Thousands of coronavirus support groups have emerged across the country. As Muslims, we already have communities established around our masajid, Ulama and places of learning. It is crucial for Imams, Ulama and community leaders to act as a link between coronavirus support groups and their own respective congregations.
Covid-19 Mutual Aid UK has a website dedicated to finding your local group. We urge all Imams, Ulama and community leaders to connect with these local groups to lend support and act as a link between hard to reach groups and wider community efforts.
Based upon the most recent Census data, we know the segments of the Muslim community that are hard to reach by Coronavirus Support Groups are:
4% of British Muslims are over 65 years old. The elderly are less likely to have access to social media and will miss out on support provided by local initiatives.
Our elderly must be engaged via telephone, email or other means that they have access to.
Main language is not English
Over half (53%) of British Muslims are not born in the UK. This means that English is probably not their first language, making it harder to engage in support groups that operate entirely in English.
Multi-lingual Imams, Ulama and community leaders must reach out to those who are not proficient in English so that they will be able to benefit from support groups and guidelines.
Community support volunteers tend to be a middle class because of their economic resources and formal workplace training which enable them to organise such initiatives. By contrast, a large proportion of Muslims are working class. Just under half of British Muslims live in the 10% most deprived areas in England. This means they are less likely to be picked up by community support groups.
We must make sure that as many Muslims as possible are included to access crucial support. Our leaders have a very important role to play. By connecting with wider support groups, we can help and be helped by such endeavours. Unity across the country is crucial in these trying times.LocalCoronavirusSupportGroups