Common Ground

When one considers which issues Muslims and Muslim organisations choose to fight for, they tend to be those where Muslim special interests are at stake (e.g. Halal Food). Whilst issues such as this are undoubtedly important and need to be pursued, it results in topics that are also important to Islam and where common ground can be found with the wider society (e.g. preventing government corruption) being ignored.

This tendency has two unfortunate outcomes. Firstly, it gives the wider society the impression that Muslims are not interested in these areas of common ground. Secondly, it gives ordinary Muslims the impression that they there are only a small number of issues about which they should have any concern and that these issues are those where Muslims should demand some kind of special treatment.

When one looks for issues that are of concern to both the Muslim communities and the wider society, one finds that they are everywhere - see here for a number of examples of how Muslim communities and organisations have worked in this area of common ground.

And here is a monster bunch of areas where the Muslim community can find Common Ground with wider society - why not try finding some of that ground yourself?

Proof that Activism really works
Demonisation of Muslims in the Media
Research on the Far Right
Enough is enough
92nd Nottingham Scout Group
Project - Muslim Contribution to the UK in WW2
Project - The World in 1933
Project - Industrial History
Sustainable Printing

BFTF works in a technical field, is a fan of science, technology and engineering and thinks you should be too. The blog had so much sciency stuff that it has all been spun off to a separate blog at

Surface Gallery - Michael Powell Exhibition
Report on Street Art Exhibition at the Surface Gallery
Non Sign II
Jeffer M Garib
Pictures of the Sky
Nottingham - Tiltshifted
Some Wonderful Artists
Graffiti Walls
Shonaleigh at Nottingham Storytellers
Great programme describing how some of Turners paintings covered key changes in the Industrial Revolution.
Piero Gilardi and John Newling at Nottingham Contemporary
God bless our libraries
Light Night 2013
The Chair
Himmah Eid Festival
Great Comedy on Radio 4
How art can affect you
Tour of the Theatre Royal
Fantastic Snow Art by Simon Beck (see also here)
Jean Genet at Nottingham Contemporary
Rick Davies and Michael Hansmeyer

Proof that Activism really works
Proof that activism really can work

Demonisation of minorities in the Media
A post with some examples of how minorities are demonised in the media.
Jubel Miah is no "devout Muslim"
The "Strict Muslim"
"Muslim gang slashed tyres"
Project Trojan Horse

Research on the Far-Right
Various posts and links covering research and information on the Far-Right
Extremists and the Internet
Muslims in Canada (not really far-right related)
Citizens aiding Nazi authorities
Questions to ask the Far-Right

Enough is enough
One accusation that is often levelled, with some justification, at the Muslim community is that they will speak up when Muslims are being attacked by non-Muslims (e.g. Mayanmar), but do not speak up when it is Muslims doing the attacking (e.g. Dufar). Similarly, Muslim governments are not challenged in the same way that Western governments are. Here are some posts that DO challenge governments of Muslim majority countries:
Enough is enough Syria
Enough is enough Egypt
Challenging the Saudi Government on their policies
Dafur (2008)
What will happen to Afghanistan in 2014?

92nd Nottingham Scout Group
Some of the activities that the 92nd Scout group have got up to.

This blog might seem a strange place to find recipes, but reason they are here is not so much because they are part of any "do-gooder" type activity as the fact that BFTF has a habit of losing the bits of paper and notebooks on which recipes have been written on. A list of the recipes on the blog can be found

Project - Muslim Contribution to the UK in WW2
The Muslim contribution to the Allied war effort in WW2 is something that us particularly worth mentioning given the current fashion for anti-Muslim media stories:
Muslim Merchant Seamen in WW2
Noor Inayat Khan - Muslim SOE operative
Fascinating, wide ranging, illustrated Emel article

Project - The World in 1933
Interesting, surprising or sometimes shocking extracts from a 1933 Encyclopaedia.

