Thursday, 12 December 2019

Election 2019

Very selective political coverage
Other political views are available, but this was an interesting take on publicity videos. Also see MCB coverage on encouraging voters

'How I became a secret daytime DJ'

BBC News, 'How I became a secret daytime DJ' "In the 1980s, many British South Asian teenagers were expected to spend evenings at home, so an underground club scene began to emerge in the afternoons. One of the people behind the "daytimer" trend in Bradford, a young DJ called Moey Hassan, told the BBC's Kavita Puri how it began." Taken from the excellent BBC series Three Pounds in My Pocket.

Seasonal joy

Friday, 6 December 2019

'Islamophobia' and Politics

Anti-Muslim "rant"

Question Time on Question Time

Thursday, 5 December 2019

'Boris Johnson says sorry for 'any offence caused' by burqa article'

The Guardian, Boris Johnson says sorry for 'any offence caused' by burqa article "Boris Johnson has apologised “for any offence caused” by his article describing Muslim women who wear a face-covering veil as looking like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers”."

'The Perils of Engaging CVE Policy Making'

Sadek Hamid The Maydan, The Perils of Engaging CVE Policy Making: A British Case Study opinion/analysis "Academics with expertise in Islamic Studies have much to offer a public arena saturated with prejudiced media coverage, self-styled experts and growing anti-Muslim sentiment. However, making interventions in the mainstream can come at a price if individuals become targeted by well-funded interest groups. This politicization of the field can also force scholars to make the difficult decision of whether or not to engage with governments in case they are labelled as Islamophiles or “Islam sympathisers.”"

Advice to Islamophobes

IlmFeed, Advice to Islamophobes:

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Friday, 29 November 2019

Question Time and Johnson

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

LGBT Protests Update

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Update: Muslim woman praised for defending Jewish family against tube abuser

Updte: Here's the woman involved in this case, Asmaa, speaking on BBC 5 Live:

This is profoundly important and moving.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

British Muslims & the Election

Musharraf Hussain, Time, British Muslims Can Swing the U.K. Election, But Only If They Get Out and Vote opinion/analysis

"There are 31 marginal seats where the Muslim electorate outnumbers the sitting member of parliament’s (MP’s) majority. In Conservative-held Hendon, for example, the ruling party’s majority is just 1,072. This is in a constituency with an estimated 8,395 eligible Muslim voters. On the other side of the political divide, Labour holds Glasgow North East by just 242 votes. If just a quarter of the 1010 eligible Muslim voters were to swing to the SNP, the Scottish Nationalists would have another seat in Westminster."

This is based on the research released by the Muslim Council of Britain, MCB finds Muslim voters could swing 31 marginal seats, in particular, this listing of constituencies [pdf].

This is a screenshot of the MCB's campaign to register voters:

Updated: Plaid Cymru Activist "anti-Semitism" Claims

My original posting from 18.11.19 has been updated

Wales Online, Prominent Plaid Cymru activist suspended over anti-Semitic tweets "Screenshots of tweets from 2014 were circulated on social media after it was shown and Plaid Cymru suspended her from the party."

BBC News, General election 2019: Plaid suspend member over anti-Semitism claims "Plaid Cymru has suspended a party member included in its party election broadcast over allegations of anti-Semitism.

"The party said it will conduct an investigation into historical social media comments made by Sahar Al-Faifi.

"Ms Al-Faifi appeared in Plaid Cymru's party political broadcast for the general election, which aired on BBC Wales, ITV Wales and S4C on Thursday."

See Sahar A-Faifi's statement/apology here:

Screenshot of the original Plaid Cymru tweet (now unavailable) highlighting Sahar Al-Faifi's contribution (which in turn generated substantil anti-Muslim rhetoric):

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The Unremembered

Guardian, The Unremembered: Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes review – David Lammy condemns a shameful history "Politician examines the fate of African soldiers who fought in the first world war, finding decay, disregard, and denial"

Monday, 28 October 2019

Italian Bangladeshis in UK: Ethnic minority fears Brexit impact

Al Jazeera, Italian Bangladeshis in UK: Ethnic minority fears Brexit impact "Italian Bangladeshis seeking better education for their children and more diversity now live under threat of Brexit." This would make a good subject for postgrad research.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Syrian refugee children embrace love of Welsh language

BBC News, Syrian refugee children embrace love of Welsh language "Syrian refugees Sara and Shadi have been learning about Welsh culture and have fallen in love with their new language." Great story.

Inspired by the East review

Guardian, Inspired by the East review – a glorious show Boris Johnson really ought to see apparently this is a magnificent show. Hope to see it.

