Sunday, November 18, 2007

BA program in Muslim youth work

How cool is that ?! Can you imagine the long-term difference a program like this would make in our communities? Having qalified, full-time youth workers in every Islamic center and Muslim community

Although the UK and American Muslim communities are very different in some ways (ethnic background, economic status, education,...), I think both can make use of programs like this. May Allah (swt) bless your efforts brother Sadek Hamid.

Excerpts of interview with brother Sadek below:

Basically the idea for the course arose just over three years ago with my colleagues at the religious studies department at the University of Chester. They also have a Christian youth work programme running there for the last four or five years. As you know, Christian youth work is quite an established field in the UK. One of the professors on Islam was talking one day with the lecturer in Christian youth work, Richard Turner. Richard said, “Look, when I drive through Muslim communities, I see a lot of young people hanging about on corners and not getting up to much. Who's working with these Muslim young people?” That was the origin of the course. A thought and observation turned into an intention to develop something parallel to Christian youth work.

I started at the university as a doctoral student in 2004 and my own professional background is in youth work. It was great timing, alhamdulillah, in that sense. It has taken us to where we are today, in terms of having a fully accredited BA undergraduate programme which is the first and the only one of its kind in the UK. As far as we're aware, it's the only one in the world.

I think the biggest challenge is that not so much a resistance to youth work as having a religious perspective, it's actually an understanding of youth work itself and what it can do for a community's young people. I think apathy is probably the biggest challenge we face in that people – not only parents but young people themselves. At the moment, our community is in the state of – it's a mixed bag, isn't it? I mean we do have, no doubt, the second or third generation, we have an element that's very successful, that's integrated, that's confident, vibrant – it's moving on and making a contribution to society.

Full interview at altmuslim

(Hat tip: Muslim Recovery)


Anonymous said...

I am sorry but this idea is kinda unsettling to me i dont want to be "socialised" institutionally into islam. The beauty of islam is that it is for all time and peoples came to an unlettered profit to promote. Institutionalizing the love of helping and volunteering in the name of Islam only for the purposes of gain or whatever makes

Huda Shaka` said...

Anonymous, I think you might have misunderstood the purpose of the program. It it not meant to institutionalize Islam, but rather to produce social workers who are qualified to deal with the issues of Muslim youth.

Anonymous said...

sorry i didnt realise my comment was cut in half ..well just to finish ...i think creating a BA program basically makes it harder to volunteer for the sheer love of voluntering for the sake of Allah(saw),...i am in non profit .industry..and just feel that everything is sooo specialized have have a certain type of degree for everything ..and if you studied in some other field in university when you were 18 then too bad... you will have to pay for the couses be a "licenced" professional ..waste time ( lets be honest most of the stuff yo can be trained for).and then before you know it we will have someone at the top of some social heirarchy telling us what islam is and isnt ....i know i sound... whats the word a conspiracy nut .....but i recently heard the ISNA provides ....shahada certificates ..whish i soo dont agree with ... i am digressing .....but this new form of north american Islam though certainly has is good points .....but some ideas are not as well thought out as others..sorry for going on soo long ..and excuse my spelling :)