A supporter of the film sent me this blog post looking for my response to it. I read the blog post plus the 10 pages of commentary. It talks about polling and the discovery that a much higher percentage of Muslim youth than any other denomination is angry, depressed or unsatisfied with their lives. The commentaries went in a totally different direction and worried me more than the article.
Here my comments:
I was a bit surprised at the responses that really did not at all address the issue at hand but talked about ‘repatriating’ rather than actively working on a solution to a real problem. I find at my end there is very little energy from Muslim NGO’s to reach out across the faiths to educate and create understanding – I get a lot more support from other groupings […] to help spread the word with the film, then I do from Muslim organizations. There seems to be much more of a fatalistic undercurrent that is also visible in the responses to the survey.
The survey itself however I’m not surprised about. If Muslims are demonized all the time of course the youth and children will internalize that, be it that they pick it up subconsciously at home when adults talk about it or actually have negative experiences themselves. Going ‘back’ – for many, especially converts there is no ‘back’ – is not the answer. Muslims in this country and Europe have to learn to take responsibility to teach, reach out and build bridges - that is what’s so important. We don’t all need to agree on everything but we need to learn to live together respectfully….