A New Year message from one of CMF’s trustees, Imam Qari Muhammad Asim MBE:

“On the start of new decade of 2020, it is time to reflect and call for a renewed spirit of unity and caution against ultra-nationalism, racism and hatred.

As we make personal #NewYearResolutions, let’s also consider some national and global challenges, which directly or indirectly affect us. Of course any year brings its challenges. But the real test is not whether challenges come; it’s how you face them. One of the ways to tackle these challenges is to focus on Reconnecting in 2020: Reconnecting with Yourself, Communities, Earth and Humanity.

1. Reconnect with Yourself – Reconnecting to ourselves is made up of slowing down, listening, learning, exploring, playing, wondering, and being interested in and being inquisitive about what’s going on inside us. Everyday aim to connect with your heart. For people of faith, rediscovering oneself / connecting with the heart will help to connect with the God Almighty. In Islam, therefore, self-care can be turned into an act of worship. Self-care is the discipline of taking care of your spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and relational well-being. It’s a global approach to becoming the best version of yourself. It’s energizing, inspiring, and most of all, it feels right as it connects you to yourself!

2. Reconnect with Communities – The year 2020 could be seen as a “make or break” year for our communities in terms of divisions in our society. With #Brexit, we are heading towards a new cycle in our nation’s history. Brexit can be seen as a story of discontinuity, disconnection, and the evolution of a society and economy in which feeling ‘left behind’ has become an endemic, complex and structural problem.

The year 2020 and the decade that follows is a time to focus on the social changes that underpin differences and divisions, the political economy (and social movements) that drove Brexit into being, and the role of individuals, institutions, political, corporate and religious leaderships, networks and social capital in supporting a positive future for our communities is going to be extremely critical.

In year 2019, we have also seen growing intolerance in our country, terrorist attacks, growing racism, alarming rise in Islamophobia, continued increase in Antisemitism (and persecution of Christians abroad), as well as politics of hatred. We may be more divided than we’d like, but perhaps we are less divided than we’re told we are. There is so much common ground that we share – building a more socially-connected society is something we can achieve. So, let’s enter the new decade with optimism.

3. Reconnect with the Earth- The cries of the Earth are real; the harm caused to the planet by us human beings is shameful, and in 2020 we must do everything humanly possible to tackle the climate crisis for the sake of our own existence. We have the capacity, the resources, the innovation to put an end to climate crisis, let’s resolve to make meaningful changes in our lifestyles and let’s urge politicians to demonstrate their political commitment to do so.

4. Reconnect with Humanity- Across the world, the cries of human beings must also be heard and responded to – from Kashmir to Uighurs, from Yemen to Rohingya people, Syria to part of Africa- the list of people suffering because of their faiths, beliefs and lifestyles continues to grow with each passing year. Elimination of violence and confronting extremism of all forms must continue to be a priority for all of us.

We pray and hope for peace, justice and compassion for everyone who is vulnerable, oppressed, hurt, going through a hard time or caught up in a conflict or war.

Let’s move forward into a bright new year with deep conviction in our beliefs, multiple identities, diversity and optimism.”

Qari Muhammad Asim MBE

Deputy Chair, Government’s Anti Muslim Hatred Working Group
Chair, Mosques & Imams National Advisory Board

Twitter: @QariAsim
Facebook: ImamQariMuhammadAsim