After the horrific murder of Lee Rigby, the ensuing media, and social attention appeared to be focused on Muslim extremists.
In light of these events I made contact with a British born Muslim student, who agreed to write this article on what being a Muslim really means, how it has effected them, peoples often negative perception of what the Muslim religion, and practice of being a Muslim really means, their community, their fears, and their hopes for the future..... Christina Wiltshire.
Muslim in Britain
”Islam to many people is considered either to be a religion of peace or a religion of racist, anti-feminist clones. But the fact of the matter is it’s neither, in fact Islam is not just a religion, but an entire system of living. One that I a British Muslim live by to the best of my ability. My whole life I have been surrounded by other people telling me about their versions of Islam, and every time I tried to put it to the test they had countless faults, Until I found true Islam in all its authenticity. The Islam, where paradise is considered to be under your mother’s feet, where marriage is considered half of one’s faith, where women have the right to inherit, own and run their own businesses and have the right to decline a marriage proposal without any shame. The Islam that doesn’t try to make men and women equal, but recognises and honours the strengths and weaknesses of both men and women alike.
Today in 21st century Britain whenever you watch or read about anything to do with Muslims, it’s nearly always negative. Either someone tried to blow something or some place up or someone killed their daughter as some kind of honour killing, and whenever this happens its always put under the banner of jihad. Just to clarify this misunderstanding jihad refers to struggling and striving for truth. Killing innocent people, Muslim or otherwise regardless of the intention is completely and totally forbidden in Islam. Jihad doesn’t have to be war, it can be through action (like a peaceful protest) or through words (speaking out against what is wrong and unjust in society). Too much of what Islam stands for is misinterpreted by today’s media and politicians, when they are talking about ‘The war on terror’. And unfortunately for some in today’s society this is the only source of information they aware of, which in some cases can be part of the fuel for extremist behaviour from both sides of the spectrum. And this living in Britain puts Muslims on red alert. Constantly feeling the need to watch our backs, worrying about our youths and whether they are being lead on by people who have dishonourable intentions, wondering if and when our mosques, centres and homes will be attacked.
Fortunately, in times like these we as a society (both Muslim and Non-Muslim) are reminded constantly of what it is not just to be British, but to be human. Whether it is the image of a Muslim man helping an elderly person up some stairs or an entire community standing in protest against ethnocentric beliefs and embracing the multi-cultural society we have and the many values we all share. I hope that in the future we can all pass these values on to future generations, so that they to can stand up for what is right. So that we as a nation can stand up and say ‘Enough Is Enough!’’