Yahya Parkinson (lived 1874-1918 CE (ra) was a notable British Muslim of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. A Scotsman (of Irish ancestry) he was a poet, a writer, a critic, a newspaper editor and for much of his life a wool spinner. Born in Kilwinning in Ayrshire, his first given name was John and it was this name he kept. When he returned to Islam (became a Muslim) around the turn of the century, he Arabised his name to Yahya (the way of saying John in Arabic). Although generally a resident of Scotland, Yahya Parkinson was a figure associated the the British Muslim community in Liverpool and the Woking Muslim Mission in Surrey. He became popular in intellectual British Muslim circles and among the English speaking Muslim intellectuals of British India. An impressive author, who wrote on various subjects (including Islamic Chivalry and Imam Al Ghazali (ra), his writing and poetry were featured in several English language Muslim periodicals of the era. He was well missed when he passed away (whist still only in his early middle age) in the year 1918 CE.
Muhammad Marmaduke William Pickthall (ra) 1875-1936 CE) was a great British Muslim and the author of one of the most popular translations of the meanings of the Holy Qur’an into English. His translation of the meanings of the glorious Qur’an into English was be the first such translation to gain authorization from the great Al-Azhar university in Cairo. After a long held love of Islam Muhammad Marmaduke declared his Shahada (declaration of Islamic faith) in 1917 CE, in front of the Muslim Literary Society in London. Born in Suffolk to middle class parents, his father was the Reverend Charles Grayson, an Anglican priest.
Muhammad Marmaduke grew up in London and suffered from ill health as a child. He studied at Harrow School and gained a love of languages, in Wales he would learn Welsh and Gaelic in Ireland. Hoping to learn Arabic he traveled to Palestine sought work with the British there whilst he was still only seventeen years old. During his time in the Middle East he saw a joyousness amongst the Muslims that he had never seen amongst the Christians of Europe, he also saw in Islam values that he knew many British Christians had been striving towards but failing to reach over the years.
Furthermore he loved the freedom and beauty of the life he saw and lived in the Middle East, a life that at that time still could remind him of the Tales of the Arabian Nights that he had read as a child or the stories of the Bible that he also learned in that early part of his life, but even as a Christian he came to dislike the petty and sectarian Christian Missionaries who had started to swarm through those areas of the Middle East where they were able. Thus a young man he traveled through many lands and eventually he became known as a learned writer on Middle-Eastern things. He particularly loved the Ottoman society and he had a deep fascination with Islam and this was reflected in his writings.
Sadly with the troubles of World War One a propaganda campaign was launched in the UK against the Ottomans (and Islam). Muhammad Marmaduke tirelessly defended the Turks with his pen, however, he supported the British against the Germans and declared he was ready to be a combatant so long as he did not have to fight the Turks.
In 1920 CE Muhammad Marmaduke went to India and became the editor of the Bombay Chronicle. He was a good hearted man and gave much in charity but hid his giving from others. He would not return to England until the year before his passing. He is buried in the Muslim cemetery at Brookwood, Surrey.
Anyone can become a Muslim and non-defective Mosques are open to all Muslims, but it is not everyday that lots of Mosques invite non-Muslims to come on in and look around. British Visit My Mosque Day is therefore a special day.
This national initiative on Feb 1st saw the British non-Muslim public invited and welcomed into many of the country’s Mosques so that they could see what really goes on inside…
…and what does go on inside a typical British Mosque?
Well congregational Salaat prayers 5 times per day does – and most Mosques have a Madrassa, however, contrary to the fantasies of Islamophobes everywhere a Madrassa is generally simply the Muslim equivalent of Sunday school or in some cases the equivalent of a Seminary. In larger better Mosques some social services are provided and some other social, cultural and religious activities are undertaken, and that is about it.
Sermons in most British Mosques rarely or never mention politics and when they do it tends to be from a very uncontroversial and totally mainstream perspective (telling people that they should vote Labour is generally as politically controversial as sermon’s get). British Muslims are just normal people. Indeed when polled British Muslims commonly describe identifying with their British identity more so than British non-Muslim communities (who tend to focus upon being English, Welsh or Scottish etc).
