Archive for December 22nd, 2004

Do you make phone calls?

When was the last time you dialed someone’s number?

I don’t know who you are, dear reader, but I would hazard a guess that you haven’t dialed anyone’s number for years! Or are you going to tell me you are one of the almost non-existant people who actually still have a rotary dialled phone.

After all, dial suggests rotary!

What do we say now, rather than, I dialled your number and got the engaged tone?

As we punch buttons now, should you say, I punched my Aunty Agnes last night?

Or I pressed young Sarah last week?

OK, OK, so what… I just felt like a rant this afternoon as my computer is giving me problems!


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Muslim language rights

I scanned this in from the below mentioned newspaper and offer it without any personal comment whatsoever.

From the Harrow Times, 16 December 2004:

Dear Editor,

To deprive a Muslim child of his or her culture and language is a crime against humanity.

The British education system has been guilty of such a crime for the last 50 years.

The first wave of Muslims arrived here with three or four languages, including English, but the next generation, born and educated by native teachers, has been subjected to learning English in local accents, making them misfits not only in British society, but also in the whole world.

A Muslim is the citizen of this small glob-al village.

On top of that, they have been discouraged from learning Arabic and Urdu, cutting them off from their cultural roots.

They are unable to enjoy the beauty of Urdu literature and poetry, unable to have good communications with their parents and other elders.

All of them suffer from Identity crises, resulting in mental, emotional and social problems.

We have lost three generations and the fourth is in the process of loosing its linguistic, religious and cultural Identity.

Respect and tolerance of different religions, cultures and languages is essential for positive community cohesion.

The solution to all these problems is state-funded Muslim schools. Muslim parents should be given educational vouchers so that they could send their children to private Muslim schools.

There are already hundreds of state schools where Muslim pupils are in the majority. All such schools may be designated as “Muslim community schools”, under the control of Muslim educational trusts or charities, with bilingual Muslim teachers required to teach bilingual Muslim pupils from nursery level.

The first wave of Muslims used English as an economic language and still it is meant for earning bread and butter, not to be used as a social and emotional language.

But English could become the social and emotional language if Muslims start moving in and around pubs, night clubs and frequently changing partners.

This is what the British establishment wants them to do in order to become an integral part of British society.

Now, Muslim imams will need to show a basic command of spoken English before being allowed to enter the country to satisfy the spiritual needs of the Muslim community.

Imams from the sub-continent are already well versed in Urdu, Arabic, and Persian, on top of their mother tongues, Punjabi, Bengali or Gujarati and other regional languages.

Now they have to learn English as an extra burden.

Urdu is a social and emotional language of the Muslims from the sub-continent, and Arabic is their religious language.

They are in a better position to serve the Muslim community in Arabic and Urdu so that they could feel at home in an alien British society.

Iftikhar Ahmad

London School of Islamics

Margery Park Road

London, E7 9LD


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