Monday 12 July 2010

Reflecting on 7/7 in Leeds

The Guardian (8th July 2010) writes about one masjid's attempt to reflect on the events of 7/7 in the UK and bring the local community together in the process:

"People of different backgrounds came together yesterday afternoon in a show of unity at Makkah Mosque in Hyde Park. The event was organised to remember those who lost their lives in the London bombings on 7/7 and also to remember the lives still being lost throughout the world due to violent extremism.

The Imam of Makkah Mosque, Qari Asim, said: "The event was a chance to reflect on the past five years and on how communities have worked together to make Leeds a better place. There is still fear and mistrust, but we have a lot to celebrate in this city."

"Today the message is that this area - this city - is linked through tolerance and we can be a model of how we can all live together in peace and ensure that something like this will never happen again."

You can read the full article here.

A show of unity at Makkah Mosque in Hyde Park Photograph: John Baron/ (image source)

Malaysia Appoints Female Shariah Judges

The Miami Herald reports that Malaysia has appointed its first female judges in its Shariah courts:

"Suraya Ramli and Rafidah Abdul Razak, formerly officials at the government's Islamic judicial department, were named Shariah court judges for Kuala Lumpur and the administrative capital of Putrajaya in May, but the appointment was only announced in the past week by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Najib said the step was meant to "enhance justice in cases involving families and women's rights" in Malaysia, where nearly two-thirds of the country's 28 million people are Muslims.

Norhayati Kaprawi, a prominent Malaysian Muslim women's activist, said the appointments were long overdue.

Female judges are common in Malaysia's secular courts, though most top posts are held by men."

You can read the full article here.

Beautiful and Islamic - Modest UK Fashion

The Independent (2 July 2010) interviews Muslimah designer Hana Tajima as part of an article on the rise of modest fashion in the UK:

"Frustrated by this lack of variety, a small number of devout young Muslims are making their own way into the fashion industry to try and provide a middle road – sleek, elegant clothing that is both beautiful and Islamic.

The seeds of this particular sartorial movement have only just begun to be sown and the number of Hijabistas in Britain can probably be counted on one hand. But their arrival heralds a shift reflected in the wider Muslim demographic of a community making their way towards the mainstream and forging their own indigenous identity.

“Islam has a really amazing definition of beauty,” she says. “Hijab is about how a woman can be beautiful without placing overt emphasis on her sexuality. In western society it’s quite difficult to separate the two. I design clothes that are beautiful in the way that women find each other beautiful.”

“Despite what some people may claim Islam is not a religion that tramples over culture,” she says. “In China, mosques reflect the indigenous culture. In India the clothes that we now think of as Islamic were originally taken from the Hindu culture. It’s only natural that British Muslims will begin to make their own creative choices that fuse both their nationality and religion. It’s not about choosing one or the other.”

You can read the full article here.

Hana Tajima, founder of Maysaa, on a shoot in north London for her new collection (image source)

Mike Tyson to Perform Umrah

The Boston Herald (6 July 2010) reports that former Boxer Mike Tyson, known as Malik Abdul Aziz, is performing Umrah:

"Mike Tyson reportedly is visiting the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina on pilgrimage, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported. Tyson, world heavyweight champion from 1986 to 1990, arrived Friday in Medina with the Canadian Dawa Association for the umrah, or minor pilgrimage. From Medina he will travel on to Mecca and also reportedly plans to visit other Saudi cities"

Arab News (4 July 2010) also states that:

"While in Madinah, Tyson met Dr. Muhammad Al-Oqala, president of the Islamic University, who briefed the world heavyweight champion on the services being rendered by the university to students from across the world.

From Madinah, Tyson will travel on to Makkah to perform Umrah, press reports said. He will also visit Jeddah, Abha and Riyadh as part of his Saudi tour. His visit to Saudi Arabia was arranged by the Canadian Dawa Association (CDA) as part of visits it organizes for new Muslim celebrities to the Islamic sites in the Kingdom. Shazad Mohammed, president of CDA, was present at Prince Muhammad International Airport in Madinah to receive Tyson.

Mohammed, an ambassador of peace with the United Nations, said Tyson would be in the Kingdom for one week, visiting the holy places as well as important landmarks in the country and meeting with Saudi people to get to know their culture and traditions."

image source

Sunday 4 July 2010

An American Muslim Sporting Legacy

AltMuslim carries an article entitled An American Muslim Sporting Legacy: the Riyaadah and the Islamic Games (14th June 2010) by Su’ad Abdul Khabeer which explores the role of sports in bringing the Muslim community in the US closer and creating a sense of pride and belonging amongst Muslims:

“Despite their different trajectories, the Islamic Games and the Riyaadah share many of the same goals. Both competitions seek to give Muslims the opportunity to participate in an athletic environment that conforms to Muslim social norms. According to Imam Nadim Ali of the Atlanta-based Community Masjid part of the impetus behind the Riyaadah were the many new Muslims who were athletes before conversion and wanted to continue to their athleticism as Muslims. These sports competitions also provide opportunities for Muslim women to, as the President of the Islamic Games Salaudeen Nausrudeen, remarked “compete, in hijab or not, with full glory of the game.” In fact, at the Islamic Games women are the fasting growing sector of participants, with a 40% increase in 2010 in comparison to a 20% increase in overall participation. These specific outcomes are tied to an overarching theme of these games: building relationships within an American Muslim community that is deeply divided by race, class, politics, and ideologies. Perhaps the hope is that through a mutual love for “the game” we will rediscover our love for each other.”

You can read the full article here.