Tag Archive: glasgow

Britain’s first-ever Muslim pantomime premiers this December

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This festive season, humanitarian charity Penny Appeal is presenting a world first – a pantomime by Muslims, for Muslims. The Great Muslim Panto launches with its premiere show 'If the Shoe Fits...' and is coming to six UK cities from 12th December.

The pantomime is created and performed by 'Once Upon a Family', a Muslim family cast of seven, with even the baby taking part. They are also joined by Michael Truong and Mistah Islah, whose original YouTube series 'The Corner Shop Show' has generated over 3 million views, and actor and comedian Abdullah Afzal, as seen on the BBC's 'Citizen Khan.'

Essentially a panto within a panto, the story revolves around an orphan's journey and a family's attempt to create their own 'halal' pantomime. The show is a fun reinvention of the classic panto, while keeping the much-loved elements of slapstick comedy, crazy costumes and silly songs.

From the 12th to the 21st of December, 'If the Shoe Fits...' is being performed in aid of Penny Appeal's OrphanKind programme, which supports orphans across the world by providing them with a loving home, food, education and a brighter start in life.

The family panto team, 'Once Upon a Family', spent time travelling across Africa and visited some of Penny Appeal's orphan homes, even running drama workshops with some of the children. Listening to the stories of real orphan children inspired the story for the panto, and prompted them to raise funds to provide care for more children like them.

Mother of the family Anisa commented, "Performing arts is so under-used in both the Muslim and non-Muslim world. We want to be the ones to change that. Creativity should transgress race, religion and class."

The family began acting together nine years ago, performing for charity in front of 250 people. Since then their theatre company has gone from strength to strength, writing scripts and performing for a number of other charities.

 


 

Tour dates and venues

12th December 2017 – Bradford – Kala Sangam Arts Centre BD1 4TY
16th December – East London – School 21 Theatre E15 3PA
18th December – Birmingham Library Theatre (Broad Street) B1 2ND
19th December – Manchester – Z Arts Theatre (Hulme) M15 5ZA
20th December – Glasgow – Mitchell Library G37 DN
21st December – Peterborough - John Clare Theatre PE1 1SQ

 


 

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Women’s conference in Bradford focuses on “Resilience, Faith and Unity”

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Over 250 women from across the UK including Glasgow, Wales, Leicester, Doncaster, Halifax, Rotherham, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Blackburn, Manchester and London attended the conference alongside a delegation from Germany.

The conference, held at Mercure Hotel over three days, annually provides an opportunity for women of all faiths to come together from across the UK and beyond, in order to debate and discuss contemporary issues of importance to women.

Additionally this year, the first day of the conference was opened up to men in order to get the full spectrum of views on an important range of topics.

These included sessions with subject experts covering themes from Muslim responses to extremism, the legitimisation of Islamophobia in the mainstream and the role of faith communities in building resilience.

The conference provided an opportunity for women to come together from across the country in order to take ownership of the discourse surrounding Muslim women alongside challenging the widely held stereotypes of Muslim women being submissive.

Speakers included: Professor Salman Sayyid, Head of the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds, Lily Piachaud at the Jo Cox Foundation, Professor Paul Rogers - Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, Rt Revd Bishop Toby Howarth - Bishop of Bradford, Dr Riffat Hassan - Professor Emerita at the University of Louisville (USA), Dr Shuruq Naguib - Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Lancaster and Revd Jenny Ramsden - Priest and interfaith worker amongst others.

The Rt Revd Dr Toby Howarth, Bishop of Bradford commented: “I am impressed and encouraged by the level of scholarship and insight that the Daughters of Conference brings together, and also offers to Bradford and beyond.”

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Killer ‘laughed and laughed’ as shopkeeper lay dying

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MURDERED FOR HIS BELIEFS: Asad Shah was murdered by a stranger who was offended by the religious videos he posted online

MURDERED FOR HIS BELIEFS: Asad Shah was murdered by a stranger who was offended by the religious videos he posted online

Update on ‘despicable crime’ of murdered Glaswegian shopkeeper

As murdered Glaswegian shopkeeper Asad Shah took his last dying breaths on 24th March, his brother has told how the killer “laughed and laughed”.

