Islam Channel and in particular Brother Mohamed Ali along with his incredibly hardworking team need to be congratulated for putting on an amazing festival that showcased the beauty of Islam.
The success of the event which was being screened live to over 130 countries across the world was evidenced by over 100,000 people attending a two day event that previously would have on average approaching 40,000 attending.
Those that attended will have their own experiences and highlights to take home perhaps Laureen Booth reverting to Islam or the nasheeds, or a particular scholar however, my abiding memory having spoken to numerous people was a growing sense of Muslim self awareness and honesty about our own shortcomings and failures.
I listened to some amazing self critical speeches from the likes of Tariq Ramadan and Dr Waqar Azmi who launched into an assault on our prejudices and racism. While some of us play the victim card far to readily both these speakers honestly highlighted how Muslims are also occasionally racist by treating people of other colours, cultures and backgrounds differently and at odds from how true Muslims should behave.
The number of non Muslims genuinely interested in understanding more about Islam and visiting the fashion and clothing stalls also showed a marked increase this year.
Politically while very disappointed although not surprised at the Tory boycott there was also an awareness of the need to engage and be the change which seemed to be the mood of this years event. Criticism was also levelled at our "leaders" be it the MCB or the money thrown at outfits like Engage and the salary being offered to its CEO Mohammad Asif and Bungo's sister by the Trustees Sacranie and Mohamed Ali nevertheless the need to do something and improve our situation was widely acknowledged.
Those refusing to extend the hand of friendship to us as a community cannot be surprised when we sort out our shortcomings and begin to finally awaken through organising and mobilising like others have done before us that we in the years to come remember who are friends were during times of hardship.
Millionaire Gives it All Up for Islam
10 minutes ago