Posts Tagged ‘Current Affairs’

UK General Election 2010: The Muslim Vote

// April 19th, 2010 // No Comments » // Blog

Less than a fortnight ago, the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, finally announced that May 6th, 2010 would be the date of the next General Election. Prior to and since, a variety of means have been used by the powers-that-be to encourage both the apathetic and the undecided to participate in the vote, including the broadcast of the first ever leaders' debate between the heads of the three main political parties.

However, in my opinion, the most interesting development surrounding the election has the been the launch of not one, but several voting campaigns targeted at Britain's relatively small community of Muslim citizens. The concentration of Muslims within a handful of constituencies, combined with the strong possibility of a hung parliament, has motivated community leaders from various backgrounds, to urge their followers to simply, “Get out and vote!”.

The following are links to web-based campaigns I have come across so far:

Continue reading at MuslimMatters.org…

Letter from Haiti: A Haitian Muslim’s Request for Help

// January 17th, 2010 // No Comments » // Announcements, Blog

An excerpt from a message written by a Muslim based in Haiti:

My brother Didier Ambroise is missing and we have not been able to find him. My Uncle Roblain Legagneur and my cousin Namu Corvington and his wife died buried under their house.

Brother Ibrahim Abdoul Salam's house was destroyed and his cousin died.

Also brother Abou Bakr's house was crumbled and his sister died.

Many brothers and sisters are unaccounted for. We do not know if they are alive or dead. May Allāh give ease to them in whatever state they may be. Āmīn.

Read the full letter.

Donate.

Pray.

Advice for Attendees of the Harrow Mosque 9/11 Counter-Protest

// September 10th, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

I wrote the following article in a hurry this afternoon, after receiving messages from certain friends and acquaintances, encouraging me, and other Muslims, to attend a counter-demo taking place outside Harrow Mosque tomorrow (Friday, Sept 11th, 2009).

As some of you may have heard, a coalition of fascist groups are planning to hold a static demo outside the Harrow Mosque in NW London, tomorrow, i.e., on Jumuah, Sept 11, 2009. A counter-protest has been organised by 'Unite Against Fascism', with support from various elements of the London Muslim community.

It is clear that tensions are now running high in the lead up to the event. I, myself, have received numerous text messages from Muslim acquaintances encouraging their fellow Muslims to go “defend the mosque” – without actually explaining what that means. I can't help but feel that this is all reminiscent of several violent clashes between fascist protesters and Muslim youth, that have occurred in the recent past. In this regard, sister Yvonne Ridley gave clear warning to attendees of the protest, via her Facebook profile… continue reading.

I actually heard about the event earlier in the week, but didn't really know what it was about, so I mistakenly ignored it. It's only when I received yet another text message about it this morning from a good friend, that I was spurred into writing something, worrying that all this buzz was leading somewhere bad, God forbid.

I am praying that the right-wing media, and the fascist thugs, don't get the anti-Muslim front page headlines they are no doubt salivating for, and that there are no casualties – on either side (I'd rather the opposition be guided, than beaten up, tbh; besides, doing so would only serve to start up a cycle of revenge attacks).

British Government’s Meddling with Islam & the Muslim Community

// August 5th, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

Not the most catchy of titles, I admit, but it'll do.

It's for my article that was published today, over at MuslimMatters:

As I've mentioned on more than one occasion, I am subscribed to alerts from They Work For You – a free site that allows the public to keep track of parliamentary proceedings. Even so, I will continue to remind you all of this fact, because I think everyone should make use of this amazing service. I am hardly politically astute, but I still choose to keep an ear open for when the British government decides to talk about me (or rather, things dear to me), i.e., Islam and the Muslim community.

Recently, there was a sudden rise in the number of alerts I received, containing my keyword of choice, “Islam”, all because one particular British MP, Ben Wallace (Conservative MP for Lancaster & Wyre, Former Conservative MSP for North East Scotland), has been asking a lot of questions on the subject lately – six questions in just two days. After reading through them, I become somewhat alarmed, as they described a number of initiatives that have the potential to directly affect how Islam is understood and practised in the UK. This includes scholarly efforts to 'contextualise' Islam in Britain, and the teaching of Islamic Studies in universities. To add some further context, several of these questions were posed in relation to “Paragraph 9.21 of the UK Strategy for Countering International Terrorism“.

The six questions and answers are presented below.

Continue reading…

I was quite worried about how this article would be received – mainly because politics is not my forte. However, I don't consider this article to be 'political', rather, the intention was simply to be informative. These are matters that concern me – and the rest of the British Muslim community – and I felt it my duty to spread the news.

I am also concerned about sounding like 'just another paranoid Muslim, thinking the government is out to get us'. But the thing is, though my own opinion can be utterly ignored, the facts cannot. And that is what I have aimed to do: present a set of facts – without editing, and providing original sources – then analyse those facts, and present my own theory. The theory could be way off, but the facts remain as facts. Facts, facts, facts… FACTS. [I thought I'd throw that word in a few more times for added emphasis.]

I asked a friend of mine to read over the article while it was still in draft form, and she wasn't aware of any of the initiatives described therein. I'd call her an 'average' Muslim – in that she is conscientious, but not politically active, as such. She, too, was alarmed at the information. So, I am hoping that I am not way off base with my assessment.

