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.

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I got a pathetic response but hey at least it was a response. 

This week parents of a pupil removed their child from a school because a boy wanted to wear a dress and be known as a girl. In 2017 it might seem laughable and trivial but to a Christian couple it meant disrupting a child’s education.

I remember being hauled into the head’s office at school to help deal with a pupil who had been bullied. He wasn’t getting support or receiving praise for being different but my boss at the time was berating him for bringing in a school back that was different.

“Why can you bring something in that’s like everyone else?” She asked.

“Because I want to be me and this is who I am…” he replied.

There wasn’t a ‘Glee moment’ where the head teacher congratulates the pupil for their individuality and praises them for being who they are but tries to solve the intolerance and bullying by denying one person’s freedom of expression. All in a school bag.

My thoughts are clear on my former boss. She was a morally corrupt and bereft of humanity and empathy. She didn’t give a shit about her charges but was terrified that the  whole system would come down crashing at her feet.

My letter to the Christian Institute asking to speak about why their news feed was unbalanced was finally met with a response.

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Their opinion was that they just wouldn’t engage.

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Despite my years of experience dealing with church matters and education in this area.

The parents action which no doubt will be backed by the Christian Institute to further their growing sense of victimisation. But this is just the very reason why so many people now say that they have no religion. They are turning away from established religions in many parts of the world. The church and their non-sensical illogical beliefs have isolated themselves from the world. They will soon be made of mainly fanatical fringe belief systems. Where once the Church of England was the back bone of English society and culture soon it will become nothing more than Westboro Baptist lite.

 

 

RE and Humanism

As I qualified secondary RE teacher I find it appalling that the government have taken out the teaching of those with no belief in Religious Education. It’s almost like people without any faith shouldn’t have an opinion about moral values and life choices. I see it as a backwards step in highlighting the importance of the vital role that Religious Education has in our schools in a modern world.

The terrible atrocities that happen each day in our world cause us to pause and ask the question why? It is no longer the case that our children and adults should be left with the answer that some people do bad things. This is a poor excuse for educating people about religious belief.

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I was watching a programme the other night where they were discussing the issue of child exploitation that happens on a regular basis in the UK and thought myself that certain established religions have a lot to blame when it comes to talking about and educating young people about the dangers of online grooming and sexual relationships for someone who us under the legal limit of consent.

The programme highlighted the numerous times that girls were coerced into performed sex acts on their boyfriends and the blatant manipulation coupled with emotional blackmail that they felt under these circumstances. It is no longer a choice to bury your head in the sand and say that my child wouldn’t do these things and they know better.

Education is fundamental. Talking about violence does not make someone violent. In the same way, educating people about the dangers of sex doesn’t allow young people to think they are entitled to go out and experiment on the basis of the facts they have been told.

Think back to the days of your RE and would you really want the next generation to look at the world without the rich knowledge that RE does bring? Or do you want it to be begrudgingly tagged on the lesson at the end of the week on Friday afternoon?

Grieving

I have never been able to be sad for the things I haven’t had. It’s like sad that you haven’t had a sister. Well I have never had a sister and don’t know what it’s like so to me that is said. It what you have known and lost that makes sad

I didn’t even meet or know dad’s side of the family. He never told us that the had relations living in the south. I didn’t know them so not know what you haven’t had doesn’t make you upset.

Today, well to be exact this evening has been this worst. I am dreaming that she is still with me and that I am saying to her in the dream that it is impossible as you are not around. It the subconscious mind trying to patch things together in your memory and make some sort of resemblance of order in your life.

And then somehow dad appears and he has been dead over 21 year and things get very confusing and muddle because I know in the dreams that they had passed away and I am stilling coming to turns with.

Today I found a diary of mine of late 2012 which I asked: “What will it be like when she is no longer around”. It was interesting theories and emotions about mum and certain people were so true. Yes, it is scathing in some parts but I said that I have spent quality time with mum which is the main thing that mattered. Even in 2012, I knew I had done the right thing.

As I had said before losing my father happened so quickly before I started my teacher training so I really didn’t have the time to grieve which screwed me up a few years later.

The mental torture of losing a loved one cannot be cured. Emotions can be suppressed with booze and medication but there is a lot of screwed up people out there who haven’t properly grieved for a loved one. A numbed pain only goes away for a few hours while you are stoned or pissed. This is the equivalent of trying to put on a plaster on a major wound after surgery you might think it will go away and ignoring it does make things difficult in the long run.

Grieving is a natural process. At the moment I cannot be bothered with small things in life. This is a process that mentally you have to go through. Great speech Philip, but doesn’t make anything better,  different and easier to handle. It only gets easier to handle things less painful each year. Especially around mothers days and other occasions things that connect with mum and myself like Christmas’.

I have good friends and loads of people who I can fall back on and that makes a difference. I have been for them when they have needed help and when I am feeling like crap they help as well. I just take each day as it comes and not try to suppress the tears and emotion.

Balance of the sexes

During the day I get the opportunity to read some of the news articles that appear in publications that are based in North East. Apart from the fact that most of them are filled with stories to do with football there are some snippets of interest.

I have been interested in story covered by the Hartlepool Mail. It describes a former teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a pupil at her school. The teacher involved has admitted to kissing the boy but said nothing else happened. She is on trial at Teeside Crown Court.

She is accused of grooming the boy by giving him sweets and what the paper describes as “attention”. But it went further to describe what the accused in question was wearing in court. Right down to the colour of her tights and shoes.

“Wearing a burgundy jacket and skirt, grey tights and matching grey high heels, she wept several times as she started her defence.”

Regardless of whether this person is guilty or not what has the colour of her clothing and the type of shoes she is wearing got to do with the evidence provided in court?

Ahhhh you see! She is wearing high heels. You see? See what type of a person she is. She obviously has questionable morals and definitely should be viewed with some sort of suspicion.

This sort of gutter journalism is proof that women again do not hold an equal standing in society. Why is it that we seem to judge women on the basis of what type and how little clothing they wear. Would a man have his clothing describes in such detail if he were accused of the crime? Would his clothing be relevant? No. But it must be if a women dresses in such a way.

I emailed the newspaper. No reply so far. I doubt I will get answer or explanation.