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Eid!

We’re all really excited about this weekend’s Eid events in Edinburgh and Glasgow. It’s a common complaint that not much happens around Eid, and so we’ve set these events up to allow people to come together and celebrate.

The events have got a great line up of entertainment:

  • Fursan are a world music group who have become one of the hottest acts on the scene after coming together earlier this year. Already they have toured across Europe, and supported Outlandish, who said of Fursan that they “have an organic vibe, reminds us of Arrested Development”. See this video for a taster.
  • Shaista Aziz has entered the comedy circuit with a bang this year, picking up the Manchester Comedy Store’s King Gong award. She was a finalist at the Liverpool Comedy Festival and was also at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. She is fresh from performing in Hong Kong.
  • Milad Raza Qadri, one of Glasgow’s very own, wows audiences with his melodious voice and is considered to be Europe’s biggest selling nasheed artist. See his website for more.

We look forward to seeing you there. Click on the links below for full details.

Edinburgh - 19 November, St John’s, Princes Street

Glasgow - 20 November, Victoria Hall, 70 Coplaw Street, G42

Films from across the world will be showing this weekend as part of Salaam Scotland. Full line up:

Check out trailers:

Le Grand Voyage
Fighter
Deen Tight
The Imam and the Pastor

Synopses of the films here

Below are brief synopses of the films showing as part of the Salaam Scotland film festival. To see the listings and trailers themselves, go here.

BBQ Muslims
In this short comedy, two Canadian Muslim brothers are sleeping in their home when the barbecue in the backyard explodes. They are immediately suspected of being dangerous Middle Eastern terrorists. Their neighbourhood turns against them, as does the news media and the legal system. Meanwhile, the environmental terrorists/activists who perpetrated the crime are frustrated as their attempt at sensationalizing their cause goes unrecognized by the news media. This film was inspired by events following the Oklahoma City bombing.
BBQ Muslims premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1996.

Random Check
Arrested at the airport as the result of racial profiling and late for his wedding, a desperate young man uses the power of the media to set him free, only to become the subject of another “random check” en route to his honeymoon.

Fred’s Burqa
“Fred’s Burqa” (Canada, 2005, 5 min., Satire) Take bad debt, a sunny day perfect for hanging out laundry, a troublesome hip replacement surgery, and get true love at first, partly obscured sight. A stolen burqa leads to mistaken identity, a career change and true love.

Death Threat
Death Threat is a comic farce about Yasmeen Siddiqui, a young Muslim woman. She has just written her first novel and can’t understand why no less than fifty-nine publishers would reject a romantic epic like The Unquenched Wench of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Thinking perhaps she is not controversial enough, Yasmeen sets out to exploit her sweet-natured fellow Muslims in order to get a death threat in the hopes of generating publicity. She deviously succeeds in getting an apparent bounty on her life. To her chagrin, the media becomes patronisingly interested in Yasmeen, the “poor oppressed Muslim woman,” rather than Yasmeen, the talented new kid in Canadian Lit. Meanwhile, the only people trying to kill her are Canadian wheat farmers who could use the bounty money to make up for cutbacks in government grain subsidies. As chaos reigns, three “mullahs” from the Middle East have packed their turbans and are heading for Canada …
Death Threat premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1998

Fighter
Surrounded by the urban decay of daily inner city life, young teenagers seek solace and direction from a local martial arts master, Shi Fu. Under his tutorship, the gang learns elite fighting move and a new code to live their lives. However the rules of life are not as simple as the rules of martial arts and soon a young girl’s secret spells disaster for the newly formed group.

With breathtaking fight choreography with the best wire specialists around the globe, Fighter is a no-holds-barred, pump-action epic about following one’s dreams… whatever the cost.

New Muslim Cool – screening & panel discussion on 22/03/2010
Puerto Rican American rapper Hamza Pérez ended his life as a drug dealer 12 years ago, and started down a new path as a young Muslim. Now he’s moved to Pittsburgh’s tough North Side to start a new religious community, rebuild his shattered family, and take his message of faith to other young people through his uncompromising music as part of the hip-hop duo M-Team.

