Je suis Bruxelles. On another dark day for the dozens of unfortunate victims in Brussels, as well as for the wider Muslim community, I thought it best to blog about other aspects of this faith that I hold so close to my heart. In that light, below are several links to various articles and clips that hopefully Muslims and non-Muslims alike will find interesting.

Steve Bell Brussels
Steve Bell, Guardian cartoonist, on the Brussels bombings

Zayn Malik and the songs that bring us to prayer…

An article in MTV News by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib who says:

Islam is, by nature, a musical religion. The Adhan, the call to prayer, is by itself both sweet and mesmerizing. Even men who are not singers make the call to prayer, and their voices become light, melodic instruments. If you walk into a Christian church, you may see a full band onstage, powering through contemporary worship songs. This, without question, must also be powerful to many. In Islam, though, the subtle call to prayer is both a concert and a cleansing. There are no drums and guitars, there is no stage. There is just the single voice, pulling everyone close. Hayya’alas-ṣalāh, Hayya ʿalal-falāḥ. (Hasten to prayer, hasten to success.) When Muslim babies are born, the father holds them close and sings the Adhan into their right ear; the first thing heard is a song from our fathers.

Zayn Arabic

Angelina Jolie visits refugees in Greece and Lebanon…

She is a mother of 6, she is married to Brad Pitt, she is a Hollywood legend, and she is a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Special Envoy. She is Angelina Jolie.

As part of her UN role this month she visited a shelter for refugees and migrants at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece. She also visited a Syrian refugee camp, in the eastern city of Zahleh, Lebanon.

‘Death To The Infidels!’ Why It’s Time To Fix Hollywood’s Problem With Muslims…

Following on from a recent blog post of mine, below are links to two rather brilliant articles about Islam, racism and Hollywood:

‘Death To The Infidels!’ Why It’s Time To Fix Hollywood’s Problem With Muslims

There are too many egregious examples to list. Selected highlights would include True Lies (Arnold Schwarzenegger versus fanatical yet incompetent Palestinian terrorists, who detonate a nuclear device in Florida), Protocol (Goldie Hawn becomes concubine to a lecherous oil-rich sheikh, so that the US can build a military base in his country), Network (“The Arabs are simply buying us,” rails Peter Finch’s rebel presenter), and 1998 thriller The Siege (in which Arab-Americans are rounded up after a New York terrorist attack. The critic Roger Ebert wrote: “The prejudicial attitudes embodied in the film are insidious, like the antisemitism that infected fiction and journalism in the 1930s”). And special mention must go to William Friedkin’s 2000 thriller Rules of Engagement, in which Samuel L Jackson’s marine goes on trial for massacring a crowd of Yemenis, but is exonerated when it turns out they were all gun-toting evildoers, even the women and children.

The History Of Hollywood: Propaganda For White Supremacy At Home And Us Militarism Abroad

Today’s generation of Muslims depicted in cinema are virtually limited to terrorists and national security threats, which serves to justify a dangerously oversized military abroad and unprecedented surveillance and erosion of civil liberties at home.

For many millennial Americans, the first exposure to Muslim “others” was the 1992 Disney classic Aladdin, in which most good characters were Westerners and the savages where invariably dark skinned. The children’s movies song lyric is instructive:

I come from a land, from a faraway place where the caravan camels roam / Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face / It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.

A Palestinian boy meets Cristiano Ronaldo…

The family of five-year-old Ahmed Dawabsheh were all killed in an arson attack by Israeli settlers last year. The boy, from the occupied West Bank, will be travelling to Madrid to meet one of the most famous athletes in the world: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Here comes the science!…

An interesting article from New Scientist magazine:

Material That Can Grow When Stretched Is Inspired By Islamic Art

It’s utility from beauty. A new class of futuristic materials that grow when stretched get their abilities from the geometries of ancient Islamic art, and they could be useful in medical devices and satellites.

Pull on most materials – be they t-shirts, rubber bands or pieces of plastic – and they stretch in one direction and become thinner in the other. But some metamaterials, engineered to have properties not found in nature, can do the opposite – they grow wider when stretched.

And here comes the history!…

Finally, another interesting article, this time from the BBC. Jerry Brotton, author of This Orient Isle: Elizabethan England And The Islamic World, has written an article entitled The First Muslims In England in which he says “…Muslims have been a part of Britain and its history much longer than many people have ever imagined”.

A further BBC link that is well worth a look, especially for kids, is:

The Quran: The Long Journey Into British Life.


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