Channel: Bilal Philips
© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.
humbler Herradura Alameen wa Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah Karim. Wala Ali was Hobie mangostana bissonnet Here laomi Deen or praise due to Allah and melas peace and blessings be on the last prophet muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, and all those who follow the path of righteousness until the last day.
The topic as has been introduced to you, in the more formal title is informally known as gang busting. This is the topic of the actual lecture is called gang busting busting the gang. So, this topic, as you can imagine, deals with fundamentally, the phenomenon of the rise of gangs amongst Muslims, were Muslim Muslims, youth youth have killed each other,
something which is unthinkable from an Islamic perspective. Yes, we have warring nations, but within a nation were young people will engage in violence to the point where they're killing each other, is something unwritten in the history of the Muslim world.
So this phenomena is a natural product of an existing phenomena of gangs in North America anyway.
And Muslims have fallen into this trap.
And as such, it is something which we have to worry about.
Though it seems to be focused or concentrated in the Somali community, there are many from other Muslim communities, whether it's Afghan Pakistani, in the Arab, Egyptian etc, communities who are have joined in are engaged and caught up in this cycle of violence. So as Muslims, we have a responsibility to understand this phenomena, and to work out ways and means of correcting it. How do we go about correcting it after knowing what the problem is? Then how do we go about correcting it? Well, if we look at it from the perspective of the children or the youth, because we have two perspectives to look at, one, that of the youth and the parents, because the youth are products of
families, they have come out of families. So we need to look at those families, as well as we need to look at the youth themselves.
If we start with the youth,
we can see that there are particular phases, which youth go through
when they join a gang.
They don't just wake up one morning and decide I'm going to be a gangster.
It is a process that they go through a gradual process. There are three basic stages.
The first stage,
and that stage occurs with youngsters between the ages of seven and nine.
This is the stage known as interest and admiration,
interest and admiration.
And, of course, the what it's what we're talking about interest in what it is seeing those who are gang members.
Successful in the sense that they have money, they have prestige, they have big cars, fast cars, fancy dress, the latest Nike, Jordan boots, wherever they have all the symbols of success, at least from the wrap
the DVD video world I mean from that world, and these individuals become for those young people between seven and nine heroes
They are looked at as heroes, they have made it
in spite of the system they have made it.
Now, there are symptoms that parents need to know, and to watch out for. Because when kids begin this phase,
they will have certain changes in their behavior.
And parents need to know it. If parents don't know what's going on, then it will just come at them all of a sudden, they will just find their son in a gang and wonder how did this happen? Because they had no consciousness of how the gang
mentality evolves. So what are the signs,
there's the one of the signs is school problems in school.
And that seven to eight, seven to nine year age
range. There are already problems in school problems with teachers, problems with other students, you know, problems which
you in growing up never experienced
at home, even though they're between seven and nine,
you will start to find some defiance of authority.
defiance of authority, they're not following your instructions. You know, they're resisting
family instructions by the elders in the family.
They bedtimes don't want to go to bed at the times that have been set, they're wanting to stay up later. And then you also find possibly a certain amount of detachment from some of the members of the family, they will start to detach themselves.
associate much with certain members of the family. And
they seem to be wanting to be alone more.
So this is the stage of interest and admiration.
Once you see this happening,
as a parent, then you need help. You need to seek help,
something is happening,
you don't really know how to deal with it.
You are in a difficult situation, because you're limited as to what you can do. The amount of time that you have to spend with the children is limited. Because both you and your wife are working or whatever.
So it's something that's beyond your ability to just handle by yourself. You might think yeah, I can take care of it, I can handle it. But no, you need professional help.
As the first thing to realize, recognize that you need help. If you recognize that you can get help, then it is possible to overcome this stage catch things at the beginning stages before they go beyond your ability, even with help to do anything.
And such young people
maybe helped through group therapy, sitting them down with other young people at the same age and discussing the kind of things that are on their minds, and trying to clarify for them that what they're seeing as being attractive and, you know, flashy and success, etc, that it really isn't, you know, to try to get them back on track to have a proper view of the realities of life and also to educate them to substance abuse. Because they are that's the next stage once they get past seven to nine they start to ease into 10 to 13 the next phase, then substance abuse is going to be a common factor. So we have to get them sufficient information that they will know to reject this when it is
offered to them etc. Otherwise
They will engage in these practices without you knowing it. And once they get into another track, it's very very difficult to bring them back.
