In the early hours of Sunday 27th March 2016 the clocks went forward an hour as the UK converted to ‘British Summer Time’. This means that the evening will have more daylight, and the mornings less.
This change is done in part due to a European directive that all European countries must implement a common ‘summer time’.
Why are you telling us
But why are we posting this information here on the Virtual Mosque blog? How does this affect us?
Well due to this change the Jum’ah (Friday) Prayers will start thirty minutes later at 1.00pm BST. Therefore our live broadcasts will start airing from around 12.55pm on Fridays instead of 12.25pm so please do make a note of the change otherwise you could end up missing some or all of the Khutba and Prayers.
Mosques in the UK could be designed without minarets to look like “quintessentially English” places of worship, the former Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi has suggested.
Lady Warsi, the first Muslim woman to sit in the Cabinet, is urging architects and designers to come up with a new model for Islamic places of prayer as part of a drive to develop an authentically “British” brand of Islam.
That could involve abandoning the distinctive towers from which the call to prayer is traditionally issued in an effort to blend in more closely with their surroundings, she said.
There are perhaps thousands of Mosques in the UK which are simple buildings, often just peoples houses or rented halls, which are used for Friday Prayers.
Many Islamic groups may aspire to have their own Mosques with minarets in a ‘classical’ design, but Baroness Warsi makes an interesting point. If in Islam the whole World can be a place of worship then why do we need to constrict ourselves with the designs of our Mosques?
It is reported that gunmen have shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in an apparent militant Islamist attack. Four of the magazine’s well-known cartoonists, including its editor, were among those killed, as well as two police officers.
Although the actions of the magazine cartoonists and editor were hurtful for Muslims our response needs to be determined by the teachings of the Holy Quran which says : And indeed He has revealed to you in the Book that when you hear Allah’s messages disbelieved in and mocked at, sit not with them until they enter into some other discourse. (4:90)
Such attacks are against not just the spirit but also the letter of Islamic teachings. And they do immense damage to the cause of Islam. The Holy Prophet (s) was mocked and reviled throughout his time on this earth but when he conquered Makkah he forgave even those who tortured him and other Muslims.
Shahid Aziz, President of the UK branch of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Association for propagation of Islam, said:-
I am shocked and dismayed by this attack. On behalf of all members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam I say that such acts are a blot on the holy name of Islam. They should be condemned by Muslims of all sects and nationalities.
He went on to urge the French government to repel discriminatory laws it has enacted such as the ban on the hijab.
He has already addressed large gathering in Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, Holland as well as inaugurating celebrations marking 90 years of the opening of the Berlin Mosque which is a national heritage site in Germany.
Media Contact: Mustaq Ali, email@example.com
Meeting at: House of Commons, Committee Room 6
Date: Wednesday, 19 November 2014
Time: 09:30 – 11:30
Islam’s attitude to non-Muslims and its critics
Persecution of minorities in Pakistan (Sikh, Hindu, Christian, Lahore-Ahmadiyya Movement)
It is reported today 18th November 2014 that two men armed with axes, knives and a pistol have killed four Israelis and wounded several others in a Jerusalem synagogue where those attacked had gathered for worship and prayer.
We strongly condemn all such attacks on innocent people and on a place of worship. Such attacks are against not just the spirit but also the letter of Islamic teachings. The Holy Quran makes it a duty of every Muslim to protect all places of worship. It says:
And if Allah did not repel some people (those who persecute believers) by others (Muslims), cloisters, and churches, and synagogues, and mosques in which Allah’s name is much remembered, would have been pulled down. (ch 22: verse 40)
“I am shocked and dismayed by this barbarism. I speak on behalf of all members of the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam when I say that such acts are a blot on the holy name of Islam. They should be condemned by Muslims of all sects and nationalities.”
For further comment please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
In an interesting speech Aisha describes the differences between her school in England and that of her German exchange student friend.
Whilst the UK embraces (despite UKIP et al) diversity and encourages us all to learn about different cultures some in Germany have never even heard of Eid of Diwali, two things celebrated by billions of people all over the planet.
Ipsos MORI, a leading market research company in the UK released a new survey which shows that British people think there are twice as many immigrants in the country than there really are, and four times as many Muslims.
The research, carried out by an online survey of approximately 1,000 people aged 16 to 64, reveals that as a nation we hugely overestimate certain numbers, believing that one in five people in the UK are Muslims (21 per cent) when the actual figure is five per cent (one in twenty). By contrast, we underestimate the number of Christians in Britain – believing that just 39 per cent identify with the religion, when the real figure is 59 per cent.
And when it comes to immigration – which was overestimated by all of the 14 countries surveyed, to some degree – we think that immigrants make up 24.4 per cent of the population, when in fact it is actually 13 per cent.
Damning results from this poll which shows just why the likes of the UKIP and Britain First have jumped on trashing Islam and Muslims to quickly bring themselves to the forefront of UK politics.
*Note – The Independent has decided to use a picture of a woman in a full face veil to depict Muslims in their online article. The editorial team, and writer of that article should be ashamed of pushing this blatantly inaccurate stereotype.
