Today saw the launch of Unity Family Services in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. It’s a new initiative aiming to tackle family breakdown within the Muslim community.
Its chairman is Sunday Times Rich List member and respected thinker Azeem Ibrahim. It’s on-the-ground operations though are led by Shaykh Amer Jamil who was born and brought up in Glasgow, but has spent the last decade studying Islamic sciences and jurisprudence in the Middle East, with a special interest in family law.
As far as we are concerned at SIF, we would support whatever he turned his hand to on his return to Scotland. We are crying out for more Islamic scholars with both a deep knowledge of their faith and of society here. That he’s taking on such an important issue, makes our commitment even more imperative.
Marriage remains an important institution in the Muslim community. Getting married though is even becoming increasingly difficult. Staying married is also proving more and more of an issue. It used to be that divorce was relatively uncommon amongst Muslims – not any more.
In any consultations we have done, family strife comes out as the number one issue amongst Muslims. Not issues of terrorism, war, or anything else that people normally associate us with. If I look at Muslims I know in my age group, more are going through, or have gone through, serious marital difficulties than those that haven’t.
I’m informed that UFS is the first such offering in the UK – a setup which is sensitive to the faith of its clients. This is important as more often that not, problems are arising from a misunderstanding and misconception of what Islam has to say about family life. This ranges from the role of women to monetary issues.
This was reflected by the number of people who were there at the launch today. Speakers also included: Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Health & Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon MSP; Frank McAveety MSP; and Salma Shaikh, head of Al-Meezan.
Posted by Osama Saeed