Centre of Culture and Civilisations is a charity based in Birmingham, UK that has the objective of educating the various communities in the United Kingdom about Muslims, Islam and the contributions of the faith to civilisations and its influences on mainstream society. The goal is to encourage the formulation of informative opinions abo
Centre of Culture and Civilisations is a charity based in Birmingham, UK that has the objective of educating the various communities in the United Kingdom about Muslims, Islam and the contributions of the faith to civilisations and its influences on mainstream society. The goal is to encourage the formulation of informative opinions about the religion which could lead to the public taking a more positive stance or, at the very least, neutral. Furthermore, we aim to contravene the constant misrepresentation of the faith by different entities and individuals with obscure motives.
Biased journals and books get published regularly presenting Islam as an attack on the lifestyle of Western countries, as needing to be reformed or as a religion to be left in the Middle East. Subsequently, we intend to work towards challenging these perspectives by providing content, research and literature produced by qualified researchers and experts in the field of Islam and Muslims. This will directly impact the academic world by demonstrating how, throughout history, nations that successfully implemented the Islamic teachings always had the best interest of the community at heart and the protection of morality. As a consequence, it will encourage academic researchers to engage with our work, which could lead to better critically analysed topics and reduction of bias.
With the rise of incidents in schools where pupils are prevented from offering Salah by teachers and girls are mocked for wearing the hijab by their peers, we want to provide educational institutions from primary to university level with exhibitions, workshops and presentations delivered by representative members of the organization covering different elements of Islam as well as misconceptions. Due to the nature of children and young people, interactivity will be at the core of the services offered to this audience. Raising awareness about Islamic concepts among teachers and students will directly cause more favourable interactions between Muslim children and their non-Muslim classmates and teachers and lead to the accommodation of their daily practises such as the prescribed Salawat.
Additionally, there is the issue of being a minority within a minority. To be Muslim but be white, black or any other ethnic group in the UK where the Islamic heritage has predominantly south-Asian roots, can be difficult for many because it fails to give them a sense of belonging as people appear to be connected by ethnic backgrounds, nationalities or caste systems. To stand in front of a mosque and see the name of a particular ethnic group at the top of the entrance automatically excludes those that do not belong to it. In the case of many reverts, the moment they choose to make the transition into Islam, they are seen as foreigners among their own families because they tend to pick up cultural practices of ethnic groups predominantly Muslim and, somehow, putting a side the identity that they used to have. Many second generation Muslims born and raised in the UK appear to connect with other Muslims based on faith rather than ethnicity. Consequently, there is need for work that will push for Islam to be present here in the west free from imported cultural practices but exploring the cultural elements of the countries we reside in and reflecting the diversity of the community. Hence, we will be delivering work that looks into racism and social justice from the perspective of Islam. The key to being sustainable in the west for future generations is the implementation of Islam based on shared common cultural elements within the diverse makeup of the Muslim community in these areas.
On the other hand, far-right groups have become increasingly more present in politics across the globe in recent years. Some of which have comfortably participated in fearmongering and have publicly shared ideas that have, at times, led to minorities being attacked and justifications for such actions being acceptable. Hence, part of our w
On the other hand, far-right groups have become increasingly more present in politics across the globe in recent years. Some of which have comfortably participated in fearmongering and have publicly shared ideas that have, at times, led to minorities being attacked and justifications for such actions being acceptable. Hence, part of our work is to invite members of political parties to be responsible with their positions and engage with the different parties by organizing presentations and talks surrounding those topics that dominate the political narrative at the time. The potential outcome of such work is the influence of bills and policies in the country that guarantee Muslims being able to practice the fundamentals of the religion, and also increased interest among politicians in wanting to involve Muslims in discussions about potential life changing policies.
Lastly, our services will also benefit the general public who are the constant target of the misinformation being spread through well known newspaper outlets across the country. By holding events and workshops in public libraries or town halls, we will provide the public with the tools necessary to make judgements about the truthfulness of newspaper articles or, at least, lead them to always being critical of the news they read or see. In addition, we will also create exhibitions where different topics in relation to different sciences involving Islam such as medicine, arts, civilisations and other fields are explored, and the community can come to learn and experience different aspects of the religion and its influences in today’s society. This will grant easy access to knowledge about Islam and Muslims, which would lead the audience to be selective with the information they consume and, possibly, turn away from outlets that fail to report in an objective manner.
Our mission, ultimately, is to remove the irrational fear that exist in the west about Islam and Muslims by providing enough tools to the entirety of the community so that they are able to formulate opinions based on knowledge rather than ignorance. We want to prevent ignorant narratives from taking centre stage while potentially affecting the wellbeing of Muslims and threatening our future in western countries. Our dedication is to protect people’s right to be and live as Muslim without fear of discrimination, while also encouraging cordial and respectful relations with the rest of society by opening doors for meaningful discussions to take place. Raising awareness is the way to combating all forms of racism and discrimination that exists. That which is unknown tends to be feared, but the more it is exposed, the more harmless it appears.