Tag Archives: Islam in Britain

CAGE Report – ‘We Are Completely Independent’

Assalaamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

Facebook has a feature where it will show you your ‘memories’ that is posts from the same date in previous years which can be very interesting to look at in a…

‘yes that was a really important issue / message’ 
or
‘what? did I really say / share that? (cringe)’ kinda way.

This post’s graphics and highly detailed report from CAGE definitely falls into the former and not the later. The CAGE Report ‘WE ARE COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT’ (available to download here from CAGE) which some may remember from last year is still extremely relevant today with the so many Imams and leaders in the UK Muslim community trying to give the highly damaging and anti-Islamic Prevent agenda a new lease of life on behalf of the government.

Allahu Alim whether they are doing so because they or their organizations are being funded by Prevent or other government initiatives, or whether it is because  they share in the governments beliefs, or whether they are doing so out of fear of being targeted next.

I highly recommend you all read the full report if you have not already or else feel free to distribute the link and pics for others to look at as ending this toxic Prevent agenda is a duty upon us all as is forbidding any munkar in society.

Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawood (David) and ‘Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.

They used not to forbid one another from Al-Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do.
Quran translation, Surah al-Ma’idah, 5:78-79

The report details how the government has been covertly funding Muslim organizations in the UK in an attempt to subvert the message these organizations give out to the masses of the Muslims.

To make it look like these supposedly impartial community leaders and organizations have come to the conclusion by themselves that they need to help force a change of values upon the Muslims in the UK into something more akin to those held by the disbelieving masses under their attempts to promote ‘British Values.’

If the problem is  that extremists promote a distorted version of Islam then why the need to promote British Values and not Islamic ones?

CAGE have produced a high quality academic report showing the links between the Government, media companies, grassroots organizations, all working together secretly on promoting the government’s Prevent agenda.

This blurring of lines between government on the one hand and community / grass roots organizations on the other is dangerous and counter productive strategy which will only make the problems with those with extremist ideas get worse.

It can only decrease trust in all Muslim organizations in our community and further force misguided individuals who may fall into sympathy for Terrorism away from those who should be helping them, not helping themselves to extra government funding in exchange for following a particular line.

As Muslims we need to not only hold the government to account, and demand an end to Prevent and other anti-Muslim policies, but also hold our community leaders including our Imams to account as well.

CAGE – 7 Facts The Home Office Concealed

“While arrests are often grandly announced in the media, a close look at their aftermath reveals that the overwhelming majority of those arrested are never charged under terrorism laws. An alarming 63% are not charged with any offence at all.”
– Asim Qureshi

Huck Magazine – ‘You Get Me?’

Interesting article and photography, and I very much agree there is a crisis in masculinity in the UK Muslim community.
 

5Pillars – CAGE Declines Invitation To Conference Organised By Prevent-Funded Group

CAGE’s Asim Qureishi

 

Taken from the 5Pillars news website – http://5pillarsuk.com/2017/01/04/cage-declines-invitation-to-conference-organised-by-prevent-funded-group/

Asim Qureshi, of the advocacy group CAGE, writes an open letter to Imams Online declining an invitation to appear at an upcoming conference organised by the group which was recently exposed as having received Prevent funding.

The Imams Online Digital Summit in partnership with Google will take place at Google HQ in London on the 11th January 2017.

Speakers include Shaykh Imtiyaz Damiel of the Abu Hanifah Foundation, Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera of the Rayyan Institute, journalist Remona Aly, Dr Bilal Hassam of British Muslim TV, Imam Qari Muhammad Asim of Leeds Makkah Mosque, Nick Pickles of Twitter UK, Karim Palant of Facebook, Naomi Gummer of Google UK, Shaukat Warraich of Faith Associates, Dr Shiraz Maher, Matt Collins, Director – Prevent Delivery Unit, Akeela Ahmed, Advisor Cross Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred, Professor Tahir Abbas, Senior Research Fellow – RUSI, Imam Adam Kelwick and Ustadha Khola Hasan.