Speaking to reporters, Athar Shah also spoke of his frantic fight to try to keep his brother alive after he was brutally attacked in his Glasgow store.

Athar described how he tried to defend his brother from the killer with an advertising sign.

Muslim taxi driver, Tanveer Ahmed, last week admitted murdering Mr Shah, who he said ‘had claimed to be a prophet’ in messages he posted on social media.

32-year old Ahmed travelled from Yorkshire to Glasgow and confronted Mr Shah at his store counter, before pulling out a knife and repeatedly stabbing the 40-year-old.

The Bradford father-of-three, Ahmed - who did not know the shopkeeper - claimed to have been offended by clips Mr Shah posted online which Ahmed said “disrespected the Prophet Muhammad.”

KILLER: Tanveer Ahmed will be sentenced for the murder of Asad Shah next month

KILLER: Tanveer Ahmed will be sentenced for the murder of Asad Shah next month

Mr Shah, a popular businessman and pillar of the community, suffered multiple wounds in the attack at his store in the Shawlands area of the city.

CCTV footage of the attack showed the moment the shopkeeper's brother and colleague tried in vain to save his life.

Judge Lady Rae condemned the ‘despicable’ crime after hearing the facts of the case at the High Court in Glasgow.

She told Ahmed: “There's no justification whatsoever for what you did.”

Ahmed will return to court for sentencing on 9th August.

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Man admits Glasgow shopkeeper murder

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MURDER: A man has admitted killing shopkeeper Asad Shah back in March

MURDER: A man has admitted killing shopkeeper Asad Shah back in March

Tanveer Ahmed has pleaded guilty to killing Ahmadi Muslim

On 24th March 2016, a Glaswegian shopkeeper - Asad Shah - was murdered outside his place of work in what has been confirmed as a ‘religiously motivated attack’.

Mr Shah was a member of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim community, a group which are banned by the constitution of Pakistan from referring to themselves as Muslims.

He was well-loved and respected by people in his neighbourhood and moved to Glasgow from Pakistan almost 20 years ago.

A 32-year-old taxi driver has this week admitted murdering the Scottish shopkeeper in a religiously motivated attack.

Tanveer Ahmed, from Bradford, attacked the 40-year-old outside his store in the Shawlands area, with Mr Shah later dying in hospital from his injuries.

He was stabbed after publishing hundreds of videos about his spiritual beliefs online.

Ahmed said he had ‘disrespected’ Islam and pled guilty to the murder at a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

Sentencing has been deferred until 9th August, and Ahmed remains remanded in custody.

The judge, Lady Rae, said he would face a very lengthy period of imprisonment.

She told Ahmed: “This was a truly despicable crime, motivated, it seems, by your sense of offence at a man's expression of his religious beliefs, which differ from yours.

“Let me be clear - there's no justification whatsoever for what you did.”

The court heard that Ahmed, a Sunni Muslim, drove from Bradford to Glasgow on the day of the murder and started a discussion with Mr Shah at his store before pulling out a knife and attacking him.

On the journey, he had watched online footage of Mr Shah and made the comment ‘something needs to be done, it needs [to be] nipped in the bud’.

Despite efforts by Mr Shah's brother and a co-worker to save and protect him, Mr Shah suffered fatal wounds.

He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Ahmed, meanwhile, reportedly sat peacefully at a bus shelter following the attack and waited to be detained by the police.

On the day Mr Shah died, he had posted a message on Facebook which read: ‘Good Friday and a very happy Easter, especially to my beloved Christian nation’.

After being arrested, Ahmed, a cab driver in Bradford, released a statement through his lawyer saying he had killed Mr Shah as he had falsely claimed to be a prophet.

Ahmed said: “Asad Shah disrespected the messenger of Islam the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Mr Shah claimed to be a Prophet.

“If I had not done this, others would and there would have been more killing and violence in the world.”

