Saturday, 2 April 2011

The mosque, the council and the email list

In summary:
It can be easy to try to make a change once, get a poor response and then give up.
In reality, making changes takes perseverance.
Posts tagged with Sabr (Patience) give examples of this.

In more detail:
"Sabr" is an arabic word that means patience. And as we all know, patience is a virtue.

Posts on this blog tagged with "Sabr" are aimed at giving examples of activities where Sabr has very definitely been required.

The reason for these posts is that is can be easy to take the attitude that "Well, I sent an email but nothing happened" or "I went on a protest march but the Government still went to war so it's all a waste of time", or "I offered to help but I got no response so I don't offer any more".

This is a very defeatist attitude to take - and nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved by taking this approach.

Imagine if Nelson Mandela had said, at the start of his activism against Apartheid, that the government wasn't responding to his letters and protests so he was going to give up.

Or if Madam Curie had decided that she could't be bothered with taking the three years it took to distill 0.1g of radium from a tonne of pitchblend.

Or if the political movements that were demanding independance from colonial rule in the first half of the 20th century had decided that they had had a go, the colonial powers hadn't listened so the whole thing was a waste of time and they weren't going to bother doing anything further. . .

So, to the example at hand.

BFTF runs an email newsletter, which aims to provide information to local Muslim organisations and mosques. This has been running since about 2006, but ensuring that it reaches all the relevant organisations has been a struggle as many organisations do not have a formal email address. So when BFTF realised (in late 2009) that a local mosque had generated a directory or local mosques, and that there was an official in the local council whose job it was to help the Muslim community, BFTF lost no time in sending them both emails to obtain further information.

Both responded, but did not provide the information I was asking for.

Rather than giving up, BFTF emailed them again, and again. . . and again.

Finally, in Feb 2011, the local mosque provided a link to the information on their website, and the local council official informed me that their email contact list wasn't very good and provided a contact at another organisation (wich was quite useful, alhough it was a shame that it took over a year for the council to provide this simple piece of information). The information provided has, inshallah, helped to improve the reach of the newsletter.

Dear Reader, this post is here to provide evidence that the motto "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" really does work and that tenacity will often yield results.

Although, in the interests of balance, BFTF really needs to point out that there is also some truth and value in W G Graces maxim that "If at first you don`t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There`s no point in being a damn fool about it."

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