Ghana asks mosques to turn down the noise and use WhatsApp for call to prayer

Buses, stalls and vendors seen in Kaneshi market in Accra (picture-alliance/ZB/T. Schulze)

Excerpt from this article:

“Why is it that time for prayer cannot be transmitted with text message or WhatsApp? So the imam would send WhatsApp messages to everybody,” said environment minister Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng.

“I think that will help to reduce the noise. This may be controversial but it’s something that we can think about,” he told DW.

The government says it is hopeful such a change could contribute to a reduction in excessive noise.

Muslims reject WhatsApp idea

For many Muslims living in the capital, the idea of a mobile call to prayer is more difficult to embrace.

Fadama community mosque imam, Sheik Usan Ahmed, calls Muslims to prayer five times at prescribed times throughout the day. Although he agrees that the level of noise could be reduced, relying on text and WhatsApp messages could also have economic implications, he told DW. “The imam is not paid monthly. Where would he get the money to be doing that? We try to practice what is possible. So the text message or any other message is not a problem. But I don’t think it is necessary,” Ahmed said.

#TraditionallySubmissive: How 30,000 British Muslim women like me took down David Cameron

The #TraditionallySubmissive hashtag mocked David Cameron

Nice article by Shelina Janmohamed at Ogilvy Noor, here’s an excerpt:

Last week, David Cameron made comments that Muslim women are ‘traditionally submissive’ and that giving us English lessons would help stop extremism.

Mr Cameron had cheerfully knitted together all sorts of stereotypes about Muslim women not speaking English, not integrating, being submissive – and all of this being related to extremism.

But hurrah! He also mansplained that a few English classes would solve all our problems, even though it was he who previously slashed funding for such lessons – those that had been provided for anyone of any background to assist in empowerment and civic participation.

It seems I wasn’t the only Muslim woman to feel incensed. The #TraditionallySubmissive hashtag was taken up by others who wanted to express their despair and anger at being stereotyped.

The result was a fast-paced humorous and passionate Twitter storm yesterday evening between 6pm and 9pm, which was still trending this morning.

It made a firm point: Muslim women have voices, they are diverse, their achievements are wide ranging and impressive, and they are taking charge of their lives and their political engagement.

The aim of the campaign was to establish a clear unequivocal response to Mr Cameron’s dangerous comments and to put an end to the lazy kind of thinking that defines Muslim women as just one thing: “submissive victims” who are just waiting to be saved and civilised.

 

How the battle against IS is being fought online

woman holding #notinmyname placard

Excerpt from this article:

The battle against Islamic State (IS) militants has been fought in part on social networks, and has raised the question – how best to counter the message being spread by jihadists?

Analysis by BBC News shows that over the course of Friday evening the hashtag [#notinmyname] reached an audience equivalent to those sitting down to watch the main news bulletins. The hashtag was the brainchild of the Active Change Foundation, an organisation dedicated to fighting extremism.  Hanif Qadir of ACF said he and the young people at the organisation came up with the campaign because the broad mass of ordinary Muslim voices couldn’t be heard. They wanted to take back online space occupied by IS.

“It’s a simple message,” he says. “It’s Muslims [and] non-Muslims saying no way, not in the name of Islam, and not in the name of any faith or humanity, It’s a very very powerful message and very simple.”

“This is the most socially-mediated conflict in history,” he says. “You literally have thousands of foreign fighters from all over the world using social media in order to convey the message about the jihad that they are fighting.

“If I am a 20-year-old kid in Bradford who is thinking about going to Syria, I can go online and talk to another 20-year-old from Birmingham, London or Manchester and find out about their experiences and have a two-way conversation with a peer who has undergone the exact same thought processes that I have gone through and has faced all the challenges that I am about to embark upon.”