An Open Letter to the British Home Secretary

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London School of Islamics
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An Open Letter to the British Home Secretary
The home secretary has braved a critical audience to call on Muslim parents to do more in the battle against terrorism. He asked to look for the “tell-tale signs” in their children and intervene if they suspect they are being influenced by extremists. Islam was being perverted by “fanatics” exploiting young people. These fanatics are looking to groom and brainwash children for suicide bombing. When he was the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, he never urged parents to monitor their children. Muslim parents shall be treated differently if their children show extreme tendencies compared to others of different faiths who may also harbour extreme tendencies.

Muslim parents have been worried about their children indulging in anti-social behavior, binge drinking, drug addiction, sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancies and other social evils. Muslim children suffer bullying and racism in schools and outside the schools. Majority of Muslim children leave schools with low grades. Muslim parents would like their children to learn Standard English to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity. Majority of Muslim youths are unemployed and even 25% of Muslim graduates are without full-time employment. Those who are lucky to be employed find bullying, discrimination and few prospects for promotion to higher positions. The number of Muslim youths in prison and mental hospitals is on the increase. The number of drug addicts is on the increase. Hundreds of overseas Muslim doctors are unemployed. Terrorism is not the issue for the Muslims. It is the creation of the West.

Muslim children are human beings with social, emotional and spiritual needs and demands. They are not just economics for the economic prosperity of the British society. They are cut off from their cultural roots and are unable to enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. British schooling dislocates Muslim pupils from their cultural heritage. By the age of 16 “they are not ours, neither are they theirs”. Majority of Muslim parents wanted access to an” environment where their children can grow up with an understanding of Islam, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages. The sound knowledge of ones language would appear to help – and not hinder the acquisition of a second language and bilingual children may even have slight cognitive advantages. In British schooling, priority is given to suppress the other languages in favour of English. In fact, other languages should be fostered in addition to English.

Mastry of English language is not enough for the Muslim children. If they find that they are not welcome in a country, it is difficult to find motivation for integration and education. In the past Muslims were victim of Paki-bashing in all walks of life. The British Establishment did nothing to tackle that problem and issue. Now the young Muslim generation, well versed in English is victim of terrorism by the British Establishment and thousands of Muslim youths have been searched and arrested and are behind the bar without any charges and that make them more alienated from the British society.
Iftikhar Ahmad