Category Archives: Current Affairs

It’s Lonely at the top

I am of the opinion (and it is an entirely personal one) that, as a sentient species, mankind is totally and utterly alone in the universe. I have held this “belief” for many many years and it is something that I have given serious thought to. For me this is in keeping with the message of the Qur’an, maybe not explicitly but implicitly. Let me explain . . . the Qur’an (amongst other messages) tells mankind that we are the pinnacle of creation, man is the khalifa of Allah in creation, and that man is of great import and significance in the Divine plan. Now, coupled with this, the Qur’an (and the Sunnah) tells man to be humble, to realise that he is not, in fact, all that significant either, man’s very exisitence is by nothing other than The Divine Will. We are reminded by Allah of the fall of Iblis that haughtiness and pre-occupation with one’s self-importance debars us from the Realm of the Divine and therefore man takes his place in creation realising this.

OK so where am I going with this? Well the Universe and our place in it is symbolic of the Qur’anic message. The eminent significance of man is reflected by the fact that he is alone in the unimaginable vastness of the universe and yet how utterly insignificant he is that he is but a speck on the surface of another speck floating in space in a lonely corner of the cosmos.




Radio 4, there is no other radio station or media outlet like it. Where else can you find such diversity in programming ranging from dramas and plays, comedy and current affairs, book readings, historical discussions, religion, science, even obscure subjects like “owl droppings” or cultivation of olives are covered! It is so rich in its programming that one is spoilt for choice. Just this week there was rather a good discussion on the show “In Our Time” with Melvyn Bragg on the subject of the Abbasid Caliphs, this show has in the past covered other Muslim friendly subjects such as Islam in Spain featuring our very own Dr. Tim Winter. You can catch a podcast of the current show here or download the podcast here Some of my other favourite shows that I manage catch on the way home from work at 6.30pm are:

Just a Minute hosted by Nicholas Parsons in which four celebrity guests are given a subject to talk about without repetition, deviation or hesitation to sometimes hilarious results.

I Am Sorry I Haven’t a Clue:
an antidote to Panel Games a sort of an improv show where guests are given various tasks and situations to do to comic affect.

Start the Week with Andrew Marr is also very informative discussing many contemporary and literary issues.

There are many many other excellent programmes to keep you educated, entertained and informed, it is a real alternative to TV. I just cannot praise Radio 4 enough for its diversity and quality. The BBC is the best!



Terrorist Attacks in London

As someone born and raised in the UK, I am very much British. I am also a Muslim and I am proud of that fact, and doubly-proud that I am a British Muslim.Let me then go on to say how angry, sad, appalled, disgusted and outraged I am at the perpetrators of these attacks. These sentiments are shared by our entire community of right-minded people.

If, indeed, the perpetrators describe themselves as Muslims, then I would like to say that Islam or Islamic law in no way justifies such barbaric and insane acts that cause wanton destruction and death to innocent people; no moral code in the history of humanity has any justification for such diabolic actions. The only justification is in the sick minds of a few twisted and misguided people who we all would like to see locked up and punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Throughout the years we have enjoyed good community relations between various ethnic and religious groups and the various populations of these isles. The Muslims have made positive contributions to their local communities, towns and cities and to the country as a whole, both nationally and internationally.

Unfortunately, we, like other communities, have our fair share of misguided individuals who, for some unknown and irrational reasons, are well capable of perpetrating such crimes. The only word that I can use to describe such ?people? – and I use the term ?people? sparingly, for they are worse than animals, proven by their bestial and cowardly actions in London on 7th July 2005 – is “shayateen”, or “devils”, who clothe themselves in the garb and language of Muslims.

How is it that someone who considers his or herself Muslim will perpetrate such an act and initiate the invocation “In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”, when what they are doing is the antithesis of graciousness and mercy? In fact, these people should use the invocation “In the Name of Al-Qa’ida (or any other such group), most disgraceful, most unmerciful”.

Graciousness and Mercy permeate Islam; everything in Islam is geared toward Mercy, Compassion and Graciousness and yet these diabolical individuals oppose this and we know that the Shaytan opposes what is good.

Al-Qa’ida are a political movement that uses the language and icons of religion for rhetorical purposes and to misguide and ensnare those who do not know their religion or those who feel disenfranchised and oppressed. Al-Qa’ida articulates religio-political rhetoric in a manner that polarises the world totally. It is similar in its rhetoric and polarisation to the current Bush regime. The world is not black and white, it is a spectrum of colours. We do not accept the Manichean “you are either with us or against us” principle that both Al-Qa’ida and our politicians use.

It is my hope that ordinary people will see these attacks for what they are and not initiate a backlash against Muslims, who are totally innocent of the crimes perpetrated. It is unfortunate that any terrorist act initiated by Al-Qa’ida is immediately conflated with Islam and Muslims.

There will be many racist and bigoted people hoping to make political and racial mileage out of these tragic events who will seek to drive a wedge between communities. My hope is that most people are intelligent enough not to jump on any bandwagons and continue the good relations we have enjoyed through the many years of community.

Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims at this time.

Best wishes

Mas’ud Ahmed Khan