SHAFAQNA – What is the Muslim dream in Britain, or even more broadly the secular West? Do Muslims have a vision, a bigger purpose for their new found homes across Europe or the USA?
Most Muslims who arrive on the Western shores of Europe are either economic migrants, political asylum seekers or have been ‘imported’ as marital spouses. British Muslims are not a homogenous community. There are fundamental differences in the mindsets which in fact manifest both positively and negatively in the lifestyles of individuals within each; whether related to their character traits, social infrastructures or institutions. The reflections upon the experiences derived by these Muslims and their application of those collective experiences will perhaps determine how they shape the destiny and identity of future generations – both Muslim and non Muslim.
If hyper materialism consumption and production become the dream of western Muslims then, alas, they will fail to realize the Prophetic dream in a practical lived reality, and will also perhaps deprive the next generation of the opportunity to effect Islamic ethical solutions within the social educational political and cultural landscape of the West. Instead Muslims too will be swamped by the same moral relativity and malaise
Critical thinking among Muslim communities is crucial to averting the danger of losing the opportunity to develop an optimal model for society through the Islamic way of life and there are a number of vital aspects of Islamic wisdom that can play a pivotal role in this task.
In order to develop holistic socio economic Islamic solutions to help build a more ethical West, Muslims first need to effectively re-educate themselves about authentic Islam. If they achieve this goal successfully they could still possibly form the ethical movement required for repairing the moral relativism that plagues all secular societies.
Failing this, perhaps the next hope is that they develop a new generation of creative critical thinking Muslims. This task, however, relies on them firstly being able to recognize the current flaws in the education of their young people and rising above their own subjective views of Islam.
A professionally led Muslim research initiative is required to improve the current educational content being delivered to Muslim children in madrasas, State and faith schools. A more holistic and balanced curriculum is required in the above institutions and perhaps within the Muslim family too. This is vital because currently youngsters simply are not being educated adequately in the area of ethics, psychology, gnosis or Islamic philosophy. Nor are they adequately knowledgeable about politics or economics.
The result is in reality a largely empathy, vocational and critical enquiry-free generation. One that is focused narcissistically on themselves and who are essentially becoming mere consumption and production units for the State or Corporations.
The Prophetic dream for Britain, if it is to emerge, has to begin with a Muslim awakening.
By Syed Mohsin Abbas – Trained as a journalist, he’s worked extensively in radio and television with broadcasters around the world, including Channel 4 and the BBC. During his long television career, he’s also produced news reports and documentary films for Middle Eastern Channels. He has also established not-for-profit vehicles for the delivery of arts festivals, and spiritually inspired socio-cultural education projects.