Reality Check People!

Somewhere along the lines, we've decided that it's not our responsibility. We've decided that there's simply too much in life to handle, so we've given up. Smart and strong Muslims have retreated into their private self-study of Islam, forgetting that our religion is one of lived practice. They're ok with not educating themselves about issues, or if they are aware of them, shutting their eyes and moving on. It's not their problem to deal with.

Sisters and brothers, our community has a serious case of apathy. For those who are unaware of what this term means, here's the definition:

Apathy (noun): indifference or lack of interest towards important issues.

Good. Now that we're on the same page, I can hammer out the rest of this entry, since it's been bugging the heck out of me for a while.

Muslims have forgotten that we are human. Either that or Islam apparently defends believers from all the vices in life. But that doesn't explain the myriad of issues our community is facing and the lack of cohesiveness among us to actually DO something about them.

SubhanAllah, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) spent his entire LIFE dedicated to his community. And I don't just mean sending money overseas and paying 2.5% Zakat once a year before Eid. I mean, get out there and DO something! And I also don't mean attend more courses or lectures without implementing what you learn, since we're already so good at that. There's actual work to be done out there...there's homeless shelters, food banks, kids without adult mentors in their lives, single mothers with government income, teens who are confused, etc etc. Instead of sitting back and saying "MashaAllah, great initiative, but I'm too busy", do something for once!

Because here's what's currently happening. The SAME people are putting over 100% of their energy and time into causes they believe in. And it's a very small group. These people are burning out not only with community work, but with their full-time jobs. And their family lives too! Yet as the needs increase, they're not being met. And these same faces are the ones that show up at initiatives over and over again.

For goodness sake, the rest of the community needs to get some courage, suck it up and move into action! Muslims barely volunteer their time within Calgary initiatives, let alone address their own community needs. Instead we dilly dally, act unprofessional and disorganized, create fancy acronyms, and have petty arguments over issues that aren't worth arguing about. We seriously need to pull ourselves together.

And then we expect people such as Mayor Naheed Nenshi to show up at our events and support us? Yeah right.

I'm not asking us all to climb Mount Everest. All I'm saying is take a step. SHOW UP at events that you don't normally attend. VOLUNTEER Calgary OUTSIDE of the Muslim community. TALK about issues that we're facing and educate others. RESPOND to people when they ask for your input and help instead of ignoring their pleas like they don't exist. And STOP complaining about how things are done if you aren't willing to get off your tush and do something yourself.

If you need some inspiration to get that blood flowing, try these out for size:
  • Check out
  • Organize focus groups to create an ACTION PLAN (not solely for chit-chatting) about community initiatives that excite you
  • Volunteer your time at your child's school
  • Sign up to be a mentor with Big Brother Big Sister
  • Learn about issues facing Muslims. SIX of us were trained in ISSA's Counselling Muslims in North America course in Winnipeg and we are hungry to share the information. JUST ASK!
  • If you learn something from a course or conference, share it. I badly want to know that those thousands of people who attended the One Ummah Conference this year are going to do with their knowledge.
And lastly, watch the following trailer and you'll see what a small community has done and continues to do (GO WINNIPEG!)


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