My 15 year old attends the mosque for Jumma prayers most weeks when he is not in school and when I ask him what the khutba was about, he replies “I don’t know because it was in Urdu”.
There are so many positive initiatives from many Muslim organisations but it is about time we involved young people onto mosque committees. The committee members should have a balanced number of men and women and young people. Building a powerful platform for young Muslims is needed so they can share their ideas, experiences and opinions for a better future.
Mosque should be the hub of the community, for all sections of the community, regardless of age, gender, race or religion. Mosques need to be a place of learning as well as being a place of prayer. Although a lot of Mosques do wonderful things like running food banks and providing outreach work, Muslim communities face numerous challenges such as hate crime and levels of Islamophobia have also rocketed.
Muslims make up around 5% of the UK population and we have over 1,500 mosques. The community wellbeing role is underdeveloped and needs attention. Since February 2017, the Muslim Council of Britain has been consulting Muslim communities across the UK and hearing the challenges and opportunities facing our communities. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is the UK’s largest Muslim umbrella body with over 500 affiliated national, regional and local organisations. It was reported that countless people had heard about the incredible things mosques are doing from running food banks to donating blood to running outreach events and youth clubs. We’ve also heard horror stories of people turning away from mosques as a result of fear. We’ve heard instances where women have been turned away from praying at a mosque which only welcomes men. We’ve heard stories about the struggles of running a mosque on a volunteer basis, how some mosques struggle to make the little funding they have go further and how mosques would like to do more but struggle due to a lack of resource.
Young blood, new energy and fresh ideas from young people will only benefit all mosques.
The ideas, developed by young Muslim women and men, respond directly to the challenges that young Muslims face in contemporary, multicultural Britain. If the young don’t get involved in mosques then this will threaten the smooth transition of influence and responsibility from one generation to the next.
We need to ensure that all mosques have young people on their committee and board.
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