The following is an abridged version of a letter to one of the organisers that Asim Qureshi published on his Facebook page:

Dear brother Adam Kelwick,

Assalaamualaykum

Jazakallahkhayr for your invitation to join you at the Imams Online Digital Summit at the Google HQ in London. I appreciate you trying to engage with those who take a principled stance, conceptually and practically, against Prevent. My colleague Moazzam Begg met you in the past and mentioned how supportive you were of our work – barakallahfeek…

It is important to acknowledge from the beginning, that CAGE is unwilling to lend support to policies that harm the civil liberties or human rights of a single individual – not matter how distasteful the person may be. This is how rights work: they are either for all, or for none.

Our principled stance against Prevent is not simply situated in our current critique of its ‘science’ and modalities – but rather it comes from learning about the joint experiences of our forebears. When we speak to colleagues who fought for black civil rights in America, they warn us that Prevent/CVE sounds exactly like the US government’s COINTELPRO programme (please read Arun Kundnani’s book ‘The Muslims are Coming’). Our colleagues in South Africa are constantly making their own links between Prevent/CVE and Apartheid – they say that everything that we are seeing in the UK was done to them. The list of historical violations goes on. We find ourselves standing up for a cause that many stood up for previously, and like them, we do not take the excessive castigation of the state or the media as a sign that we are losing the argument – rather it is a sign of their weakness that they only ever rely on ad hominem attacks, rather than engaging directly with the concerns we raise.

imams-online-digital-conference

Dear brother Adam – please understand that the issue with Prevent is not just about a few bad cases here and there, it is about the entire structure from its epistemology to its implementation. Experts from around the world (all of whom are involved in social justice movements with no links to the security industry) tell us that Prevent is wrong in its science. As someone with a legal background myself, the notion that you can have a statutory superstructure that is implemented to operate in a pre-crime space by making public sector workers and the charity sector into the eyes and ears of the state is beyond wrong. You know full well how this becomes a mandate for everyday bigotry to manifest itself on a nationwide level. The government tells us that in 2015, 4000 referrals were made to Channel, 2000 of whom were Muslim – an indicator for them that the policy is evenhanded. Let us be real: that is 2000 out of 3 million Muslims, as opposed to 2000 out of 57 million non-Muslims. A simple calculation will tell us that it means a Muslim is 20 times more likely to be referred to Channel for deradicalisation than a non-Muslim. The degree of policy, legislation and securitisation is completely disproportionate to the threat.

I understand that you have concerns with Prevent, and I very much appreciate you expressing them publicly. I think the two points you made in your Facebook post are well made and need to be teased out further. However, going back to who we as communities choose to work with, it does remain surprising that you would still choose to associate with the event at Google.

Google is not some evil entity set out to systematically harm Muslims and Islam, but when we consider who it works with on the issue of CVE, its perspective becomes all too transparent for communities. They are not simply a neutral venue devoid of politics, but rather have thrown in their lot with a specific narrative of counter-terrorism – one rooted in the epistemology of Prevent/CVE. The issue of whether the event is funded by Prevent becomes meaningless, as in this case if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Google Ideas, recently re-named “Jigsaw”, and the Google Next Foundation have partnered in the past with the Quilliam Foundation (in particular Maajid Nawaz), and supported their work to formulate their own CVE programme known as “Against Violent Extremism” (AVE). AVE is managed by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD). Aside from ISD’s worrying links to prominent US neo-conservatives linked to what the Center for American Progress calls the “Islamophobia Network”, senior members of ISD who specifically work on Prevent/CVE issues have come from the Quilliam Foundation (Erin Saltman and Rashad Ali). In the case of Rashad Ali, he has worked for the Henry Jackson Society in the past. The programmes that they have worked on together enunciate Prevent-speak completely, and so they are not neutral voices in this field, but rather regurgitate that there is a significant threat, a narrative that is fear-based and hearkens to a security state.

This is not about non-engagement with the government. CAGE has engaged in multiple forums with them on many occasions, and will continue to seek to do so. This is about how we engage with the politics of those with whom we would not normally partner, such as neo-conservative think tanks. It is worrying that with everything social justice movements have been through, some Muslims still feel it is appropriate to do so. It is perhaps more disconcerting that Ulama would choose to work with such organisations and programmes once neo-conservative links and connections have surfaced.

