Who are British Muslim Youth?

We are a group made up of like-minded members who are driven and motivated to build a Britain where people, irrespective of their race, religion, culture, sex and creed, live in peace and harmony with one another. We actively challenge the idea that Islam and a modern democratic system cannot coexist with one another peacefully. Our projects find their inspiration from traditional Islamic teachings and values; and these same values are also found in modern British values. This is how we demonstrate and practically reject the so-called “clash of civilisations” narrative between Islam and the West, which is pushed by fringe extremist groups.

Why choose the name British Muslim Youth?

We have chosen the name “British Muslim Youth” because that is our identity as an organisation. Our members are all proud Britons, who call Britain their home and are active members of civil society, hence the inclusion of the word “British”.

The word “Muslim” represents the fact that we are an Islamic organisation. The key motivation of this organisation is to promote the true teachings of Islam as practised by over 1.5 billion Muslims around the globe; the teaching of peace, tolerance, religious freedom for all and unity. We want to reclaim the distorted and misrepresented understanding of Islam from extremist and radical Muslim groups who carry out the most awful and heinous of crimes, in the name of their religion.

The term “Youth” denotes the fact that this organisation is all about young people. From top to bottom young people run it. We feel that more than any other group it is young people who are the most voiceless and the most under-represented. Therefore, we seek to provide a vehicle, which young people can use to give them a voice and representation.

Are you a religious organisation?

We are 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 Muslims 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 truer.

It must be noted that whilst we do not “preach” or give “Dawah” in its traditional understanding, because we take inspiration for the work we do from our faith, invariably we have to consult and take advise from leading Islamic scholars, theologians and luminaries. To this end, our understanding of Islam and its values and teachings that we promote are shaped by scholars (to name a few) such as:

  • Shaykh-ul-Islam Professor Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
  • Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
  • Shaykh Muhammad Abul Huda al-Yaqoubi
Is your organisation just for Muslims?

The simple answer is: No. We accept members from all faiths and none. The only caveat is that they must share our values and work towards achieving our aims and objectives. We do not hide the fact that we are an Islamic organisation. After all, our primary purpose is to promote the real teachings of Islam. However, we do not believe it can be, nor should it be, just Muslims who work alone to bring about this positive change. There is no be better way of showing that Islam promotes peace, equality, freedom and tolerance for ALL than having Muslims and non-Muslims being the living embodiment of these ideals.

Is your organisation just for the youth?

Our primary target market is young people. This is about giving them a voice and getting them involved in a positive group that will in turn help them with their careers and life moving forward. However, how do we define who is young, or who is a youth? You cannot really define this, as it is so subjective. Therefore, the term youth is more symbolic and we intend to use it lucidly. If you are motivated by a desire to champion our values, committed to achieving our goals, then you are welcome to become a member whether you are 16 or 60. A person who is motivated to make a positive change and is passionate about making us a success, is a “youth” in our eyes. We do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of his or her age.

Was your group set up solely for public recognition?

Everything we do is to work towards achieving our aims and objectives. In the course of our work we have got public recognition and a media following. However, this is purely a by-product and is not the reason why we do what we do. We want our organisation to make real and tangible change at a grassroots level. We want to change people’s lives for the better. Britain is the most tolerant, multi-cultural and diverse country in the world and we want it to stay that way. There are undeniable tensions simmering between Muslim and non-Muslim communities in parts of the country. Our aim is to eradicate those tensions by doing active work in our local communities. We have no intention of being a group who are available for media sound bites but do little or no work at the grassroots.

How do I become a member?

If you are interested please contact us either through our Facebook page or send us an email on info@britishmuslimyouth.org.uk. We will then send you an application form and we will proceed from there. In addition to this, you can also fill in the details on the ‘Contact Us’ section, which would also enable us to receive your query.

How often, as a member, will I need to be active?

We ask all members to provide a commitment for a minimum of two hours a week. That can be for participating in the projects we do, doing fundraising for the organisation or attending meetings when required.

Can women be involved?

Yes. In fact we want women to get involved more so than men because there is an absurd view held by some people that Islam is repressive to woman, that Islam views women to be less equal or inferior to men, that women have no rights within Islam. All these ideas are wrong and unfortunate. We reject them in their totality. We can only challenge this narrative if we have active female members who are out there challenging these myths and stereotypes. We actively promote female participation in our organisation. Even at the highest level of our organisation, on our head council we have a number of seats reserved specifically for female members, as they are an integral part of our organisation.

Do I have to only work on the projects you provide or can I suggest ideas?

You are free to suggest and come up with new projects, and this is encouraged. If you have an idea, you can draw up an action plan outlining what the project is, what it aims to achieve, and the resources needed to get the project underway etc and forward that onto the head council. If the project champions our values and furthers our aims and objectives, and we have the resources to run the project, there is very little reason why the project would not receive a green light.

Can I lead a project within your organisation, once I become a member?

Yes you can. Please see our response to the question: Do I have to only work on the projects you provide or can suggest I ideas?

Are you politically supported?

We are not affiliated to any political party.

Do you receive Government funding?

To date we have not received a single penny from either national or local government or affiliated agencies. Going forward we do not have any attention of sourcing this sort of state funding. We are an independent organisation that has its own vision and we will not pursue a path that could cause us to be potentially boxed in or asked to adjust our beliefs and values.

How do you fund what you do?

Everything we have done to date has been funded through a combination of the following:

  • Membership Fee;
  • Donations from businesses who value and see the positive work we do;
  • Fundraisers for our organisation; and
  • Members dipping into their own pocket, without reimbursement when finances have been stretched.

No individual involved in our organisation receives any reward financially or otherwise, neither directly nor indirectly. We are a voluntary organisation and all of our members are volunteers.

Do you help other organisations?

We are currently working with different organisation on various initiatives, and we have done so in the past. We have every intention of working with like minded organisation in the future whilst working towards achieving our aims and objectives. We are well aware of the enormity of the task before us, but we strive to succeed. We do not believe for one second that we alone can help change the society we live in. It is going to require a collective effort from all those who want to make change. If your organisation is interested with us then please feel to contact us.

What are your plans for the future?

We want to be a mass membership organisation as this is how we believe that we can have a real mandate to speak on issues, which are of concern to British Muslims. As we grow we want to increase awareness of our values across the country and work towards fulfilling our aims and objectives. We want to make real tangible and positive change to how Muslim and non-Muslims integrate and work with one another.

Are you solely based in Rotherham?

No we are not just based in Rotherham, as we are a national organisation. British Muslim Youth evolved from what was previously known as the Rotherham Muslim Youth, which was solely based in Rotherham. This is why we have a real strong presence in Rotherham and all the work we have done to date has been in Rotherham. We are now driving our message and successful model across the country and our aim is to have a grassroots presence in every town and city across Britain.

I am not from Rotherham, can I still become a member?

Yes you can. Please contact us and we will discuss how we can get British Muslim Youth actively working in your local community.