Also, at that in this stage here, it is good for parents who have similar problems to come together and share. So, they have what they call parenting groups, parents who have children who are at risk like this and they can discuss different strategies with the help of psychologists, psychotherapists, etc, in to guide the parents in dealing with the situation. And of course,
what is missing from this picture here is the relationship between that child and Islam.
Obviously, something has gone wrong.
The Islamic connection is missing.
Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu wasallam had instructed us to teach our children Salah by the time they're seven Alima hola como Salah be saba.
They should know Salah Noah Salah meaning not just they know how to do you know the motions, the movements?
What we call monkey Sala, right? They just monkey see monkey do right? It's what they say. Right? So you just they just go through as you do they just go through the movement. No, we're not talking about that. Because the Sahaba
withdrawn, Laura Lim
informed us that there were amongst them, those who lead their whole community in Salah at the age of six.
There were six years old, and they lead the whole community in Salah. Why because they knew the most Quran.
They knew they had memorize the most Quran. And that's what Prophet Muhammad SAW Solomon said that the one who lead knows the most Quran is the one who should lead the Salah. So they haven't known the most, and of course, known what is will do and what breaks will do and what to do when you break will do in Salah and all the different things that are connected with it, it just doesn't mean they just memorize the Quran, they need to know all the things that for an imam of the Salah, you would need to know you made a mistake make to sujood right. So Judah so they know about all of that.
They were doing that at the age of six.
So, that kind of knowledge of Salah
and that knowledge should be connected with
a consciousness of Allah subhanho wa Taala
that they know that the prayer is not in order to please their parents because this is one of the mistakes that tends to happen. In that early stage when the children between three and six,
where personalities are developed, that we inadvertently train them to pray in order to please us.
And this is something which may be natural. at three years old. The child sees you standing to pray. So he or she stands in praise along with you. And you say Masha Allah, it really touches your heart. It touches the hearts of others around you. It's impressive. The child sees that you are impressed by it, you're happy with it. So the child will do it again.
And anytime you know they they want to get attention. That's all they have to do. You will be sitting there and talking with your friends and they'll just come out and
everybody Masha Allah, ha ha look at that. Look at that.
Something very impressive. But at the same time, if we allow that to just grow as it is, then the child identifies pleasing parents with this act. And so they will do it merely to please the parents
as they grow older with a better consciousness, but they're still thinking, my parents will be happy when I do this, if I want something, I want to, you know, if they're upset with me, I just need to go and do this. And everybody backs off, you know, this becomes a powerful tool in their hands, right? So we need to connect them with the idea that this worship is not to please parents. It is to please Allah, why are parents pleased? They're pleased because Allah is pleased.
That's why we need to get them back to Allah, they are seeing us, but we need to get them to understand that ultimately it is Allah that is pleased. And that is what is important. Because that way, even when we're not around, they will pray. Because they know it is a law that they're pleasing. But if they only know they're pleasing us, when we're not around, they won't pray. They will only pray when we're around. So we will be pleased. Right? And this, in fact, is the essence of RIA.
What Padma sallam said,
Allah Almighty, the most thing which I fear the most for my OMA
a shackle huffy hidden shark.
So this, while on one hand is natural for the little children to do, we have to nurture it, we have to develop it, and we have to give it real meaning. But of course, that goes back to the parents themselves, you know, if for them, so Allah is just a duty they do. As Muslims, we're supposed to do it. So we do it, you know, maybe we do it on time, maybe we don't do it on time. Maybe we only do it on Fridays, you only do it on Ramadan, you know, we have all these other kinds of things. If our Salah is that way, then what is going to happen to the children, there will be no chance for us to elevate that consciousness because we are not ourselves good examples. So first and foremost, for us
to be able to nurture that consciousness, we ourselves have to be clear about our prayers
that we are truly praying to please Allah subhanho wa taala. We're not praying as a cultural ritual.
It is a part of Islam. Muslims pray five times a day. So we pray five times a day. So we take prayer, the kind of prayer that many times in the Middle East, where I'm based, you know, and involved in Dawa, to non Muslims. They will say to me, you know, our manager, or director, our supervisor, we see him praying all the time, he prays to her, he prays us, he prays, Margaret, you know, he's always going there. First, they're praying,
but he cheats us.
