It’s been almost a week since the dust has settled on Penny Appeal’s latest charity tour featuring one of Britain’s freshest talents, Harris J.
Each venue was sold out and we raised over hundred thousand pounds in aid of our Forgotten Children campaign, helping vulnerable and forgotten children off the streets, out of danger and into places of love and care. By all measures the tour is another success story for our award-winning charity, however, I wanted to reflect on the subtler successes that tours like this generate.
Our success at Penny Appeal is driven by the generosity of the British Muslim public who have trusted us to deliver their hard-earned donations. Endowed with that trust we also feel a sense of responsibility to invest back into the British Muslim community and one of the ways we are doing that is opening our platforms in support of British Muslim arts and culture.
In a time where we see the politics of hate and division turn communities against one another, it is our art that can bring hearts and minds together. Art is more than just entertainment it offers a space for us to imagine and reflect and perhaps, more importantly, generates conversation and community that can help us understand who we are, where we are going and even deepen our relationship with Allah.
Over 50% of the British Muslim community are under the age of 30 and our young people often feel stuck between a rock and a hard place; scapegoated and vilified by politicians and the media on one side and alienated in their own communities, struggling to find places to belong. In this context, it’s not hard to imagine why so many young Muslims struggle with their faith and sense of identity and it is for this reason why investing in the arts is so important.
Sitting in the crowd at Penny Appeal’s SALAM tour with Harris J I witnessed how art can be so healing. When our very own masjids become places where young people feel unwelcomed it truly warms my heart to see the Muslim community in all its rich diversity; young and old, sisters and brothers, people from all walks of life and backgrounds, come together, sing beautiful praises of our Lord and support great causes at the same time.
Success can be measured in many ways, but ultimate success can only be measured by Allah, we pray our efforts are accepted and we thank you, once again, for your constant love, generosity and support.