Elliot's Weekly Roundup- Ramadan Mubarak

image credit: Salma Says flickr

image credit: Salma Says: flickr

In the aftermath of the Manchester bombing what is in the media?  Other tragedies such as Egypt, Baghdad, and Kabul should not be forgotten where many more were killed and injured. 

A mosque in Manchester was set alight as a response to the bomb attack in Manchester. Muslims have been targeted and blamed for the Manchester attack elsewhere. In one report taxi drivers in Leicester have been verbally abused and suffered from road rage style Isamophobia.  Owner of a Leicester taxi firm spoke about the difficulties he had encountered  since the Manchester attack,  "We know there were Muslim taxi drivers in Manchester offering people free rides to help the get home straight after the bomb went off but some people choose not to recognise that. I don't know if anyone will listen to me but I'd just ask people to show some respect and act properly towards people who are only trying to do a job."

Muslims in the UK have voiced their disgust at the killings, including the Chester Muslim Community.

But it needs to be more than a just a few words at the mosque. We want to be more open and transparent as a community and build understanding.
We shouldn’t be isolated and we need to integrate better in the community.
— http://www.chesterchronicle.co.uk/news/chester-cheshire-news/chesters-muslim-community-condemns-manchester-13116605

Muslims were joined by non Muslims on a peace walk in Manchester  organised by North Manchester's Jamia Mosque to show their support and solidarity for the bereaved. Around 500 joined in the demonstration against terrorism walking three miles from Cheetham to hold a vigil outside Manchester Arena.

I’m a Muslim and I trust you.
Do you trust me enough for a hug?
— http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/blindfolded-muslim-manchester-free-hugs-terrorist-attack-kindness-strangers-baktash-noori-a7761696.html

Baktash Noori has spent days blindfolded offering hugs to passers by in Manchester's Market Street.  The video he has made documenting his experience has been watched over thirty thousand times in recent days.  He stated: “I did not expect so many people to come and hug me, let alone give me such positive comments, but it was the best thing I've ever done.”  By the end of the day the queue snaked down the street with a long line of people waiting their turn to be hugged. 

Further afield in Iraq Muslim volunteers have shown solidarity with non Muslim members of their community by working on a ruined monastery near Mosul, with the aim of demonstrating that "Mosul is yours as it is ours" and that "our differences are our strength" 

Zain- the Kuwaiti mobile phone operator- has recently produced an advert.  The advert released at the start of Ramadan shows a man in a suicide vest walking through staged scenes based on recent bombings. The video has received a mix of positive and negative reactions. It has been criticised for using images of terrorism in an exploitative way. One image, perhaps familiar to us all, was of Omran Daqneesh- little boy who was pictured waiting for help after one of Bashar-al Assad's air strikes on Aleppo.  


Others have hailed the performer as a hero. The cast also includes people who have been victims in atrocities in Iraq Jordan and Kuwait and recreates some scenes of terror attacks. It has some great lines including:

You who come in the name of death. He is the creator of life.
Worship your God with love not terror.
Confront your enemy with peace not war.
Let’s bomb violence with mercy.
Let’s bomb hatred with love.
— https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U49nOBFv508

It kind of reminds me of something someone else said. Its a challenge to all of us. If you haven't seen the advert you can watch it here.  I'm not so interested in your intellectual analysis, discussion of camera angles,or artistic merit- as how your life is impacted by responding to this challenge today and this week.

Please get in touch we'd love to hear from you!

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
— The Message- www.biblegateway.com