He needs us. It doesn't give us our proper wages. You know, he makes us work overtime without paying us, you know, all these different bad things.
So they say well, what is the value of that prayer?
What kind of prayer is that? And I have to agree with them. Allahu
Allah knows best. What is the value of that prayer? Because Allah clearly said in the Salah, tada and the fascia will mugger Salah prevents evil speech and evil deeds. So how could somebody be so conscientious in their prayer, and at the same time, be oppressing the people that Allah has put them in charge of
this contradictory it doesn't make sense. It must mean now that there's something wrong with the prayer but wrong something wrong with their prayer.
There's something wrong with their prayer. They are not praying the prayer which was sooner law Salah Salem taught
they're praying as we talked about before the monkey prayer right. Monkey See Monkey do okay they do it.
But what is inside the prayer, which is supposed to change a person's attitudes, his
Eman his emotions, control his tongue control his actions
while looking at this first stage
Interested in admin, I'm duration for the seven to nine years.
We need help externally. But we also need to work internally because, you know, external help, this is the last resort.
If we have our program in order,
then we wouldn't be faced with this.
So it means that something is wrong, we have to correct up what is inside, and we get help from the outside. So the combined effort, inshallah can bring about change the second level.
That is called the introductory level, that's for the 10 to 13 year olds. In this stage, the gang seeing these young youngsters who are admiring, they've reached that age now, they give them small jobs to do, which makes them feel more attached to the gang.
They give them the job of looking out for the cops, you know, they're the lookouts, they pass the word along, cops are coming.
So whatever bad stuff they're doing, they know they have to stop shift, whatever, they're the lookouts. They'd give them that type of job.
How to know when the children in this age group are involved in such types of activities, they have now become linked to the gang,
you will see changes in their routines,
they'll start coming home later than they normally come,
you will see a change in their friends, the friends who they used to bring over to the house and so on. So you start to see a different kind of friend, they don't look the same as the other ones, the other ones looked a little more innocent. This is now starting to look a bit, you know, shady,
you find they become secretive. They have secrets they don't want you to know about.
They stay up late at night, you find them very irritable.
They have anger issues, getting really upset parents.
And they try to keep parents away from their room, they want to lock the door in the room, they want their own lock on the room, nobody goes in the room except for them.
And some of them are able to actually control their parents, they try to gain control over their parents in this stage.
They control the parents by
to do things that would embarrass the parents or whatever. And so the parents will go along with what they want to do, let them stay out later. Let them do this, let them do that. Keep them happy. Just try to keep them happy.
So parents caught up in this keeping your kids happy. So they don't get real angry. And they don't say things that you don't want to hear it and all these kind of things. They have now gained control over the parents through that.
Of course in this period of time, too. If you see them coming in with their eyes read
these are the signs. There's smoking,
smoking pot, marijuana Asheesh that's what's happening. That's why what where the red dye is coming from. So you gotta be careful about that you see your kids walking in with red eyes, then you know you have big problems on your hands. Big problems.
At this stage here, definitely you need help. The group therapy is not enough. They will need to sit down with
psychotherapists and others who can talk them through walk them through what they're going through to help get them back on track.
One of the things that you can do in this stage here is
is when they don't realize it, you can check their pockets, you know as parents who checked their pockets, because when they have reached this stage, they start to become a bit disoriented, disorganized. And although they will try to hide their stuff, you know, they will slip up and you will find it in their pockets, things that shouldn't be there. And these will be the science
You know that you definitely need to go and get help.
And, of course, we said this is just a, this is the transition stage now into the full membership between 14 and 21. This is when they become now full members of the gang.
And at this time, you'll see them sleeping out, you're not sleeping at home anymore, they're hanging out, coming back. After days, they've been absent for so many days, they break all the curfew is that you set their drink grades have dropped, if they're still in school, their grades drop, and you'll find them dropping out of school, they don't want to study anymore. Finished, this time they'll openly threaten parents stand up to them, this open rebellion is happening in the home now. And they will threaten to move out, some of them will even move out. And of course, it will be big tragedy, the pump families upset No, come back don't go and you know, they will
pressurize the family to accept them. Maybe they pressurize to accept them to smoke dope in the house. You have power parents who allow their children. So what else to do otherwise he's gonna go they allow him to go and smoke in the hole.
