When one considers which issues Muslims and Muslim organisations choose to fight for, they tend to be those where Muslim special interests are at stake (e.g. Halal Food). Whilst issues such as this are undoubtedly important and need to be pursued, it results in topics that are also important to Islam and where common ground can be found with the wider society (e.g. preventing government corruption) being ignored.
This tendency has two unfortunate outcomes. Firstly, it gives the wider society the impression that Muslims are not interested in these areas of common ground. Secondly, it gives ordinary Muslims the impression that they there are only a small number of issues about which they should have any concern and that these issues are those where Muslims should demand some kind of special treatment.
When one looks for issues that are of concern to both the Muslim communities and the wider society, one finds that they are everywhere. . . .
Civil Society - Having a strong, stable and fair civil society has a profound effect on peoples sense of wellbeing. Achieving such a civil society requires people to have a sence of duty and to be willing to sacrifice their own immediate needs in favour of the wider society (a good example of people who do not have this sence of duty are queue jumpers). Some posts on this topic are shown below. . .
Slo-Mo guys and the spirit of curiosity
The Best Thing about living in the UK - 2007
Initiatives of Change - Trust building
Report: Mosques in Communities Project
Himmah and Arimathea Work with Asylum Seekers
Learning - If mosques feel that learning and education have an important place in Islam then they may wish to make encourage their congregations to attend public lectures and other events such as . . .
Granular Dynamics and Asteroid Formation
Fire Station Tour
Drug Delivery and Targeted Therepeutics
Nottingham University Mayfest
Art by Rick Davies and Michael Hansmeyer
Woodland Trust Interview
Lobbying Local, National or International Government- There are so many issues where the Muslim community can find common cause with the wider society. Lobbying local or national government on these issues would not only help to achieve a social good but would also demonstrate to the Muslim community that this kind of action is very much part of being an active British Muslim. And, of course, politicians are much more likely to pay attention to a community organisation (such as a mosque) than they are to individuals. Here are a few examples of what BFTF means. . .
The Leveson Enquiry
20mph Limits in Nottingham
Commenting on Notts Budget Proposals
Commenting on Notts Budget Proposals
Sustainable paper at Orion Books
Plain Cigarette Packaging
Peat Free Compost
Lobbying the Media - BFTF can recall an instance where one of the national daily newspapers had written a particularly nasty and xenophobic article. When an ordinary member of the public challenged them on this they said "well, nobody else complained" - which just goes to show how important it is that people speak up and challenge the media when the publish material that is misleading and unfairly has a damaging effect on community cohesion. Here are a few examples. . .
Commenting on a Daily Mail Article
Consumer Goods - Many guests on the BFTF radio show have said that people would be surprised at how few letters need to arrive at a companies head office before they get a bit nervous and start changing policy. There are many issues where the Muslim community can join with the wider society in demanding that companies raise their game. Here are a few examples of lobbying companies to improve their practices in a particular area (and a few example where a company has been thanked for having good policies). . .
FSC at Random House
FSC at Igloo Books
Palm Oil in ASDA Best for Baking
Palm Oil in Super Noodles