synagogue knocker

Visiting a Synagogue

The air was a bit musty but the welcome warm and friendly. Salaam Blogger had often passed the Fieldgate Street Great Synagogue doorways, wondering what it was like inside. The opportunity arose on a Sunday afternoon (25th October 2015), at an Open Day organised by the East London Mosque, which surrounds the place on three sides!…

fire-mau

Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Britain Shaheed Fatima writes, ‘On August 28, 2015 the British Library publicly stated that it would not acquire or give access to the digital archive of materials collected by the Taliban Sources Project (TSP). This decision, coming from “one of the world’s greatest research libraries” and “a place of…

john-bennett

An English spiritualist’s Yezidi encounters

John G Bennett (died 1974) travelled widely in the regions now lying between the Turkish-Iraqi-Syrian borders in the early 1950s, visiting tekkes, zawiyas and other sacred sites, later settling in England to establish the Coombe Springs sanctuary for spiritualist studies. Saturday 31st October 1953 After Nimrud, we had an experience of quite a different order when we went…

farsi couplet

SOAS academic’s take on Maudoodi

  Jan-Peter Hartung, Senior Lecturer in the Study of Islam at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London,  has recently published a book on the thought of the founder of Pakistan’s Jamaat Islami, Maulana Maudoodi (he prefers the spelling Mawdudi). For Salaam’s reviewer, it typifies the “malevolent but useful gaze of…

BritishLibrary_red_crescent1874

British Library’s Flikr collection

            From the Russo-Turkish battles of the 1870s, when Britain supported the Ottomans. Queen Victoria sought to mediate, sending Munshi AbdulKarim’s friend Rafiuddin Ahmed on a secret mission. The Muslim world rallied around, raising funds and supporting the work of the Red Crescent.              …

stakenife

Remembering Stakeknife

Our liberal democratic dispensations have a darker side. Alongside the carrot there is a very big stick that comes down with great force on those deemed to be the ‘enemy’ by the political-military elite. Read books like Paxman’s ‘The English’ and there is a sense of a nation bound by cricket’s rules of fair play,…

quotes

RICU in focus

RICU remains in the news… The Foreign Office’s Information & Research Department (IRD) played a significant role in Western news and cultural media management from 1948-1977. It financed a publishing house ‘Ampersand’ and at one time employed a staff of 300. A secret Foreign Office memo in February 1948 described its establishment as a response…

90 years on – the Treaty of Versailles

On 28th June 1919 the victors of World War I exacted their retribution on the defeated Germans and Ottomans. Britain, led by the Hellenophile Prime Minister Lloyd George, set up a new world order with disastrous consequences: stoking ambitions for a ‘Greater Greece’ leading to death and destruction on the Turkish mainland; humiliating terms imposed…

Iran, 1907 & 2007

The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 and Foreign Secretary David Milliband 2007…. In September 1907 the text of the Anglo-Russian Convention was doing the rounds in Western capitals. It declared that “the signatory Powers undertake to acknowledge and respect the integrity and independence of Persia…”. But then in a semantic somersault continued: “….and delimit their spheres…