And what happens of course, there are younger kids in the house. They're just seeing this person that you've just sealed their fate.
You know, you think you're saving the bigger one. But in fact, you're destroying the smaller ones.
So there's a point here, where in terms of dealing with this, where you have individual who insists that he wants or she wants to smoke dope in the home, this is the point where you have to say, my Salama you have to put your foot down my Salama and
go, because you want to protect the rest of your home. If you don't have the authority to maintain, you know, a clean home,
then you're finished. All the other kids will fall into the same situation now, definitely these youths if you're able to intervene, they need to enter into substance abuse programs. You know, where they have courses if they realize if they hit rock bottom, if they've if you've kicked them out of the house, you know, and they come crawling back because life out in the street is not so easy, didn't really work out whatever, you know, they want to change at that point. Yeah, substance abuse programs can help them.
Of course, this is where the mosque plays a big role we should have them involved in the activities of the masjid, this is where we need to have youth programs in the masjid especially for this age group. Because they are the most at risk. And we need to find for them jobs because most of them have dropped out of school etc. We need to have some jobs available for them to reestablish themselves in the community find a base for themselves is very, very important. We have many Muslims who have businesses etc. And this is where the community needs to know who has these various businesses and be able to process the children though the youth You know, in this stage, who are at
least trying to pull themselves back together and get themselves back on track. You know, there are jobs available for them where they can engage themselves in hold some alternatives to that lifestyle. So basically we're looking at trying to provide for them alternatives. And it's not about just Okay, let's give them a you know, a scholarship to Medina who come to the Imam Well, can you please write the recommendation for so and so this guy's just a druggie you know, his gang member you sending him off to Medina, what do you think he's gonna go and do in Medina? He think he's all of a sudden gonna become an angel, you know, you know, the land of the sahaba. So now he's, you
know, he's gonna go over there and do it there too. Because there is dope there. Yes, as quiet as it's kept. There is dope in Medina.
You know, God, we don't see it. Normally you go through I mean, I, I was there for a good you know, six years and I never saw it. But I but we heard about it. It is there. If you're looking for it, you'll find it. So that young person the solution for him or her is not to try to pack them off and send them off to some other place and this is what parents are typically doing. You know, they put them in a dresser, you know, okay, they can't seem to Medina. Medina won't accept them for this reason or that, okay, we find them a dresser here, local Ajax or wherever, you know, put them in there. Again, it's just chaos. This is not the solution is not the solution.
The addresses are not the place
for troubled youths, actually, this has been a tradition in the Muslim community, especially in, in the Indo Pakistani continent, you know, where the people who go to my dresses are the kids who are failing? Who are, you know, troublesome to the parents and that they can't get them into university. Okay, put them into my dresser.
And so what you do, is that the are these kids go there, the bad kids? And the people in the madressa? Are the kids from the generation before?
And what do they do?
They will beat the kids, you know, in the best of the mattresses, you find them twisting the kids ears and twisting their arms and kicking them and all kinds of stuff going on. And
I'm sure you have enough witnesses here who could put up their hand and say, I have been abused in my dresser.
And you as adults, you know, you've been there. You know what happened to you? This is a this is actually a huge problem
that we need to tackle.
We need to tackle it. It's not a solution, or we need to correct it. Because actually those who go into the madrasa because they're going to become teachers of the Quran.
They should be the cream.
They should be the cream, they should be the best. They're the ones who should be going to the madrasa. So when they come out as the best, they will give the best. But when you're putting in the worst, the dregs, the bottom of the barrel, this is what you put in a dresser, you know, as they say, in the computer world. Garbage in, garbage out.
Yes, he may be called Maulana, but he was garbage in. And yes, he is garbage out. So all kinds of things happen.
This is not the solution. We do need to tackle this problem, which is a global problem which Muslims face today. You know, so we have to tackle the gang from the earliest stages
before it reaches this level,
once they've become full members,
in many cases, there are lost cases. That's it. There is no bringing them back.
It's just picking up their body from the morgue
and burying them
so we don't want to reach that stage. We don't want to be in that position. So, we have to tackle this problem right from the very beginning.
on the other hand,
also has to be worked on on the parental level.