Visit My Mosque Day is undertaken to promote community understanding and to help disprove many of the irresponsible distortions that are promoted by the Media. However, in my view it is not enough and – if Islam is to ever escape from the position of being perceived as an unwelcome alien sect in Britain – every decent sized Mosque in the West should have some charitable and social facilities that are open all the time to non-Muslims as well as Muslims.
In this regards Muslims could learn a lot from those many Christian Churches that offer space for community activities in which all are welcome (of any faith or non). These services range from playgroups to coffee mornings and religion is not generally pushed at people attending – yet many, many people became Churchgoers as a result of being invited in for these other non-religious activities and services.
The truth is, however, that most Muslims in Britain are South Asians who have not yet really come to realize that they are part of a European nation now. They have failed to notice that being British and being Muslim at the same time don’t leave much room for transplanted South Asian village life, especially for those elements of them that are in-congruent not only with British values, but also clash with the values of genuine Islam.
I’m pretty sure that if British Muslims don’t do more to establish broader and deeper ties with the wider British community then it would not be surprising if they experience pogroms and other terrible problems later on.
There are just so many people out there who know next to nothing that is true about the Islam and its adherents, yet their minds have been filled with hate filled distortion after distortion. Each new half truth or lie supporting the previous one until they build into a mountain of negative emotions and wrong presuppositions against Muslims. This is a box of fireworks waiting to go off one day.
Each anti Muslim propaganda byte has been cunningly inserted into popular circulation by those who are waging a highly successful and effective propaganda war – one that has turned Muslims as a whole into global pariahs.
Good Muslims need to get together in effective ways and stand up and be counted, in every way embodying the opposite energy from that of the Kharijite terrorists. The only way that Muslims can overcome this situation is by an equally energetic, positive and productive reaction, putting out the fires of hate with the water of warmth, mercy and compassion.
Some Wise Observations…
“Muslims should be a beacon of light in the lands we live in.”
“We should be a spark of hope for others when they see: the dignity of our dress, the dignity of our behavior, the excellence of our schools, the professionalism of our healers, and people who are ethical at their core and won’t absolve themselves of their ethical responsibility.”
“Then, we will be a beacon of light- and people will say, ‘I want to be like those people.”
Hamza Yusuf Hanson
“If you desire to live such that your religion is safe and your portion is full and your honor is sound Guard your tongue; never mention another’s faults – For you too have faults and others too have tongues!
Take care the eye, when it reveals another’s faults – Saying, “O my eyes, remember the eyes of others!” Live treating well all others and avoid aggression – and should they oppress, repel it but with kindness.
Sidi Ahmad Zarruq
“One of the most important ways to conquer the hearts of people is that one always seeks an opportunity to do others good and once such an opportunity appears, makes use of it without delay. If only we could set our hearts on always doing good to others!”
“Good morals and sound conscience, and good manners and virtues, are like a currency universally acceptable and which is not affected by changes in the values of other means of exchange. Those provided with such qualities are like merchants with the highest credit who can do business wherever they want.”
Type in the words John Ware “Islamophobia” and you will be met with a sea of descriptions of this non-lovely person. He may look like he smells like a Christmas cake full of brandy essence, but he isn’t tasty and covered with icing. As expected, in his latest film he was true to form. Negative talk about Muslims was supported by eerie music and terrifying special effects sounds, perfectly utilized to drum the point home that a large proportion of British Muslims are a furry faced, hijab wearing fifth column of baddies, with weird and disturbing foreign ways.
This man who has been described by hard hearted critics as “a red nosed, beardless Santa lookalike” loves to grace our screens with his non-cheery expression, giving dire warnings of imminent doom from the tiny Muslim minority whilst looking like much of his energy is spent trying to stay vertical and hiding his wibbly wobbly non-deliberate impression of a Thunderbirds puppet.
After watching several documentaries by the BBC’s John Ware the only conclusion that I can come to is that he is a Zionist who hates Islam (he may disagree), which is probably why the biased BBC establishment have let him make yet another Panorama, yet again painting British Muslims who actually are Muslims* as awful extremists, cum potential terrorists.