Thanks to Indigo Jo for giving the article a once over too, and confirming a mistake that I had made. Though he never told me whether he agreed with my paranoid instincts or not – I'm sure he'll share his opinions soon enough, inshā’Allāh.

Watch iMuslim ‘Live’ Tonight, on Divan 2.0 (7.15pm, UK Time)

// May 22nd, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Blog

I've been invited to be a panellist at a Radical Middle Way event tonight. The subject up for discussion is Islam and the Internetz… so at least I'll be familiar with the subject matter – inshā’Allāh!

I'll be representing MuslimMatters, so please make dua that I don't let the side down, as it'll be my first time doing anything like this (I'm trying to minimize your expectations; remember, blogging and public speaking are two different animals!).

Welcome to Muslim 2.0 – a wired generation whose members would rather pose their tough questions to Shaykh Google than their local Imam and who feel more connected to the Facebook ummah than the congregation at the local mosque. Never has Muslim conversation buzzed with so many divergent, combative and off-the-wall perspectives.

But is more Muslim chatter really better?

Has Web 2.0 democratised Muslim debate, and if so at what cost?

Are we talking to each other or at each other?

With so many blogs, websites and forums to choose from, are we actually engaging with other points of view or are we comfortable staying in our intellectual (and spiritual) ghettos?

Join us for Divan 2.0, as we bring together some of British Islam's most (in)famous bloggers, web pioneers and online warriors for some face-to-face debate. They will be taking your questions in this special “Question Time” style event.

Challenge and be challenged – submit your questions in advance and come ready to jump into fray!

For those who can't make the free event in London, you can watch live via the little video box below. It'll start approx. 7.15pm BST (GMT+1), inshā’Allāh.

Viva Palestina Have Reached Gaza!

// March 9th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Blog

Viva Palestina Update
15.30 (GMT) Monday 9th March 2009

GROWN MEN CRYING…THE SIEGE IS BROKEN… ON THE DAY THE PROPHET WAS BORN

And they entered side by side like heroes, some on foot some in their vehicles, tears, smiles, hugs, flowers. It was historic, it was legendary. Gaza we are here. We have fulfilled the promise – Viva Palestina! The lifeline from the people of Britain to you, the people of Gaza, has arrived.

We have broken the barriers, we have opened closed borders, we have defied the odds,we have overcome the challenges across thousands of miles and three continents. We are here to be with you, to embrace you, to share your tragedy with you.

After another morning of intense negotiations, a deal was reached to allow all of the members of the convoy to go through. In the end, Viva Palestina had to make the sacrifice of agreeing that some vehicles will have to cross the border from the Al Ouja Israeli controlled crossing point. This includes our mascot, the fire engine and the boat. This was due to the restrictions imposed by Egyptian law governing the Rafah Crossing.

A tearful Talat Ali told me that 'Rafah is the most beautiful crossing in the world', he also said that the time , effort and sacrifices put in by all the Viva Palestina family meant that history has been made today – on the day the prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was born.

George Galloway made an emotional speech thanking the people of Gaza for the wonderful reception and assuring them that for Viva Palestina and in our millions, “WE ARE ALL PALESTINIANS!” George also reiterated that the people of Palestine have voted and that their voice should be respected.

Today the convoy will head along the Salah Eddine road towards Gaza City witnessing along the way the destruction and death caused by the Israeli war machine. Along the way they will be greeted by the people of Gaza who will know that Viva Palestina is here and that they will NEVER BE ALONE.

Farid Arada

Sign up for e-mail updates, and donate to the cause at VivaPalestina.org

We’re Going To Gaza – More From Viva Palestina

// February 20th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Video

On February 14th 2009, after only four, short weeks of preparation, the Viva Palestina convoy finally left for Gaza, from its starting point at London's Hyde Park. Watch interviews with the founder, George Galloway MP, the journalist, Yvonne Ridley, as well as a variety of footage from the departure event.

At the time of publishing this video, the convoy had already reached Morocco. Receive daily updates and send in your donations via VivaPalestina.org.

Happy Valentine Palestine

// February 14th, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Blog

Let's forget the halality or haramity of Valentines Day for a moment. Today, true love was in the air at Hyde Park.

That was the departure point for the Viva Palestina convoy, who are now all on their way to Ramsgate, from where they will begin their long journey to Gaza.

I didn't expect it, but I was quite overcome by emotion at times: both with joy, as well as a happy kind of sadness. My heart was genuinely moved by the people around me. We should all thank Allāh for allowing us to witness such devotion and selflessness. Alhamdulillah. In fact, such were my feelings, that I was sufficiently motivated to come down to the Apple Store, just so I could blog about it!

(more…)

Viva Palestina: Send Your Love To Gaza

// February 12th, 2009 // No Comments » // Video

The British MP, George Galloway, has launched a bold, new initiative to help the beleaguered people of Gaza, called Viva Palestina. On February 14th 2009, he will lead a large convoy from London, all the way through Europe and North Africa by road, to personally deliver much needed aid into Gaza.

Find out how you can help at http://vivapalestina.org.

Closed Captions available

Green Week

// February 8th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

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