SHAFAQNA – Speaking at a conference on Thursday in the UK, Professor Tariq Ramadan called on British Muslims to take responsibility and assume their Muslim identity with pride and responsibility.
Along with co-panellist Anas al-Tikriti, founder and CEO of the London-based think tank, the Cordoba Foundation, Ramadan reiterated his calls upon Muslims in the UK to connect with their identity as British Muslims.
“Muslims should refuse to reply to the question: Are you British or are you Muslim?,” said Tikriti.
“Instead, Muslims should assume their responsibility as part and parcel of the fabric of British society,” he said.
Ramadan has written many books on European Muslims, where he has encouraged Muslims in the West to take pride in their identity as being European and Muslim, and to adopt the culture of their respective countries without reservation, unless specific aspects clearly clashed with the teachings of Islam.
At the talk, both speakers called on Muslims in Britain and across the Western world to engage with broader issues that affected their respective countries as a whole.
“Muslims need to stop speaking about Muslim issues alone. Instead, they need to start addressing broader issues if they are looking to change the popular narrative about them,” said Tikriti as the crowds applauded him.
Likewise, Ramadan reiterated: “Muslims should refuse to see themselves as victims; they should stop blaming others for their misfortunes.”
“The important thing is moving from a place where you are a citizen because of your passport to being a citizen by culture and identity,” Ramadan said. “It is important that Muslims in Britain feel that they belong and identify with the UK.”
Ramandan moved on to say that Muslims must take a proactive role and be at the forefront of finding solutions to the problems the UK and other Western countries face.
“Our [Muslims] contribution is key to the future of this country,” Ramadan said. “Muslims need to understand that they have a responsibility towards their countries and towards solving their problems.”#
“We [Muslims in the West] used to see the UK as a place where Muslims are accepted more than in others places. But since 7/7 when Tony Blair said, ‘The rules of the game have changed’ things have been different,” said Ramadan.