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‘A desired new role of a mosque in Europe & Pakistan


In the Western countries population in numbers of immigrant Muslims is increasing rapidly. UK alone house 2 million Muslims whereas the ratio in France is more, however looking at the issues of unemployment, ratio of education achievement, radicalisation, legal problems, extortion of under achievers and awareness of basic teachings of Islam, I am safe to say that community is developing individually but not as a group or a clan. There are many factors which contribute to that division, at some sectarian affiliation whether we are shia or sunny, or Pathan or Punjabi.

If these prejudices or divisions are not enough, then political parties have added colour to divide Muslims through League(s) or PPP or overall in Tory and conservatives and due to such divisions, we have divided ourselves to restrict our ability to rule. Muslims with their 6% representation can create 25 seats in the parliament easily if they are united and are effective in UK alone, but thanks to the cosmopolitan indifferences, we are restricted to a dozen key seats, and most of them are to save face and to achieve political correctness. It was self evident in UK’s last Parliament that none could vote against the ’42 days detention bill’ in the  commons when the crunch came for Muslim leaders.

With the way the problems are emerging, the role of mosque as a non political forum is emerging and is desirable all across Europe. If the matter is concerning the youth who are becoming victims at the hands of outlawed commodity who brainwash our children towards untrue interpretation of Islam and use annoyance and unease about foreign policy reservations, they key is in the hands of ‘Imams’ who can guide the parents to be vigilant and invite youngsters to listen, read and preach the peaceful teachings of Islam and highlight the salient features which prohibit damage to property, and personal belongings irrespective of faith and colour let alone killing someone which is considered a ‘death’ of whole humanity. We have problems of immigrants who are unemployed and are employable. Mosque can create opportunities where employer and jobless stand in one line and say salah every day. We have victims of extortion where employer donates millions to the mosque but employees cry out at their treatment, working on lower than minimum wage rate. Fair treatment can be preached to those who donate heavily but quieten dissent silently at their own shops and warehouses. We are also confronted moral issues, halal food, smoking, drinking and cohabitation are taboo areas and parents only say its ‘forbidden’ in Islam but logical reasoning are always missing. Mosque can guide young men and women alike about these provisions and pave way for better moral values which parents wish for their kids but have no way how to bring the best out in their children. It can even teach and create opportunities for boys and girls and revive the marriage as an institution. Mosque could be a way of teaching mother tongue and Arabic and the philosophy of Quran can be summarised through small lectures in English and the mystic values which are evaporating from the society may be revived.

Islam is confined to prayer mat and salah and narration of Quran for ‘sawab’, but there is more to it, it’s a blend of beautiful flowery bunch of rights attached with greater responsibilities. Emancipation through fairer, participation in daily life, and make acts and doings a fine example of satisfaction and pride for an individual and the whole community. There are issues such as forced marriages, domestic violence, rights of women, in particular wives and neighbours and disabled in the society which are hardly rehearsed and told by anybody. Chain and hundreds of mosques are not there to hold Jumma, Eid and funeral, it has a greater role of this society who is slowly alienating itself from the mainstream English community, as well as youngsters and old are slowly separating each other due to culture barriers. Of course it’s inevitable that young British Muslims will bring new innovation, values and traditions different from that of parents and pensioners who came in 1970’s. Or issues confronted with the new arrival immigrant Muslim community are quite different to that of people who are born as Brits or people who came as economic migrant for jobs four decades ago. But solution lies within, and it requires communal realisation of modern requirements and challenges we are faced with.

From Maghrib to Isha Salah, this new role must be assumed by the mosque in a non political fashion to offer the youth in their own language what they need, better guidance, role play, mentoring and training as to how to be a good Muslim and a good civil citizen of any society. Teachers can be their own congregates who attend for Salah and offer their services voluntarily. A bad workman quarrels with his tools, and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told everyone with his conduct how to learn, to do his own personal things, and how to be a leader, and how to do honest jobs, employment, or business. Quran clarified that to God the best is the one who is pious and piety will not automatically arrive at the door, someone will have to teach, and no better than the mosque full of volunteers can take that drive back where it started. I think new era desires the innovation, energy, commitment and devotion from mosques to lead before the future of our generation go astray. Forum is there, how and when to revive, and bring it some use is for the community to decide. and a word of wise, if there is a little doubt, they must go to local Jewish Senegal on any Saturday as 25 Members of Parliament do not increase in a day.

Barrister Amjad Malik, is a Chair of the Association of Pakistani lawyers (UK)

‘A desired new role of a mosque in Europe & Pakistan

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