By Dr. Emdad Khan
As a Muslim community, currently we have a number of challenges to deal with:
1) Gaza Palestine – Israel
a) on going fundraising for day-to-day life, and rebuilding
b) community awareness, the life in Palestine is like a big prison, not able to exercise basic human rights
c) political engagement, we like to educate our MPs, MPPs, Councillors, Federal politicians the we cannot make Palestine, west bank, Gaza, Jerusalem for Palestinians like south Africa, apartheid
2) Unthinkable, in BC Kamloops R School, 2015 young children buried in mass graves??
We request a thorough investigation, in a transparent way. Indigenous, first nations and Canadian past history of exploitation
a) we Muslims should consider first nation issues as our own issues
b) integrate Muslim and first nations issues with mainstream politics
c) again, we require full political engagement
d) why still over 50 % of first nation children are in foster homes, although first nations is only 10% of the population
3) Muslim’s youths’ issues
In Ottawa Muslims are only 10% out of over million population but in Ottawa correctional centers Muslim youths are 50%.
Muslim youths (boys and girls) have at least 4 different worlds in day-to-day life:
A)Home/Parent, B) Local masjid/community, C) Local school, D) School friends/playground friends
These 4 worlds confuse, stress and depress them. So, we see.
a) youths suicidal and mental health issues
b) gang violence
a) creation of sports, and education environment as parts of masjids integrated activities
b) youths and family counseling as regular masjid programs
Muslims who come to masjids/communities and who manage masjids/communities need to think out of the box solutions for the above issues.
They require trained manpower and to get quality service require funding and priorities to be considered under masjids/Communities’ vision, strategy and planning.
So beyond the traditional role of masjids/Communities, we require immediate youths and family counseling services as one of the important priorities.
May Allah make it easy for the management of all the masjids.
With Salaam and Regards Emdad Khan