an attack on our community but nonetheless it did make some points that we should be thinking about. For example why as a community are we, in our rhetoric at least, so anti-Western all the time? Whether we like it or not, we are British Western Muslims. ‘Their’ society we speak of for example is our society. ‘Their ‘ social ills are our social ills. We should not give the already bias media more ammunition simply because we are not adhering to our religion properly .

    If you are to achieve your aim of attracting Non-Muslims to Islam you will do this not by crying fowl each time there is a sensationalist story about Islam but by standing up with conviction and honesty to deal with the very many shortcomings we have as a community. Only then will we be true to our religion and only then will we be depicting the best picture of our deen.

    Your article as it stands akhi serves no real purpose. The documentary was aired early last week and already a number of qualified Muslim organisations have written press-releses and articles criticising it. Im sure your intention is to defend out community and show the non-Muslims that we are under attack. My advice to you is that prior to writing your article you should have asked yourself whether you were genuinely contributing to the advancement of our community or whether you were just going to add to the beating of the drum.

    AsalamuAlaykum

  24. Dear Ken
    Dear Ken.

    Thank you so much for participating on the site and I hope you have found some of the articles insightful.

    In response to what you have said, suppose if the British Muslim community was to judge the actions their British non-Muslim colleagues purely on the violent protests of zealots such as EDL and other extreme right wing organisations? Such an attitude would be totally unjust to the vast majority of British non-Muslims who would condemn such actions if given the chance. Furthermore, would it be better for the British non-Muslims in majority to protest back against the extreme right, or would it more effective to actually rise above that and respond in an intellectual fashion through media outlets and so forth?

    I think you will find that when Muslims have been guilty of doing harmful actions to wider society, then there is generally an educated response against it, but perhaps it isn’t publicised well. Responding in an intellectual fashion is far more civilised, and not only is it more effective, but is more in keeping with the true Islamic ethos.

    Furthermore, when people do inflammatory things such as draw cartoons of the Prophet etc, you will find the same type of Muslim out on the streets protesting as you would ‘welcoming’ British soldiers. The vast majority of Muslims would also dislike the drawing of cartoons but would act in a more intellectual fashion against them.

  25. Thank You, Mr Ware. And Sorry
    Thank you do much for this article you have put my feelings and thoughts into words so accurately.

    I agree entirely that we are often provoked into all sorts of re-action which can then be further displayed by media to demonised Muslim and portray them as the worst people in this society.

    Thank you for giving out a message that we shall not do that we will speak against such propaganda through our action which shows the true beauty and teaching of our faith.

    Thank you once again for putting it so well into words.

    Saira Akhtar

  26. Not in my name
    I am not Muslim but I am by no means anti-Muslim.
    I would love to see Muslims out on the streets whenever there is a trial of a failed suicide bomber etc., with banners saying ‘There are no virgins awaiting mass murderers’ or ‘Murder is not the will of Allah’
    You guys are out in force about cartoons and Israeli actions but very quiet when a fellow Muslim tries to blow innocent people up.
    We see crowds welcoming home our soldiers who are trying to remove those who are killing Muslim and non-Muslim alike and yet we never see any Muslims welcoming our brave men home – instead we see militant Muslims booing them. The answer, or at least part of it, is really in your own hands.

  27. Mr
    Praise be to Allah, this is excellent I love your text and it is really encouraging and I believe non Muslims will come forward to research about THIS BEAUTIFUL AND PEACEFUL RELIGION and hopefully embrace it all heartedly.

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