From what you have mentioned in your post on FaceBook, I think it is genuinely incredible that you are looking to challenge media misrepresentations of Muslims, but make little mention of how this is often led by government narratives on ‘extremism’ such as David Cameron’s Munich speech promoting “muscular liberalism” as a panacea to problems within Muslim communities…

The Imams Online event ultimately does not provide a neutral platform for debate and discussion. A number of those who are involved have some link to Prevent/CVE, or the national security structure of the UK. For that reason, I will refuse your invitation to attend. The people in the room are for the most part not policy makers, they are individuals and organisations who are playing a role in furthering the notion of pre-crime prevention within the parameters of a discredited framework, a position that we find to be wholly unconscionable.

adam-kelwick
Adam Kelwick,

When Imams Online was launched, a number of scholars reached out to me concerned at the response to a question by Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. When asked about the sources of funding for the organisation, he mentioned – and this is paraphrased – that government funding should not mean that there are issues with the project. It is important to acknowledge that this is a problem – whether it is Faith Associates or Imams Online – as communities seeking to engage with those speaking in their name, need to know that, as a matter of perception and fact, there are no conflicts of interest. Shaykh Hamza’s unwise words at the recent RIS conference are indicative of how when our scholars speak on matters from a perspective that does not take into account victim/survivor communities, the damage can be great.

Dialogue is not an issue for us at CAGE – we know it is necessary – especially when speaking to our own community. We would welcome sitting with you to discuss what meaningful conference might look like, but cannot engage where the terms of reference are based on the structural and epistemic violence of the state. Hence why the IO conference is not one where simply asking a question or challenging from the floor will produce any real dialogue.

I urge us, as a community, to listen to the voices of the disenfranchised. To seek the betterment of our situation, we need to think about the rights of all, and put into place structures within our own communities that help to engender trust. We cannot do this while the shadow of government funding and its false epistemology hangs in the air.

I appreciate the time you have taken to read this.

Jazakallamullahkhayr, wasalaamualaykum

Asim

Coolnessofhind – SCHOOL USES PREVENT TO THREATEN MUSLIM PARENT WHO REQUESTED PUPIL REMOVAL FROM CHRISTMAS ASSEMBLY

Christmas, it seems is another issue which annually crops up to force the “Muslim Question”, whilst curiously obviating the uncomfortable issue of religious rights to hold, and by implication exclude particular beliefs and practices. Of course, this discriminatory focus on Muslims (the Jewish minority, for instance, are comparatively absent from this discourse) has consequences. Over a week ago, it was reported that a Muslim woman in Australia was subjected to a brutal verbal and physical attack after she replied “happy holidays” to the attacker’s “merry Christmas”. Incidentally, I doubt Louise Casey would regarding uttering “merry Christmas” as a sign of vulnerability to “extremism” and consequently, “violent extremism”.

There are milder but still manifestly detrimental consequences here in Britain too.  Last year, Police Commander Mak Chishty moronically stated that children who regarded Christmas as religiously prohibited were subscribing to an “Islamist” view.  They were therefore not “moderate”. As I highlighted at that time, this absurd notion was discriminatory as other religious groups, such as orthodox Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom regard Christmas as deriving from pagan customs, held similar views, but were not tarnished with the rhetoric of securitisation.  It seems however, that this dangerously irresponsible statement is seeing some manifestation in the education context.

My sources have heard from parents that teachers have been overly keen to get Muslim children involved in Christmas celebrations.  Until recently, however, I have not been able to obtain any hard evidence to corroborate this anecdotal evidence.  My sources have now forwarded startling information in the form of a letter which disturbingly issues a PREVENT-based threat to a Muslim parent for effectively requesting that his child be removed from the school Christmas assembly.  The assembly entails singing the Christmas carol called a “Silent Night”, a poem written by the priest Joseph Mohr in 1816. Part of the poem includes the following:

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the
 dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

My sources in London state that the distraught father, who does not speak English as his first language, simply stated that he did not want his child to join in with Silent Night, as it is for Christians. This however, has been interpreted “intolerance” and therefore contrary to “British values”.

