Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

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…

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.

Virtopsy: The Non-Invasive Autopsy

// February 28th, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

The subject of death, and especially autopsy, is a little more macabre than I'm used to dealing with. Even so, I could not resist sharing some information on the matter that I discovered via an unlikely source: my “They Work For You” email alerts. A free, online service that allows users to track UK Parliamentary goings-on, by keyword and/or a manner of other useful filters.

The email linked to a debate regarding an amendment to Clause 15 of the Coroners and Justice Bill, which covers the issue of post-mortem examinations. Muslims (and as it turns out, Jews as well) require the body to be buried as soon as possible after death occurs. In addition, generally speaking, many people have a special sensitivity towards surgical autopsy, as they don't wish the body of the deceased to be 'harmed' in any way.

The debate revealed that Manchester's coroners jurisdiction has been offering MRI-based autopsies for some time, developed in response to the needs of its sizeable Muslim and Jewish communities. Apparently, not only is the procedure non-invasive, but it is also much quicker than the traditional, dissection-based method, as it does not rely on the analysis of biopsies, which can delay the results of a post-mortem for days, or even weeks.

Continue Reading at MuslimMatters.org…

British Muslims: Who Speaks For Us?

// January 29th, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Blog

The following written answer provides some insight into the “movers and shakers” of British Muslim society.

Communities and Local Government

Community Relations: Islam

Paul Goodman (Shadow Minister, Communities and Local Government; Wycombe, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what meetings Ministers in her Department have had with groups of British Muslims on the possible effects of events in Gaza since 27 December 2008 on community cohesion; and what the names were of the individuals who attended each meeting.

(more…)

International Law – So What?

// January 19th, 2009 // 8 Comments » // Blog

International Law.

What is it?
When was it written?
Where can I find a copy?
And most importantly – who is it enforced by?

Because according to several commentators, Israel has repeatedly broken “international law” and is guilty of committing war crimes – and not just with its recent acts of depravity in Gaza – but since its inception.

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Spare A Few Mins for Gaza

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

MuslimMatters.org has posted an excellent action guide for those who want to help the people of Gaza. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments section at the end of the post.

Freedom Shoes

// January 3rd, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Photos

Taken outside the Egyptian embassy in London, at the end of a demonstration calling for the opening of the Gazan border.

Taken outside the Egyptian embassy in London, at the end of a demonstration calling for the opening of the Gazan border.

Protest Photos

// December 30th, 2008 // 2 Comments » // Photos

Photos taken at a public demonstration against the bombing of Gaza, held outside the Israeli embassy in London.

Police Vans'ello 'elloFree PalestineOutside the EmbassyJews Against ZionismThe Mounted Division

Community Relations Debate

// December 10th, 2008 // 1 Comment » // Blog

This short transcript of a debate in the House of Lords, titled, “Community Relations: Muslims” is worth a read. The fact that such a matter is being discussed openly, at high levels, says a lot in itself.

Some highlights:

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