Karachi: There are a number of problems being faced by the Muslims in the United Kingdom and one the biggest challenge is to remove the prevailing wrong conception about Islam within the Britons and other communities in the kingdom.
This was expressed by the Chief of United Kingdom Islamic Mission (UKIM), Dr. Zahid Pervez, while describing the problems of the Muslim community in the UK. He was on a short trip to Pakistan last few days ago.
He stated, “To combat the issue, we availed all chances to interact other communities on various dialogue forums so as to convince them that the Islam is a religion of peace and harmony, and we got very positive impacts of measures in that direction.”
The Muslim are playing vital role in the economic and social growth of the UK as they are running businesses and encouraging entrepreneurship, contributing in service sector and even serving in armed and law enforcement agencies of the UK, he added.
While describing the status of the Muslims in pre-9/11 era, the Muslims had good relations with the English people and they were leading their lives in a peaceful and prosperous environment.
However, he said, “Soon after the incident of 9/11, a storm of anti-Muslim sentiments tensed the situations. Muslims were targeted with hatred and even on various occasions, Sikhs were beaten up due to their beards. At that time, the British government came forward and supported the Muslims and provided them with maximum protection till 7/7 banged.”
Dr. Zahid said with dismay that as soon as 7/7 London bombings took place, the stance of the UK government changed dramatically about the Muslims and it started seeing the Muslims with doubt. The government started to critically monitor mosques and community centers of the Muslims. Several lobbies in the UK, working as stakeholders of the society, turned against the Muslims and Islam and worked against them together.
He held the unawareness about Islam in various segments responsible for hatred against Muslims as they thought rising Islam in the west could lead to their fall. There were a number of movements and lobbies including some radical minorities among Christians, Jews, Feminist groups, communists, Sikh and Hindu activists groups, which feared that if Islam was strengthened, Muslims would influence in foreign policy and other national and international issues, he added.
Zahid pointed out that Jewish lobby in particular has a significant influence in media, which had a very negative impact on the relations between Muslims and other communities. He felt sorry that the media should have played its due role in bridging the gap between Muslims and the other religions but it did not happen in reality.
He said, “It was witnessed several times that media, particularly electronic, deliberately exaggerated and manipulated the situations.”
“Due to the reasons, wrong concepts about Islam raised again and the movements of extremism like English Defense Leagues got influence in the society,” he added.
Zahid said that happenings in Pakistan and other Islamic countries affect the Muslims in the UK and genuine Islamization of Pakistan and Afghanistan will give a very positive message to the western world.
“The UK is our home. The Muslim Diaspora in the UK has two options, either to go back or to torch their boats, so we have decided to follow the footprints of Tariq Bin Zyad. Our next generation will win people to Islam,” he concluded.