The murder of Mr Shah shocked the local community, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon among those to pay their respects to him.

At the time of his death, hundreds of people attended a silent vigil in his memory and more than £100,000 has been raised for his family through public donations.

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Campaigners demand answers for closure of NGO’s accounts

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COMMUNITY: Bradford West MP, Naz Shah, turned up in support of the demonstrators last weekend

COMMUNITY: Bradford West MP, Naz Shah, turned up in support of the demonstrators last weekend

Account closed

A group of protestors were joined by local MP, Naz Shah, outside one of the city’s high street banks last weekend, voicing their concern at the closure of a non-governmental organisation’s (NGOs) account.

On Saturday 16th January, demonstrators staged a two-hour protest after the Friends of Al Aqsa (FOA) group were informed that their accounts had been unilaterally closed by the Co-Operative group.

Following on from the closure of other charity and NGO accounts last year, Ms Shah labelled the Co-Op’s latest actions as ‘unethical and unfair’.

Ismail Patel, chair of FOA, added: “The protests show that people are very unhappy with the actions of the Co-Op bank.

“We hope to repeat similar protests up and down the country over the next couple of weeks to make a real positive impact, and compel the bank to engage in dialogue with us and others whose accounts have unjustly been closed.”

The group claim the bank has failed to present ‘substantiated reasons’ as to why their accounts have been closed and are calling for action to be taken.

Only realising the accounts had actually been closed when attempting to use them in mid-December, demonstrations have since been seen across the country.

A statement from the group added: “FOA is non-governmental organisation, it does not send funds abroad, it has never overdrawn on the account and it has been a customer of the Co-Op for many years now.

“The Co-Op has not only failed to communicate with FOA before the closure it now refuses to talk to the organisation and stands by its decision to close FOA’s account.

“Consequently a number of cities around the country have now come together to support FOA and a number of protests have taken place so far with more planned in the coming weeks.”

Protests have already taken place in Leicester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bradford in support of FOA and the 'Free Palestine' movement in the UK.

Upcoming demonstrations will take place in London (23rd January), and Manchester (29th January) with more information available via the NGO’s Facebook page.

PROTEST: People gathered outside Co-Operative banks throughout the UK in opposition to their decision to close FOA accounts

PROTEST: People gathered outside Co-Operative banks throughout the UK in opposition to their decision to close FOA accounts

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Five in a row! Bradford retains Curry Capital crown

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WINNERS: The 2015 Curry Capital bid team from Bradford celebrated their fifth title in as many years earlier this week

WINNERS: The 2015 Curry Capital bid team from Bradford celebrated their fifth title in as many years earlier this week

After clinching their first Curry Capital title in 2011, Bradford has more than excelled in living up to its title. So much so, that the city has just retained its crown for the fifth year in a row.

In previous years, the city’s bid has been praised for its individuality and commitment to promoting inclusivity, something the 2015 team have once again emulated.

This year saw Visit Bradford and the team of four chosen restaurants work alongside Bradford's Probation Office and the Fresh Start 4U project to produce a Curry Capital Garden.

There was also a fun social media campaign where ‘Peshwari Paws’ - the Curry Capital mascot, had fun around the district, taking photos at various venues and logging his adventure on Twitter.

The bid was eventually handed over last month at the Peshwari Paws Teddy Bear's Picnic where probation service users helped chefs from the selected restaurants prepare a variety of picnic dishes, served up to the Deputy Lord Mayor and guests.

On Tuesday 20th October, Bradford was officially named the Curry Capital of Britain once again, as the city celebrated an unprecedented fifth crown.

Bradford Council tourism manager, Patricia Tillotson, said the award came as a surprise to the team, but they were thrilled to hear the news.

“It’s absolutely amazing to win it five times, it would be for any city,” she said. “The team have really worked hard on the bids over the last five years and this year we have gone that little bit further.

“The other teams had a blue print this year of what we used in the past and therefore we thought it would be good to really push the boundaries once again. Instead of just doing things at a local level through cohesion, we did it at regional and national levels as well.

