Hena Khan’s many Muslim-themed children’s books have not only been a launchpad for her creativity, but a means to build compassion and tolerance. Her latest youth novel, Amina’s Voice, deals with a Muslim middle schooler’s many anxieties and struggles, and it is the first book on a major book publisher’s new imprint for Muslim readers. Hena Khan talks about how she never found characters like herself in the books she read as a child. As a writer now, Hena talks about how she is trying, through her books, to give confidence and a proud identity to our Muslim youth. Hena N. Khan spoke at the MCC on Friday, May 18, 2017.
Celebrate Muslim Women’s Writing took place on September 29th 2018 at Glasgow Women’s Library. A lively afternoon of spoken word and performance by emerging Muslim women writers exploring the theme of relationships. Also in conversation with acclaimed Muslim women writers including Safina Mazhar, Sara Shaarawi and Sufiya Ahmed. In partnership with Sheffield University Storying Relationships Project. Supported by Stellar Quines Theatre Company. Supported by the Alwaleed Centre.
Today, May 29, is the birthday of Imam Marwan Gill, Interlitq‘s Islamic Affairs Editor.
Read Interlitq‘s Featured Interview with Imam Marwan Gill.
Imam Marwan Gill writes:
The two recent threats to world peace: Islamophobia and terrorism in the name of Islam
New Zealand, a country considered to be among the safest in the world, has recently suffered the deadliest terrorist attack in its history. The loss of 50 innocent lives was a great tragedy that moves us all deeply and, in turn, alarms us due to the fact that its perpetrator is a member of a widespread ideology: Islamophobia.
According to a survey of One path network, the shooter is among the 49% of Australians who are Islamophobes. But this fact is not surprising if, on average, 8 articles are published daily in Australia promoting hate and false propaganda against Islam. The role of the media in purveying this hatred is one side of the coin, the other being that the sniper was surely also among the 70% of the population that knows little or nothing about Islam, according to the same poll.
Just as Islamophobia is threatening world peace, terrorism and fanaticism in the name of Islam jeopardize international stability.
Recently, in Sri Lanka, more than 250 people were killed by members of ISIS. It should be crystal-clear that just as the shooter in New Zealand does not represent Christian values, the terrorists in Sri Lanka do not represent Islamic values. Islam, which literally means peace in Arabic, condemns all kinds of hatred, violence and terrorism. In Chapter 5 and verse 33 of the Holy Qur’an, it is clearly mentioned that killing a single human life is like killing all mankind. Therefore, as Muslims, we are saddened to think that someone who claims to be a Muslim could attack people in a number of churches. As a Muslim, it is one’s obligation to respect and protect a synagogue, a church and any place of worship in the same way as a mosque. (Chapter 22, verse 42)
It can be no accident that on both occasions the perpetrators chose a religious place and a religious or sacred day to divide societies and spread hatred. In New Zealand, the terrorist completely failed in such an attempt. Indeed, New Zealand society became more united than ever before.
By declaring the attacker to be a terrorist, the government took a clear stand, demonstrating that they make no difference between a Muslim or a Christian assailant. By putting veils over their heads, New Zealand women sent an unequivocal message that Muslims are part of New Zealand. The recitation of the Holy Quran in the parliament, the references made to the Holy Prophet in the speech of Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Islamic call of Azan that was broadcast by the media, are all expressions of solidarity with Muslims.
His Holiness, Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the spiritual caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, praised New Zealand with the following words:
Recently the world had to face two terror attacks on two different continents, in the name of two different ideologies, but with the same aim: to divide societies and build walls of hatred in the world. The only way to make them fail in their attempt is to be united as a society.
Following the example of New Zealand, it is now the responsibility of the people of Sri Lanka to wipe the tears and pain of their Christian brothers and to create bridges of love in society.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community, which believes since its founding in 1889 in His Holiness Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Promised Messiah and Reformer of our era, is very determined to unite humanity and create bridges of love in the world. On the one hand, it has determined to reform the wrong ideologies of Muslims, condemning violent Jihad and all forms of hatred, violence and terrorism. And on the other hand, the Community is serving humanity with the slogan “Love for all, hatred for anyone” in more than 200 countries – irrespective of religion and ethnicity.”
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About Imam Marwan Gill:
Imam Marwan Gill was born on the 29th of May in Reutlingen, Germany. In 2009 he moved to London to study Theology, Arabic and Comparative Religions at the Private Institute of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, known as Jamia Ahmadiyya UK, graduating in 2016. He later served as an Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community projects in countries such as Ghana, Spain, and the UK. In September 2017, he was appointed as Imam and Ambassador of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Argentina, being the first Representative of the Holiness and Caliph Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad- spiritual Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community- in Argentina. Imam Marwan Gill also acts as Interlitq’s Islamic Affairs Editor.