Community

Citizens UK commission on Muslims’ participation in the public life

The charity, Citizens UK launched a national commission to consider ways in which the Muslim community could become more involved in the lifestyle of the British society. MP, Dominic Grieve chairs a group of twenty-five commissioners from British society and includes General Sir Nick Parker, Jenny Watson, Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray and Professor Mohamed El-Gomati.

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Dominic Grieve (far left) with participants at the launch of the commission

The Director, Neil Jameson, stated that according to academic research Muslims are not likely to take part in many aspects of civil society with many living in poverty. He feels that it is in the best interests of the entire nation to have a lively civil society, one that will challenge those in power and hold them accountable.

Citizens UK’s mission is to develop the capacity and skills of communities in the country to become more involved. They have, however, discovered, that several Muslim leaders in the UK have withdrawn from public life in fears of being labeled as extremists for their Islamic faith. Groups who work in collaboration with Islamic institutions are being criticized for their involvement with “alleged extremists.”

Citizens UK are finding it a constant struggle to involve the Muslim community in the work they are doing, the most disadvantaged communities in particular. Jamieson stated: “Inclusion in democratic action is the best alternative to apathy, sectarianism, and violence.” He hopes that in time to come the commissioners will have a series of recommendations which both the civil society, as well as the government and business sectors, will be able to act on to bring about change.

captureThe Commission are set to organize hearings in numerous locations across the country and include those where Citizens UK is actively working with civil society institutions.

Grieve says that civil society should be accessible to everyone, as a “fractured social system” will only make matters worse. A minority of the younger Muslim generation still see IS as a better option than their current home situations.

The most effective way to deal with the situation is to engage with those involved. The hearings began in London and Cardiff, and the commission has since held numerous hearings in other locations after which they could reflect upon and draw up a report as well as recommendations for Muslims and other groups to sign up for voluntarily.

It is so often that threats to security stem from individuals or groups who are seen as outsiders but they also need to be inspired and have more opportunities so that everyone can participate in the community together.