Category Archives: Current Affairs

I LOVE BBC RADIO 4

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!

wa’as-salam

Mas’ud
www.masud.co.uk

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

www.masud.co.uk

BBC: Pakistani Actually [part 2]

The doc about the Youth Worker turned wannabe film star was interesting in many ways and worrying in others. Here we see a young man desperate to be a Hollywood star but clearly hindered by his religion. He is obviously sincere towards his community in that he is a committed youth worker and one would consider him to be an excellent role model for young Muslim boys and teenagers, except that he is all too willing to compromise his religion and culture to further his acting dream. I for one would not allow him anywhere near my kids as he is sending out totally confused messages. In one scene he is talking to a room full of young Pakistani kids and telling them to be good citizens, to listen to their parents etc., etc. and in another we see his poor mother telling us she has seen his film and that her daughter covered her eyes when the nude scenes came on. Poor woman, in punjabi we call such sons “besharam” or “batmeez” or “behidayata” meaning without shame or without decorum and misguided.

I feel sorry for the “Atta Boy” he is quite clearly a confused individual, confused about his religion and what Islam requires of him. The good thing is that he does consider himself a Muslim and he seems to think that it is a very strong part of his identity as a Pakistani but it is not as important to him as he thinks it is.

The mere fact that he starred in a film in which, he strips off and engages in inappropriate behaviour with a young lady on numerous occasions and whilst in the state of post-copulatory contemplation discusses what Islam is about and what Christianity is about is quite disgraceful. Then in the documentary he apologises if that film caused offence! If that wasn’t enough he then takes on a role playing a homosexual character in another film in which he stipulates a condition that he won’t kiss another man and then we proceed to see him engaging in a simulated “Bollywood” style screen kiss with another man.

I think he is under the impression that the ends justify the means, case in point is his attending a party where Glasgow’s most eligible bachelors are auctioned off to young ladies for a date, all for charity. In Islam the ends never justify the means, noble ends require noble means.

I can’t help wondering if this particular documentary was an attempted PR exercise for the “Atta Boy”. My sincere advice to this brother is stop putting your religion second and don’t sell your soul and your akhira [afterlife] for Hollywood which you seem intent on doing. If you are desperate to be an actor then at least don’t take any role that comes your way, especially roles that will seriously compromises you as a Muslim.

wa’as-salam

Mas’ud
www.masud.co.uk