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Youths Have No Place in the “Old Boys Club” – An Observation


The BC Muslim Association (BCMA) held its biennial election during September and October 2021. The election covered all BCMA branches and chapters as far west as Victoria, as far north as Prince George, as far east as Castlegar, and all regions in between. This is the only time where members and delegates actively participate in the process of electing new directors.

“Youths are our future,” “Youths are the flagbearers of BCMA who would take us into the future”

These rhetoric are spoken a myriad of times at all social and religious gatherings. These are the hollow words played on every grand stage and which bear no weight. In reality, our youths are discouraged from participating in BCMA elections at every platform.

The “Old Boys Club” swears by the adage, “I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine,” and fails to acknowledge the presence of youths in our community.

The BCMA Vancouver Branch held its election on October 24, 2021. A total of 18 brothers, including one (1) youth, stood as candidates for directorship positions. This young brother holds a degree in Political Science from UBC and works closely with the MP-Minister of Defence. His primary goal for running was to create a more attractive environment in the masjid for the local youths.

The week leading up to Election Day political flyers were posted inside Masjid ul-Haqq publicizing which team to elect, consequently creating a rift in the Ummah.

On Election Day two separate tents were seen outside the Masjid – “Tent A and Tent B.” The members of the Executive Committee and some directors from Surrey branches were also present.

Tent A had food and beverage provisions and Tent B only provided gracious salams. As members approached the masjid their hands were gripped by incumbent delegates and were lead to Tent A. In this tent, brothers were handed a package of food, a beverage, a new membership card, a card with candidate names, and were guided inside the masjid to complete the voting process.

Inside the masjid the voting process was an unorganized disaster. In the first half hour of voting the members completed paper ballots. Later, voting was switched away from paper and turned to an app on an electronic device. This form of voting caused a lot of confusion with the older generation who is not well-versed in technology.

The voting process concluded at 1:00pm PST and the Election Committee gathered to tabulate the results. The one (1) youth brother who was running for candidacy was not successful in gaining a position on the board. After the results were read, the senior directors of other masajid and the Executive team began patting each-others’ backs and congratulating one another. Once again, the senior BCMA directors failed to acknowledge the only youth present, and his time and effort during the course of his two year term as a Vancouver Branch director and throughout the election.

The board at Masjid Ul-Haqq is once again overwhelmed by the “Old Boys Club.” It is unfortunate this young, well-educated and experienced brother, did not receive enough votes to be elected. It is indeed a big loss to the Vancouver Branch, the local Muslim youths, and to the BCMA as a whole.

To echo the BCMA Senior executives, “youths are the flagbearers of BCMA, who would take us into the future.” However, we have yet to see what the youths can do for the BCMA as they have yet to be allowed into directorship positions. A proven example of youthful success can be seen in Delhi City, San Francisco Masjid. The seniors have taken a backseat and allowed all adult youths under the age of 30 to run the affairs of the masjid and the community.

When is the BCMA going to let go of the rope they hold so near and dear to their hearts and allow our youths to move forward and create their marks in our Muslim community?


Article Source: ALAMEENPOST