In the last few months, Muslims in Britain have witnessed an unprecedented rise in attacks on Islam. Islamic values are now openly criticised. Whether responding to oppression in the Muslim world, education, family life or simply giving charity, Muslims are expected to conform to Western secular liberal values. Charities and Muslims who have travelled to Syria have faced a crackdown, culminating in arrests across the country.
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain organised an evening of talks in East London (18th April 2014) to address the unfolding situation and how Muslims in Britain must stand firm, for Islam and avoid being pressured into treading the path of abandoning their Islamic values.
On the issue of Syria, Dr Abdul Wahid, chairman of the Executive Committee of Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, described how it has become a ‘forbidden conflict’. The recent clamp-down on organisations, charities and individuals has the distinct aim of silencing Muslims who show their concern for Muslims suffering under the brutality of the Assad regime. Dr Abdul Wahid explained how Muslims must continue to show their care for the Muslims in Syria and never consider it criminal or ‘extremist’ to highlight the fallacy of the west’s foreign policy in Syria.
The second talk, delivered by Jamal Deen, a senior member of Hizb ut-Tahrir who reverted to Islam over twenty years ago, described how the recent spate of criticisms directed at the Muslim community by the media and politicians specifically targeted Islamic values – whether Islamic education, Islamic social values, Islamic family life and so on. He went on to explain, from poignant verses of the Quran, how these Islamic value are noble, originate from the source of the Islamic message – the Quran – and that rather than feel embarrassed, Muslims must understand and adopt these Islamic values and avoid the pressure of abandoning them. He demonstrated this by discussing the Islamic values related to raising children and the issue of women specifically, two areas of recent attack.
Taji Mustafa, the media representative for Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain, concluded the evening’s talks by highlighting the role the Muslim community is to ‘stand as Ambassadors of Islam’. He succinctly summarised his message using the acronym ‘DPP’ – Muslims must first understand it is a ‘Duty’ to be Ambassadors for Islam, but for this they must ‘Practice’ the Islamic values as a community not just as individuals so as to become an ‘Islamic’ not just a ‘Muslim’ community, and that they must ‘Propagate’ the Islamic message to other Muslims and the wider non-Muslim community, to clarify what Islam really stands for, as opposed to the false messages and scaremongering emerging from sections of the media and politicians.
The event was attended by over four hundred people, a mixture of young and old, students and professionals, families, Islamic activists and students of knowledge, amongst others.