Muslim Families in the Capital - Challenges and Opportunities
Wed 01 Dec 2004
Families are the roots, which feed and sustain communities; they form the building blocks which shape society. Islam places great emphasis on the values of piety, affection, love, consultation and respect as the essential ingredients in creating a strong family unit for it is through such institutions that we strive to develop a healthy and cohesive community.
Islam is a universal religion and British Muslims are made up of a colourful tapestry of ethnicities and this diversity is one of the strengths of our community. This diversity inevitably brings with it an array of customs, traditions and culture. Whilst faith remains the common binding factor, cultural diversity lends itself to differences in the interpretation of values and practices. Some of these cultural practices complement Islamic values whilst others may violate the very essence of the Islamic ethos.
Recent statistics confirm that Muslims in the capital have an increasing number of divorces and there are a growing number of Muslim children who are taken into care. There is evidence that some of us force our young adults into marriages that are not of their choice. We may thus paradoxically resort to dishonourable actions for the sake of keeping 'honour'.
Also of concern is that Muslims in prisons make the largest minority majority, an unhealthy reality that is a reflection of our failing.
Living in a society which elevates individual freedoms, some appear to have responded by clinging to more traditional inherited values and cultures with little questioning or thought. The huge external pressures inherent in a society driven by secular values have created particular difficulties for Muslims who remain entrenched in a culture that they often mistakenly believe has the sanction of their faith.
This seminar is being held in recognition of the urgent need to debate and reflect on Islamic values with particular reference to family life. We wish to explore the relationship between cultural and Islamic values, looking at areas in which the two may both converge and diverge so as to better equip families with the insights, skills and resources needed to ensure that destructive societal pressures can be more effectively resisted.
Further, we hope to identify the services needed to foster stronger families. This event will offer an opportunity to look at available services, identify gaps in current service provision and consider ways of formulating an appropriate strategy to address these issues.
For more information on this seminar being held on Saturday 11th December 2004 at City Hall or to register for a place please click here.
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