A special Seminar by APIE: Wealth from a faith perspective

Islam ranks second as the largest religion in the United Kingdom and Europe. However, a study conducted by the British Social Mobility Commission in 2017 revealed that Muslims face significant economic challenges in British society. They experience higher levels of deprivation of basic needs, housing and education problems, lower levels of overall health, and higher unemployment rates compared to non-Muslims. These reports shed light on the ‘Broken Social Mobility Promise’ for young Muslims, where their educational achievements do not necessarily lead to positive outcomes in the labor market.

In this regard, we at the Abrar Platform on Islam in Europe (APIE) have conducted extensive research over the past months, including focus groups, reviewing various studies, articles, and government reports. Through our efforts, we have identified several external and internal factors contributing to this societal dilemma. While racial discrimination and Islamophobia are among these factors, cultural challenges specific to Muslims also play a significant role.

APIE held a final seminar on Saturday, May 20, 2023, to showcase these efforts, with a particular focus on the mindset prevailing among the first and second generations of Muslim immigrants towards work. The aim was to investigate whether they prioritize growth and development or job security and financial stability and how this mindset influences their career paths and educational choices.

The seminar consisted of two main sessions, featuring academic and professional perspectives. In the academic session, Dr. Iqbal Asaria, an expert in Islamic economics and sustainable economics, delivered a talk titled ‘Is a University Degree Still worth it? New Approaches for a New Generation,’ discussed by Dr. Alaa Al-Shihabi, a lecturer at the University of London. The session explored the new approach to higher education, its effectiveness and efficiency, and how it relates to career decision-making and exploring new employment alternatives in a vibrant economy.

The professional session included a lecture by Dr. Bashar Al-Nahr, a physician and expert in self and professional development, focusing on the concepts of ‘growth mindset’ and ‘survival mindset’ in the context of employment and job searching. It was discussed by Mr. Ali Al-Saabri, a self and professional development coach specializing in financial technology.

Mr. Emad Al-Abbadi, the director of the Iraqi Care Association, also shared his valuable experience and knowledge about employment opportunities in the British government sector for Muslim immigrants.

The seminar concluded with a dinner accompanied by live musical performance on Oud by Julia Katarina.

The seminar was attended by community leaders, university students, and professionals, and it was distinguished by a high level of interaction from participants who expressed extremely positive impressions about an intensive day where they exchanged experiences and information on a vital topic concerning the lives of Muslims in Britain

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