Because the basic elements for gangsterism exists amongst the adults.
They may not call them selves.
Gang members are gangsters.
They may not call themselves this.
they display all of the traditional features of gang membership and gang administrators administration that the smaller version among the use display.
So, if we look on the family level
of parents, we can find elements of of
the drug problems in the community.
may be popular. This is from Yemeni Somali, Kenyan communities where people
have these leaves that they chew which have been identified by Muslim scholars as intoxicants as haram
but it's become a widespread practice. You know those who are involved in it. When you see
them with this
in their mouth, you know. And if they're experts, they're doing it from both sides.
in certain parts of the Muslim world have become a norm
in parts of Yemen, Somalia, Kenya, this is a norm Djibouti.
People don't even question it.
It's openly sold, openly utilized.
This is a drug.
If it's this is in the family.
If it's in the family, then what are we going to expect amongst the youth?
This is the breeding grounds.
Also, we do have in Muslim families, those who are engaged in taking alcohol, drinking alcohol, parents, usually father's taking alcohol. So if that is a practice in the family, what are you going to expect from the youth? And cigarettes? Of course, cigarettes have not been looked at in the same light. You know, people say, well, it's just my crew. You have people saying it's my crew. You know, not haram is just mcru disliked. If you don't do it, you're rewarded. But if you do it no sin, no.
Smoking cigarettes is haram.
It is a sin.
Without a shadow of a doubt.
Yes, 500 years ago,
scholars in the Ottoman Empire when looking at the effects of tobacco.
On those who used it concluded that it was Makrooh. They did.
Because the effects that they could see from it, the bad effects
only included bad breath.
That smoking cigarettes produced the smokers breath today we have sprays and tablets and gum that he chewed to try to hide it. But in those days, there was nothing so when you smoke, you just had that bad breath. So
according to the Sharia, where Prophet Muhammad wa salam had said, Whoever eats raw garlic, raw onions should not come to our mosques.
Meaning that the 25 to 27 times additional benefits you would get from praying in the masjid is lost.
So this must be something more crude. It's going to prevent you from getting those additional rewards.
Prohibited because in the end of our salads, we say what Salam aleikum wa rahmatullah.
Now, if you've been eating your garlic and you're,
you're hurting your brother,
your sister, you know, so, stay home, pray at home instead. Okay, so this is what they made as a basis for concluding it was mcru.
But in the 70s, after
15 years of struggle with the cigarette companies, evidence was already produced from back in the 60s, that smoking was connected to cancer. But the big cigarette companies had bought out scientists and doctors were saying these, these evidences are not conclusive. We are not certain It could mean other things. And they were just double talking their way through for 15 years. Finally, the evidence became so overwhelming that no scientist who had any kind of honor, would dare to say this connection wasn't there. The Surgeon General of the US declared that smoking causes cancer. This is conclusive. All cigarette companies are now forced to put warnings on their cigarette boxes, in old
pictures of lungs and all kinds of stuff to that people know this thing causes cancer. And for us, we know cancer of the lungs cancer causes death. So scholars, when that became a fact,
scholars whose Fick was living Fick and not fossilized Fick
then re looked at the evidences.
and drew from the Quran and from the Sunnah, the statements of Allah subhanaw taala where he said wala taco Tolu Fusa calm do not kill yourselves. We'll call the ID Camila Toluca. And do not throw yourselves with your own hands into destruction.
Do not destroy yourself.
So these evidences combined with the statement of the Prophet sallallahu wasallam, that whoever kills himself in this life will find himself in the next life in hell, killing himself forever.
Over and over again.
All of this put together led the scholars to conclude that smoking was haram without a shadow of a doubt.
And the arguments of those who try to defend it, saying, Well, not everybody who smokes, gets cancer. In fact, in Ripley's Believe it or not, the Chinese woman who lived the longest in the world woman who lived to the oldest age, something like 130 years, whatever.
They asked her what her secret was, she said, I smoked a cigar every day.
Okay, she smoked a cigar every day. And she lived the longest. So they say,
How can you say this is? Suicide, you're killing ourselves. For the point is, this is just Allahu Akbar. That's all it is, is Allahu Akbar. That something which normally killing everybody else, this woman lives to 130 in spite of it, right? It's just to show that Allah is greater he is the one who determines when people die.
