Thursday, September 08, 2005

“It’s Good to Talk…” (2)

Should Hizb-ut-Tahrir be banned? What advice can the panel give to Muslims who are feeling utterly disenfranchised and completely alienated from British society and without a voice? These were just two of the many questions that were answered and discussed on the first ‘Have Your Say’ session on Saturday 20th August 2005. Alhamdillah, despite the relatively modest turn out of around 75, the audience members engaged the panel in a thought provoking and communicative discussion; dispelling any previous misgivings regarding the possible lack of success of such an activity.

Dr. Rafaqut Rashid ended up, most of his time, withstanding questions and criticisms of madrasahs and their methods. Sher Azam similarly seldom faced a critical question that was not directed at his organisation or even at his generation.

For how long will we engage in the blame-game? Or are we just venting our frustrations?

Dr. Rafaqut Rashid opined that madrasahs have a desire to teach Politics, Philosophy, History, etc., and all the other sciences that ‘scholars’ in the West ought to have knowledge of, but only lacked the facility and funds to do so. Sara Ali (teacher and mother of five) revealed her experiences of how her children spent most of their time crying in madrasah, and not learning. Nur al Ramadani said that disenfranchised Muslim youth had to get positive and get involved as there is a way through the problems.

The diverse crowd offered promising feedback and seemed to show interest in future sessions. The organisers have promised the following subjects:

The breakdown of marriage in the Muslim community. Why is the divorce rate spiralling?

The identity of British Muslims.

Education in the Muslim community.

Morality and the youth.

“[C]onversations such as these, that engage people, in the pursuit of objective truth may not [always] end with a ‘meeting of minds’ but may still be profitable for all concerned…[a] good conversation may help the individuals engaged in it to make some advance toward their goal.”

(Mortimer J. Adler, How to Speak)

Abrar ul Haq