On a sunny but slightly chilly afternoon, Islamic Network held its inaugural ‘Leaders Forum’ which was attended by Imams and Mosque leaders from every corner of London.
The aim of the forum was to recognise Imams and Mosque Leaders as the front line providers of services for Muslim Youth and empower them through training and consultation to be more effective in dealing with the growing needs of young people.
The Imams and Mosque leaders spent the day discussing a range of topics led by Islamic Network’s Head of Community Development, Hamza Ahmed who said: “seeing the Imams so motivated to make a change, it truly felt like a turning point in how our Mosques deal with young people in their local area.”
The forum kicked off with Hamza Ahmed delivering a powerful and engaging wakeup call on what the reality is like on the ground for young Muslims based on first-hand experiences and empirical data. Issues such as knife crime, mental health and doubts were explored with a definite focus on making the Mosque the centre point of the community to deal with these issues.
We then moved up a gear to look at real-life case studies of what Mosques are doing to engage and nurture their youth in London and the home counties. For this, Shoaib Hussain, the Youth Development Manager for Islamic Network was interviewed by Hamza Ahmed on the history of youth activities at WISE in High Wycombe. They discussed how to attract the youth to the Mosque, organise events and how to keep volunteers engaged. The Imams and Mosque leaders really appreciated the practical nature of the insights which led to numerous fruitful discussions, in-depth questions and an all-round eagerness to begin positive work in the community was visible from the participants.
The forum concluded with what practical training the attendees would like to receive next, and a look at what services Islamic Network can offer. Almost every Mosque that was represented signed up to work with Islamic Network to engage and nurture the young people in their community.
This was the first in a series of ‘Leaders Forum’ events and we thank the leadership of Tooting Islamic Centre for hosting this forum and the Imams and Mosque Leaders who attended for their eager participation.