With the media seemingly so determined to make Muslims look so alien and out of place with these pictures, is it no wonder that attacks on Muslim women in the UK are at record levels?
Halal food in the UK has recently been a touchy subject, from news that some chicken sold as halal actually contained pork to the national media sensationalising reports that the UK public are being stealthily fed halal and kosher meat.
Now a start up company in France has launched a new food testing kit which will allow the general public to test their food to check if it contains pork.
Halal Test, launched in France today (27 Oct) by French start-up Capital Biotech, uses immunochromatography – the same technology used for pregnancy tests – to detect traces of pork in food, cosmetics and medicines.
Co-founder Abderrahmane Chaoui said the portable test, which costs €6.90 each or €125 for a pack of 25, had already attracted “considerable interest” ahead of the launch, with several companies contacting him about distributing in the UK and further afield.
Halal Test is currently available only in France through traditional retail channels or online, however the UK was a “very interesting market” for the entrepreneur and his business partner Jean-Francois Julien “due to its large Muslim population”.
Whilst this is an interesting development and use of technology what this company, and many Muslims, fail to understand is that meat does not become halal simply because it was slaughtered in a certain way whilst a prayer is being said.
As we talked about in the past, the animal must be treated with respect and humanity throughout its life for it be considered halal and we do not need a testing kit to tell us that a £3 baby chicken sold in halal butchers fails that test badly.
Remember the Birmingham Six, the Maguire Seven, the Guildford Four and Judith Ward? Behind the campaigning numbers were 18 innocent people who collectively spent scores of years in British jails after being falsely convicted of terrorism offences.
Their sin was to be Irish (or, in Ward’s case, to have spent time in Ireland) during that 1970s period when the Provisional IRA was bombing targets in the UK.
The police, convinced in each case that the 18 were guilty, extracted confessions under torture and/or intimidation, faked evidence and lied in court.
All of this is known, but all of this is too easily forgotten. Now, amid the hue and cry in Britain over the activities of the Islamic State (Isis), it is timely to recall the “mistakes” by the police, by MI5 and by a compliant media, of 40 years ago.
I couldn’t help but notice the triumphant and incautious tone in some newspapers last week when five men, aged 20 to 21, were arrested in London over “a suspected terrorist plot to mount an attack in Britain”.
We learned from some papers last Wednesday (8 October) that they had links to Syria and to Islamic State (Isis). The headlines were unequivocal: “Jihadi plot to attack UK smashed” (Daily Mail); “MI5 smash British ‘Isil terror plot'” (Daily Telegraph); “British medical student arrested on terror charges ‘may have just returned from Somalia'” (the Independent); and “MI5 nab surgeon” (The Sun).
The leaking to the press of such specific information, about Muslims being arrested, by the Police is extremely worrying, and is a repeat of how the Irish were treated not too long ago. But rather than learn from those harsh lessons the Police seem adamant on repeating them.
The criminal justice system in England and Wales has a long standing principle that people are presumed innocent, it is a part of the Human Rights act in both the UK and EU.
But as this Guardian article suggests, here in the UK if you are a Muslim you are presumed guilty and have to prove your innocence.
Imam Asim Hafiz is not surprised that more and more Muslims are joining the British military. He is in no doubt, either, that British Muslims can be good soldiers?. That is not because Mr Hafiz was the first Muslim chaplain for the Armed Forces when he was appointed in 2005. Nor is it because he is now an Islamic adviser to the MoD. Rather, it is because, as with an increasing number of Muslims, he believes that there is no contradiction between being of Muslim faith and choosing to defend Britain.
Hafiz was invested as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire earlier this month, during a ceremony that coincided with Islam Awareness Week. To mark this, the MoD announced that, since 2007, the number of Muslims serving in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force has risen by more than 40 per cent. It goes against public perception, but Mr Hafiz says that it is to be expected. “The increasing number of Muslims in the armed forces is a natural change, because society is becoming more tolerant and young Muslim men and women feel more able to come forward and serve,” he says.
One of the objections, from our Sunni brothers, against the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib, is that he ‘supported’ the British rule in India. He did not support the British rule in India but he was grateful to them for rescuing Muslims from the situation they found themselves in when they lost political power and gave followers of every religion the opportunity to practice it openly and to preach it.
Sunni Muslims were on the one hand decrying Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad sahib and on the other joining the British military and civil service. Sunni Muslims even attacked and killed Sunni Muslims of Turkey during World War I while fighting for the British Empire.
The same thing is happening now. In those countries where Muslims are in a majority they give sermons and speeches about the necessity of violent jihad but when they come to the West, they become pussy cats. Now their followers are joining the British army.
The UK was shocked by the video footage which emerged of two men who had killed and then tried to dismember a man in Woolwich last year.
During the attack and then later in court one of the men, Michael Adebolajo, a convert to Islam, tried to claim that he was compelled by Allah and the teachings from the Holy Quran to commit this act of murder.
In the above video we analyse his claim and correct his twisted interpretation of certain verses that he used to justify an act of cowardly murder and show that what these men did is in fact in direct violation of the teachings in the Holy Quran.
We also look at another incident which happened at around the same time, this time acts of terror against Muslims in Birmingham, and ask why that incident did not receive as much press attention.