9 POSITIVE STORIES ABOUT MUSLIMS

You’ve got President El Trumpo thinking about his Muslim register due to his irrational fear of Islam (even a billboard can apparently scare him). You’ve got ISIS still rampaging around the Middle East. You’ve got murderous chaos still reigning supreme in Syria. You’ve got increasing Islamophobia everywhere.

All of this adds to a sadder sorrier state of affairs for us Muslims. It’s become so bad in fact that a recent headline from the Independent read Texas Men Train To Shoot Muslims And Dip Bullets In Pig Blood So Victims ‘Go Straight To Hell’. Good luck with that.

One would hope it does not get any worse than this, but I’m not exactly holding my breath. In order to counteract this growing wave of Islamophobia, please find below 9 positive news stories about Muslims that I have been collating for a few months now. Yes. Positive stories. About Muslims. They are out there if you look hard enough.

It was originally going to be a list of 10, as I was going to include a story about Zakia Belkhiri, a cheeky young Muslim woman who confidently took some selfies directly in front of far right anti-Muslim protesters in Belgium, thereby gaining notoriety as a bit of a renegade Muslim:

zakia-1

However, it was later revealed that she was an anti-Semite. After some anti-Semitic Twittering from Zakia, such as “Hitler didn’t kill all the Jews, he left some. So we [would] know why he was killing them #fuckrs”, someone poignantly came up with this:

zakia-2

And that’s why we are down to 9. Anyways, positively enjoy!


During Ramadan Muslims were very generously giving £38 a second to charity…

It is estimated by the Muslim Charities Forum that British Muslims gave approximately £100 million to charitable causes during the month of Ramadan this year. To give some context, that equates to approximately £38 a second…So say the Charity Commission.


Celtic fans raise more than £130,000 for Palestinian charities after flag protest…

Glasgow Celtic football club recently had a home match with Israeli team Hapoel Be’er Sheva, in a Champions League qualifier. During the match hundreds of Celtic fans showed solidarity with Palestinians by proudly displaying the flag of Palestine. Surprise surprise, UEFA did not take too kindly to this and fined Celtic for the display of such flags.

To continue with their support for Palestine, Celtic fans then went on to raise over £130,000 for Palestinian charities in an attempt to match the impending UEFA fine. Come on the bhoys!…More details from the Guardian.

celtic-flags


In our post-Trump era Muslim actor Mahershala Ali still has hope…

Stephen: You are an African American Muslim. How does that feel to be an African American Muslim today as opposed to how it felt a week ago [before the Trump election]?

Mahershala: I was just feeling in the clear from 9/11. So, you know, it took a long time to get comfortable, you know. It was a very difficult time because, look, I converted to Islam in like 1999 or 2000 and then, you know, 9/11 happened. So it was a really difficult time. And then now, you know, with someone who is kind of trying to reinforce this division, it’s challenging. Because, look, being an African American first, and then being a Muslim, like, those are two groups of people who feel misunderstood. And they feel like people who have been trying to fight to be accurately represented in and seen as full human beings and as equal and as people with something to offer as well. And so, it’s a very challenging time. But, you know, I believe and I have hope and there’s a lot of people out there doing a lot of good work. And yeah. So…fingers crossed moving forward. – Stephen Colbert, speaking to actor Mahershala Ali, a week after the Trump election


A British soldier stands up against Islamophobia…

A British soldier who lost his leg in Iraq has posted a powerful message to people “expecting racism” from him just because he “got blown up”…

More details on ITV.


A beautiful mosque has been rebuilt in Bosnia…

In the town of Banja Luka, Bosnia, the historic 16th century Ferhadija Mosque was torn down in 1993 by Serb forces in the then ongoing sectarian violence in the region. Recently, however, the mosque has been rebuilt and had it’s reopening ceremony, where several thousand people attended. Amongst many things happening that day, there was a message from the Prince of Wales that was conveyed to the mufti of Banja Luka, Dr Osman Koszlic.


