Thursday, 27 August 2009

Radio Ramadan

earthtimes, Radio Ramadan is 'on message' for British Muslims - Feature, "For Britain's 1.7 million Muslims, tuning into Radio Ramadan has become an important part of the holy month of fasting and prayer. This year, some 30 stations across Britain have been granted a temporary licence to broadcast around the clock for 32 days on issues of belief, daily life, entertainment and politics. "

Sebastian Faulks

Telegraph, Sebastian Faulks: The book I really can't put down, Sebastian Faulks apologises if his comments about the Koran have offended Muslims, 24 Aug 09, "There seems to be an almost inevitable irritation when novelists in Britain and America, with their long history of free speech, touch on matters Islamic. I am not the first and probably won't be the last to have ruffled some feathers, though I feel sad about this, because my new novel, A Week in December, is carefully researched, and, among its main characters, presents a hugely sympathetic and loving Muslim family; it is furthermore made clear that the parents' kindness and good citizenship spring not just from being naturally good eggs but from their devotion to the Koran."


Guardian, Muslim man claims he was kidnapped and threatened at knifepoint over prayer sessions, 27 Aug 09, "Noor Ramjanally, 35, told the Guardian he had been the victim of a terror campaign which has also involved threats against his family after he began the Islamic prayer sessions in March. He said he fears for his life after the abduction at knifepoint, which happened at his home in Loughton, Essex, on Monday."

'The Wire'

Independent, Britain as dangerous as Baltimore? You’ve got your wires crossed, 25 Aug 09

Monday, 24 August 2009

'Love at First Site'

BBC Radio 4, Love at First Site, "Sarfraz Manzoor explores the world of matrimonial websites aimed at the Asian diaspora around the world and the alternative they present to the traditional arranged marriage." Sounds fascinating. Only problem is that Radio 4 are not making it available on their Listen Again feature at present.

Also see Sarfraz Manzoor, The Guardian, Forget internet dating, this is online matchmaking, 24 Aug 09

'Living with the Infidels' Internet show

Telegraph, Log On Watch This, "The internet is a place for experiments, for pushing boundaries that mainstream television hasn’t yet got the stomach for. Living with the Infidels falls into this category. It’s a comedy – made, it should be emphasised, with the full blessing of the Muslim Council of Great Britain – about an inept Islamic terror cell based in Bradford."

See Living with the Infidels, which has the five episodes available to view. I have only seen the first one, but plan to see the others soon.

Facebook, Living with the Infidels

Also see Sarfraz Manzoor, The Guardian, Living with the Infidels: Can a sitcom about terrorists ever be funny?, 20 Aug 09 "The five-part series has been condemned even before it has been broadcast with relatives of those killed in the 7/7 attacks leading the criticism. Its writer and creator is 40-year-old Aasaf Ainapore, a former commercials director who was born into a Muslim family but says he is not himself a believer. Ainapore was inspired to make the series with his partner Kira-Anne Pelican after noticing how often the word "bumbling" was used to describe British would-be terrorists."

Shisha and health

BBC News, Shisha 'as harmful as cigarettes' , 23 Aug 09 "Shisha bars, which are typically decked out with low stools and soft cushions to create an inviting atmosphere, have become popular in cities across the UK, particularly London, Manchester and Birmingham."

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Tariq Ramadan

Independent, Islamic scholar hits out over sacking, 20 Aug 09 "The controversial Islamic theologian Tariq Ramadan has been fired from two jobs in the Netherlands for allegedly endorsing the Iranian regime by hosting a chat show on a Tehran-backed TV channel."

Tariq Ramadan was recently appointed a new Islamic Studies Chair at Oxford. See for info

Monday, 17 August 2009

UK policy

Inayat Bunglawala, Islam Online, UK Gov. Rethinks Its Approach to Extremism, 17 Aug 09 "For some time now it has been clear that the UK government’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) strategy has been facing major difficulties. So the news this week that the government is seriously rethinking this area of counter-terrorism should be welcomed."



New issue of the lifestyle magazine, focusing on Ramadan.

Mosaic International Summer School, Future Muslim leaders take part in UK summer school, 21 Aug 09 "Muslim delegates from across the world have been taking part in a two-week project designed to inspire future leaders. Eighty-six people have come together at the Mosaic International Summer School to take part in the project which has been supported by The Prince of Wales who spoke of his delight over the interest the school has created."

Wedding walkout - commentaries

BBC World Service, UK MP in Muslim wedding walkout, 14 Aug 09 "A British government minister walked out of a Muslim wedding a few days ago and has now condemned the segregation of male and female guests."

Kia Abdullah, Guardian, Segregated weddings? No thanks, 14 Aug 09 "I understand and respect the significance of chastity within religion and culture, but does sitting near a man at a wedding really constitute an act of brazen immodesty? I may be preaching to the choir here, but isn't it time us so-called moderate Muslims got over this hang-up?"

Alasdair Palmer, Telegraph, Why must we bow to the intolerant ways of Islam?, 15 Aug 09 "When Jim Fitzpatrick MP and his wife decided to leave a Muslim wedding party after they discovered it was segregated by sex, he did not anticipate the controversy his decision would generate. "It reflects badly on him," said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the former head of the Muslim Council of Britain. "It shows a lack of interest… to engage with people of different backgrounds." Tim Archer, the Tory who is standing against the minister of state at the next election, commented that "Fitzpatrick is playing a certain race card to save his skin at the next election"."

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Islamophobia discussion

Pankaj Mishra, The Guardian, A culture of fear, 15 Aug 09

"Liberal spaces within Europe have brought many more Muslim women out of their old confinements Europe is at risk of being 'colonised' by its Muslim populations, argue a number of bestselling new books, acclaimed across the political spectrum. How has such hysteria gone unchallenged? Pankaj Mishra on the 'Eurabia-mongers'"

Review of, and commentary on, Bruce Bawer's book While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West from Within