Ireland

Elliot's Roundup: Bullying, uniform, fish and chips, and celebrating Eid in Trafalgar Square

image: flickr- Chris Goldberg

image: flickr- Chris Goldberg

Since recent terror attacks the number of race based bullying incidents has jumped, with over 300 receiving counselling in the fortnight after the Manchester attack. Children as young as 9 have been called terrorists Some have stayed away from school to avoid the bullying, others have turned to self harm as a way to cope with the situation.

Muslim children have told Childline they’ve endured constant name-calling, been accused of being associated with Isis and been threatened with violence. Young girls have frequently been victimised when they wear a hijab or headscarf, the helpline said.
— http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/nine-year-old-children-terrorists-race-faith-hate-bullying-childline-manchester-arena-terror-attack-a7810051.html

Also in the news is a secondary school Sir John Thursby Community College in Burnley, Lancashire. Apparently the first school in the UK to offer headscarves as part of the school uniform has had complaints that the school's headscarves are not modest enough.  A petition has been signed by around 150 people which states the headscarves are too short and pose a suffocation hazard.  A working party comprised of students, parents, staff and governors are planning to meet to find an acceptable way forward

Ramadan has ended, which means 24% of the population can go back to eating and drinking in daylight hours once more. Wales Online asks a Muslim about his faith including some insights into how Muslims in Wales are feeling after recent events.  Muslims also share their view of living in Ireland in the following video. 

An article from York shows how all communities can become closer through food- this time shared fish and chips.  As Ramadan finished Eid was celebrated worldwide. Although already celebrated Eid will be celebrated again this Sunday 2nd July in Trafalgar Square.  There will be a range of events on the main stage as well as a global food market.  

“In these difficult times, it’s been truly inspiring to see how communities have come together in solidarity. Throughout Ramadan, I’ve joined Londoners from all faiths and backgrounds to break my fast at Iftars across our city. For me, this is what the holy month is all about – sharing time with others and showing empathy for one another.”
— http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/attractions/eid-in-trafalgar-square-2017-lineup-timings-and-sadiq-khans-statement-a3574331.html

Sadiq Khan's words remind me of the ancient, yet still challenging words, found in Isaiah about true fasting- working for justice, setting the oppressed free, sharing food, providing shelter as well as not neglecting our own families. 

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
— https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+58&version=NIV

Let's be those people. I would love to be known as Repairer of Broken Walls or Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Wouldn't you?

New Mahabba group in Dublin

Image: Jason Briscoe,  Unsplash . Dublin

Image: Jason Briscoe, Unsplash. Dublin

New Mahabba group in Dublin

One of the newest groups in the Mahabba Network has just launched in the Republic of Ireland.

This is particularly exciting, as there has been lots of demand from Ireland (Republic and North!) for some time, but no groups!

After the official launch of the group in Dublin, we had a very encouraging note.


Dear Mahabba,

There was a very encouraging meeting for prayer and discussion in Dublin today, organised by our coordinator.

I didn't actually count how many people were there, but I think it was over 20. There was a mix of people from the south of Ireland and from Northern Ireland.

We prayed for Muslims, and discussed approaches and resources for sharing the Good News with Muslims.

We are hoping to have a prayer gathering on a regular basis.

I would like to encourage those who came today to join the Mahabba Network. We would learn from what others are doing in other places, and be able to share our ideas and resources within Ireland.

Would it be possible to set up three groups in the Network - one for Dublin, one for Belfast, and one overarching regional one for all of Ireland?

If these specific groups were in place, then it might encourage most of the people to join. (There might also be demand for a third group in Cork.)


Our response

We are all in favour of three more groups, so if you are reading this and God is speaking to you, do get in touch!