note

Once more your words are true. I am certainly aware of the debt I owe the immigrant Muslim community. And I do believe the Imam of my local mosque is a good man—although I pray in a different mosque on working days—for his words certainly do inspire those who understand his lyrical tongue. And yes, none of us is perfect.

But my post is not really about me, for I will survive the lack of inspiration, as I have other sources that satisfy me. I am more concerned about those who have no hope, who could benefit from their faith if only they knew it. There are many statistics that paint a gloomy picture for us, and we need to recognise what is going on. Take the following three points:

— The Office for National Statistics has figures showing that 31% of young British Muslims leave school with no qualifications compared to 15% of the total population.

— According to the Prison Service, almost 10% of the UK prison population is Muslim, two-thirds of whom are young men aged 18-30.

— According to the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, 35% of Muslim households have no adults in employment.

So the question is, who will reach out to young Muslims dealing with drug addiction, alcohol abuse, STIs, abortion, gang membership, suicidal feelings? Do we just leave it to the Primary Care Trust and youth centres? Or do we say that as Muslims we have a job to inspire people to live a good life, from childhood to old age?

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