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Last Updated: Monday, 5 December 2005, 09:53 GMT
Young UK Muslims: Mediehah Bashir
We have to integrate, to get more involved in events and politics.

MEET THE PANEL
Name: Madiehah Bashir
Age: 20
Lives: Glasgow
Works: University student

Young Muslims need to involve themselves more to get their message across.

I think it is definitely possible to be both British and Muslim.

If you are living in a country, you have to comply with its laws to integrate and be beneficial to society. You cannot alienate yourself.

Ultimately, the underlying values of both concepts are very similar. Being British and Muslim does not mean two opposing things.

Personally, I try to dispel the negative images many Muslims have, especially as women.

UK MUSLIMS' VIEWS
Often people think we are subjugated or patronised. They think we are dictated to by male members of the community or made to wear the veil.

But we wear it out of choice. It is just ignorance.

I am also a member of the Glasgow University Muslim Students Association.

It is a main port of call for other Muslim students, helping them to know where local mosques are, where prayer rooms are on campus and where to meet other Muslims.

Many first year students and internationals feel out of place. By helping them through fundraising and raising issues relevant to us we can make a difference for us and the entire community.

I think the media creates negativity because of ignorance. Education is needed on both sides.

The situation is fairly positive in Glasgow. I grew up here and people are perhaps more understanding than in London, especially after the bombings.

I have not experienced a change in atmosphere, other than the occasional feeling that I'm being treated differently.

I think many Muslims are beginning to work with the media, involving themselves more in the community and helping to improve the image of Muslims.

Hopefully, in 20 years time, we will be in a better position, with more of us willing to get involved.

That way we can make a positive change.

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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