newsletter september 2011

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the the September 2011 edition of the Muslim Christian marriage support group newsletter . Hope you’ve had a good summer, and a  happy and uplifting experience of Ramadan and Eid .

Two dates for your diaries! :

************PICNIC IN THE PARK – SATURDAY 1ST OCTOBER ************

11:30 @ THE DIANA MEMORIAL

HYDE PARK

BRING BLANKETS, OUTDOOR GAMES, FOOD, DRINK AND ANYTHING ELSE YOU FANCY!

FINGERS CROSSED FOR SOME AUTUMN SUNSHINE HAVING FAILED TO GET ANY SUNSHINE FOR OUR SUMMER PICNIC!

**********LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU ALL THERE!!! ***************RSVP: beckydale1@btinternet.com

Ps If the weather is too bad we will postpone but we are hoping for a sunny Autumnal day!

And

…………… MUSLIM CHRISTIAN COUPLES SUPPORT MEETING SUNDAY OCTOBER 16th…………………………

11.30 -3.00 at our familiar venue in Southall, including samosas !

ALL ARE WELCOME : RSVP  /get directions:  heather.alyousuf@hotmail.com

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Calling Chicagoans
A couple are looking for contacts or potential group activity in Chicago, – if you might be interested reach out to Shaan or Katie at themcaks@gmail.com.
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  • Family values :
  • Saira Khan , businesswoman and former Apprentice contestant talks about her family, growing up in Britain with Kashmiri parents and marrying a white guy who wasn’t a Muslim. She says that if her dad were still alive she would still be unmarried because she could never bring herself to disappoint him. Even though he is an agnostic bordering on atheist her husband converted to Islam to make the marriage acceptable. Saira says that she believes that 99.9% of young Britrish Asians are living a charade,   between what it is expected by the community and trying to integrate into being British: a charade driven by guilty fear, the potential shame of being cut off from your community.

She describes entering on her marriage into a world of not having to lie any more. But at the same time she doesn’t want to shake off her roots.  You can read her whole interview with Nick Mcgrath in The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/sep/03/saira-khan-my-family-values

  • .

And a similar theme is explored in Zahra Noorbaksh ‘s heart felt autobiographical show on the dilemmas and humour of combining Iranian Muslim heritage with American identity  (and another non-Muslim boyfriend)

http://mahmood.tv/2011/08/24/all-atheists-are-muslim/

(and Mahmood’s site is worth a look in its own right !)

Meanwhile attitudes change gradually without us noticing : in a 1958 Gallup poll in the US only 4% approved of marriages between blacks and whites. Now 86% are Ok with inter racial marriage.
Read more at GALLUP.com.

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NEW Resources SUPPORTING ‘MIXED’ COUPLES AND FAMILIES:

Family researchers from University of Southampton, London South Bank University and University of Nottingham) and One Plus One, a voluntary agency concerned with couple and family relationship support have joined forces with other interracial relationship support groups Intermix, Mix Together and People in Harmony to develop online resources for mixed couples which can now be viewed.  http://thecoupleconnection.net/articles/categories/mixed-families

If you are part of a mixed couple or family the producers are asking for your help in two ways:

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9/11 and its aftermath has affected us all in many ways,  the tenth anniversary commemorations have been a chance to take stock and reflect both on what happened and the lives that were lost and on its meaning for our mixed families, lives and communities.   Amongst the best 9/11 related material I heard was a theological discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Beyond Belief  programme :

“When the hijackers directed their planes into the Twin Towers in New York, it was religion as well as terrorism which hit the headlines. The hijackers had the name of their God on their lips. For many it was a sign that the Clash of Civilisations, the conflict between the Muslim and Christian worlds, had become a dreadful reality. But the events led to an upsurge of interest in Islam and in the question of how religious zealots could justify the wholesale destruction of civilians by reference to its God? What sort of God could that be? Is the God that Muslims worship the same as the Christian God? Wherein lie the differences.? 10 years on the questions remain.
Joining Ernie to discuss these questions are Miroslav Wolf, Henry B Q Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School; Mona Siddiqi Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Glasgow; and Father Damien Howard, lecturer in Muslim-Christian Relations at Heythrop College in the University of London”. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b014fblh
thanks Sarah for sending the link. It was good to hear Muslims and Christians talk honestly and comfortably about differences and similarities whilst cooperating fully in theology as a shared project.