But we do not in the Sharia, make rulings according to the exception.
We make rulings according to the general rule. This is how we operate. So if you go back to Ripley's Believe it or not, they also have their an individual who jumped out of an airplane at 40,000 feet, pulled his ripcord no parachute, pull his emergency, no parachute, hit the ground and still lived to talk about it.
He may have broken almost every bone in his body.
But he survived it. Okay, so now, are you ready to jump out of the airplane without a parachute?
Right? Of course, nobody's gonna do that. Because we don't think that way. We realize that he was an exception, and we don't make a rule about him. We just say Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. So smoking causes cancer. Cancer causes death. So smoking is haram.
So if we are going to be smoking in the house, we are providing a foundation for our children.
They see you smoking, smoking cigarettes,
gonna want to smoke, they'll smoke cigarettes, and eventually their liquor to marijuana, and whatever else people are smoking.
Also, in the family, we find the roots of gangsterism and gangs, in the cultural teachings where the family will give precedence to the culture over Islam.
Islam says one thing, but the culture says something else.
And even though the kids may have come across, they've gone to the masjid they heard this is haram or whatever they come and they tell their parents I said, No, no, no, it's okay. You know, back home, we do it this way. This is our way. So this is the practice of the gang. The gang has its own set of rules. It doesn't abide by the general rules. So this is the
foundation for gang thinking. Also, you find in the families that are creating this gang mentality, their sole concern, when they want to listen to the news, for example, they will only turn on the news for their country.
You don't realize what you're doing. You know, if every time you turn on the TV, you only turn it on to Egypt. That's audience rejection. So you turn it on just for Egypt.
You don't want to hear any news.
About anything else, you don't want to you're not enough concerned, it doesn't matter to you, what you want to know is just about Egypt.
What are we teaching them?
This is a mistake.
We're teaching them that,
you know, being Egyptian is more important than anything else.
This is the way of thinking of the gang. How do we
overcome this? How do we find solutions for it one
very important step, which most people are not prepared to do, marry outside of the family, the clan, or the tribe.
That's the step.
That's a big one.
For parents, for kids is no problem. They use they don't mind, no issues. But for parents, it's a big problem.
They will bring all kinds of excuses, you know, difference in culture, you not be able to, you know, you know how we do it, and they do it a different way. And this and that, and,
and then the family, the rest of the family, you know, grandma, grandpa, uncle, they don't like it, they want to be happy, you know, it's all these problems are coming.
But in the end, this is where we have to come.
To break down this
barriers, this walls that create the gang, we have to open up
and marry our children according to the principles that Rasulullah sallallahu wasallam said,
if the young man comes and ask for your daughter, and you are satisfied with his religion, and his character, then the bumps are seldom said marry them, or you will have corruption in the land.
That is the rule that is Islam. But when we say no, they have to come from this tribe, or this clan, or this country and this family, when we're saying that, we are throwing the deen aside and favoring our culture and our tradition.
We also have to as we said, in terms of solutions, we will eliminate all of the elements of the drug culture from our home.
And we have to encourage in the home, a universal Outlook. So our children, if we're watching the news, watch the news of the World of the Muslim world. What's going on in different parts of the Muslim world make them aware of what's going on in different parts of the Muslim world.
when we go on holidays, we try to go on holidays to different parts if we have the means go to different parts of the Muslim world don't keep going back home every time. Okay, go back home one time fine next year, go to a part of the Muslim world experience being in some other part of the Muslim world. You know, there's so much there in terms of education and making our children aware of
Islam in real life.
The second area of of
formation is in the masjid.
but we do find it happening in the masjid.
What we find is that
in the masjid, those people who are from a particular ethnic background, they will gather in little circles, different parts of the Masjid. There'll be different circles, and they chat amongst themselves and
when the time for Salah, everybody comes Salah is over, everybody goes back into their little circles again.
So the young people, of course they see it.
Maybe they don't even know the language of their parents. Just so they see it happening and you know, they hang out and they play you know, wherever they play, and then it doesn't matter to them you what language you speak wherever they just use the play together. They don't have those problems. But we are inadvertently teaching them that through these practices.
And also, in speaking of course, in the circles, we only speak in our ethnic languages, you know, and that means definitely nobody else is going to join that circle. You've closed it.