British taste for curry has changed, but appetite remains strong

Al Jazeera, British taste for curry has changed, but appetite remains strong ""The price of raw materials is increasing day by day, customers are declining because of the pricing, because of strict immigration rules we're having problems with staff, and the younger generation here does not want to step forward and take over family businesses," said Saidur Rahman Bipul, chief treasurer of the Bangladeshi Caterers Association (BDA), the largest trade group for Britain's curry houses."

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Prevent strategy: your questions answered

Guardian, Prevent strategy: your questions answered "The unveiling of a secret database holding all referrals to Prevent has sparked a fresh debate over the controversial anti-radicalisation programme."

Monday, 9 September 2019

'Islamic Tartan'

Here's an  article on the 'Islamic tartan', although it doesn't represent the important arguments (i.e. from @desondy) for designs to reflect diverse Muslim identities. The National,  'Scotland's Islamic tartan is going viral, but why now?

Maulana Yusuf Motala

Yahya Birt, Medium, Maulana Yusuf Motala (1946–2019): Founder of the UK’s first Islamic seminary "Maulana Yusuf Motala (may God have mercy on his soul) (1946–2019) passed away last night in Toronto. He was one of the giants of Islam in Britain, and like the Tablighi Jamaat leader Hafiz Mohammed Patel (1926–2016), he had a huge influence upon the development of Muslim communities in Britain in the latter half of the twentieth century and after." Obituary of a significant figure in Muslim life in the UK.

Saturday, 7 September 2019


BBC News, What Educating Yorkshire's Mushy did next "Educating Yorkshire, the Channel 4 series which followed life in a Dewsbury secondary school, became a sensation after one of the pupils – Mushy – learnt how to cope with his stammer; that was thanks to his teacher Mr Burton and a pair of headphones."

Wednesday, 4 September 2019


BBC News, PMQs: Applause as MP demands apology for Johnson burka remarks "Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi asked Boris Johnson when he would "finally apologise" for his Telegraph column in which he described Muslim women as looking like "letterboxes"."

Prevent Strategy

Discover Society, FOCUS: An Independent Review of the Prevent Strategy
"The immediate context of this special issue of Discover Society is the Independent Review of the Prevent Strategy which the government announced as part of the passage of the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act (2019). Among other concerns, Liberty has argued that the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act is a further step in a process of the criminalisation of speech. This was begun in the Counter Extremism Strategy of 2015, and the new Act adds the idea that support for extremism can be inadvertent, but ‘reckless’, if there was insufficient care with regard to the consequences of speech in influencing others toward radicalisation."

Monday, 2 September 2019

LGBTQI Education

Victoria Derbyshire, BBC iPlayer, 2 Sep 2019 "The programme recreates a relationships lesson with a story about a chick with two male parents. A lesson that has led to protests."

Thursday, 15 August 2019

'Woke' Campaign

Middle East Eye, REVEALED: The 'woke' media outfit that's actually a UK counterterror programme 

"A social media network for young people that has been launched around the term “woke” is actually a covert British government counterterrorism programme, security officials have admitted." Screenshot from Instagram:

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Assimilation Issues

Telegraph, British Muslims should not feel forced to assimilate, says top counter terrorism officer, 6 Aug 2019 "British Muslims should not be forced to “assimilate”, the country’s most senior counter terrorism officer has said, as he called for greater understanding of marginalised communities."

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Poll on 'values'

Metro, Nearly half of UK adults think Islam is ‘incompatible’ with British values "The poll, which questioned 2,077 people of different ages, genders and regions, showed how ‘misunderstood’ the religion is in the UK, said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community." I haven't seen this poll yet, and question the value of the headline.

Monday, 15 July 2019

"Boris Johnson claimed Islam put Muslim world 'centuries behind'"

Guardian, Boris Johnson claimed Islam put Muslim world 'centuries behind' "Boris Johnson has been strongly criticised for arguing Islam has caused the Muslim world to be “literally centuries behind” the west, in an essay unearthed by the Guardian."

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Schoolboy Payout

Mail Online, Schoolboy, 11, wins £3,500 payout after teachers at east London school wrongly accused him of wearing T-shirt supporting ISIS into class "The unnamed boy turned up at a school in Tower Hamlets, east London, when he was eight years of age wearing a T-shirt bearing the slogan: 'I want to be like Abu Bakr al-Siddique'.
"Abu Bakr al-Siddique is a prominent figure in Islam born in the year 583 who would later become the father-in-law of the prophet Muhammad, who married his daughter."