The letter, signed by the head teacher, states that,

“I am writing to you to express my disappointment about the tone of your conversations a number of staff (sic), where I believe you expressed views that do not match the vision and values of the school. As you know we are by law required to uphold out statutory duty to promote British values…”

After citing Department for Education guidance which is irrelevant to the specific case of withdrawing children from religious assemblies, the head teacher highlights the “British value” of “mutual tolerance and respect”.  Noting that assemblies of different faiths are also conducted, the letter continues,

“I believe your comments, which you have now made on more than one occasion in front of others, about Christmas celebrations being for ‘people like us’, by which I believe you to mean teachers and others of a different faith than yours does not show what the statutory guidance terms as:

“An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated.

The head teacher then iterates various celebrations of different faiths and then states that there is an expectation that “all children… take part in these events whatever the religion they practise out of school in the same way I expect all staff to.”

The head teacher follows this with the threat:

“It is one thing to disagree but quite another to make assumptions about others. This type of behaviour shows, what appears to be, such blatant intolerance of other people’s belief that should this happen again I will have no other alternative but to refer the matter to the authorities. 

Attention for further information is drawn to the “PREVENT Strategy”.

My sources state that the “expressed views” which the head teacher is taking an issue with includes the removal of the child from the Christmas assembly. This is corroborated by the head teachers “expectation” that all children partake in “these events”.

The father feels he is unable to have his child removed.

Parents have a right, enshrined in School Standards and Frameworks Act 1998, section 71, to withdraw their children from religious education lessons as well as acts of collective worship at all schools. Furthermore, parents are not obligated to give a reason why.  This is not exactly controversial. There are Jewish schools where Christmas is banned, and even wrapping of Hanukah presents in paper which represents the Christmas tradition is prohibited. Last year parents at a school in Devon protested over the school taking their children to the mosque, based on their negative perceptions of Islam. Whilst their reasons are questionable, having their children removed is completely in concert with their rights as parents. Would the head teacher threaten these Jewish and Christian parents with a PREVENT referral for exemplifying “blatant intolerance”?  Acceptance and tolerance of different faiths does not mean having beliefs of different religions forced down children. How many orthodox Jewish parents are willing to let their children sing a poem declaring the Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, as the Son of God? On the contrary, this is a violation of parental rights and coerced indoctrination.

And coercion is a quality intrinsic to PREVENT, which demands mental configuration to the state-defined beliefs.  The broken and blunt predictive toolthat is PREVENT is being used as a weapon of intimidation to bully parents into compliance by seemingly zealous head teachers.

It is yet another demonstration of just how deeply problematic the PREVENT Duty is.


Note: I have, for the moment, deliberately withheld information on the school and the head teacher.  This may change provided consent is obtained from the source.

Participating in Non-Muslim Celebrations – Sheikh Feiz Muhammad

At this  time of year especially many Muslims living in the west, especially reverts (new-Muslims) are faced with a dilemma of whether to join in with the festivals of the disbelievers, or whether to remain distinct and apart from such even if that may offend their work colleagues, friends, neighbours and even family members.

Here Sheikh Feiz Muhammad explains the Islamic ruling on this important topic, may Allah reward him abundantly and keep us all steadfast upon the true deen, ameen

A Tap On the Shoulder…

Assalaamu Alaykum brothers and sisters,

So turned out I did alright in my interview and it’s been over a month since I started my new job at the call-centre in the evenings.

The location is really, and I mean REALLY convenient for me. Being near my existing work and new home and so save me some mega money in shoe leather and so far I’m enjoying it, or content as possible at least when working.

However one of the more unsettling niggling matters about starting a new job is learning about how different all the processes and procedures in your new role. It seems things just change, sometimes dramatically from company to company even when they’re vaguely in the same business.

So in some customer service roles I’ve worked in, everything right down to the breaks is strictly regimented, even down to having to a time limit on going to the toilet,  in others you are free to come and go as long as the work gets done.

muftifaith-prayer-room
Multi-faith prayer rooms (used almost exclusively by Muslims) are increasingly common in larger UK businesses

My new job seems to fall somewhere in the middle, but in one respect I have to credit them in that they are very easy when it comes to Salaat, even having a dedicated prayer room and not having to struggle and strive to get this facility and already having it in place is a big blessing.

