Elliot's weekly roundup: a funeral, voting, a speech and hospitality CHALLENGING misconceptions

Image credit: unsplash

Image credit: unsplash

So what has been in the news in the week after the Mahabba National Gathering? There's a funeral,  voting, along with Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia. and hospitality challenging misconceptions.

You will probably remember the recent tragic accident in Drayton Manor theme park that resulted in the death of 11 year old Evha Jannath when she fell from a water ride. On Tuesday more than 600 people gathered at the Muslim Prayer Hall at Saffron Hill Cemetery in Leicester. Please pray for the family whom are grieving for their, " happy, laughing girl." 

“I loved my daughter too much, and she loved me too much. “I have no tears left in my eyes because I have cried so much.”

There is an election coming up just in case you hadn't heard! The Muslim Council of Britain has issued a list of 8 key issues affecting Muslim Communities.  These fall under the headings of engagement, religious liberty, bigotry, democracy, security, equality, free Palestine, and foreign policy. Muslim Engagement and development have also published their manifesto for the upcoming election. It focuses on investigating anti Muslim prejudice, discrimination, negative misrepresentations of Muslims in the media, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.  All of this highlights our need to pray for our country at this time.

1 Timothy 2 v 1-3
The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Saviour God wants us to live.

The same verse is applicable to the next article in the media as the American President flies off to Saudi Arabia. He is set to give an  “inspiring yet direct” speech on his “peaceful vision of Islam..." His speech is set to be controversial as at least part of it is to be penned by Stephen Miller- the person who was at the centre of developing and delivering Trump's immigration ban.

And finally I will leave you with a more uplifting article. A family in America have invited strangers to dine with a Muslim family to break down lack of understanding.  The article is well worth reading, demonstrates the value of hospitality and of overcoming prejudice with understanding.  I was challenged by their hospitality and openness to others. Perhaps we need to take a leaf out of their book and be more welcoming. Let me know how you get on!

By the end, we were just a bunch of friends laughing together. Food has a magical way of doing that.”

Elliot's Weekly Roundup: statistics, something to pray about & is love in the air?

Image: Laura Ockel,  Unsplash

Image: Laura Ockel, Unsplash

In the media this week: statistics, something to pray about and is love in the air?

Islam is the only religion growing faster than the world’s population and it will be the largest in the world by 2070, researchers have found.

The article also includes information about European attitudes towards Muslims. Reading this could be seen as overwhelming.  But let's make a choice not be overwhelmed by numbers and statics. Instead lets take the increasing opportunities that present themselves to share Jesus to those around us.  Even though the report states that attitudes to Muslims are not so negative in the UK there is still much room for us to model good relations and to help to shape attitudes positively.

Majorities in Hungary, Italy, Poland,and Greece say they view Muslims unfavourably, while negative attitudes towards Muslims are much less common in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Northern and Western Europe.

Meanwhile a new project has been started by four newspapers in Europe documenting conditions experienced by refugees and asylum seekers.  It states that Britain is one of the worst destinations for people seeking asylum in Western Europe. The following video clip shows the desperate reality of asylum seekers- many of whom are Muslim.  The question that it left me thinking about is how can I respond as an individual/ as a family/as part of a church/ as a British citizen.  Come on let's help make this place more welcoming!

The UN is warning that thousands of Rohingya children are suffering as "indirect victims" of the crackdown against suspected militants in Burma. Let's continue to pray for a change in this situation.

There is going to be a new TV programme on Channel 4 starting on Thursday. The first programme follows young men and women as they attempt to find spouses with the help of family, dating sited and the mosque marriage bureau.  It is set in Birmingham where:

...a baby boy is more likely to be called Mohammed than any other name...

The second programme deals with growing up as a young Muslim in the shadow of the news.  The third programme is about the rules of Islam and how they are interpreted.

In an insightful article, the creator of the show explained how the programme was made as a response to her daughter asking: "Mummy, what's a terrorist?"  She states the challenge of growing up as a Muslim in a post 9/11 world. " We grew up with Rosie and Jim, they are growing up with Jihadi John." 

...we did want to put ourselves in a Muslim community and explore and record the day to day lives and experiences of ordinary Muslims in the UK.

 I think I'll watch it. Pray.  Then use the insight gained from the programme in my interactions with my Muslim friends. Why don't you do the same. Let me know how you get on!