Counseling services don’t understand young British Muslims, report says

9 October 2010
The Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) has published a new report, Young British Muslims and Relationships. The report, which is the first in a series of seven by MYH, is the first research of its kind to be produced in Britain. The report, funded by London Councils as part of a project aiming to improve services for young Muslims in London, found that there is still a lack of understanding amongst support services in assisting young British Muslims facing difficult issues. Often faith and cultural sensitivities are overlooked in tackling issues such as forced marriage, sexual abuse, family pressures, sexuality and domestic violence.
Akeela Ahmed, Chief Executive of MYH said, “Since our inception nearly 10 years ago, young British Muslims are still reluctant to get the help they need from mainstream services for fear of being misunderstood. In the worst cases this can result in further isolation and marginalisation. Statutory agencies need to further develop the capacity to provide faith and culturally sensitive support to Muslim youth in the UK. Meaningful community engagement and support can be empowering and transformative, helping young British Muslims to overcome barriers to social inclusion and have better access to the services and ultimately opportunities that promote good psychological and emotional wellbeing.”

[read report]

New Islamic body to be launched in Edinburgh

An organisation seeking a “new engagement” for Scottish Muslims will be launched in Edinburgh later this month. The event is scheduled to be addressed by First Minister Alex Salmond. The Scottish-Islamic Foundation (SIF) is led by second and third generation Muslims and converts to the faith, and their launch comes just a few days before the anniversary of the Glasgow Airport attack. The Foundation runs a leadership training programme, which aims to teach Muslims how their faith demands they be good citizens. They believe that Scotland can play an important role in bringing civilisations together. Osama Saeed, Chief Executive of SIF, said: “Research has shown Scottish Muslims are very comfortable with their identity, and this is an example our country can take to the rest of Europe. We don’t need to have the same debate about integration we see elsewhere, and it means we can talk about how Muslims can now further deepen their contribution to the country. “In that respect, our five aims are firmly rooted within the Islamic tradition but may surprise some – freedom, respect, education, families and justice.