Monday, 8 July 2019

Shreds: Murder in the dock

BBC Sounds, Shreds: Murder in the dock "A young woman is murdered in a frenzied knife attack. Outside, a man is crying and covered in blood. What happens next almost defies belief. Yes, this really did happen…"

7-7 anniversary

Daily Mail, Sadiq Khan lays flowers at the 7/7 memorial in Hyde Park to mark the 14th anniversary of the atrocity that killed 52 as worst-injured survivor says the public has forgotten the attack "One of the survivors, Dan Biddle, who lost both his legs, his spleen and an eye when a bomb went off on a tube at Edgware Road, has said many members of the public have never heard of the attacks."

Nadiya interview

Times, Nadiya Hussain: from bullying and anxiety to Bake Off and Time to Eat "When she was 11, bullies dunked her head in the toilet, tore out her hair and slammed her fingers in doors. Her assailants? Asian boys who targeted her because her skin wasn’t pale enough. The Bake Off star tells Andrew Billen about the devastating fallout." The excellent Nadiya Hussain profiled here.

Monday, 1 July 2019

Mosque retreat

BBC News, Rural Llanbedr chapel will be turned into mosque I should point out that this is not Llanbedr Pont Steffan, but interesting news nevertheless

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Hometown Documentary

Mobeen Azhar, BBC News, How did my sleepy hometown become a violent crime hotspot?

Essential viewing from ⁦Mobeen Azhar⁩ - and the in-depth report offers many insights. "The investigation lasted almost two years, and its findings suggested links between Huddersfield and the national and international drugs trade. I found out that British Pakistanis are significantly overrepresented when it comes to convictions for intent to supply class A drugs in Yorkshire and Humber. Why was this happening in my community, and was there a link with the death of a local man named Yassar Yaqub?"

British Muslims Navigating between Individualism and Traditional Authority

New and noted: Hira Amin, 'British Muslims Navigating between Individualism and Traditional Authority', 'Religions' Journal (haven't read it all yet!)

Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Organ Donational Fatwa

BBC News, Islamic fatwa approves organ donation after Bristol man's efforts "This new fatwa complements the previous fatwas and is aimed at British Muslims who are predominantly of south Asian background and heritage.
"Scholar Mufti Mohammed Zubair Butt, who issued the fatwa, said he hoped the move would help to "serve as a catalyst" for change."

Monday, 17 June 2019


@1919raceriots is an ingenious twitter feed reflecting the 1919 Cardiff Race riots in 'real time', together with comments.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Eid @ Cambridge

Eid sermon at the Cambridge Mosque:

Freedom 360

BBC News, Seeking asylum: 'Trusting our lives to people smugglers' "The stories of five people who fled persecution in their own countries and found sanctuary in Wales are being told via a virtual reality exhibition in Cardiff." Freedom 360 has info on the exhibit

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Monday, 20 May 2019

Inside the online world of Muslim millennials


Based on Hussein Kesvani's forthcoming book
Follow Me Akhi, this is certainly worth a read [note: paywalled article]. It's a revealing and interesting article, with lots of insight and access. It also links with my own research interests (existing and forthcoming)

Hussein Kesvani, Times Magazine, Inside the online world of Muslim millennials, 18 May 2019

Young, Welsh and Pretty Religious,

BBC 3, Young, Welsh and Pretty Religious, Series 1: Episode 1 recommended programme 
"From a Hari Krishna monk and a niqab-wearing Muslim activist to a bi-sexual Christian and a transgender pagan, we shadow nine young believers from across Wales, following a variety of religions, as they reveal what they believe, why they believe it, and how it impacts on their lives. "

Thursday, 16 May 2019

'Islamophobia' debate

BBC News, Government rejects Islamophobia definition ahead of debate, 15 May 2019 "MPs will debate the definition in Parliament on Thursday. It says: "Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness."" Also see

Friday, 10 May 2019

Britain used to ask Muslims to move here. What happened to us?

Diana Darke, Guardian, Opinion, Britain used to ask Muslims to move here. What happened to us? This article highlights a series of information films (archived by the BFI), including one made in Cardiff. Not sure about the 'us' in the title of this?

Football ijtihad

Liverpool Echo, What Ramadan means for Liverpool forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane ahead of Champions League final "Under Islamic teachings, it is permissible to break your fast "with anything that is adequate need" or if you are travelling during the day – which Salah did as Liverpool headed to Kiev."

Thursday, 9 May 2019

St Paul's Iftar

About Islam, St Paul’s Cathedral Hosts First Ever Ramadan Iftar "The interfaith iftar offered attendands a platform to interact, communicate, and exchange ideas, not to mention a Ramadan iftar meal."

