MORE Money : MORE Problems

MORE Money : MORE Problems

By Majed Iqbal

In an article published in the New Statesmen Magazine on 9th April 2007, she set out her plans for creating a British Islam for Muslims in the UK whilst at the same time setting out her plans for Mosques and Madrassas.

Ruth Kelly said “This project ensures that young Muslim students learn the true teachings of Islam and encourages them to play an active role in their local communities”.Hence, in order to teach the Muslim community about Islam, Kelly has ploughed £100,000 into Rochdale to tackle “violent extremism”, identifying it as an area of “risk” based upon information gathered through intelligence reports. It doesn’t stop there. She has issued a new Citizenship curriculum for Madrassahs and Masjids to teach children on how to tackle ‘extremism’ in their communities.Ruth Kelly said: “As a country we cannot afford to allow our young people to be intimidated and influenced by extremists’ messages. Madrassahs have a pivotal role to play in winning the hearts and minds and supporting young people to reject the messages of extremist groups”.In her campaign to show this is supposedly a grassroots initiative with majority backing up and down the country, Kelly said in a speech that 60 organisations had written an open letter and “have given support to the principles underpinning our action plan.”

The letter, titled, ‘Parallel Muslim Communities Statement to Speech of Ruth Kelly, MP, Minister of State’, dated April 5, was actually not written by the named organisations. Many weren’t even told that the letter was in support of the Government action plan. The majority had not even seen the text of the letter and were not even consulted before their names were included.

In addition to this, Bradford, the key area of launching this project and its new Citizenship curriculum titled ‘Nasiha’ was boycotted by more than half of the masjids, based upon the climate the curriculum was being introduced in; a climate of tarnishing the Muslim community as a problem community who suffers from the ills of extremism.

To further highlight the lack of support this so called “grassroots” initiative has, Rochdale community leaders in an emergency meeting early this week ridiculed the ‘Agenda’ set by Ruth Kelly, describing it as baseless, absurd, and another decoy ploy to shift the blame of UK foreign policy blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan onto the Muslim community under the guise of ‘Tackling extremism’.

So what will this new Curriculum for Citizenship aim to teach in Rochdale Masjids? These are some of the following scenarios:

A question involves the character “Ahmad” whose jihadi friends want to attack a local supermarket in retaliation for the war in Iraq . Kids will be asked: “Is it right for Ahmad to harm innocent Britons just because their government invaded a Muslim country?”

Another question to kids about what they would do if Islamic extremists sought to buy fertilizer for a bomb plot. Pupils will be asked should the shopkeeper sell it to them, even if she suspects it will be used for “holy war?”

So rather than accepting that the causes of this miniscule behaviour is related to occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and interferance in the political destiny of the muslim world, Ruth Kelly is more interested in diverting this attention and pointing fingers at the Muslim community with her new revelation of a “British” version of Islam.So what does this “British” version of Islam mean and how will it affect us? Lets consider the following:To create a compliant Muslim community who abandons speaking the truth on international issues for the sake of ‘National interest’ and ‘allegiance’ to the country. The Messenger of Allah (saw) said “Let not a persons fear of the people prevent him from speaking the truth if he has knowledge of itForfeiting the link with the International Ummah and replacing this with a British Identity which does not worry about British involvement in Muslim lands. This is despite the fact that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other“.The curriculum states “Citizenship is about respecting other people in the place where you are. It means that you to try to make other peoples lives as peaceful and as safe as you’d like them to make yours”. How did Jack Straw’s Tony Blair’s statements that the Niqab is a sign of segregation and John Reid’s comments that Muslim parents should spy on their children help in fostering the above?Branding and labeling Muslims into moderates- those the government can work with- and extremists- those the government wishes to silence and sideline because they don’t tow their line on international issues like Iraq and Afghanistan; by default creating divisions amongst muslims . This is despite what Allah says “And hold fast together all of you by the Rope of Allah and be not divided amongst yourselves”Accept that Islam is no different to other religions and is a faith that does not offer detailed solutions and systems of governance to tackle modern issues; only morals and basic rules for worship. This is what Kelly alluded to when she said “the government had to stamp out Muslim schools which were trying to change British society to fit Islamic values”.

Equating Political work for the re-establishment of the Caliphate (Shariah Rule) in the Muslim world as extremism despite the visions which the prophet of Islam gave when he said “This matter (the Caliphate) will be after me in Madinah, then in Syria, then in the Jazira, then in Iraq, then in Madina, then in Jerusalem. If it is in Jerusalem , its home country is there, and if any people expel it, it will not return there for ever”

That there is a choice even to reject Islam or its rules if you want to because of Freedom of thought and ‘tolerating’ others. This can be pictured with a recent article regarding a Muslim lady from Scandinavia who describes herself as “a feminist, a democrat, and a socialist, has gay friends, opposes the death penalty, supports abortion rights, and could not care less what goes on in other people’s bedrooms”. Hence creating a confused personality as opposed to an Islamic one.

These are some of the issues which Kelly’s initiatives aim to create amongst Muslims in the UK. Who in Rochdale will take a “Principle Stand”, see through the government agenda and boycott these plans in Rochdale- Only time will tell.


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