By Aqeela Naqvi, TMO
As the times progress and technology develops, different and new ways are being found to accomplish age-old goals. From teaching children their A-B-Câ€™s, to distance education, to social interactionâ€”the amount of new and innovative means to accomplish these ends are innumerable. Everyone is looking for less traditional, and more creative ways to cater to societyâ€™s interests, in particular, those of the youth.
A group of youth from New Jersey has identified with and understood this phenomenon, and has undertaken the task of using newer, more creative technology to develop a positive sense of brotherhood between Muslim youth, as well as youth of other religious and cultural backgrounds. â€œThe Muslim Elementâ€ (The Mu for short), as they call themselves, is an initiative founded in 2010 to provide products that express their religious as well as universal humanitarian beliefs. They are currently focused on providing clothing that embodies various messages, the goal being to positively affect the lives of youth by allowing them to connect to their religion through the use of a more creative and modern medium. The Mu garners no profit from their sales: every penny generated by the organization is used either for the creation of new products and t-shirts, or is given back to the community in the form of charitable donations or sponsorship of events at local Islamic centers.
The Muslim Element has developed three products thus far, one of which being a â€œFreedomâ€ t-shirt, sold in early 2011, when revolutions were sparking across the Islamic world. This shirt helped to get youth involved in promoting the idea of freedom and justice in a more innovative and creative manner than before. Even if they could not physically attend rallies to demand freedom for those innocents being oppressed in countries across the world, they could display their support of justice and truth to everyone they met through the clothing they wore.
Initiatives such as these are necessary for reaching out to new generations of youth. The Muslim Element supports the enlightenment of Muslimsâ€”especially the younger generation living in the Westâ€”and aims to show them through messages embodied in clothing that they should take pride in who they are and the beautiful messages of truth and justice, propagated by the religion they believe in. In this way, says their mission statement, they hope to help the youth to â€œremain vigilant in understanding their faith and their humanity, develop an awareness of relatable and current topics in the world, and actively propagate truths and dispel misconceptions about the beautiful religion of Islam.â€
More information about this initiative, as well as vending information for your local center, can be found online at: www.facebook.com/TheMuslimElement