Elliot's Roundup: Hate is easy. Love takes courage.

image: clive wren flickr

image: clive wren flickr

Travelling through the city centre I was startled to see messages of sympathy and support for the victims of the Manchester attack. I pass the same way regularly but for some reason I had not seen it before. Just as that tragic news became our new reality, the London Bridge attack happened.  Following on from that- this week the the Grenfell Tower burst into flame and quickly spread through the building. Today's media roundup comes in the light of all these tragic events and loss of life.  The title for today's blog and picture come from a Muslim community rally against terrorism that was held in Sheffield less than a week ago.

There has been further condemnation of the London attack by various Muslim communities in the UK. Three thousand roses were handed out on London Bridge by Muslims as a show of unity with those who were injured and killed in the attack.

We are here to write narratives of love of love and solidarity. Not hate and division.

Grimsby Islamic Community have also invited wider members of the community, including the North East Lincolnshire's Mayor,  councillors, members of the police and public to en event in the mosque. The aim was to show that the London Bridge attack was "not in my name."  Elsewhere in Glasgow a Muslim anti-terror rally has been held. 

The generosity of a Muslim in Surrey has been seen online. The article describes how a Muslim lady shared a meal with her non-Muslim neighbour as well as sharing some information about Ramadan. A picture of a Muslim who helped an elderly lady who had collapsed on a bus has also been shared tens of thousands of times on social media this week. 

“Her gesture has really made me think – it’s one of those things which stop you in your tracks, and make you look at yourself like ‘what am I doing now, and if I’m not doing anything, what could I do?’

“I’ve always grown up with the ‘someone else will do it’ attitude, but it’s about time I started being that person rather than observing that person.”

Since the London Bridge attack there has also been a rise in hate crime, a 500% increase in Islamophobic crime and a 40% rise in racist incidents has been reported. for example: recently  a Muslim mother was punched in the face in Birmingham,a bag of vomit was recently thrown at a car carrying two Muslim women in Blackburn, Lancashire. 

Perhaps this spike in incidents will be turned around by the reporting in the Telegraph, Independent, Sun, and Daily Mail and elsewhere. Many Muslims have been hailed as heroes for saving lives in the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London. The blaze tore through the 24 storey building causing many to be hospitalised and 17 at this time are known to have been killed. Muslims in the area were awake and so were able to help evacuate the building and prevent further loss of life. The fact that Muslims were awake because of Ramadan and so were able to help was also widely reported on TV news including Channel 4 and  BBC news.   The charity Muslim Hands have launched an appeal, as have Muslim Aid who are also working in conjunction with churches to aid those who have been left homeless. 

There are many opportunities to interact with our Muslim neighbours, colleagues and friends. Let's not be part of the problem. Let's choose love not hate. Many Muslims say that they got to know Jesus though supernatural dreams, reading the and having a longterm friendship with a follower of Jesus.  Let's be that friend this week. The message of Jesus comes wrapped in a person- that means you and me!

Elliot's weekly round-up: Immigration, Integration & Islam



The election  held in The Netherlands this week  was dominated by the theme  of immigration, integration and Islam.

Geet Wilders party which wanted to ban the Qur'an and mosques has only gained a few additional seats and so will be ruled out of talks about forming a coalition. 

The European Union has ruled that employers can ban visible religious symbols in the workplace. This has potentially huge implications for hijab wearing Muslim women all over Europe. Some have welcomed the ruling others have feel it discriminates against Muslims.


For Muslim women a headscarf is not an accessory; rather, it is a part of their belief. So, just like one’s ethnicity, it can’t be changed or replaced. The headscarf ban will keep Muslim women out of jobs and business

The final episode of Extremely British Muslims was shown this week on Channel 4. It was about how Muslims live by the rules from the Qur'an and Hadith.

It featured brothers Shaun and Lee, who couldn't be more different. Shaun has become a Muslim and is now known as Abdul. His wife is Pakistani. His brother, Lee, is/was a member of the English Defence League.

On their visits to each other, with their families, having frank chats in the back garden, they reminisce about the good old days.

“We liked going out and getting wrecked, didn’t we?” says Lee. Abdul, you didn’t! Oh, but he did. “The party was always at our house,” he smiles – is that nostalgia or regret?

They laugh together about Abdul’s ginger beard, while Lee admits he used to think Muslims were baddies and that, by attending EDL rallies, he was “sticking up for his country”. Asked if he would ever go to the mosque with his brother, Lee gives an honest no, prompting Abdul to say:

If any of his friends saw him in a mosque, that would look bad

How can we respond to en election, a European ruling, a TV documentary set in Birmingham. I have been reading a book this week - it has a suggestion.