Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Monday, 5 December 2005

Young UK Muslims: Shahban Aziz

I think as Muslims we have been a very united community.

MEET THE PANEL
Shahban Aziz
Name:
Shahban Aziz

Age:
19

Lives:
Manchester

Works:
University student

The media makes out we are having problems with fanaticism but I think we have just been misrepresented.

The main community leaders are moderate and blend in. But all we hear about are the radical clerics.

We have one of the largest mosques in the UK here in Manchester and our cleric is very learned.

He says Muslims should have an education. Yet you never see the media listening to him.

At university, I have met people from all over the world. It is much better than having a single-minded view.

If you are not educated, you probably do not realise that everyone's views are different. You have to take on board that most people are not out to get you.

UK MUSLIMS' VIEWS

I think the media has actually worsened issues by taking things out of context.

As a result, people I know have had comments. I know of a Muslim girl who wears a headscarf here who got called a terrorist.

It creates bad feeling, a sense of persecution, that people are out to get you.

I was born in Britain and I will always feel British, but I feel my Pakistani origins and traditions.

If asked whether I consider myself Muslim, well, I am Muslim.

But my generation were born here - we all support the England football team and all the young lads here cheer for David Beckham.

Recently, in politics, we are getting more Muslim MPs and we are beginning to realise we can have a real say.

It will help put Muslims in a better light and stop us being pushed to the edges.


In a special week of features about Islam in Britain and Europe, the BBC News website is focusing on voices who have something to say - but may not always get heard.




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