By Nontobeko Mkhwanazi
The Muslim Youth Movement (MYM) hosted another successful orientation camp recently at the As-Salaam Educational Institute in Braemar, on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal.
Sixty two young Muslims from all over South Africa met in an Islamic environment to learn Islamic teachings, pray, practice and grow together.
“The aim of the camp was to share Islamic Knowledge and Leadership Skills with the youth and for participants to discuss, debate and exchange different views with each other”, said Aysha Adams, from the MYM.
MYM facilitator, Nazeer Bheme said: “Critical issues that concern not only the Muslim youth but youth in general were discussed. Participants raised issues that affect them as Muslims and members of society. Lack of Islamic knowledge, lack of economic empowerment, socio-economic issues, selfishness among Muslim communities and racism among Muslims were core issues raised by participants,” said Bheme.
Participant, Nuran Khaliva, said she now understands that everyone is a leader in their own right and that the current generation has so much potential but misuses it by investing their time and energy in less productive activities.
For most participants the highlight of the camp was the discussion on Islam and culture.
Guest speaker, Sifiso Duma encouraged the youth to make sure they know why they are Muslims. “This is a crucial aspect for every muslim because if you are from a Muslim family, that is good and well but you still need to find the reason why you are a Muslim. Life is full of different people and religions. So you need to know what you stand for and believe in. How will you even attempt to explain Islam to a non-Muslim when you don’t even know why you are a Muslim,” said Duma.
Duma further explained to the participants that when a person embraces Islam, he/she must not be called or labelled as a converted Muslim but as a reverted muslim. “Converting is changing something to something completely different. While reverting is changing certain aspects of something so it can function better. People who have embraced Islam have not changed completely but have introduced Islam into their lives so their lives can be better,” said Duma.
Participants showcased their talents by engaging in poetry, cultural activities and drama.
MYM facilitator, Aisha Adams said: “Many more such camps are needed so that Muslim youth can meet and engage on critical issues affecting them”.
The organisers announced that a leadership camp will be hosted from 22nd to 28th June.
Recruitment for this camp has already commenced, interested persons may contact sister Aysha Adams at the MYM office on 031 3062011 for application forms.