Thursday, 27 January 2011

Curfews renamed

Nigel Morris, The Independent, Curfews are renamed 'overnight stays' in new anti-terror laws, 27 Jan 2011: "Terror suspects will still be ordered to observe a curfew of up to 10 hours following a review of the controversial control orders regime that was dismissed by civil liberties groups last night as a mere rebranding exercise."

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Coexistence Trust

Harriet Swain, Guardian, Muslim and Jewish students forge friendship network, 24 Jan 2011 "At universities around the UK, Muslim and Jewish students are finding common ground, with the help of the Coexistence Trust charity."

More information on the charity's activities can be found here: Coexistence Trust.

I don't know much about it, so have been reading the coverage and its site with interest.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Sayeeda Warsi

Andrew Anthony, The Observer, Sayeeda Warsi: A matter of pride and prejudice, 23 Jan 2011 "In her much-publicised speech at Leicester University last week, she claimed that "Islamophobia has now passed the dinner-table test", meaning that it's now acceptable among the chattering classes."

Friday, 21 January 2011

Video: "Muslim resistance: The struggle within"

Guardian, Muslim resistance: The struggle within, 17 Jan 2011 "videoDocumentary maker Masood Khan explores the Muslim community's struggle against extremism. In the first of three videos, he goes to Luton to see how Salafi Muslims are rejecting the extreme rhetoric of al-Muhajiroun."

I've yet to see this, or others in the series:

“Internalizing Islam in Britain”, The Project of “Internalizing Islam in Britain, 18 Jan 2011: "The University of Westminster and Exeter are about to compile different ideas and view points of Islamic figures around the Britain and publish it."

Qur'an of Kansuh al-Ghuri digitised

The University of Manchester, Technology reunites one of world’s largest Korans, 19 Jan 2011 "Experts at the John Rylands Library are using digital technology and the internet to reunite the 470 page Rylands Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri with two missing leaves, discovered in the 1970s at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin.

"Up to now, scholars have been unable to study the precious items - thought to be at least 500 years old – because they are too fragile.

"But now, the reunited digitised resource will be freely available for research, teaching and learning using Turning the Pages technology on a dedicated website."

I look forward to seeing this in due course.

Isa Ibrahim, British terrorist working with police to preventing young Muslims being radicalised, 18 Jan 2011: "A terrorist jailed for plotting to bomb a shopping centre has apologised for his actions – and is working with police to stop young Muslims being seduced by an ”ideology of hate”."

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Matthew Reisz, Times Higher, Contravene or intervene?, 6 Jan 2011 "Freedom of speech is passionately defended in UK education, but when Islamic extremism and even terrorism have emanated from some of our campuses, should institutions step in? Matthew Reisz weighs up the hands-on and hands-off approaches." Interesting article, which refers to research from a range of perspectives - a factor that needs to be taken into account within the analysis.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Modest Fashion Online Discussion‏

Hijab Style: Modest Fashion Online Discussion‏: "Next week there will be a great opportunity to take part in a 24-hour online discussion with the Modest Fashion research project team. (Professor Reina Lewis, Jane Cameron and Dr Emma Tarlo; author of Visibly Muslim).

"The site will go live at 7pm GMT on Wednesday 12th January 2011 and won't close until 7pm GMT on Thursday 13th January 2011. The project team will be staying up late to make sure that everyone has a convenient time to participate wherever they are in the world. To join the discussion simply follow this link and sign in on the day:"

The book Visibly Muslim: Fashion, Politics, Faith by Emma Tarlo [Berg] sounds interesting. Some of my MA students have an interest in this issue, so I'll be pointing them towards this.

Jack Straw's comments

The comments of Jack Straw [see BBC News, Jack Straw: Some white girls are 'easy meat' for abuse, 8 Jan 2011] on the 'grooming gang' issue have sparked a broad range of comment and opinion, some of which is represented here for the record - my usual disclaimer applies:, Muslim leader fears stigma after MP's sex case remarks, 10 Jan 2011: "Derby's Muslim community has expressed its shock after Jack Straw said the jailing of two Asian men for abusing schoolgirls highlighted a problem among Pakistani men."

Independent, Yasmin Alibhai Brown: Jack Straw is right to ask hard questions about Asian men, 10 Jan 2011 "Being avowedly a leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist, Muslim, part-Pakistani, and yes, a very responsible person, I should be in the circle with these objectors – particularly as I can't stand the Rt Hon MP for Blackburn, his devious, shady politicking and moral expediency. However, just as when he criticised the full veil, I cannot condemn his views. How can I? ..."