“I couldn’t believe it when we won it three times in a row and then it was a real shock to get it the fourth year.

“Even though we knew we had worked really hard on the bid this year, you cannot expect to just win it for a fifth time. We knew all the other cities had put in good bids as well so it was a fantastic surprise to receive the phone call saying we had won.”

This year’s team of restaurants included: Akbars, Aakash, Kiplings and Shimla Spice, who worked alongside Bradford Council throughout the bid.

Speaking on behalf of the businesses, Mohammed Rafiq, of Kiplings, said the fifth title was even more special than previous years.

“This is a momentous occasion really because it is unheard of,” he said. “No other city in the UK can claim a national title like this in the country’s biggest food industry.

“You’ve got London, Birmingham and Manchester – the biggest cities, and then you have Bradford here and size wise we are no match to them.

“However, this award just goes to show that the quality of food we provide here far excels all others.

“I’m a firm believer that we set the standard for the rest of the country when it comes to curry and that is shown by us winning this title for five years running.”

This year’s Curry Capital top five cities:

  • Bradford
  • Glasgow
  • Brighton
  • Leicester
  • Birmingham
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Batonbearers at the ready

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With just under 100 days to go until the XX Commonwealth Games begins in Glasgow, Leeds have announced their six Batonbearers selected to carry the Queen’s Baton when it arrives in the city.

Amongst them is 25-year-old powerlifter, Ali Jawad, who will act as one of the city’s representatives when the Queen’s Baton Relay tours Leeds on the 12th June, before the games kick off in July.

STRONG: Ali Jawad, a powerlifter who currently lives in Bramley, Leeds, will be one of the six Batonbearers for the city as the build up to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow intensifies

STRONG: Ali Jawad, a powerlifter who currently lives in Bramley, Leeds, will be one of the six Batonbearers for the city as the build up to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow intensifies

Ali, who suffers from the incurable Crohns disease, has most recently clinched a World Championship title in Dubai earlier this month and competed as part of Team GB’s Paralympic team.

As a Batonbearer, the Bramley resident, originally from Lebanon, will take the baton to local landmarks and special events to celebrate the countdown to Glasgow 2014.

He said it was an ‘extremely proud’ moment when he got told he had been selected and now hopes to go on and win Gold at the Commonwealth games himself.

“I got told that I had been selected to be a Batonbearer around the time of the World Championships earlier this month (6th April),” he said.

“It is a real honour for me because I hope to be representing England at the Commonwealth Games later this year.

“My final qualifier is next month in Coventry and if successful I will then go on to represent the country which will be fantastic.

“Being one of the city’s Batonbearers is something which makes me very proud.”

BATONBEARERS: (l-r) Laura Beardsmore, Ali Jawad, Nile Wilson and Norman Stephens have all been selected to represent Leeds when the Queen’s Baton arrives in June

BATONBEARERS: (l-r) Laura Beardsmore, Ali Jawad, Nile Wilson and Norman Stephens have all been selected to represent Leeds when the Queen’s Baton arrives in June

It isn’t the first time that Ali has been selected as a representative of major athletic games having been a torch bearer in London for the Beijing Olympics.

On that occasion, the powerlifter says the media coverage was ‘intense’ yet insists that this year’s Leeds appearance has a special sentimental meaning attached to it.

He added: “The one in Downing Street was massive due to the media attention and I had just qualified for my first Paralympics so everything was huge. It was probably the most important leg of the torch relay so that was a great experience.

“This Leeds baton is very special to me because it is the Leeds community which has been behind me from day one and helped me get to where I am today.

“They have been so supportive over the years and I have them to thank for much of my success.”
Ali has represented ParalympicsGB in powerlifting at Commonwealth, European, World and Paralympic Games, most notably the 2012 Paralympics.

The highlight of his career was gold at the Asian Open in 2013, with a new European and World record, becoming world ranked number one.

Throughout his life he has come through adversity and dreams of one day becoming the first Crohns sufferer to win Gold at any Olympics or Paralympics.

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