Monday, 1 June 2009

British Pakistan Youth Council - Time to listen!

Time to listen!

British Pakistan Youth Council Achievements and Successes

British Pakistani Youth Council are a national Group of young people who, whilst recognising our faith and ethnic heritage, focus on the present and look to the future. We focus on issues affecting our lives as British Young People. Great Britain is our Adopted motherland and therefore our future and our interests are forever intertwined. 
We are inclusive and welcome young people who share our values from all parts of Great Britain. The BPYC is an inclusive group and seeks out people from all backgrounds, in particular the youth and those from a working class background. In other words we are not elitist, unlike other “Muslim representative” organisations that fail to include the voices of young British Pakistan people.

Terrorism and radicalisation appears kind of ‘just beyond’ and such throw away lines by the former US President such as “if we don’t fight ‘em over there, they’ll come here” rings a little untrue if not down right devious, even if it happens to be a understandable assumption. Rather than looking the other way and thinking such things do not concern us – we together must be willing to have a dialogue on these and other issues that concern not just British Pakistanis or British Muslims but all of us in the United Kingdom.
Much of what the police and security services are engaged in United Kingdom around the issues of terrorism and extremism remains classified for a reason, we are not saying that this information should be shared but we are asking the politicians and civil servants as well as the media to be more open and aware of sensitivities that can drive further alienation. Extremists – both religious and political not just from Islamic backgrounds feed on those unaware.
Deradicalisation of Pakistan’s existing radical Islamic community is a struggle, but preventing the further isolation and radicalisation of British Pakistanis is achievable with engagement at local community levels by all those who are willing to seek proactive solutions to the issues that drive extremism. At the BPYC we are already engaged with deradicalisation experts as well as Islamic scholars from all schools of thought within this British and Pakistani community and are seeking to open the British Pakistani community to engage all communities in the UK in dialogue and we aim to work together for a stronger awareness and British identity.
Most British Pakistanis aren’t radical or extreme and never were and they dislike radicalism but this information is not getting out not just to the wider community of British Pakistanis but also others – for example the media carries such stories that the next 9/11 type attack on the US will be likely be by British Pakistanis! We waited for some British Pakistanis or indeed others to respond to this – yet no response was made by any mainstream organisation or group that represented British Pakistanis. Indeed as British Pakistanis we have a growing problem generally with extremism and intolerance as with many other issues such as crime and so forth – like many other communities in the UK – but this can be dealt with over time with maturity and positivity from not just this community but all communities that make up our nation the United Kingdom. Many of the arrests made in the UK were of British Pakistanis – and regardless of whether most of them were released afterwards – we as British Pakistanis need to be able to discuss these issues openly and without fear.
Most British Pakistanis and Pakistanis are not extremists and the United Kingdom is not fighting Islam – its time for engagement – its time listen to each other, its time to work with each other on a common ground and with a common focus – we can begin this by dialogues within this community to increase awareness of common issues such as extremism.
The British Pakistani Youth Council is here and we will listen to you and in turn we hope you will listen to us.

British Pakistan Youth Council - Launch

1st June 2009
British Pakistan Youth Council Launch
Venue: Hyatt Hotel, Broad Street Birmingham
Attendees included Cllr Mike Whitby, the Leader of the Birmingham City Council, Manzoor Mughal -The Muslim Forum (Islamic Law), Chief Executive, Stephen Hughes, Raja Amin - Magistrate (Law)
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