If we want to make constructive contribution to the society we live in and want to be part of then we must do things that allow us to do that…comments YZ Patel on the issue of discrimination at British workplaces
Two paradoxical emails dropped in the inbox. One a report pertaining how British Muslims face the worst employment discrimination of any group in the UK. The other a sermon from 1982 offering a solution to as to why that is the case 32 years later.
It is the easiest thing to blame others for our shortcomings. So much so that immediately other sections of the community brand us with having a ‘victimhood mentality’. That we as Muslims do not help ourselves, that we put ourselves in the position where this the case. Others will comment that discrimination is rife as per this report and despite the qualifications many Muslims hold they do not get the opportunity which members of the non Muslim community appear to get. All the statistics prove this. But what is it that we as a community can do to change this? Why are they disinclined to employ someone of the Islamic faith opposed to someone of another religion? The sermon given by Maulana Syed Nadwi in 1982 gives a few pointers in the main body of the speech he says:
‘You must earn your place in this country. You should leave an imprint on the host community of your usefulness. You must demonstrate your existence here is more beneficial than that of the native people. You must impart on them the lessons of humanity. You should demonstrate how noble and principled you are, and that there cannot be found more upright humans elsewhere besides you. You need to establish your worth, that you are a blessing and mercy for this country.’
This he said in 1982, 32 years to the day. Foresight which he allied to the situation of the Muslims in Cordoba Spain, now no longer and the lessons they failed to learn and those we should be.
It is a vexatious predicament for most Muslims. Most believers of the faith believe they are Muslims first and last and nothing in between. Anybody who has another stance is anything but. There is no happy medium and many from the opposite end of the spectrum see this as a issue and the reasoning behind the statistics.
We as Muslims have to make a decision if we are to live in this society integrate, enjoin and heed the words of Maulana Nadvi and be part of it or segregate and then sow the seeds of that. But do not then be alarmed and startled by more of these reports and surveys confirming just that.