They don't know your language. What are they going to do? Just come and sit there? No.
You have said no
such and such speakers are welcome.
So, to overcome this, we need to get to know other ethnicities.
We need to introduce our families, to other
families from other backgrounds in the masjid. We need to sit together, get to know each other, you know, not just each time come and know just our local ethnic friends, we should each time to come to the masjid try to meet some of the other people in the masjid. We've been coming to the masjid for the last five years. And there are people who have been coming to the masjid for the same last five years, and we don't know them.
Something wrong here. We don't know if we know to see him. He comes to our Masjid. But
who he is really what his you know, his situation, his family and so on. So we don't know.
We don't know them.
And that's why it is also important that in fam in then in Masjid activities, in a way bring the families together. That did not just be because the males come to the masjid, females come in smaller numbers, they may just come out for events, but to come on a regular basis is the men who are coming. So we need to establish programs wherein families come together, Masjid have certain family activities. So families get to know each other from the various
ethnicities. And also, what we need to do is to also pray in different masjids we don't just restrict ourselves to one mastered in the city, praying some of the other masters get to know people from the other masters also. And then the last level, which is that of the community level
where we find evolving all across the GTA ethnic mosques, the Bosnian Mosque, the Afghan Mosque, the Somali Mosque, the Pakistani Mosque, the Gambian Mosque, the only 300 Gambians in the whole of GTA, but the Gambians have a mask, and, you know, everybody's got a mask, everybody doesn't feel happy until they have their own mask.
we have to ask ourselves, do we really need all of this? We don't really need this what we need are gatherings where Muslims come together on the basis of Islam, not on the basis of the country we come from. So on the community level, when people have the gatherings for Nica, they're gonna have a marriage walima Africa, only people who are from their ethnic background are invited.
And what we find is that people will drive across town.
Past 510 masjids to go to pray in their ethnic Masjid. You know, this is where it becomes very, very sad.
They will pass a Pakistani, Indian Bengali all the other masjids just to get to that one, you know, Somali Masjid?
What's happening here? Something's wrong.
It's not right.
So we need to change our approach. In terms of our various social functions, like Nikka Halima pika.
We choose the people from the Masjid.
You're going to have walima who are the people you invite? The first on your list should be the people who normally pray in the front line of the Masjid.
These are the righteous people who eat your food and your food is blessed. Bow Silva said Don't let anybody except those who fear Elijah food
bring those people make sure you invite them, then you can also invite some people from the gang. But
you know, your first choice should be people from the masjid.
in order to overcome this, these ethnic feelings also we should encourage interactions between the masjids in aware of these realities of ethnic masjids exist, then we need to try to develop activities which are shared activities between the masjids so that this community
It can come together, even though they are already divided initially based on these ethnic lines. So we do parents have a big job to do, in terms of opening up our community, and having that really Islamic Universalist view.
And our children growing up with that kind of view, inshallah would be protected from at least those elements of gangsterism that we do not be the contributing factor, we are laying the foundation, we are providing the fertile grounds for that type of behavior, those types of organizations to emerge in our community.
So in summary, summarizing, we have to tackle the problem of the gangs, from both the level of knowing our children, our youths, knowing what's happening to them, why it's happening to them, get help where we need it.
Make sure that we have provided them with sufficient Islamic input from the homes, that the gangs would not become attractive to them, developed for them hold some heroes from the time that they're young. Instead of the average kid we ask here, you know,
do you know Batman? You know, Batman?
You know, who was the enemy of Batman? Oh, yeah, we know is you know, Spider Man. Yeah, we know spider, enemy spider. Do you know the general the
basic information. Our children don't know it. You know, we allow them to know all of this other foolishness. And it truly is foolishness.
And what is real and also exciting if they want a nice story, you know, something exciting?
The truth? They don't know.
So who do we blame? Who can we blame? But ourselves? We have to tackle the gang mentality within ourselves. As Allah said, in Allah Allah Uriah Roma Coleman had Tiree Roo mabie unfussy him Allah does not change the condition of our people until they change what is within themselves. So in sha Allah, I hope that these thoughts on busting the gang would help you all to work towards a new beginning for our community, which would be one free from gangsterism on any of the levels, whether on the level of parents or on the level of