Press Release: Caring for Afghan Refugees in the UKAssima Alam
This month, with the announcement that the UK will take in 5,000 Afghan refugees in 2021, there has been some concern from certain elements of the public about welcoming such refugees to our shores. People’s opinions are divided in the community, with some elements suggesting that many of the refugees arriving here are ex-combatants or may have been involved in atrocities against the Afghan civilian population and should not be shown support by the community.
It is vital we reassure ourselves and others that the resettlement scheme will focus specifically on those at greatest risk from a torn country. At GLMCC we firmly believe that we should be compassionate towards the difficult circumstances of the Afghan refugees. Speaking to our Humanitarian partners, we can confirm that many of those arriving here are women and children with diverse backgrounds. Rather than presuming and stereotyping, GLMCC would like to highlight the Islamic model of welcoming refugees and those seeking security and refuge.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) teaches us that: “Whoever fulfilled the needs of his brother (or sister), Allah will fulfil his (or her) needs; whoever brought his brother (or sister) out of a discomfort, Allah will bring him (or her) out of the discomforts of the Day of Resurrection.” Sahih Al-Bukhari
At present, there are fears that refugee families could face lengthy stays in small hotel rooms with no cooking facilities. Only 100 local councils have agreed to house Afghans, the remaining 343 local authorities in England are yet to commit. Last week we were involved with Islamic Relief in arranging food-packs for refugee families who had been stranded at the airport for many hours with no food.
At GLMCC, our mosque has always supported refugees, regardless of race, religion or creed. We have helped in the relocation and integration of Syrian refugee families and would similarly help any other refugees who need our care and support, whether it is with housing, integration or sadly, PTSD.
Hostility towards Afghan refugees only further marginalizes people who are already victims of a brutal 20-year occupation and in desperate need of our aid. We pray for safety and resolution in Afghanistan and we honour our position in supporting any victims that come to our door.
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre is a leading UK mosque situated in the heart of Birmingham serving the community since 1979. Operating from its award-winning grade II listed Victorian building, GLMCC fulfils its mission of inspiring, educating and serving through its educational college, outreach work, welfare services, international humanitarian wing, as well as its fully functional mosque which is attended by thousands every week.
Recognised internationally, GLMCC is a multi-award-winning mosque, having won the 2019 British Muslim Award for Mosque of the Year and the Beacon Awards for ‘Best Run Mosque 2019 and ‘Best Covid Response 2020’.
For more information about or work and services visit: www.greenlanemasjid.org
Or access our annual report HERE