Coping With Peer Pressure
By Br. Ibrahim Abu Khalid
What happens during the school years
is very important. Many parents and community leaders brush-off
unfavourable and unIslamic Muslim youth behaviour as being a short-term
phenomena, a mix of hormones and bad friends. Time, it is argued,
will mature their thoughts and bring them in line. This is rarely
The school years form a critical part
of the mental, religious and social development of our Muslim youth.
Factors such as the school's curriculum, social pressures and make-up
can solidly mould the direction the Muslim youth will take. By far
the most dangerous influence is that of ' peer pressure ', whereby
Muslims are pressured (mentally and physically) to conform to some
social 'norm' or group behaviour. This can set an irreparable deviated
path for the rest of their lives.
Pressures from the
In a country which boasts of heralding
individual and religious rights, Muslims are still on the lower
rung of the ladder. Even the school administration will exert pressures
on Muslims to study and participate in Islamically abhorred activities.
Compulsory participation in sports events
brings many brothers and sisters into a state of conflict, who if
refuse to participate, will be publicly rebuked and humiliated.
Sisters have been known to be harassed to participate in swimming
carnivals, gymnastics and dancing, many of which can involve male
participation. Not attending formals, camps and discos are actually
punished, through increased study load, and also mentally through
public disgrace (letting the school know who isn't joining in).
Other reported cases of teacher discrimination
in Australia includes teachers snatching the hijab off sisters,
neglecting cases of abuse against Muslims (Muslims are supposed
to have been used to being singled-out by now), and police investigations
into the activities of Muslims purely on the basis of their religion.
Fellow students can have a devastating
effect on the moral and piety of a Muslim. These pressures should
never be underestimated, which can intimidate a Muslim into taking
drugs, smoking, 'hanging out' with a socialize friends; to nightclubs,
and having illegal relationships man and women , man and man or
women and women .
Sisters feels compelled to waste money
on extravagant items, 'name-tags', such as Fiorelli and Benetton,
for the sole purpose of fitting-in. The preservation of her virginity
is not a virtue, but rather a disgrace, a symbol of her 'frigidity'
. It sounds crazy, but whether we ignore this or not, it is there
and in a big way.
Brothers must act and smell and look
like the Kuffaar to avoid persecution. Anything which will take
them away from their Islamic bonds. It's the right thing to abuse
your parents, obeying them is downright lack of personality.
Who are we?
The sad thing is that, we have the solution
for all of this, but we ignore it. Muslims don't have to feel
that they're a group without identity or meaning. Nor should we
allow anyone to prevent us from fulfilling our duties to Allah (S.W.T).
Legally, we have many options to take
in practicing Islam at school. We have a right to pray during the
specified times. Many schools now has Friday Prayers in a designated
room. it took was the joint effort of committed students, who themselves
conduct the Khutbah. We also have the right to celebrate our festivals,
and wear our prescribed clothing without harassment. Other religious
groups are permitted by the Schools to refrain from certain school
activities. The Amish do not watch television class, the Sikhs wear
their turbans wherever they go, the Jehovah Witness do not participate
in the flag-raising or singing the national anthem. We also have
our rights to watch what we deem permissible, and refrain from unIslamic
events. Many precedents have been set in this regard. It requires
the strength of our brothers and sisters, a joint effort, and the
knowledge that Muslims will not disobey Allah for the will of anyone.
The Prophet (saws) and the Companions
had nothing but disgust for the way of life of the disbelievers.
In fact, they had so much disgust that they purposely did everything
the opposite of them. 'Umar bin al-Khattab' (r.a.a.) actually forced
the Muslims to look differently from the disbelievers. So why are
we trying to imitate them?
Muslims have been given honour through
Islam and nothing else. Not through expensive designer clothes,
nor expensive sneakers, or top ten CD's. In fact, if you examine
the history of the Kuffaar, you will find them so inconsistent in
their behaviour that only an idiot would want to copy them. Every
year brings on a new fashions, a new habit, a new religion. One
year, its drugs, then its alcohol, then its mineral water and alls
the things that can destroy themselves.
Australians can only copy Americans, which really shows how much
sense of identity they have. Americans love hip hop, so do Australians.
They wear baseball caps, we all may as well follow them.
Muslims however have their own identity,
history and religion, which millions have flocked to escape the
filth and stupidity of Kufr. Why are we doing the opposite?
Our Youth have to be supported by the
community. When they are in need of assistance, we must be there.
This could be financially, or morally. When they begin on reforming
themselves, and assisting in bringing about a change, the solid
support must be there to helps them for growing and reforming .