A royally awesome school elects a Muslim prom queen in San Bernardino…

In December 2015 in San Bernardino, California, there was a horrific mass shooting where two Muslims killed 14 people and injured at least another 17. Fast forward four months to April 2016 and in the same county you have 18-year old Zarifeh Shalabi being elected as prom queen at Summit High School, just miles from the shooting…More details from the Huffington Post.

prom-queen


The brilliant Samantha Bee speaks out against Islamophobia…


Amazon has just released this heart-warming advert about a vicar and an imam…


Finally, Sadiq Khan has been mayor of London for over 6 months now…

For several years the most high ranking Muslim official in Britain was the Birmingham based community leader Citizen Khan (a fictional person from a mediocre BBC sitcom). Well, not anymore, for now that title goes to the Muslim mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Much has been written about Khan becoming mayor, below are just a few of the more interesting things I’ve come across…

He’s been standing up to Trump since day one…

Here is in in May, on the cover of New Statesman, being touted as the ‘anti-Trump’:

new-statesman-cover-sadiq

He has also ruffled a few other right-wing feathers in the States, with the Drudge Report calling Khan the ‘first mayor of Londonistan’, whilst Breitbart had an editorial advocating how people should leave London now.

William Shatner sent him a great tweet (which only makes sense if you’ve seen Star Trek II The Wrath Of Khan)…

As did Hillary Clinton…

Homa Khaleeli sees this appointment as a massive step forward in the fight against Islamophobia…

What a relief. For the past few months it’s been hard to get my head out of my hands long enough to watch the news. And it’s not just the celebrity deaths that have depressed me: 2016 has not been kind to British Muslims. Channel 4 painted us as polygamous, sexist homophobes in its documentary What British Muslims Really Think. Donald Trump told us we would be banned from the US – and went on to clean up in the primaries. And through it all there was the steady drip of poison from Zac Goldsmith’s London mayoral campaign. So the news that Sadiq Khan has become London’s first Muslim and first ethnic minority mayor couldn’t come at a better time…A Muslim mayor of London might not end the Islamophobia in British politics – any more than Obama’s win cured racism in the US – but it offers a moment, at least, of hope. – Homa Khaleeli

People are sharing this poignant anecdote about Sadiq Khan and a Qur’an…

Khan gave an interview to the Evening Standard in May 2015. In it he spoke about becoming a member of the Queen’s Privy Council in 2009. The swearing in ceremony involved a bible:

The next day Buckingham Palace rang about his appointment to the Privy Council: “You’re going to be sworn in before the Queen, what sort of bible would you like?’ I said: ‘I swear on the Koran, I’m a Muslim’. They said: ‘We haven’t got a Koran, can you bring your own?’ So I went to Buckingham Palace with my Koran and afterwards they returned it and I said: ‘No, can I leave it here for the next person.’” – from the Evening Standard, May 2015

Some funny comments from Adil Ray and Frankie Boyle on Have I Got News For You…

Frankie: This is the election of Sadiq Khan as London mayor…Did you follow the London mayor debate?

Adil Ray: I did, yes, followed it with great delight. But on behalf of all Muslims, and that’s what I do, as a Muslim we talk on behalf of all of us. And there is 1.6 billion of us and I’ve spoken to them all before we came on tonight. We’re not very happy because he’s not a proper Muslim. No beard. In fact, you’d be a better Muslim than Sadiq Khan, I think…If you’re wondering where my beard is, they wouldn’t let me through security with it…

Frankie Boyle: There was quite a sad moment where Paul Golding, who is the head of Britain First, he turned his back on Sadiq Khan during his acceptance speech. I thought it’d be good if he’d accidentally turned to face Mecca…

Adil Ray: We wait now as Muslims to see what Sadiq Khan’s got in store. He’s been in a week and we’ve not seen any evidence of King’s Cross changing to King’s Abdullah’s Cross, or Buckingham Palace losing the ‘ham’ bit…Bucking Palace I think would work…

Julia Hartley-Brewer: I interviewed Sadiq Khan…and I said to him, “Would a victory for Sadiq Khan for the London Mayor be a victory for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party?” And Sadiq Khan said, “Is that the time?”

Adil Ray: What, was it prayer time, was it? Get used to that, get used to that. Sadiq Khan can walk out of any interview, any time. “I’ve got to go, sorry, it’s prayer time.” Good on you, Sadiq.

Comedian Raz says ‘thanks’…

With Khan now as mayor of London, Asian comedian Raz has pointed out a somewhat negative side effect for all the other Asians in the UK:

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