Home > Al Walaa' wal Baraa', Common Misconceptiions > Leicester, the Masajid, racial discrimination, nationalism and the future of the Salafee Dawah in Leicester

Leicester, the Masajid, racial discrimination, nationalism and the future of the Salafee Dawah in Leicester

In July 2011 a group of Muslims from the ACCF (African Caribbean Citizens Forum) completed a piece of research which they conducted on behalf of Leicester Council.

The research looked at the challenges that face African and African  Caribbean Muslims in the masajid of Leicester.

The reports findings

The report found that these communities found challenges in the following areas.

1.Lack of credible and dependable Islamic Knowledge

2.Difficulty in finding Marriage partners

(The stories of Muslims daughters along with their children being disowned because they  have married brothers from a particular background are well known)

3. Direct and indirectdDiscrimination/ racism within the the masajid.

4.Language  barrier (not delivering lessons and the khutbah in english)

This findings of the report does not surprise many of as we know many of the  communities are insular and are not broad minded.

Another thing to take into consideration is that the Deobandis and Brelwis themselves have major shirk in their Aqeedah, so if they are not fulfilling the rights of Allah with regards to Tawheed, then fulfilling the rights of people from different racial groups is going to be way down on their lists.

Another point is some of these masajid do not provide facilities for their own women to attend the masjid to learn their religious guidance and receive religious instruction, so as for being just to other racial groups, this will be something they cannot  implement because you cannot give something you dont have yourself.

Something else to consider with these two strands of sufism that dominate our  city is that these two sects which which originated from specifc areas of the Indian subcontinant tyically attract people from that part of the world that is not to to say you will not find the odd black or white brother or other races who embraces these form of sufism but the majority of the follwers of these sects are either from the indian subcontinent or Muslim’s from Africa who have ancestors from the sub-continent.This can can create a feeling of superioty over other racial groups as leaders of these two strands of sufism see themselves as leaders of the ummah.

A polite advice to masajid that ascribe to Tawheed and Salafiyyah.

The masajid that ascribe to tawheed and salafiyah number approximately seven in Leicester and they are in a prime position to combat this racism and discrimination. So what is sad is that what we see from these masajid is a form of nationalism with regard to how they choose their management structure. So whether  these masaajid are managed by Libyan,s Somalis Sri-lankans, Saudi`s or Indians you find that their shura (administration) is predomnately made up of members from one national group. This is a form of nationalism that needs to be eradicated from the Salafi community

Rather these masajid should call upon talents of different racial groups (basesd upon ability to do the job) to administer the affairs of these Salafi masajid.This would foster a sense of belonging and brotherhood and being part of the community rather than the feeling that exsits at the moment which is one of being sidelined and discriminated against.

One form of  discrimination which I myself have witnessed in one of these masajid is children who speak a particular language being taught Quran separately from other children who do not speak  that particular language.Rather children should be mixed when being taught Islamic sciences and not separated based on langauge so we can create a environment of equality

Multicuturism a sign of salafeyah in the UK and the West.

If one looks at the some of the Salafee communities in the UK like Brixton, Luton or Birmingham what one will notice that racial mix of the people who belong to these communities is so diverse not only in the make of the people who use the masajid but in their management struture so take for instance the Brixton Masjid which has been often wrongly reffered to as the “Jamaican Mosque” . Its present management stuture consists of Guyanese, Moroccans, Asians, Jamaicans,Somalians and Ghanayans which creates in the community a sense of everyone having a stake in the masjid and being a community masjid for everyone. This is not like the empty claims which some masaajid profess when they want to fund raise they proclaim “This is your masjid a masjid for everyone” We then find that important decisions that affect the whole community to be in the hand of a few elite from one national bacground.

One new Salafi organisation called Markaz Sunnah Leicester are trying to eradicate this form of nationalism  that has affected many in the Muslim community that ascribe to the salafee manhaj. Their management structure consists of Indians polish Jamaicans Somalis and mixed race brothers and one of their objectives is to eradicate nationalism, racism (Asabiyah) & partianship (Hizbiyyah) amongst the Salafis and wider Muslim community, which has affected it so badly.

Very few masajid will admit that this is a problem or that there is even a problem at all but we want to see action that will help to remove a problem many of us will admit does exist.

Posted by Jafar

  1. Umm Muhammad-Ismail
    September 10, 2011 at 08:39

    asalamu alaikum,
    JazakAllah for addressing such a major problem in our community. I can personallly relate to the discrimination and difficulties faced for sisters from the Asian community who choose to marry mixed race brothers. The brothers themselves face an upward struggle once accepting Islam as alot of the masjids are community based and make them feel unwelcome with no sense of real brotherhood. It is hard to present the beauty of the unity of islamic brotherhood, when there is so much nationalism and discrimination within our own masaajids…which unfortunately pushes some brothers to extremism and ultimately being led astray. How terrible, that a person with so much potential can be excluded and pushed to the sidelines because of the country he is from.

  2. Abu Khadeeja
    September 11, 2011 at 22:58

    Asalaam alaikum, I strongly agree with the comments posted by brother jafar. Mosques have become territories and community centres for 1 particular race. We have to stand up and support markaz Sunnah in battling to overcome this kind of nationalistic behaviour that has no base in islam whatsoever. The first thing we all can do is pave way for the english speaking youngsters of this generation by offering even small funds per week, so the pure & proper call of islam can be portrayed towards the west. Only then will more people come to islam. As lets face it, our older generations of Brelvis & Deobandhis have not done us any favours at all in this country, they are not even a voice for us! Islam has not been displayed properly and that is why we are now faced with propaganda & backlash from the media. We need to make way for the Salafi movement & only then will the sunnah of tawheed be revived!

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