Nazia Parveen, Lancashire Telegraph, Jack Straw sex grooming comments: the reaction, 10 Jan 2011 "Lancashire Muslims, a group representing professional and business people, issued a statement condemning the actions of gangs of abusers and said they should be brought before courts and victims should be supported.

"“Rather than asking Mr Straw to apologise we ask for all politicians to tackle the wider issues and the breakdown of moral responsibility across society,” they added."

Mohammed Shafiq, Chief Executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, Grooming Of Teenagers Is Evil And Unacceptable To All

Andrew Gilligan, Telegraph, Are white girls really 'easy meat'?, 8 Jan 2011 "Sadly for the racists, the figures just do not support any attempt to paint British Muslims and Asians as sex predators on a national scale."

Yamin Zakaria, Media Monitors Network, It is not Pakistani culture, but the toxic culture of 'freedom', which promotes rape, 9 Jan 2011


Friday, 7 January 2011

Digital Disruption & Pathway to Medina

Tasmin Lucia Khan, Daily Mirror, We MUST challenge our Muslim youths who are exposed to hate and lies, 30 Dec 2010: "One of the schemes I have worked with is Pathway to Medina based in Bolton, where we look at extremist material together and analyse it. I ask the boys to point out the spin, the exaggeration and the complete untruths.

"Another brilliant scheme is Digital Disruption based in East London. Here the boys themselves produce educational videos for other youngsters, highlighting what propaganda looks like in extremist material online. Typically, the hate-videos are circulated on websites such as YouTube."

Just picked this up, it has some interesting points... I have referred to Digital Disruption before. Here's their URL: Digital Disruption [couldn't locate Pathway to Medina - pointers appreciated]

Digital Disruption; Workshop 05 from Bold Creative Work-in-Progress on Vimeo.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

'Converts' to Islam

Catrin Nye, BBC News, Converting to Islam - the white Britons becoming Muslims, 4 Jan 2011

"As 22-year-old Aisha Uddin recites Surah Al-Fatiha - the first chapter of the Koran - at home with close friend Sameeah Karim, she may stumble over one word but otherwise the text is perfectly recounted."

"But unlike Sameeah, 35, who has Pakistani heritage and grew up reading the holy book, Aisha is newer to it: she used to be called Laura and only converted to Islam two years ago."

Also see:

BBC News - 'Why I decided to convert to Islam', 4 Jan 2011: "Up to 100,000 converts to Islam are living in the UK, with white women leading the growing number of people embracing the Muslim faith, according to a report by Kevin Brice of Swansea University.

"The study, on behalf of the Faith Matters organisation, found 5,200 people converted to Islam in the UK last year."

The above link also has a recording of a radio interview from BBC Radio Wales (very interesting, but I couldn't embed it!).

Report on Converts to Islam in the UK: A Minority Within a MinorityThe Faith Matters' website has much more information, including a pdf of the report: M.A. Kevin Brice, A Minority within a Minority: A Report on Converts to Islam in the United Kingdom. I've just downloaded a copy, so have added it to my ever expanding reading list: I'm interested in the statistics and methodology issues, as well as the commentary.

Miscellaneous press reaction, headlines (and readers' comments) can be found at Jack Doyle, Mail Online, How 100,000 Britons have chosen to become Muslim... and average convert is 27-year-old white woman, 5 Jan 2011 and Jerome Taylor and Sarah Morrison, The Independent, The Islamification of Britain: record numbers embrace Muslim faith, 4 Jan 2011. Also see the commentary from In My Trends, Faith Matters Report On Conversion To Islam In UK Becomes A Media Scare Story

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Derby tomato

Chris Mallet,, Tomato that fell out of sandwich had message from God, says Muslim, 1 Jan 2011 Found by Salman Gul in Derby:

"The imam, Rafi Din Shah said the message had come as a surprise.

"He said: "It's no coincidence – it's a sign from God. Muhammad said 'I will leave this world but there will be signs that come to show I am the true messenger of God, that will confirm my prophet-hood. This is one of those signs."

"Mr Shah said he had been teaching Arabic for two years, having got a masters in the subject at university.

"He said: 'I have never seen anything like this before, although you do read about and see these things on the internet. I think you'll find this will be a major boost for the whole Muslim community in Derby. To hear and see that something like this has happened in Derby will really cheer people up.'"

New publication:' Postcolonial Media Culture in Britain'

Postcolonial Media Culture in Britain, Edited by Rinella Cere and Rosalind Brunt, Palgrave Macmillan includes a chapter 'From Mosque to YouTube: UK Muslims Go Online' by myself. There's also a chapter on 'The Politics of Hip-Hop and Cultural Resistance' by Amir Saeed, which I'm looking forward to reading, and several other chapters which will be of interest to readers of this blog.