How do you stop street crime?
You do the obvious, you give the kids something to do. An Imam in Philadelphia is taking an interesting position on kids and street fighting. He is teaching how to fight for real.
He started a boxing training center.
The young boxers are a range of ages. Some were raised Muslim, some Christian, some follow no faith, but all are welcome. The lessons are free and not just about boxing. Imam Muhammad talks endlessly about discipline, respect, education and commitment; about young people turning into responsible adults.
He knows all too well that just outside the doors others are pushing different messages, about gangs and drugs, and young boxers must run the gauntlet to come train. So he wants to get good habits established early.
So 10 years ago he started Masjid Muhammad of Philadelphia, a mosque in the old rundown warehouse. As he sat and explained how the mosque had grown to 500 members, workers above him pushed and slapped stucco into the three story stone facade above him. They started by fixing up the inside so people could have a safe place to come and pray.
You can watch the video here: