British Muslim Youth (BMY) was launched on 7 July 2013, after formally being set up as the Rotherham Muslim Youth in February 2011. The group moved its local aims onto a national platform; realising national factors influence local events. British Muslim Youth was launched on the anniversary of the truly horrific and barbaric bombings on the London Underground.
The very essence of BMY is to promote the real teachings of Islam; those of Peace, Harmony, Unity and Tolerance. These teachings are the fundamental elements of what the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) taught. However these Islamic ideals have been much maligned by both elements of extremist – the so-called Muslims and the far right. Aided by a media continually - in some cases recklessly - demonising Muslims and Islam; have allowed an image of Islam to foster as one of a religion of terrorism, violence and extremism. This could not be more wrong or malicious, but during this discourse, the vast majority of ordinary peaceful, law abiding Muslims have been left without a voice and marginalised. BMY seeks to counter this narrative and prevent this from becoming a prevailing orthodoxy.
BMY promotes this image of Islam through various projects, firmly set in our local communities. These projects find their inspiration from Islam and values and ideals found in modern day Britain. Through these projects it is visibly demonstrated that: being British and being Muslim is one in the same. These projects bring communities together and united for the pursuit of peaceful coexistence and harmony.
British Muslim Youth is set up and run totally by young people all of whom are volunteers. They do this for no financial reward, but because they are determined to build strong, resilient and integrated communities. BMY feels that more than any other group it is young people who are the most voiceless and the most under-represented. BMY seeks to provide a vehicle, which young people can use to give them a voice and representation.
BMY is an Islamic organisation but NOT a religious organisation. What we mean by this is that, whilst Islam is a religion in its traditional sense, it is also a ‘Dìn’. A very simplistic definition of ‘Dìn’ means "a way of life"; in other words Islam is a complete and total way of life. Therefore, Islam has a religious aspect to it which includes the spirituality and worshipping such as, praying the Salaah, giving charity, fasting, performing Hajj etc. However, there is an equally important Social aspect to Islam.
As an organisation, BMY believe that there are many fantastic organisations, which focus on the religious aspect of Islam; but there is a gross under-focus on the Social responsibilities that Islam promotes and orders. In the face of this vacuum promoting the social values of Islam, BMY will attempt to fill this void.
These social values, govern the role, responsibilities and obligations Muslim have to their neighbours and local communities; oblige a respect for Democracy, Human Rights, and the Rule of Law; defend religious freedom and tolerance irrespective of one's faith or non; promote the peaceful coexistence of all mankind.
When we all focus on this social aspect of Islam we learn that the BMY motto: being Muslim and being British is one in the same; has never been more true.