Visit my Mosque

Over 200 Mosques across the UK opened their doors on the 18th February 2018. The theme this year was Open Doors, Open Mosques, Open Communities

I certainly felt a warm welcome, not only from the people at the desk signing you in but from all people who were involved in the open day. People were willing to answer questions you had about the everyday running of the Mosque to the plans for the future of the building.

The whole area is currently undergoing a huge building project where the Mosque – which looks unlike any other I have seen – will be built. It will certainly be a fitting sight and with a modern appearance be an asset to those living in the west end of Newcastle.

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I had the privilege to see the plans for the new mosque it’s to be one of the greenest and ecologically sound constructions built in modern Newcastle. Its general theme seems to coincide with nature and inspires people to connect with the rich resources that the earth provides.

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I spent some time talking to some of the women of Mosque about their appearance and dress and how it was important to their own religious belief. There are a lot of misconceptions and general ignorance when it comes to how women in Islam present themselves.

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My view is where do you get your information from regarding Islam? Do you read the headlines that demean and misinform? Or do you go to the people who live, breathe and work for the religion?

I wouldn’t rely on the Beano to inform me of the British way of life. I wouldn’t ask right-wing groups on their opinion of Islam and other religions. I would ask the people who represent it.

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As I said to the people in the Mosque religious education in the UK has been abysmal for decades. Once people were schooled in religion and the knowledge of Christianity. Even that seems to be pitiful and lacking in certain parts of the education system. Always maligned and ridiculed as unnecessary for future life beyond the walls of school. I think its probably one of the most important subjects, especially for these times where lies have been planted into people.

Blame

There is always someone who will want to proportion blame other than the person who pulled the trigger on the guns. So far I have heard that the police at the nightclub were to blame, the lack of guns in the club and even the gay people who murdered should share the responsibility for their own deaths.

The appalling politicians and right-wing groups that latch on to what has happened and use if for their own gain. They proportion the blame to an entire religion which is wrong. Within most belief systems that there are the radical parts that will use this as an excuse to create mayhem and murder innocent victims. Many political parties have murdered in the name of their cause and under-pinned it with the belief that what they are doing is from god. It’s not. True religion does not kill.

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The key to getting to grips with this sort of violence has to be education and understanding. The Islamic faith does and has to condemn these sorts of atrocities that are undertaken in its name. The Muslim Advocates which speaks on behalf of Muslims in American has rightly condemned the killings of innocent LGBT victims. Something that does not get reported in the wider press and beyond.

There has to be a working together of ordinary people who will speak for all sides to condemn this violence. ISIS and its ideology are evil and that message should be broadcast throughout the world. Allowing the lunatics of the far-right and the homophobic part of the Christian church to use it for their gain should be stopped right at the beginning.

Amy

Never ‘got’ Amy Winehouse until her second album. Never really did with Adele until she released her last album 25 as well. Watching the film made about Amy Winehouse simply titled ‘Amy’ reveals a complex personality. Someone who had immense talent but just couldn’t handle the fame.

The film mentions that there is no text book or manual that prepares you for fame. But there are thousands of people out there who have gone through the mill of press intrusion and having their lives scrutinised and placed under microscope of rolling 24 hours news and social media where one word taken out of context can travel the globe within seconds.

I always look at the management and advisors that are around the people who are in the magazines and TV etc. Too many ‘yes men’ and not enough of those who are there to protect the artist from the people who can either choose to make or break them.

Making major decisions in life I have always asked a friends opinion. You run it by them to get their ideas. Keep you on the right track. The sad story of Whitney Houston’s demise along with Michael Jackson and other similar stars that died too young reminds us that these people are human but leave in an unreal world. Distorting that unreal world with mind changing substances that numb the person pain makes things much worse.

There are those who have become famous and remained relatively unscathed by their lives in the spotlight. They might have had a moment of indiscretion but they have come out the other side seemly a better person.

Find the right balance of people who will keep you grounded and safe. Whether you are famous or not we all need some sort of stability in life. Not deciding to do what we choose without thinking first of the consequences of the process. I think it’s important that we surround ourselves with people who are good for us. Those who mean a lot to us. Not those who would demean and belittle us. It all sounds easy in words but actions are different.

News

I cannot stand the internet sometimes. I am sure I have said this before. I have spoken about conspiracy theories and the stupidity of some people. I don’t read tabloid headlines or ‘news’ if I can help it as most of it is full of crap. If it’s on the internet then it must be true is some peoples take on life.

The place where I do get my news is from The Times. The only place where sensible debate and quality reporting remains. Before you moan on about it being a Murdoch paper think about how many other media channels are free from people who could be seen as less than suspect. It’s a pick of the bunch.

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I support Hope not Hate and their campaign against the vile BNP. Their organisation highlights for me the vomit inducing lies that the BNP produces. If you want conspiracy theories look at the BNP website. I want truth. I don’t mean speculation or supposed theories. They are experts on fracking and global warming. Putting it down to a leftist plot. Never heard such crap.

Maybe I am old fashioned and like the truth and fact rather than tittle-tattle gossip.