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Report on Marriage, Divorce and Religious Courts Published

A report on religious courts and tribunals in the UK has just been published by researchers at Cardiff Law School and the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK at Cardiff University. The year-long project, funded by the AHRC/ESRC Religion and Society Programme, explored how religious law already functions alongside civil law in the area of marriage and divorce.

The research project addressed concerns which were raised in the aftermath of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lecture on Religious and Civil Law in 2008, which provoked an animated debate concerning the extent to which English law should accommodate religious legal systems, such as Sharia law.  These concerns have also come to the fore more recently as a result of the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill (HL Bill 72) introduced into the House of Lords by Baroness Cox which seeks to regulate the operation of religious courts.

The project, ‘Social Cohesion and Civil Law: Marriage, Divorce and Religious Courts’ examined the workings of three religious courts in detail: a Jewish Beth Din; a matrimonial tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church; and a Muslim Shariah Council). The project asked ‘What is the legal status of these courts?’ and ‘How do they operate in relation to marriage, divorce and remarriage?’

The research team was led by Professor Gillian Douglas, an expert on family law and former Head of School at Cardiff Law School. She was joined by Dr Sophie Gilliat-Ray (the Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam in the UK), Professor Norman Doe (the Director of the Centre for Law and Religion), Dr Russell Sandberg (a lecturer in law at Cardiff) and Asma Khan (a Research Associate at Cardiff Law School).

The full report can be found at: http://www.law.cf.ac.uk/clr/research/cohesion.html

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Some more listings:  coming up :

Sufis in Scotland :

World Sufism Symposium Edinburgh: The Sufi Path in the 21st Century

Evening of Sufi Music, Poetry, Storytelling and Devotional Practice

Friday 30 September 2011 Venue: Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL.

Registration.6.30pm-7pm for event 7pm-10pm

“Whether you love God or love a human being, if you love enough, you will come into the presence of Love itself.”

– Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi

Cost: £10.

Numbers are limited. Advance booking recommended.

And other events throughout the weekend.

Interested? Visit https://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/eicsp?sk=wall

or http://www.eicsp.org/downloads-org/category/175-world-sufism-symposium-registration-form

Fateah Alice Saunders, 44-(0)131-664-6206, alicefateah@btinternet.com

 

Continuing the mystical theme the Centre for Christianity and Interreligious Dialogue

Is bringing together a number of Jewish, Christian and Islamic scholars to explore Mystical Perspectives on THE LOVE OF GOD

Speakers

Jonathan Gorsky, Heythrop College, University of London

Rachel Elior, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Denys Turner, Yale University, USA

Andrew Louth, Emeritus Professor Durham and Amsterdam

Nevad Kahteran, Sarajevo University, Bosnia

Ahmad Achtar, Heythrop College, University of London

The Loyola Room, Heythrop College

9.30am to 5.00pm

Wednesday 5th October

£35 (includes lunch)

This conference is open to all. Booking is essential. To book a place please email Sheelah

Hidden at: s.hidden@heythrop.ac.uk

Heythrop College, University of London, Kensington Square, London W8

5HQ

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London Interfaith Centre :

The Art of Identity In London Inter Faith Centre’s Art of Identity Project London teenagers from across five world religions explore aspects of their identity, including faith, through the visual arts. Exhibition at Lumen URC Centre, 88 Tavistock Place, WC1 Monday 12 September – Friday 23 September 10 am – 6 pm.

Abrahamic Texts Group for Jews, Christians and Muslims Monday 10th October 10.15 for 10.30 a.m. Discussing ‘hospitality’ in the context of our sacred texts. New members welcome. Contact info@londoninterfaith.org.uk

Texts to Live By, Sunday 30th October 5 – 7 p.m. at London Inter Faith Centre.   Our 2011-2102 series of multi-faith study groups will be on the theme: ANIMAL RIGHTS? Religious and philosophical approaches. At each session members of three faiths/belief groups present texts from their tradition and say what they think these mean for the people of today’s world. Each presentation is followed by round-table discussion. Future dates: 26th FEBRUARY, 27th MAY, 22ndJULY 2012. All are welcome, of any faith or none.

