Tag Archive: British Muslims

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WARM WELCOME: Children greet their guests at Finsbury Park Mosque

WARM WELCOME: Children greet their guests at Finsbury Park Mosque

 

Over 150 mosques open their doors to guest of all faith

British Muslims across Britain offered tours and tea to members of the public in an effort to counter negative perceptions of Islam and educate people about the religion.

Mosques in cities with large Muslim populations, including Bradford, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff welcomed their guests. A record number of Brits turned up showing their solidarity.

Visit My Mosque Day, an initiative organised by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), aims to provide an insight into what goes on inside a Muslim place of worship.

In a social and political climate, which has been affected, the open day was intended to “provide a platform for Muslims to reach out to fellow Britons and explain their faith and community beyond the hostile headlines,” the MCB said.

SUPPORTIVE: Jeremy Corbyn, left, spoke about how bad rhetoric results in acts of hate, and the importance of endorsing values of respect to bring communities together

SUPPORTIVE: Jeremy Corbyn, left, spoke about how bad rhetoric results in acts of hate, and the importance of endorsing values of respect to bring communities together

“Local mosques invited interfaith leaders, and were asked to come together to demonstrate unity and solidarity during what has been a tense time for faith communities.”

Mosques are not only a spiritual focal point, but they also engage with the wider community running food banks, feeding the homeless, carry out  neighbourhood street-cleans and local fundraising.

There has been a major rise in anti-Muslim hate incidents in the past year. According to figures from the Metropolitan police, Islamaphobic crime has increased by 70 percent.

A study by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, published in November, found six out of 10 British Muslims said they had witnessed discrimination against followers of the Islamic faith, and that a climate of hate was being driven by politicians and media.

UNITED: With over 150 mosques taking part many faith, civil and political leaders also took part

UNITED: With over 150 mosques taking part many faith, civil and political leaders also took part

 

Tell MAMA, an organisation that monitors anti-Muslim attacks and abuse, defines such crime as “any malicious act aimed at Muslims, their material property or Islamic organisations and where there is evidence that the act has anti-Muslim motivation or content, or that the victim was targeted because of their Muslim identity.” It also includes “incidents where the victim was perceived to be a Muslim.”

The MCB said that the mosques taking part represented “the diversity in Islamic traditions, with mosques from a wide variety of Islamic schools of thought and traditions … including some of the country’s largest mosques seasoned in doing outreach activities, as well as smaller mosques holding open days for the first time”.

There are 2.7 million Muslims in the UK, making up about 4.5% of the population, according to the 2011 census.

RESPECTFUL: Ladies at the Hyderi Islamic Centre

RESPECTFUL: Ladies at the Hyderi Islamic Centre

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Abattoir boss warns of “fake” sacrificial meat being passed onto unsuspecting customers

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CARCASS TAG: If in doubt about your Qurbani meat, demand to see the stamp on your animal from the butcher or wholesaler

CARCASS TAG: If in doubt about your Qurbani meat, demand to see the stamp on your animal from the butcher or wholesaler

Qurbani scam

“Your butcher or wholesaler may give you excuses why they cannot give you a carcass label but don't accept it.”

A highly-experienced meat boss from within halal industry has slammed the methodology applied for the animal slaughter ritual during Eid-ul-Adha in Britain, in which over 2.5 million Qurbani’s (slaughter of sheep, goats or cows) take place.

CONCERNED: Halal meat boss Naved Syed says 50% of Qurbani meat is “fake”

CONCERNED: Halal meat boss Naved Syed says 50% of Qurbani meat is “fake”

Abattoir boss Naved Syed, who has worked in the lamb and mutton meat sector for over 20-years says that British Muslims need to wise up to zibah (halal slaughter) processes for the Muslim ritual of Qurbani.

He states that that "almost 50 per cent" of the meat from British slaughterhouses is being passed off to unsuspecting customers as Qurbani meat has actually been slaughtered prior to the offering of Eid prayers on the day.

Eid-ul-Adha (festival of sacrifice) is one of the two most important festivals in the Muslim calendar. It marks Prophet Ibrahim’s ultimate devotion to God where he was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac – a story that is also narrated in the Jewish Torah and Christian Old Testament.

Today, the story is commemorated by the sacrifice of a sheep, goat, cow or camel whose meat is shared in three portions among friends, family and the poor. The ritual takes place the day following the Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca, for which over two million Muslims congregate each year.