Raising his two kids as a single dad and longing for companionship, Hamza finds love on a Muslim networking website and seizes the chance for happiness in a second marriage. But when the FBI raids his mosque, Hamza must confront the realities of the post-9/11 world, and challenge himself. He starts reaching for a deeper understanding of his faith, discovering new connections with people from Christian and Jewish communities.

NEW MUSLIM COOL takes viewers on Hamza’s ride through the streets, projects and jail cells of urban America, following his spiritual journey to some surprising places — where we can all see ourselves reflected in a world that never stops changing.

The Imam & the Pastor
‘Theirs is an inspiring story, full of hope… A model for Muslim-Christian relations.’
Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury
‘Powerful and timely.’
Ambassador Aminu Wali, Nigerian Permanent Mission to the United Nations
‘Beautifully shot, visually evocative… its content is never less than thought-provoking and carries potential lessons for us all.’
The Herald, Scotland

Deen Tight
We follow a group of Muslim Hip Hop artists living in the United States and United Kingdom. They discuss intimately with us the challenges they face trying to balance their faith, culture, and the pressures of daily Western life.
The film provides an intimate look into the lives of a group we know very little about and how they deal with the many issues surrounding their culture and religion. Mutah Beale (formerly Napoleon of Tupac Shakur’s Outlawz) is adamant about leaving music and the Hip Hop scene as an act of obedience to God. Rapper Tyson Amir Mustafa and HBO Def Poet Amir Sulaiman see nothing wrong with using music as a form of cultural expression and DJ Belike Muhammad even claims to use Hip Hop as a means of proselytizing his faith.
We show both sides of this conflict, through intimate and emotional scenes where the artists candidly express what motivates them to feel the way they do.
This is the tale of one of the most influential pop culture movements of our time and its relationship to Islam, one of the world’s fastest growing religions.

A Son’s Sacrifice

A SON’S SACRIFICE follows the journey of Imran, a young American Muslim who struggles to take over his father’s halal slaughterhouse in New York City. A first-generation American, Imran must confront his mixed heritage and gain acceptance from his father’s immigrant community at the traditional storefront slaughterhouse. On the holiest day of the year, Imran must lead a sacrifice that will define him as a Muslim, as an American, and as a son.

Le Grand Voyage

Reda, summoned to accompany his father on a pilgrimage to Mecca, complies reluctantly – as he preparing for his baccalaureat and, even more important, has a secret love relationship. The trip across Europe in a broken-down car is also the departure of his father: upon arrival in Mecca, both Reda and his father are not the characters they were at the start of the movie. Avoiding the hackneyed theme of the return to the homeland, the film uses the departure to renew a connection between the two.

Anniversary of Gaza bombings coincides with day Moses freed the Jews

Scots Muslims and Jews will come together this week in a show of unity to mark one year on since the Israeli bombardment of Gaza.

The 22-day bombing campaign named Operation Cast Lead which killed 1,400 Palestinians began on Dec 27th which this year coincides with the day of Ashura, when Muslims believe that Moses delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh in the famous incident when the sea parted.

Muslims normally mark the day by refraining from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset, and will be joined by members of the Jewish community in the act this year to draw attention to the situation in Gaza.

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If you haven’t bought your calendar for next year yet, do so by 12pm tomorrow and we’ll have SIF’s 2010 calendar dispatched to you straight away. It’s the last posting day before the Christmas shutdown.

We’re immensely proud of the work, and are grateful to all the artists and photographers who contributed to it. You can view the images here, and buy the calendar here.

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The above working group, of which SIF was a member, has published its findings. The report can be read on the Scottish Government’s website.

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Scotland United

small DSC02394We’ve spent the last number of weeks working on a suitable response to the SDL’s planned protest outside Glasgow Central Mosque.

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