Defining our narrative

We need to reclaim our narrative from politicised activists who seek to divide us. In focusing exclusively on Islamophobia, real and imagined, they promulgate a polarised and negative depiction of society, which completely ignores the positive and encouraging interfaces of British Muslims with the wider community.

Try searching for Muslim Scouts or Charity Week on the most popular activist news website to claim to represent what Muslims are thinking. You might have thought that these two very successful and positive youth movements within the Muslim community might elicit frequent mention. But no, you will discover nothing at all.

All around the country, grassroots groups are making positive contributions to their communities: they are promoting learning opportunities and engaging in charity and social work. Here we witness positive interactions between a religious minority and mainstream organisations, whether in fundraising for a local hospital, supporting a cancer trust or working together on significant local issues.

All of these efforts are ignored by the politicised advocacy groups which claim to represent us all, for they do not fall into the neat division of the world into us and them. But unfortunately it is these groups that are taking us with them and not the other way around. We are all being dragged down into adopting the perpetual narrative of doom and gloom that will help set us against each other.

We need to define our own narrative, which is informed not by the extremes of left and right, and of patriot and anti-imperialist, but by our realities on the ground.

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