The only type of Muslims that the likes of John Ware find acceptable seem to be those people who call themselves Muslims, when in fact the last actual Muslim in their family was probably their grandmother and she is pushing up daisies, yet these people still like to describe themselves as Muslims despite the fact that their religious beliefs often owe as much to such things as Oprah Winfrey, popularized Masonic philosophy and Disney films than they do to actual Orthodox Islam.
Watch John Ware’s Panorama “documentaries” and you will probably end up believing that most British Muslims probably secretly support all sorts of terrorism, forced marriage, pedophile gangs and/or female genital mutilation.
Some time ago the Muslim Council of Britain identified him as “agenda-driven pro-Israel polemicist” and his record of tabloid style smears and anti-Muslim witch hunts is nothing to be proud of.
In his latest “documentary” Ware seems to be crusading for normative mainstream Islam to be replaced with a specially British Islam “compatible” with British values. In so doing he smears normative mainstream Islam with the utterly deceptive implication that mainstream Islam is incompatible with Britishness, his argument also implies that it is mainstream Islam (not specific extremism) that is to blame for the actions of people belonging to extremist groups.
At first I was pleasantly surprised to see his apparent good will towards British Muslim institutions such as British Muslim TV, but it soon became clear that he was only using them as a “goodie” tame Muslims to be held in contrast to the “baddie” big beard Sunnah people and the Wahhabi-leaning charitably-focused Islam Channel (both baddies only in the highly subjective world of the Islamophobe).
…However, if those people of John Ware’s inclinations have their way and all the big beards are eventually locked up, banished or driven underground, most found guilty of an ever growing list of various newly invented thought crimes, speech crimes, reading crimes and lifestyle crimes all wrapped in an ever growing definition of Muslim extremism…
…Then straight away the little beards like British Muslim TV will be next, because the goal of the Islamophobes is not merely the eradication of terrorism or real extremism, but rather the eradication of Islam – because it stands as an alternative way of life to the globalist consumerist zombification that serves the economic interests of the mega-corporations.
We saw a similar anti-Abrahamic process in the bad old Marxist days of the Soviet Union, the only difference back in those bad old days was there was no pretense of liberty.
Nothing better should be expected from John ware who has proven time and time again his anti-Muslim attitudes. His dewy eyed view of zionism on the other hand could not be more different. In 2013 whilst zionists all over the world were celebrating the 65th anniversary of the foundation of the last Western colony in the Middle East John Ware wrote the following dewy eyed description of Israel in an article by ware that it still up on the BBC website. He exclaimed…
“what a remarkable country Israel is”
“how it has survived attempts to destroy it, winning three wars against the armies of its Arab neighbours”
“how it has developed a successful hi-tech industry propelling it to the forefront of the global economy”
“how it has launched satellites..”
“…and won prizes for medicine…”
“…Israel remains by some distance the most vibrant democracy in the Middle East…”
“…with a free and fearless press…”
He then goes on to talk about the zionist colony’s problems, but all the problems he talks about seem to be the fault of those pesky Arabs and Muslims as well as those awful “theocratic” religious Jews who threaten the zionist state’s “secular” principles. The fact that Israel was founded on the land of the Palestinians, by foreign occupiers and that its birth was heralded with zionist genocide against the Palestinians was simply brushed under the carpet by Ware (as is normal with the BBC)…
As for John Ware, yes he is an undeniable slurmonger, but please don’t spread the malicious and false rumour that he’s the only employee at the BBC whose identification badge says “John Ware, keep away from naked flames” on the front and “Danger Inhalation Hazard, Avoid Breathing Vapours” on the back. Please do not judge a book by its cover. Like many people he probably has a swollen red nose due to pillow friction (or carpet friction) as he sleeps, or from when his jumper gets caught on his variably-sized Pinocchio-style facial lie-detector.
Want to Watch a John Ware Documentary on Anything, Ever?
Want to Read a John Ware Article on Anything, Ever?
God bless him, but No Thanks.