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    by Sunny on 9th August, 2007 at 2:12 am    

    Yesterday the Guardian’s Riazat Butt put together a particularly good edition of her weekly podcast - Islamophonic. Listen to it from here. Talking about radicalisation this week, it is a good discussion (after the first bit on Muslim Women’s helpline) on how better parenting can play a part, the role of Muslim women and how that’s changing etc. Feminist and occasional PP writer Zohra Moosa is a guest on the show and provides some good commentary.

    Why can’t Channel 4 or the BBC produce something intelligent like this?

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    5 Comments below   |  

    1. Naim Faruq — on 9th August, 2007 at 6:51 pm  

      A good listen.

      Men men men. Many Muslim men have so many problems in this day and age, take me for example, British born Muslim who has been brought up Mash’Allah in a happy and content enviroment but never got shown the love and affection that I used to see my friends get from their parents. This is however no attack on my upbringing from my parents because I envy the way they have handled settling into this country back in the late 60’s. What I notice now that my parents are grandparents, they tend to show alot more emotion and love to their grandkids, this was something I hardly ever got, the only affection they’d ever show was when I either went abroad, on Eid or when it was my birthday.

      Even now, I haven’t got that bond with my parents that I can go upto them and talk to them about anything, I even found it hard to talk to my siblings and when I would have problebs, i’d either bottle them up or speak to friends.

      For me there was no role model in my immediate family, everyone I done was down to me. I had no aspirations to going to university or even getting a job, I was you could say an example of a bum. But after leaving school, I went through some hardship but by then I learnt that I was in for the longhaul all by myself. I could have gone off the rails like alot of kids in my area, but i realised I needed to be one of the youngsters who can make a change and help the Muslims in our area.

      For me, my relationship with my father was exactly that, a father and son relationship mainly being by name. He was always at work and I was hardly ever able to build proper bond with him, it’s hard and I totally understand how youths do feel but I feel this is changing in my generation alot of parents don’t work as hard as our parents did, they take time out to interact with their children, to spend quality time together, and all this does matter, it helps make relationships so much more stronger and as a parent they want nothing better to help and do the best for their child.

      The breakdown in communication has made relationships worse with parents and their sons, ‘backward’ culture is frowned up by certainly myself, but to my parents culture is something they are very proud of and I feel sometimes with Islam they mix culture and thats when it all goes wrong. I’ve accepted that it’s very hard to change my parents set ways and the way forward is for us to be more comforting, open and show affection to our kids.

      Thats my tuppence worth.

    2. Sunny — on 10th August, 2007 at 12:29 am  

      Good on ya Naim. I know what you mean though, I’ve seen it happen plenty of times with others too. You managed to pick yourself up - that’s what matters.

    3. douglas clark — on 10th August, 2007 at 2:20 am  

      Yeah. I listened to it too. I thought the guy from Bradford (?) made better points than was allowed in the programme. I’m glad someone else, Naim even, thought so too.

      Whilst he was open to criticism, I thought his basic point about parenting was spot on. Good bloke, really.

      You are quite right about the programme values by the way. That was a high quality podcast. It should get picked up elsewhere on that basis alone. The interviewer was extremely smart.

    4. riazat butt — on 10th August, 2007 at 10:06 am  

      Hi guys, really appreciate your comments about the show. I can relate to what Naim is saying, his experience is similar to what happened in our family. I’ve noticed that my sister and brother, now parents themselves, are much more involved in their childrens lives’ by taking an interest in their homework, extra-curricular activities, having flexible working hours, taking them out at weekends. They also do stuff like cuddle their kids and read them bedtime stories, it sounds lame, but it works. My nieces and nephews adore their parents and there’s lots of affection. There’s communication too. The kids will tell their mum and dad what’s wrong, how they feel. From what I’ve seen, our friends are raising their kids in a different way. What concerns me, and again I’m referring to personal experience here, is when children become more devout and less Pakistani. Some families we know are struggling to cope with a son or daughter’s ‘rediscovery’ of Islam, whether it’s by wearing of a veil or a full length beard or sending kids to Muslim schools. This can cause conflict, in some cases it has led to families breaking up. I don’t know what this means for the bigger picture. Anyways, thanks again, and I hope future programmes are equally well received.

    5. sonia — on 10th August, 2007 at 12:24 pm  

      I agree with what Naim up there is saying - and the sad thing is i see fellow peers doing much the same thing - bringing up their kids in the same way. they will show affection to friends’ children - but not to their own ‘that would spoil them’. very victorian attitude.

      riazat - the question i would ask - and i think parents need to ask - is why are the kids getting so devout in
      the first place? what is it they are looking for? is there something in there about what an islamic identity can give them? naturally it will depend on the kid etc. but their social life/problems are very significant. if your parents are trying to get you to be ‘pakistani’ that might imply that they don’t want you to be too seemingly English, and if they’ve been trying to push somone away from that, then yes they might get a nasty shock when they find actually they’ve pushed them in the other direction. Kids need to feel accepted by their parents however they are growing up - it’s usually when they feel they are not getting that acceptance, they become susceptible - because -really we all want to belong, and find acceptance for who we are.

      too many parents simply do not want to deal with the reality of their kids lives - especially muslim parents because that is how historically it has happened - you don’t talk about who you have a crush on at school, you dont talk about your desire for a relationship etc. - in fact i guess i find it more surprising that more of us haven’t gone completely weirdo given how our lives have had to be ‘hidden’ from family and parents. i was talking about this with a girl i met at a cafe - she is now in the situation i was in a while back - her parents now know about her relationship with a non-asian non-muslim man, and she was saying how weird it is when your parents KNOW , given how you have spent so long hiding everything.

      More focus on real issues like that - would be interesting ( and less on fatwas about can we do our eyebrows, thanks!) :-)

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