Good News from the Muslim Community

Welcome to Fresh Air, a Muslim community bulletin that brings you the good news you never seem to hear in the media.

We welcome stories of positive community engagement, humanitarian and voluntary work, responsible reporting and well researched publications, documentaries and other pieces.

We want to inspire you to do more by hearing about others’ example whether they be Muslim or Non-Muslim. We also want to put a smile on your face when you read about people striving to make the world a better place.Finally we are committed to centralising communication within the Muslim community so that you know about the good work of both Muslim and Non-Muslim organisations and can support them spiritually and financially.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Lifting the Veil

Do you know any Non-Muslim women who are curious about Islam?  IERA, the Islamic Education and Research Academy has successfully raised enough money through community donations to put on a one day special event with lunch and refreshments on Sunday 6th March.  Attendees will be given the opportunity to ask questions in a relaxed all female environment and have a chance to share experiences with real Muslims!
In a world where so much debate takes place on issues of hijab and niqab, muslim marriages and female employment, open discussion is becoming more and more important in order to qwell misinformation.  This is an open door to education, organised by a dedicated team so please support it wholeheartedly if you wish to live in a more tolerant world.
The event takes place at Ramada Encore London West, Gypsy Corner W3 6RT from 10am to 5.30pm
You can register by emailing

Raid of the Mongols

Once again the popular Al Kauthar Institute delivered a powerful and inspirational 2 day conference on 12th and 13th February. 'Raid of the Mongols' was a relevant history lesson attendees should never forget.

Charismatic Sheikh Isam Rajab took students on a gripping tour from 13th century Afghanistan through to the toppling of the Abbasid caliphate and the destruction of Baghdad in 1258AD.  The Ummah was confounded as its corrupt leaders fled, cities stormed and its books of scholarship discarded into the rivers of the city by the violent Mongols who now controlled most of the Muslim world.  Muslims lost faith, believing that the end of the world was nigh.
Yet a message of hope came from all the destruction.  Mahmoud ibn Mamdoud, named Qutuz or ‘ferocious dog’ by Mongols, lead a key turning point in history when he squared up to the Mongols at ‘Ayn Jalut.  He prepared his strategy, invested in people, listened to scholars and formed alliances with the Christians.  Most of all, he lead by the Sunnah and was humble before Allah on the battle field.  Victory was granted and from that point on, Muslims turned back to their forgotten faith and principles, ousting the Mongols from the Muslim world.  In an unusual twist of history, some occupying Mongols actually converted to Islam and gradually the situation calmed and the Ottoman empire was formed.

A wonderfully pertainent course in which parallels with the modern world and the disparate state of the community were drawn.  Students were advised on the need for self-discipline, hard work and reliance on Allah to have success as our ancestors did in promoting a world of progress, education and civilisation.

Cambridge call to non-muslims

This week Cambridge University’s Islamic society opens its doors to the general public in its much awaited Experience Islam Week.  Known affectionately by its organisers as EIW, this year’s programme features the conversion story of a Roman Catholic priest on Monday, Islamic Art on Tuesday, Interfaith scripture reading on Wednesday and a controversial Question Time format on Saturday which will discuss issues around women and jihad.
The week usually culminates in a cultural festival of food and poetry which this year will be Persian themed.  All events take place in the beautiful city of Cambridge .
EIW has been running for many years and seeks to invite all including Non-Muslims to a safe environment where they can learn more about the faith, ask questions and meet their Muslim neighbours.
This year’s publicity video ‘See things differently’ follows last year’s incredibly fresh and innovative style tailored for the Non-Muslim viewer.
For more information on event listings and to view the trailer visit

Muslim Writers Welcome

If you have a child with a passion for writing, the Young Muslim Writers’ Awards may be just what you are looking for.  This year’s final deadline for submissions is 7th March.
Poetry and short stories from the under 16s will be judged by an expert panel and winners in each category will be recognised at their very own awards ceremony in front of an audience.
The Muslim Writers’ Awards were first set up in 2006 to recognise and bring together creative talent in the adult Muslim community.  Following consultation with teachers and local education authorities nationally the concept was extended to schoolchildren and the first ever children’s awards presentation was held in May 2010.
Adult entries are also welcome from March 2011 and allow poetry, prose, screenplays and journalism.  Previous work has even gone on to publishing houses so there is no reason to hold back. 
For more information on the awards and how to submit an entry visit:

Monday, 7 February 2011

Working Muslim

Working Muslim is an online resource and interactive facebook page designed especially for working muslim women.

If you are looking for tips on how to wrangle yourself a prayer room at lunchtime, how to interact with the opposite sex and how to assert yourself confidently in the workplace, Sayyidah Zaidi's webpage is the place to go.  For those who wish to discuss and swap tips on work related concepts, the facebook page regularly posts up questions for people to answer and share their own experiences.

Working Muslim's goal is to change misconceptions on women in the workplace, leaving the definition fluid and dynamic. It also aims to help women find their own home, work and faith balance.

Professionally designed with gentle pink tones, the website is well worth a look for its articles and a free copy of Sayyidah's e-book on Work-Faith balance.

Go to for more information...

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Beyond Terror: the Truth About the Real Threats to Our World

In the same year that 2500 Americans died in the twin towers attack, 3500 US citizens died of malnutrition, 14000 died from HIV/AIDS, 62000 died from pneumonia and 700000 died of heart disease.  Is international terrorism really the greatest threat to world security?

This is the question asked and answered by Abbott, Rogers and Sloboda in their 2007 book by the title above.  Small, concise yet packing a great statistical punch, the Oxford Research Group have produced a classic for anyone interested in the United States 'War on Terror'.

A must-read for government and quite frankly anyone who values the truth, the ORG write of the vast impact of climate change, the rich-poor divide and global militarisation on the world's population and how ignoring these factors to focus on extremism will actually be detrimental to all.

Well said, much needed and ignored at your peril...

The book is available to order from

EDL invited to dialogue with IERA

IERA today has released an emergency press statement calling for official dialogue between the English Defence League and the Muslim community.  The statement was prompted by the EDL's staged march in Luton today which claims to be anti-extremism.  With placards like 'Muslim bombers off our street' and 'No more mosques', IERA invite the EDL to move away from ignorance to greater understanding of the Islamic faith.  Furthermore they encourage muslim residents of Luton to exemplify prophetic patience and calm despite provocation.