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

London Bridge Attack Inquest

Guardian, London Bridge attack: inquest told of 'high and terrible drama' "The London Bridge inquests began at the Old Bailey on Tuesday with details of the attack on 3 June 2017 being read out by Judge Mark Lucraft QC, the chief coroner. Details emerged of an off-duty nurse killed as she tried to help the wounded, and a passerby who desperately tried to tackle the terrorists with a skateboard."

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Islam and Youth

This is an interview with Dr Sadek Hamid on youth issues in Islam

Welsh Muslims

Wales Online, You Don't Know Us.

"These women have different stories to tell, of inspirational people doing inspirational things. Sadly, they include the experiences of abuse or racism which have formed part of their lives.

"But just as being Muslim is one part of their make-up, so is this: they are brilliant Welsh women doing wonderful things."

Monday, 25 March 2019

Miqdaad Versi Interview

Guardian, ‘The Tories are institutionally Islamophobic’: Miqdaad Versi takes on MPs and the media interview/opinion: "The 33-year-old Versi is a privately educated Londoner who graduated in maths from Oxford university. He is handsome and smiley and could pass for a dishevelled Louis Theroux. He talks fast, constantly gesturing with his hands and nodding. But his arguments are always fair, balanced and evidence-based. Versi is famously polite and relentlessly reasonable. Over the past three years he has become a brilliantly effective media whisperer – cajoling rather than bullying newspapers and broadcasters into seeing the error of their ways."

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Birmingham Mosques Vandalised

Mirror, Birmingham mosque attacks: Five holy buildings vandalised 'with sledgehammers' "The terrified Birmingham Muslim community is linking sledgehammer attacks on five mosques around the city overnight to the deadly New Zealand terror massacres."

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

'Young British Muslims are demanding the government tackles Islamophobia now'

Dazed, Young British Muslims are demanding the government tackles Islamophobia now "Political and faith leaders gathered in solidarity on Monday (March 18) in London’s Regent’s Park mosque to discuss the reality of Islamophobia in the UK. London mayor Sadiq Khan joined the panel with home secretary Sajid Javid, communities secretary James Brokenshire, the archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis."

Message of Support

Video from the Naz Legacy Foundation.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Cambridge Mosque

Guardian, Inside Cambridge’s new £23m mosque: a forest runs through it  "The new £23m mosque in Mill Road, Cambridge, which will open in the next few weeks, is the most determined attempt yet to build in a way that is of its own place and time. It’s the brainchild of Timothy Winter, also known as Abdal Hakim Murad, a convert to Islam who teaches at the University of Cambridge and is dean of the Cambridge Muslim College. The building, which has room for 1,000 worshippers, will serve the city’s Muslim population in general, as well as Winter’s students. " The project has used social media to publicise its building/funding. Details are here: Cambridge Mosque Project (Twitter)Cambridge Mosque Information Cambridge Mosque Trust (website).

Surrey attack

Telegraph, Surrey teenager stabbed in 'far-Right terror attack' amid spate of racist incidents after New Zealand massacre, 18 Mar 2019 "Detectives are investigating an alleged far-Right terror attack in Surrey after a teenager was stabbed amid a spate of racist incidents across Britain which came in the wake of the New Zealand massacre."

Mosque Security

Guardian, UK Muslim leaders seek funding for mosque security, 18 Mar 2019 "Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, will be writing to the prime minister raising the “palpable sense of fear” felt by Muslim communities after the attack in Christchurch which claimed 50 lives, and warning of the risk of copycat attacks in the UK."

Christchurch attacks

Full coverage of the Christchurch attacks can be found on my Virtually Islamic blog

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

'Islamophobia' and the Conservative Party

BBC News, Theresa May's 'head in sand' over Tory Islamophobia, says Warsi, 5 Mar 2019 "Former party chair Baroness Warsi said the PM had failed to "acknowledge" or "tackle" the problem and this was "symptomatic" of her wider leadership." Also see

The Guardian, Tories suspend 14 members over alleged Islamophobia, 5 Mar 2019 "The party was responding to racist and abusive remarks that were discovered and collected online by the @matesjacob Twitter account, and made by people who had said or indicated they were members of the party." 

Monday, 4 March 2019

Syrian schoolboy sues Tommy Robinson

Metro, Syrian schoolboy sues Tommy Robinson for saying he ‘violently attacked’ English girls, 4 Mar 2019

"A Syrian refugee who was allegedly waterboarded by bullies at his former school is suing former English Defence League leader, Tommy Robinson, over videos in which he claimed the boy had attacked English girls."

