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New Year's Event In Finchley Masjid - A Pacified Community Without Good Leadership‏

Muslim woman praying in a mosque

On New Year's Eve, whilst we, the Muslims of Finchley were sitting in the masjid listening to a talk by our Imam, war and oppression against Muslims continued on a global scale. It was a very good talk it has to be said, but its sole aim was to increase us in spirituality. Nothing wrong at all of course with guiding us to increase our spirituality, but how come we are so able to forget completely those Muslims who are suffering from hunger and oppression? What are we doing practically or politically to help any of our oppressed brothers and sisters in Muslim lands, or indeed any of our own youth who are astray?

Our community is represented by many professional and educated "middle class" Muslims, however, in reality beyond sending them some money from time to time, we are not directed at all by our leaders on how to help others. Those in the Ummah who are dying or imprisoned as victims of the so called "War on Terror", those dying trying to overthrow dictators who were put in place and propped up by successive British and Western Governments, or those families in our own community who are struggling with errant teenagers, who succumb to the pull of gang membership and drug dealing are left unmentioned.

Surely we are failing our own youth as they find nothing is on offer to them by the local Muslim mosque community? It reminds me of the Christian community to which I formerly belonged where worship is only a set of rituals and once you leave the place of worship, you go home in self righteous contentment and put the plight of lesser fortunates behind you.

What is the great motivator of the Finchley Muslims to attend a talk after Isha on a dark winters night? I was attracted by this poster on the website, especially for the chance to hear Sheik Haitham alHaddad a real scholar. But to my disappointment it appeared that the majority of the people had come to eat dinner !...... Food !.....seemingly the only prospect that kept people inside the masjid and sitting through the talks by the three speakers. By the end of the evening the sisters could hardly hear the last speaker due to the noise of excited brothers talking and laughing as they set up for the food in the basement, next door to the sisters prayer hall. They were totally disinterested in what the speaker was saying. At the end of the talk or before we ate, no dua was made for the Muslims who have nothing to eat and what about the people in Somalia whose children die from hunger?

Was there any actual advice that anyone could take home from the talks about how to be an active Muslim? How to go about making a difference in our society and beyond? None at all! Embarrassingly Sheik Haitham was told he had only 15 minutes to talk, how amazingly crass to bring someone of his stature to talk to us in Finchley, by his own words his first visit to Finchley masjid, yet we are in such a hurry to eat that we give him 15 minutes to speak, subhanAllah! What could he possibly have said in 15 minutes that would get the community mobilised and seeing beyond their own stomachs? Sheik Haitham made a brave attempt to speak about being "pro active" Muslims, but I fear he may have not been able to give us the talk he had originally planned. I fear Sheik Haitham might have taken away the impression that he was faced with a bunch of hyenas, except for the fact that our community is rather too affluent and too well fed to make that comparison a fair one (to the hyenas).

So whilst the great scholars like Ibn Taymiyah told us we have nothing to fear, we have in reality a community leadership in Finchley who fear everything - from offending the local pro Zionist "Friends of Israel" M.P. Mike Freer, to standing up and speaking out against the many injustices against Muslims, and especially from being active in helping the oppressed but evidently most of all being in fear of dinner being delayed by speakers who have more knowledge to impart than 15 minutes allows.

It is high time that Finchley community had leaders who can make this community active and effective in promoting the Muslim cause not just make us fatter and more pacified.

Laura Stuart

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The pain of making the necessary sacrifices always hurts more than you think it's going to. I know. It sucks. That being said, doing something seriously creative is one of the most amazing experiences one can have, in this or any other lifetime. If you can pull it off, it's worth it. Even if you don't end up pulling it off, you'll learn many incredible, magical, valuable things. It's NOT doing it when you know you full well you HAD the opportunity- that hurts FAR more than any failure

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