Syed, whose abattoir has been accredited with a Grade AA status from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) for almost a decade, claims that almost half the slaughter carried out in Britain for the festival is a scam.

The problem for Qurbani's that are performed here in UK is that they are not genuine - about 50% of the qurbani that are performed here are fake," reveals Syed.

The problem for Qurbani's that are performed here in UK is that they are not genuine - about 50% of the qurbani that are performed here are fake," reveals Syed.

“Qurbani can be performed at any halal slaughterhouse and only on the day of Eid-ul-Adha and not before Eid-ul-Adha prayer has been performed,” he adds.

“The main criteria is that the Muslim slaughterman must read his Eid prayer before he can start the sacrifice/zibah for Qurbani.
“It’s shocking how many butchers and wholesalers are scamming their unsuspecting customers, passing off pre-slaughtered meat as Qurbani.”

Syed advises that people can spot a “fake or scam” sacrifice by demanding to see the carcass label for the animal they have purchased from the butcher or wholesaler. Every animal is required to have this tag by UK law before it can leave the slaughterhouse.

“The carcass tag gives you information on which abattoir performed the Qurbani (it will have it's ECC number), it will give you the date, time, type of animal, where the animal came from and the true weight of your Qurbani,” Syed recommends.

“Your butcher or wholesaler may give you excuses why they cannot give you a carcass label but don't accept it - they are legally bound to show the label. If they refuse, you can report them to your local Environmental Health Officer or the Trading Standards.”

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Young donors needed: Muslim initiative to give blood sees successful turnout

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SUCCESSFUL INITIATIVE: (Left to right) Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society; Aimen Al Diwani, Coordinator, Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign; Darren Bowen, Head of Region at NHS Blood and Transplant; Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant

SUCCESSFUL INITIATIVE: (Left to right) Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society; Aimen Al Diwani, Coordinator, Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign; Darren Bowen, Head of Region at NHS Blood and Transplant; Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant

British Muslims across London joined others on 11th July to give blood under the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign (IHBDC) - the largest Muslim initiative of its kind in the UK.

The event, held at the Islamic Centre of England in Maida Vale, marked the 10th anniversary of the campaign and the launch of an official partnership between the IHBDC and NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

NHSBT needs just under 200,000 new donors to attend a session to give blood this year and there is a particular need to attract more younger donors - from 17 years old - and people from South Asian, Arab and black communities.

In general, as long as you are fit and healthy, weigh over 7 stone 12 lbs (50kg) and are aged between 17 and 66 (up to 70 if you have given blood before) you should be able to give blood. If you are over 70, you need to have given blood in the last two years to continue donating.

Currently, only one per cent of people who have given blood in England in the last 12 months have come from black communities and only two per cent come from South Asian or mixed race communities. Less than one per cent are from the Arab community.

People from South Asian, Arab and black communities are more likely to have rarer blood types and conditions, like Thalassaemia or Sickle Cell Disease respectively, which require regular blood transfusions.

People who require regular blood transfusions need blood from donors with a similar ethnic background to provide the best match and better outcomes in the long term.  

In 2015 alone, the IHBDC delivered over 48 dedicated blood donation drives, resulting in the collection of almost 600 units of blood.

GIVING BLOOD: (Left to right) Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society

GIVING BLOOD: (Left to right) Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHS Blood and Transplant, Ehsan Rangiha, Chairman, Islamic Unity Society

As each unit of blood collected has the potential to save or improve up to three lives, in total the donors could have saved or improved the lives of up to 1,800 people in just one year of the 10 year campaign.

Commenting on the achievement, Mike Stredder, Director of Blood Donation at NHSBT said: “The Islamic Unity Society has done a magnificent job helping us to raise awareness of blood donation. Working together we have recruited hundreds of new donors and we look forward to this partnership continuing to grow. We urgently need more donors from black and South Asian communities and would encourage anyone considering blood donation to book an appointment and help save lives.”

Growing year on year, the campaign which began as a single drive in Manchester, now collects blood up and down the UK, throughout the year, with the help of a network of volunteers made up predominantly of students and young professionals.  

Ehsan Rangiha, IUS Chairman added: “The Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign has been doing a fantastic job over the past ten years, during which it has saved many lives.

“The initiative is inspired by the teachings of Islam which dignifies and honours human life, and commands Muslims to do everything to respect and preserve it.