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Mosque in Birmingham

Independent, A man complained about Muslims buying a church and using it for prayers, and it backfired badly "Not only did it quickly go viral, receiving almost 3,000 views, but most comments were supportive of the mosque's decision, claiming that the deserted church would have otherwise not been put to use." I saw (and posted) the original tweet, and thought the recitation was beautiful, and in keeping with the building. Here it is: "Muslims bought this beautiful Church in Birmingham & have converted it into a Mosque. This is how the UK is being transformed." Twitter, @MarkACollett

Monday, 25 February 2019

School pupils to be taught about relationships

BBC News, School pupils to be taught about relationships "Primary and secondary pupils in England will learn about relationships, keeping safe online and looking after their mental health as part of compulsory lessons from September next year."

Friday, 22 February 2019

'State of Hate' Report

Guardian, Third of Britons believe Islam threatens British way of life, says report

This refers to Hope not Hate's 'State of Hate' Report.  Link for Executive Report, PDF report, and other information.

Tackling 'Islamophobia'

The Conversation, How to tackle Islamophobia – the best strategies from around Europe. Article from Amina Easat-Daas, Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, University of Leeds

Online hate

BBC News, Ruqaiya Haris: managing the hate online when you're young, female and Muslim

White Helmets Refugees in UK

BBC NewsUK rehomes some 100 Syria White Helmets and family members
Significant report from Catrin Nye.

Shamima Begum

There's a complete set of links regarding this ongoing case on my Virtually Islamic blog


Imams Online, The Role of the Mosque in Community Building and Promoting Citizenship

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

'Don't back down on LGBT guidance, faith leaders urge DfE'

Guardian, Don't back down on LGBT guidance, faith leaders urge DfE Something of a controversial issue here, which would make for a lively seminar. Other opinions are available on this critical issue. "The argument over whether schools should teach children about LGBT issues arose in a Birmingham state school last month when 400 predominantly Muslim parents signed a petition calling for the topic to be dropped from the curriculum."

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Muslim Population of the UK

This is the result of a FOI request: ONS, Muslim population in the UK

British-Somalis Film - See My Dunya

BBC News, The story of British-Somalis in Manchester "Two young British-Somali filmmakers, Mohamud Yusuf Mussa and Yasin Mohamed, have attempted to address this through their short documentary See My Dunya (See My World)."

Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities

I attended the Leadership, Authority and Representation in British Muslim Communities conference in Cardiff.  More information on my involvement is here

'Prevent' Review

MCB, Muslim Council of Britain Welcomes Independent Review of Prevent It's important that Prevent has a thorough, independent review. "The Muslim Council of Britain was one of a number of civil society organisations, human rights groups and liberty advocates who have long highlighted a number of serious failings and lack of transparency, including the former independent reviewer of counter-terror legislation David Anderson, the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of assembly and association." Also see Tahir Abbas, Countering violent extremism: a left-realist critique of ‘Prevent’: Yahya Birt, Is the Independent Review of Prevent an opportunity or a trap?

Friday, 4 January 2019

Tears as Derby charity worker is stopped at an airport for the 50TH TIME

Derby Telegraph, Tears as Derby charity worker is stopped at an airport for the 50TH TIME, 2 Jan 2019 "Mr Ali, who works in Derby for the international aid charity Unite4Humanity, was travelling home from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, after a ten-day pilgrimage with his family and his disabled grandmother, who uses a wheelchair."

Forced Marriages

Pragna Patel, Charging forced marriage victims rescue fees is a Foreign Office racket, 3 Jan 2019 (opinion piece) "Victims have no choice but to pay for protection when fleeing lives of horrific violence. These fees are wrong, and must end."

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Honours for Muslims tell untold story about the UK

Imam Mahmoud, Standard, Honours for Muslims tell untold story about the UK "While gaps between us widen, a political elite seems too often to be distracted from or unbothered by the issues ordinary people face. Yet I know of another story that is being written too: by determined and selfless people pulling us together every day. The New Year’s Honours list in many ways speaks to this story. It is indicative of a country’s people working together — in spite of all we’re up against. "

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Mosque hosts Shoah Exhibition

Times of Israel, Golders Green mosque to host exhibit on Muslim heroes of Shoah "Golders Green Mosque is to host a unique one-day Yad Vashem exhibition at the beginning of the new year, highlighting the Muslim Albanians who helped, protected and rescued their Jewish neighbours during the Holocaust."

Manchester attack

BBC News, Manchester Victoria station stabbings 'a terrorist investigation' "The stabbing of three people - including a police officer - in Manchester is being treated as a terrorist investigation, police say."