Muslim girls turning to drugs?

ICRA’s All Eyez on Youth report resurfaces in the media again today with the news that an “alarming number” of Muslim girls are turning to drugs, and Muslim parents need classes to help them speak English and be good parents.

MUSLIM parents are being urged to take parenting and English classes to help improve their relationship with their children, says a report into social problems.

The Independent Centre of Research Australia (ICRA) Youth Centre’s All Eyez On Youth also reported an alarming number of Muslim girls were turning to illicit drugs to escape family and social problems.

ICRA president Fadi Abdul Rahman said parents needed to recognise the signs of a troubled child.

“We are naive as a community and as parents,” he said. “Because we are under the microscope we are focusing on dealing with the issues outside rather than looking at what is happening to these children.”

Parents didn’t want to think about drugs but “it’s simply unrealistic”, he said.

If a late night talkback host on an AM radio station said Muslims needed to be taught how to be good parents and needed English lessons because an “alarming number” of their children were now involved in drugs, how would we react?

Obviously, there are problems in some sections of the Muslim community.  However, there are problems in sections of every community and so I’m not sure it is particularly helpful for common issues such as drug-use to be highlighted in just one of these communities and treated as though there is something intrinsically different about Muslim drug-use that warrants special attention or emphasis.


#1 Umar Lee on 05.20.07 at 5:24 pm

I don’t see how anyone could disagree with parents in Australia needing to learn English. I have seen here in America the games the immigrant kids play with their non-English speaking parents.

#2 Amir on 05.20.07 at 6:09 pm

If people have been in this country long enough to have had children here and for those children to have become teenagers and yet still not learned English, then I doubt the problem is going to be solved by a few English classes. Certainly, this may be an issue for new migrants but not the people who have been here 20 or so years without learning the language.

Anyway, the thing I object to here are the generalised comments about Muslim girls and Muslim parents. If they had limited to their comments to a particular section of the community — such as the Lebanese community, the Arab community, the community in one part of Sydney or the whatever community — then it would be better than talking about “Muslim drug use” as though it’s a problem faced by the heterogeneous, distributed and disparate Muslim community. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, it is no more useful to talk of a problem with Muslim drug use than it is to talk of a problem with blond drug use or left handed drug use.

#3 Shamsia on 05.21.07 at 11:52 pm

There seems to be a labelling issue here is this just a Muslim problem? The Muslim community is diverse. Drug use is a problem among all communities and parents are not the only solution. Why can’t these kids learn their parents language?

#4 Cinna on 05.22.07 at 12:27 am

Muslims may be comparatively diverse culturally and in their countries of origin, but what they all do have in common is the fact that they are muslims. As a result they will almost certainly have less personal experience of drug use and probably have less knowledge of drugs, less ability to tell whether children are using drugs and less awareness of drugs or the availabilty of drugs than people from other backgrounds. They may also be less willing to consider that their children may be involved with drugs than parents from other backgrounds.

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