From Issue: 943 [Read full issue]
We are not born spectators, here or elsewhere. Wherever they may be, those who "carry the faith and do good" are participants. Yet to be a participant one must first understand the environment, evaluate equilibriums, determine priorities, measure constraints. Somewhere between the fear of becoming lost and the necessity to reform, lies the path that will allow for true promotion of good, and resistance to what is unjust and bad.
In Europe, this does not mean to be integrated, accepted, appreciated, or even liked; the first foundation of our being and our identity with respect to our environment is to be respected, no more and no less, especially no less. We must also hope for and promote sincere recognition, friendship, and mutual affection. This is the first requirement and it determines all of the rest.
One must therefore begin by being respected: for all that, it may happen that we are not respected because we do not know how to be or, even worse, because we are not very respectable. Our participation begins here: recognition for who we are, citizens or residents, Muslims, clear about ourselves, certain of our identity and our rights.
Emanating from this prerequisite is our participation in society, education, economics, politics, academia, and culture. Our presence and contributions in everyday life are important in every area within a framework of active citizenship and in the light of an ethical consciousness: alongside people of goodwill we [must] reform our present, build our future, revisit our past, and our memories. Our presence consists of promoting all of this and it is no small task.
"Western Muslims: From Integration to Contribution" - Tariq Ramadan