Saturday, 25 October 2014

Stuff what BFTF asked Mosques to do.

A blog charting the response received when emailing (usually four) local mosques to suggest (very simple) things they could do to improve engagement between the Muslim community and wider society, or ways people could act to stop conflict and injustice.

Before reading this post, you may wish to have a look at these two related posts :

i) Positive Muslim Stories
ii) Stuff what the Imam said

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Apr 2016 :
I've noted that Muslim Characters on BBC drama only use phrases such as "Assalamu alaikum" in the context of negative storylines and have complained to the BBC about two recent instances. Thought you may wish to do so similarly, and perhaps encourage your congregations to do so as well. Details and template complaint here :
http://bftfblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/assalamu-alaikum-peace-be-upon-you.html#9
Response:One, but none from mosque leadership

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Mar 2016 :
Just wanted to suggest that it would be in the interest of the Muslim community leaders in Nottingham to think about cultural events that can encourage their congregations to attend in Nottingham. This would build bridges and allow the Muslim community to be a stakeholder in the wider cultural life. It would also counter the far-right assertion that Muslims want to destroy British culture, and also counter the extremist assertion that there is no common ground between Muslims and wider society. Some examples to consider :
http://bftfblog.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/simon-starling-at-nottingham.html
http://nottinghamscience.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/may-fest-2014-in-pictures-part-1.html
http://bftfblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/nottingham-green-festival-2015.html
I note in particular that Mayfest is coming up very soon.

Response:One, but none from mosque leadership

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Mar 2016 :
Suggested that leaders in the Muslim community might wish to challenge the government regarding wasted food aid drops in Syria.

Response:None

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Dec 2015 :
Suggested that leaders in the Muslim community needed to discuss these questions and issues regarding Muslims serving in the armed services.

Response:None

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Nov 2015 :
Suggested mosques should ask their congregations to be vocal and that congregation should express their views (to their MPs) regarding a possible commons vote on bombing Syria.



Response:None

(although the petition BFTF signed did receive a response - see here)

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Nov 2015 :
Suggested mosques might want to challenge local MP / Conservative party on treatment of Muslims at risk of suicide.

Response:None

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Oct 2015 :
Suggested to mosques that, following two nasty attacks on vulnerable Muslims travelling on London buses, the mosques might want to quiz Nottingham City Transport on their policies for helping people under attack on public tranpsort.

Response:
Two imams responded saying they had sent off emails challenging NCT. See post for details.

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Sep 2015 :
Asked if mosques should be more supportive of the Nottingham Green Festival, given the strong overlap between Islamic teachings and many of the values expressed in the Festival (e.g. campaigning for animal welfare; for social justice; for help for refugees; to support the NHS etc etc.)

Response : None

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Jul 2015 :
Emailed to tell mosques about the challenges BFTF had made to authorities regarding PREVENT and media bias (as described in this post). Asked if mosques could provide some further examples of the issues highlighted.

Response : None

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Jun 2015 :
Emailed mosques to ask if they would be interested in a talk on what BFTF had learnt in the UoN MOOC entitled "Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life" that BFTF had attended.

Response : None

Update Oct 2015, raised this one in person at a particular mosque, was told to talk to one of the staff members. Staff member said they were not able to facilitate this event.

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May 2015 :
Emailed two mosques to say I was concerned about the anti-vaccination messages being pushed by some Muslim groups, giving the example of a talk by Dr Omar Zaid in which he commented that :

“The whole concept of a vaccine is fundamentally flawed" ; "The younger they trained the doctors, the more hardhearted they seemed to become.” ; “The vaccines themselves, which are introducing foreign proteins directly into the bloodstream. God did not design us to do that” ; “Modern medical specialists think they know best, they already know its fundamentally flawed because they don’t want to admit [they have] made a mistake” ; Regarding vaccines “I would recommend that people just say no” “the doctors are culpable, there are illiterate, they are functionally illiterate"
Response : Received a response from one Imam which included the comment that "All I can say is that it was the Beloved Prophet’s (peace be upon him) sunnah to seek cure for illnesses. We have to go out into the world and seek cures. Allah says: Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves…." Surah Ar-Rad(13):11 so just praying to Allah to cure us isn’t going to result in cure. Man has to get up and make an effort to change whatever is wrong inside him.

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Jan 2014 :
Asked if mosques could also challenge IPSO regarding a MailOnline article that broke the IPSO code. Details here

Response : None

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Dec 2013 :
Asked some questions regarding the mentality of the murderers who killed the children in the Peshawar massacre, and what UK orgs and Muslims could do to combat this. Details here

Response : Responses received from two Imams (and also the MAB). Again, detailed here

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Sep 2014 :
"I've written a couple of emails to DEFRA challenging them on their failure to meet their own tree planting targets in recent years. And also on their failure to put into place a structure to protect the Nations ancient woodland, in trust, for future generations - something the Government promised to do back in 2013. With protection of the environment in general and trees in particular, being so prominent in Islam I wanted to suggest that perhaps your respective masajid could encourage the congregations to also be active in this area.

Details and background can be found here.

It is BFTF's strong belief that one factor in the alienation of young Muslims is that, in general, Muslim organisations do not provide practical examples (that the organisations have taken themselves) of how to engage with society, to achieve change, to challenge the government etc.And this lack of examples leaves young people frustrated, vulnerable to conspiracy theories and believing they are powerless. This is not a good thing."

Response : None

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Jul 2014 :
"Can you please advise which organisations (e.g. local MP, Arab League, EU etc) I should pressure to act to stop the killing in Syria and, if you have a view, what actions you think those organisations should take?"

Response : None

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May 2014
"This Friday, could you please, please, please mention the May Fest event at the University of Nottingham (Sat 10th May, 11am to 5pm) to your congregation and encourage them to take advantage of this free day of fun and education! It really is a great day out for all the family - and a wonderful chance to talk to researchers at the UoN about what they do. Lots of fun activities for kids and adults alike. You will not be disappointed inshallah. We talk, as a community about our committment to learning and the Islamic heritage of science - well here is a chance to demonstrate that we stil have that love of knowledge today. More info here: and here.

Response : One response from an Imam who said "Inshallah will spread the news...and will also try and come down"

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April 2014
"I've written two complaints to the PCC regarding the DailyMail coverage of the "Project Trojan" story. But a lot more could be done if Imams / Mosques did the same - and encouraged their congregations to do so as well - assuming that you believe the allegations to be false, of course. Information here. Response : None

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