Terror in Manchester

Terror in Manchester

By Iram Ramzan   A terrorist attack in my own city is the last thing I expected to wake up to on Tuesday morning. There were several messages on my phone from concerned friends and acquaintances urging me to contact them as soon as I could. I wondered what had happened, until I went online to read the news. At least 22 people were killed and 59 injured after a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena on the evening of Monday, May 22. Thousands of gig-goers were packed into the…

Women smearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali are ‘carrying water’ for Islamists

Women smearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali are ‘carrying water’ for Islamists

By Arshia Malik   For us women in India, carrying water signifies courage, fortitude and surviving amidst insurmountable odds, considering the country still has parts where drinking water is not available and women have to walk miles to get two potable vessels of water for the cooking of the day. Compared to the slur of “carrying water” which the dictionary defines as “performing menial tasks for or to serve; to assist; to be forced by politics or pragmatism to endorse or promote a belief”, this act has become symbolic of…

No CAGE, it’s precisely because Hope Not Hate challenge hate that you were included in their report

No CAGE, it’s precisely because Hope Not Hate challenge hate that you were included in their report

 By Sara Khan This is a cross-post There’s no question we live in an era of fake news, propaganda and so-called “alternative facts.”  But the reality is, is that some organisations have spent the last few years turning this into a fine art before these terms were even fashionable.  Take CAGE for example. To put it mildly, they were rather upset that the highly reputable and long standing anti-extremism group, Hope Not Hate (HnH) (who have done excellent work exposing the networks and influence of Al-Muhajiroon,) highlighted the activism and statements…

Casey pulls no punches but will anything change?

Casey pulls no punches but will anything change?

By Iram Ramzan This is a cross-post from Integration Hub   A much-awaited report which contains no big surprises received reactions that were entirely predictable. From segregation and misogyny, to the child grooming gangs and Sharia councils, Dame Louise Casey’s lengthy, evidence-based report pulls no punches. Towns and cities with high Muslim populations, such as Oldham, Rochdale, Blackburn and Bradford are mentioned as places of concern. Some of them are areas with large numbers of people who came from Pakistani-administered Kashmir, particularly the rural region of Mirpur. They came to the former…

Of women and girls

Of women and girls

By Arshia Malik   There is no end to the hypocrisy of Muslims. On the one hand, every time, a daughter is born, the only thing that looms large in the minds of the subcontinental Muslims is the daughter’s marriage. From birth onwards, they tend to see the female offspring as somebody to shove off the minute she is of the ”proper marriageable age” which can be anywhere from 15 to the ‘old maid’ 28. At every waking hour the talk around the home is centered around the ”dowry” they…

The “burkini” ban is the result of tolerance towards Islamism but it unfairly targets Muslim women

The “burkini” ban is the result of tolerance towards Islamism but it unfairly targets Muslim women

Mahnaz Nadeem   I remember a drawing room discussion as a young adult, in which a scenario was presented by a secularist Muslim debating a “moderate” Muslim. The secularist argued that if we carried on as we were a time would come where Muslims in the UK would became so publicly religious that it would be at odds with Western society and that we would no longer be tolerated. That stark warning was 20 plus years ago when fatwas and edicts on modesty were becoming religious mainstream. Even putting a Qawwali (Sufi music…

I’m not a ‘House-Muslim’… I’m more into rap

I’m not a ‘House-Muslim’… I’m more into rap

By Haydar Zaki   House-Muslim. Uncle Tom. These are just some of the terms thrown at me because, as a Muslim, I have a different political outlook to others. Fetishising over my physical appearance and religious identification, the groups that use these (frankly racist) terms so carelessly aim to portray me as one who has no agency, and is merely a slave or a “sell-out” to their community and cause. My abandonment of the tribal political mentality was the first step to warrant such a slanderous response. Many of us,…

We need a counter-narrative to the threat that is Islamism

We need a counter-narrative to the threat that is Islamism

By Ammar Anwer   Islamism is a serious threat to humanity. The harm that it has caused, and continues to cause, is indescribable, unspeakable and extremely horrendous. The most saddening aspect of this aching cruelty is that it has damaged the reputation of the entire Muslim community around the world Although its extremist tactics have affected the entire human community across the globe, but the ones who have also suffered are peaceful Muslims, who carry the pain of the entire humanity in their hearts; those who do not hate other fellow…

No I am not a racist, pervert or bully – I have legitimate unanswered concerns about Malia Bouattia on anti-Semitism

No I am not a racist, pervert or bully – I have legitimate unanswered concerns about Malia Bouattia on anti-Semitism

By Haydar Zaki   I am starting to see articles and TV interviews with the newly appointed NUS president, Malia Bouattia, discussing the accusations that have been put to her with the headlines that she “is clearing her name.” However, from the pieces and interviews I’ve seen, it seems that nothing has actually been cleared up. In fact if anything, the accusations of anti-Semitism and extremism apologia are even more muddied. One exchange with an interviewer in particular had summed up the whole situation. The interviewer asked her: “Do you…

The likes of Nazimuddin Samad cannot die in vain

The likes of Nazimuddin Samad cannot die in vain

By Halima Begum   Nazimuddin Samad, a 28 year old law student, was brutally murdered on 7th April, 2016 by Islamists in Bangladesh. His ‘crime’ – being critical of Islamism. He is the sixth Bangladeshi atheist/secular blogger to be killed in the last 15 months. The horror of what happened to Nazimuddin has sadly become the norm these days. It is almost an accepted form of hatred and resultant crime because he was provoking the delicate Islamists in his nation. Some asked, what did he expect in return? He was…