A report by the London Assembly shows a worrying increase in the number of young Muslims (school age) who are now drinking Alcohol.
Apparently young Muslims of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin seem to be at forefront of this sad but not surprising development. According to the report "In 2001-04 just four per cent of Pakistani and two per cent of Bangladeshi young people drank at least once a year. By 2005-07, this figure had grown to ten per cent of Pakistani and 12 per cent of Bangladeshi young people,”.
Notwithstanding the societal problems Muslims face with the highest unemployment rates and worst education the reason the drinking is not surprising is due to the growing breakdown within Muslim communities. There appears a growing clash of cultures between parents born overseas and young British born Muslims who seem in act of rebellion to be distancing themselves from their parents cultural baggage.
Moreover, in view of the stigma attached to alcohol which is forbidden in Islam there is probably a significant amount of under reporting regarding the true extent of drinking by young Muslims.
Unfortunately due to the ignorance amongst a section of our elders and mosque leaders who are for example still living in denial that there are no Muslim gays, Muslim youth seems to find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place ie parents who are out of touch and their own community who disown those with alcohol related problems.
The reports hits the nail firmly on the head by saying “Because alcohol is not a part of the traditional culture in these communities, young Pakistani and Bangladeshi Londoners may be more likely to conceal their alcohol misuse, and may be less likely to seek help for alcohol misuse. “Their parents and carers may be less equipped to identify problem drinking, and less informed about what to do if their child is misusing alcohol, or develops a dependence on alcohol.”
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