It makes good business sense for them to do this, probably about 40% of the workforce at least are Muslim and keeping your workers happy is the key to keeping them productive but can you imagine the reward of whichever brothers / sisters it was who asked for this from their workplace?

How they probably needed to push over and over with different managers until finally they succeeded in establishing a room in the workplace so that everyone who came after them including myself earned them more and more good deeds on their scales on the day of judgement?

Saying that… it still shocked me that even though the facility is there, time can be taken for prayers even if it’s not a break time, still some of the brothers and sisters don’t pray.

…Indeed, the prayer is on the believers
prescribed (at) fixed times.
From Surah an-Nisa, 4:103

How lazy do you have to be with your salaat to actually not bother even when allowed by your workplace, they set out a place to make it easy for you and even give you a few minutes off outside of your regular break times?

A TAP ON THE SHOULDER

Anyway, so first week out of training I am just sitting taking calls minding my own and all of a sudden I get a tap on the shoulder and turn around and it’s one of the managers who tells me to pick up my notes and headset and to follow, no explanation, other than that and with a great deal of trepidation and annoyance at being touched by a ghair-mahram woman I follow to the managers duty desk and am told to sit down.

Immediately I am thinking what did I do?
Am I being fired?
Have I done something badly wrong and need retraining or disciplining?
Has a non-Muslim or even a Muslim said something about me talking about the deen?

I was fairly sure it wasn’t the last one as I had read up on the companies policies on such matters to make sure I stayed with the rules but you never know who you might annoy and a long time employee can easily make things difficult, even impossible for a temp should they choose to do so.

So I sit down, I’m told to plug in my headset and without warning the manager hits play on the computer and all of a sudden I am listening to one of my calls from during the week,  I think it was actually the second call I ever took.

Not only am I listening but the playback in front of me is giving me absolutely everything I did on screen during the whole call, the way my mouse cursor wandered aimlessly from tab to tab, button to button as I sought to find the access to each function and screen at what I hoped was the right moment in the call.

She then asked me how I felt the call went, no feedback straight away. I needed to analyse the call myself first, tell her what mistakes I feel I have made, what I did well, where I could improve and it was definitely something quite different compared to any job I have done before.

It was a very unsettling moment, and since that time and subsequent two other call reviews I have been more than a little conscious that every single call is recorded and can and will be used against you if that particular call gets listened to where you make a total mess of it, then it does come back on you.

Inversely, knowing that when calls and actions are well thought through and carried out successfully then that success will be rewarded, and known about.

NOW FOR A REMINDER…

I’m struck though by the way we don’t take our daily lives as seriously as this as Muslims should.  Are all our actions not monitored and we will not be answerable to and be questioned by Allaah for every little thing we do in our lives?

Indeed, your Lord (is) surely Ever Watchful.
Quran translation, Surah al Fajr, 89:14

We believe as Muslims that Allah is Al-Basir, the All Seeing, that Allah is As-Sami’, the All Hearing, that He sees and hears all we do and all everyone does, but does this belief reflect in our actions and if not what does that say about the strength of our belief?

Abu Dharr and Mu`adh bin Jabal (May Allah be pleased with them) reported that: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Fear Allah wherever you are, do good deeds after doing bad ones, the former will wipe out the latter, and behave decently towards people”
Recorded in At-Tirmidhi

That tap on the shoulder can come at any time for us, except then there is no returning to your desk to live on, to try harder, then it is the end of your life on this world and then only a time awaiting in your grave waiting for your judgement before Allah.

Then every one of your deeds will be brought before you, you will answer for all you have done so it is important we correct ourselves in this life, before the end of time here, make tawbah often for our mistakes and sins and ask Allah sincerely for his forgiveness where we fall short.