Project - Industrial History
Coal Mining in Nottingham
Mining Memories
Coal Mining in the East Midlands
Lime Kilns in Derbyshire
Camping near Clipstone
Train manufacture in Derby
From the Tate Modern to Lanarkshire

Some stuff of relevance to . . .er . . parents!
Getting Excited about Engineering,
Notts University May Fest,
Just 5 Trees,
Tips On English

Here you can find a list of transcribed interviews from the Building For The Future Radio Show on Radio Dawn 107.6FM. Incidentally, you can find a number of sciency interview transcripts at BFTF's sister blog :

Interview - Dr Saqib from Akhuwat
Interview - Porf Ian Shaw (Health Policy)
Interview - Morris Samuels - Unity Project to get kids out of gangs and gun crime
Interview - CitizensUK and Himmah
Interview - Yaseen - Emmanuel House Project
Interview - Harun Yahya
Interview - Jane Burd - Greenpeace
Interview - Julia Hawkins - ETI (2008)
Interview - Dr Deborah Kays - Chemistry Lecturer
Interview - Hannah Cross - Probation Service
Interview - Ben Ayeliffe (GreenPeace) - 2006
Interview - Spring Lane Farm Shop
Interview - Andy Guy (Dairy Farmer)
Interview - Amy Mulkern (FSC)
Interview - Himmah - Arimathea - Work with Asylum seekers
Interview - Woodland Trust
Families Forum
Interview - Muhammed Sajid
Interview - Lord Mayor

BFTF loves the NHS. That's not a glib comment, BFTF genuinely, from the bottom of his heart, has a deep affection for the NHS. It is one of the crown jewels of the UK and something to be treasured and protected.But it has faced a number of threats over the last decade, including being hamstrug with the millstone of unfair, long term PFI contracts by the last Labour government, and now the prospect of fragmentation and privatisation in the aftermath of the NHS and Social Care Bill. BFTF is not happy. Here are some relevant posts:

Commons debate on "No confidence in Jeremy Hunt" petition.
Questions to Nottingham CCG.
How dysfunctional the US healthcare system is.
What the coalition agreement said about the NHS
Who picks up the bill for failed private healthcare?
Campaigns to protect the NHS
Interview with Prof Ian Shaw on the NHS Bill
Report on a Broxtow Save the NHS meeting
Falsification of data at SERCO
Report on a talk on Financial Incentives for Healthcare
Challenging the BBC on their coverage of the NHS Bill
This is what is wrong with the NHS Bill

Ask any Imam what Islam says about sustainability and they will tell you that it is mankinds duty to take care of the environment, that the world is something that is in out trust for future generations. Ask them what Islam says about animal rights and and they will tell you it is the duty of Muslims to take the greatest care of animals and ensure they are treated humanely. But ask them if they buy sustainably sourced paper, or MSC certified fish, or Free Range Eggs and - too often - you just get a blank look. Here are some examples of how BFTF tries to "walk the walk" in terms of activism regarding sustainablility and animal welfare issues. . .

How BFTF reacts to product packaging messages
MSC Tuna at Sainsbury's
Sustainably sourced Christmas cards
Sustainability of Wanis Mackerel
Islam and Ecology
Challenging Fire Angel on sustainability
Sustainable paper at a local mosque
MSC Battered Cod at Sainsbury's
Hey Jamie! Where's the sustainable packaging?
FSC in some toys at Tesco MSC Fish Fingers
Sustainable paper at Orion Books
Tesco, Sainsbury's and Oxford notepads
FSC at Random House
Palm Oil in Super Noodles
Fish Delish

Sustainable Printing
Sadly, much of the paper used for printing and packaging is made from chopped down rainforest or unsustainable monocultures of eucalytus trees. Environmentally, a better source is paper is either recycled or from a sustainable source (FSC being the gold standard in this regard (see here, and here)for more info.

BFTF has had a number of experiences of publishers who are producing leaflets, magazines or books agreeing that it is important to take care of the environment and use sustainably sourced paper - and then in the next breath admitting that that they have no idea what kind of paper is used in their publications!!

On the plus side, there are also organisations like Al-Mustafa Trust International (ATI) who have, as of 2009, mostly used a printer who uses paper that was 75% FSC certified and they were looking to do even better. comment that "...for our own marketing/stationery requirements we always insist on either 100% recycled paper or stock that is FSC certified. With regards to our clients requirements we advise on paper policy and will recommend more environmentally-friendly options. However, the client has the final say on what paper stocks they wish to use. The majority of suppliers on our preferred roster either have ISO 14001 certification or are working towards it and most are FSC certified".

Some aspects of the Common Ground

No comments:

Post a Comment