Friday, 22 February 2013

New Muslims at BMCC

Recent converts to Islam, or "New Muslims" face a number of challenges in their lives. These range from dealing with sometimes negative reactions from friends and family to finding accessible information sources to the difficulties caused by mosques that refuse to hold sermons in English.

Unsurprisingly, many New Muslims soon leave the faith, often feeling that they have not had any support from the local Muslim community. The same commmunity, incidentally, that appeared to congratulate them when they first embraced Islam.

To try and help the New Muslim community find their feet, Bobbers Mill Ccommunity Centre has been running a monthly social event where New Muslims (and indeed Old Muslims) can meet, chat and enjoy a meal together.

BFTF attended one of these events recently and has to say that it was one of the warmest and most welcoming occasions that BFTF has been to in some considerable time. Aside from the friendly company, and great food, BFTF (who is an "Old Muslim") learnt a lot from the wisdom, tolerance and humbleness that the recent and not so recent converts showed.

It seems that rather than New Muslims learning from the existing Muslim community, the truth - at least in some respects - is perhaps the other way round...

Highlights for BFTF included...

* A beautiful, and unexpectedly short, poem entitled "I don't know" that reassured New Muslims that they did not need to know everything about their new faith right from the outset and the community needed to understand that a New Muslim was like a new born baby who deserved the attention and care of the whole community.

* Egyptian food.

Not Egyption Food, but rather lovely nonetheless

* A testimony from a Sister who described the importance of events like this so that New Muslims could "come and feel comfortable"

* Comments from a Brother who pointed out that, generally, the biggest problem the Muslim community had in providing help to New Muslim was that services were provided in a "top-down" fashion from people who had been life-long Muslims and did not really understand the problems that New Muslims faced.

* A rather delicious desert called Kunafa

Kunafa - its rather delish !

* A chance chat with a (multi-talented) New Muslim who helped BFTF understand the computer networking was often based on the OSI layering model

* Young children running around

* Possibly the most perfect side dish of potatoes and carrots that BFTF has seen for some time.

Potatoes, Carrots and things

The New Muslim event at BMCC, held the last Friday of every month - you are all welcome to attend !

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