May Allah make us all among the heedful, those who remember the purpose of this short life, making tawbah where we fall short, ameen

 

 

MUSLIMS NOT LIKE US – Nabil Abdulrashid

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 01/12/2016 - Programme Name:  Muslims Like Us - TX: n/a - Episode: Muslims Like Us (No. 1) - Picture Shows:  Nabil - (C) Love Productions - Photographer: Gareth Gatrell

Article originally taken from islamicate.co.uk – Linked here

Having taken part in the part social experiment that was “Muslims like us” I have come to realise that Muslims want to have their cake and eat it. We constantly cry and whinge about lack of representation in mass media, but as soon as Muslims step up to do just that the criticism begins.

Many Muslims complaining that those of us who took part in the show did not reflect what they considered to be an accurate portrayal of British Muslims, expecting all ten of us to be bearded and fully ‘hijabed’ because obviously that’s exactly what the Muslim populace of Britain are like. To them we all wake up for Fajr at the same time and every single Muslim in Britain is a hafiz.

Many non-practicing Muslims were quick to slate women on the program who did not wear hijab or openly practice the faith when they themselves were a reflection of these sisters. It seems as though Muslims expected reincarnations of the sahaba to be headhunted for this BBC2 program and because predictably we fell short, we have been labeled sellouts and conspirators pushing an agenda to normalise ‘Liberal Islam’.

Muslims fail to understand a couple of things. Firstly, had the Muslims on the show all been perfect saints who did no wrong, all practiced the exact same version of Islam and agreed on all issues nobody would have watched the program, because frankly it would have made for boring viewing. Not even British Muslims would have watched a program about perfect Muslims living among each other perfectly whilst doing perfect things. Another reason why such a cast could not be produced is that it would be impossible unless scripted and definitely would not be a realistic portrayal of British Muslims as we are.

I appreciate that I have received some very positive feedback for my contribution to the program, as have one or two others but the reality is that I only stood out because of the chaotic bunch I was in the show with. I can say this with certainty because all the issues I faced in the house are issues I face in the wider community as do many young black Muslims.

I did my utmost best to carry myself with class in the face of hostility and anti-blackness that was prevalent in the house and I have been commended for it. The reality is there is nothing I faced in the house that does not happen in local masjids, in schools and online. Myself and Abdul Haqq were often subjected to aggression and disrespect for daring to have an opinion on aspects of Islam as if we were somehow less worthy of speaking on the religion and when we tried to justify our stances using Quran and sunnah we were called “dominant”.

Time and time again, I was subjected to micro aggressions and casual racism from fellow housemates ranging from being told that Nigerians deserved to be colonised by the English for “not fighting back” (we actually did and gave the English hell) to how Africans should look at the bright side of slavery and colonialism and how the Indians built all the great things in Africa (yes someone said this to me with a straight face). The vast majority of these interactions unfortunately were not featured in the program, due to editing and what people saw was the culmination of it all, in quite possibly the most normal form of conflict in any household, yes, I am talking about onion gate.

For daring to complain about someone using something I bought without my permission (someone who had been provoking me for six days consecutively) and taking umbrage to him being rude to me I was surrounded by almost all the “liberal” south Asian housemates and called aggressive whilst being shouted at and squared up to.

Surrounded, out numbered and abused, at no point did I raise my voice or behave in a threatening manner, yet somehow in the minds of my housemates I was an aggressive bully. For a period of ten days I had to endure this high level of ignorance and many have asked me how I managed to remain calm in such a situation, the truth is simple. This was just another day in the life of a black man in the Muslim and wider community. My proof is in the outpouring of comments from non-black Muslims online who somehow found a way to blame me for the confrontation. The narrative of the “angry black man” is an easy sell it seems.

Very few questioned why the same brother who united an entire household to do act in the way of charity and serve the community by feeding the homeless would lose patience. No excuses made for a black brother who had very much been the mediator of the house.

It reminded me that as Muslims we are only as good as the last thing we did unless our name is Muhammad Ali or Malcolm X. And of course let’s not forget Bilal, every non-black Muslim’s token black friend. In the end I’ve come to the conclusion that the program was a success as many non Muslims from areas where there aren’t an abundance of Muslims have reached out to me to ask for information about Islam and for this I am completely grateful to Allah.