“The NHSBT has been instrumental in giving us the platform to carry out this important work, and this official partnership further strengthens our commitment to supporting blood donation in the UK.

“Finally, I would like to thank Islamic Centre of England for hosting today’s blood drive, and all of those involved from both organisations for their tireless efforts to improve and save the lives of others.

To find out more and book an appointment visit www.blood.co.uk or call 0300 123 23 23

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“I helped conduct ‘The Sun’ newspaper’s poll on Muslims and was shocked at how it was used”

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By an anonymous blogger

I helped conduct the poll that UK tabloid paper The Sun splashed all over its front page on Monday under the inflammatory headline '1 in 5 Brit Muslims' sympathy for jihadis.' I have done work for the market research agency behind the survey, Survation, on and off since March, and when I showed up to the office last week I was presented with a poll that seemed quite different from the usual. On our screen, it was called the 'Muslim Poll.' At first, I thought it looked interesting. After about 20 minutes, I began to feel strange about it.

All of us who worked as Survation's callers on the project were suspicious of the script, and the way the questions were framed, but we had no idea who the client was, or how the information would be used.

The script was reductive and often patronizing. One question asked whether the interviewee thought that: a) British Muslims are not doing enough to integrate into British society, b) British Muslims are doing enough to integrate into British society, or c) it is not important whether British Muslims integrate into British society. A man I spoke to responded to this question with irritation and confusion: "What do you mean? What about when non-Muslims in Britain are hostile toward us? Is there a question about that?"

I became more and more embarrassed about asking these questions. Many people we called refused to take part. But those who did agree to the survey were often very talkative. The poll itself only took a couple of minutes, but more often than not I was on the phone for ten minutes or more. One man kept me on the phone just short of half an hour.

For any other poll, we are told to keep the phone calls as short as possible; for this particular poll, we were briefed and told to let the interviewee talk as much as they wanted to — due to it being a sensitive subject. Every single person I spoke to for more than five minutes condemned the terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam. Some wanted to do the survey primarily in order to show that — as a Muslim — they were disgusted and appalled by what had happened in Paris. These thoughts and feelings were lost in a small set of multiple-choice questions. The idea that one, badly worded poll can speak for complex and emotional topics such as identity and religion would be funny if it weren't so damaging.

Then there was the specific question about sympathy for fighters in Syria. (Note: there was no mention of the word 'jihadi' in the script at any point.) One question asked which of the statements the interviewee most agreed with: a) I have a lot of sympathy for young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria, b) I have some sympathy for young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria, or c) I have no sympathy for young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria.

The overwhelming majority of those polled responded to this question with answer c), but some did say they had some sympathy (no one I spoke to said that they had a lot of sympathy). The problem with this question is the word 'sympathy.' What does 'sympathy' mean? Does sympathy mean pity? Or does sympathy mean empathy?

In response to growing criticism over their methodology, Survation released a statement on Tuesday explaining that they chose the wording of the survey, not The Sun, but distanced themselves from The Sun's interpretation of the results.

"The wording of the question on "sympathy with young Muslims who leave the UK to join fighters in Syria" was not chosen by The Sun newspaper but was chosen by Survation in order to be completely comparable with previous work we have done, both among Muslims and non-Muslims and therefore enable meaningful and proper comparisons to be drawn.

"However, there is a distinction between the work we do and how clients chose to present this work. Survation do not support or endorse the way in which this poll's findings have been interpreted. Neither the headline nor the body text of articles published were discussed with or approved by Survation prior to publication. For reference, our own coverage and analysis can be found here:

"Furthermore, Survation categorically objects to the use of any of our findings by any group, as has happened elsewhere on social networks, to incite racial or religious tensions."

None of the people I polled who responded to the question with the 'some sympathy' answer supported jihadis. One woman gave me thoughtful, considered answers to every question. She thought that David Cameron would probably be right to bomb Syria, and that Muslims did have a responsibility to condemn terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam. But she also had some sympathy with young British Muslims who joined fighters in Syria. "They're brainwashed, I feel sorry for them," she said. And so I ticked the box, "I have some sympathy for young British Muslims who go to join fighters in Syria."

The front page of the Sun yesterday came as a nasty shock to me. Based on their statement, it may well have come as a shock to Survation, too.
Link to original article: http://www.vice.com/read/i-conducted-the-muslim-poll-the-sun-jihadi-sympathy

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