Sea of Stories, Sunday, 20th November 2 p.m.  at London Inter Faith Centre, hosted with St Ethelburga’s Centre for Peace and Reconciliation. Spellbinding performances for International Interfaith Week 2011 with our awesome crew of storytellers from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Baha’i traditions. Tickets £7 (£5 concessions) : https://stethelburgas.org/civicrm/event/register?id=336&reset=1

London Faith Schools Conference, Tuesday, 22nd November During this National Inter Faith Week, the third annual conference will be held of London Faith Schools. Teenagers from across five world religions will meet on the topic of ‘YOUNG IN LONDON: PURPOSE AND PRIORITIES’. For more information, please contact info@londoninterfaith.org.uk

Light Shining in Darkness: Zen Retreat, Tuesday 20th December – Thursday 22nd December, growing out of London Inter Faith Centre’s weekly meditation group. The retreat in Cambridge will be led by Dr Richard Garlick and LIFC’s own Revd Maggie Hindley. All welcome. For enquiries please contact maggie.hindley@londoninterfaith.org.uk

Ongoing Events

London Hosting – Are you concerned about the needs of destitute refugees on the streets of London? Do you have spare room or a sofa bed which you could make available either short or longer term? Ask for a hosting pack from Revd Maggie Hindley on maggie.hindley@londoninterfaith.org.uk

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It may be too late to sign up for this academic conference on Ethnography, Diversity and Urban Space”Organised by the ESRC Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford.

on 22-23 September 2011 But you can read what they are talking about here http://www.compas.ox.ac.uk/events/forthcoming/ethnography-diversity-urban-space-conference/

Fascinating thinking about cities and neighbourhoods in which we live as ‘super-diverse’: a ‘diversification of diversity’, with a population characterised by multiple ethnicities, countries of origin, immigration statuses, and age profiles.

Part of their brief is to develop new modes of inquiry appropriate to the contemporary challenge of super-diversity.   We come in there somewhere !

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22 October 2011

A place for faith schools?  The Christian Muslim forum in partnership with Las Casas Institute at Oxford are hosting a  A day seminar on Christian and Muslim Faith Schools and their place in a mainly secular society.

Venue: Blackfriars Hall, 64 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LYhttp://christianmuslimforum.org/index.php/events/event-listing/623/.

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Thnaks Habib for this info about Arab events coming up in the UK! :

Go to the  Arab British Centre website for more info:

www.arabbritishcentre.org.uk

ARABIAN DANCE THEATRE: UNDER THE SUN

14 October 2011 8:00pm – 11 November 2011 10:00pm

Jackson Lane Theatre, London & Seven Arts Centre, Leeds

This autumn, Arabian Dance Theatre presents Under the Sun in London & Leeds.
Read more

EXPLORING ARABIC HIP-HOP: RANDA SAFIEH & MASTER MIMZ

14 October 2011 7:00pm – 8:00pm

Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London

What is Arabic hip-hop and what role does it play in modern Arab society?
Read more

LEIGHTON HOUSE MUSEUM: NOUR FESTIVAL OF ARTS

01 October 2011 10:00am – 30 November 2011 10:00pm

12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ

We are delighted to announce our involvement in this year’s Nour Festival of Arts.
Read more

TWO DAY EVENT: ‘I LOVE EGYPT’, SPEAK OUT!

30 September 2011 10:00am – 01 October 2011 6:00pm

Speakers’ Corner, Hyde Park, London

Two-day event to share ideas about self expression and protest in London and Cairo.
Read more

 

WINDS OF CHANGE: CINEMA FROM MUSLIM SOCIETIES

21 September 2011 6:45pm – 13 October 2011 7:30pm

The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London SW1

A season of films illustrating the broad variety of contemporary cinema across Muslim societies.
Read more

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Looking ahead to the Olympics :

In case you hadn’t heard ..next year the Olympics are coming to London.. and it’s happening in the middle of Ramadan , in July.   http://lbfn.wordpress.com/london-2012/ the London boroughs faith network are gathering ideas for making it a festival we can all share in – an Olympic truce – iftaars for everyone?   If you have ideas please share!

Look forward to seeing you if you can make it to our October meets!

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