This program was designed to entertain and enlighten, not as a dawah project however wherever there is Islam there will be dawah because that is the beauty of Allah’s religion. Most Muslims I spoke to feared to partake in the program not because of what the editing would do but simply because they feared that no matter how hard they tried to do good, their own community would condemn them.

I took part in this program because I didn’t want to be one of the angry backseat drivers/keyboard scholars that sits and criticises from their armchair. I did not want to watch this program at home and regret not doing it after seeing someone else “let the ummah down” so I stepped up to the plate. Was I perfect? No. But hand on heart I can say I made my best efforts to show Islam, as I know it, in a good light.

Are there better Muslims and representatives than me out there? Absolutely, but I’m not one to wait for someone else to do something for me.

Muslims are quick to hold other people to standards they don’t hold themselves (complaining I didn’t show enough restraint whilst not showing any themselves as they openly slander us) as if we are somehow more obliged to be good Muslims because there is a camera and England is watching. One must remind British Muslims that we are all being watched, not just by cameras but by the One we worship five times a day. If you are more concerned with how Muslims look in front of a camera than with how we all look in front of the King of kings, I do believe you are not in a position to judge anyone and may want to revisit the fundamentals of your religion.

 

Islam Q&A – Riba-Based Student Loans

Assalaamu Alaykum,

It seems strange that this fatwah even has to be posted, but due to the fitnah in the west, and specifically in the UK in regards to the official government run student loan schemes and whether they are permissible or not, I am glad somebody as reputable as Sheikh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid and Islam Q&A have been able to address this issue.

This is not to denigrate Sheikh Hatham al Haddad, his followers on Islam21C or anyone else who holds the opposite viewpoint. I said before others are being unfair and unjust towards him and overly harsh in their refutations of his errant opinions but when someone makes a mistake, it is important the truth of the matter is clarified.

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Gingerbeardman

Link back to original fatwah on Islam Q&A https://islamqa.info/en/249369

Original Question:

I have a question regarding interest. Firstly I would like to make it known that all my family is Muslim and we currently reside in Western Europe. I currently am a first year University student , in my country there is something called the Maintenance loan , which is a loan that can be taken not for the sake of the tuition fees of the university but to support a student in general while studying. This loan is entirely based on interest and ican be very desirable as it has very low interest rates and must also not be paid back till one finds themselves in a stable job hence maybe 10+years. I myself glory be to Allah have no need to take this loan as I am financially stable and have grants from the university itself. However my father has told me that I should take the full amount of this loan as it has very low interest rates. I have told him I do not need this money however he wants it for his personal gain and business endeavours. I know the great risk of interest and that it is very harmful. My question is what should I do in this scenario, would sin fall onto me?

Praise be to Allah

It is not permissible for you to take this loan, no matter how low the interest rate, because Allah has forbidden contracts that involve riba, whether the riba is great or small, even if it is only one dirham, and He has warned the one who consumes it and the one who pays it of punishment, wrath and curses. So beware lest you be one of them.

“Those who eat Ribâ (usury) will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaitân (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: “Trading is only like Ribâ (usury),” whereas Allâh has permitted trading and forbidden Ribâ (usury). So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops eating Ribâ (usury) shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allâh (to judge); but whoever returns [to Ribâ (usury)], such are the dwellers of the Fire – they will abide therein.

Allâh will destroy Ribâ (usury) and will give increase for Sadaqât (deeds of charity, alms, etc.) And Allâh likes not the disbelievers, sinners.

Truly those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and give Zakât, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

O you who believe! Fear Allâh and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribâ (usury) (from now onward), if you are (really) believers.

And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allâh and His Messenger but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums), and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital sums).

And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay, but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.

And fear the Day when you shall be brought back to Allâh. Then every person shall be paid what he earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly”

[al-Baqarah 2:275-281].

The Prophet of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) cursed the one who consumes riba and the one who pays it. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (5962).

It is not permissible for you to obey your father in that, because the rights of Allah and obedience to Him take precedence over the rights of the father and obedience to him. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no obedience if it involves disobedience towards Allah; obedience is only in that which is right and proper.” Narrated by Muslim (1840).

For more information, please see the answers to questions no. 181723 and 96613.

And Allah knows best.

Islam Q&A